Browsing Doctoral Degrees (History) by Author "Dande, Innocent"
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- ItemA social history of African dog-owners in Zimbabwe, 1890-2018(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-03) Dande, Innocent; Swart, Sandra S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines the history of human-dog relations in Southern Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1890 to 2018. It argues that from the pre-colonial period, dogs have had a variety of significant but shifting relationships with human beings. The dissertation seeks to disrupt strictly anthropocentric or human-centred histories, by including dogs as historical subjects. It uses archival sources, traditional (vernacular) knowledge, literary sources, and newspapers as primary stories in reconstructing this history. Starting from the pre-colonial period, African-owned dogs have strayed between nature and culture, between being work animals and being pets, and between human settlement and wild environments, between their physical bodies and being spiritually significant animals or political metaphors. So they provide a previously unexplored vantage from which to understand changing agrarian, political, environmental and economic struggles in the past. This dissertation argues that in the pre-colonial period a variety of types of dogs from various sources ranged the Zimbabwean plateau and that the idea that a specific dog breed or even ‘type’ existed in southern Africa is an ahistorical and teleological imposition of western terms on the region. This thesis argues that dogs became central to understanding competing ideas held by (and about) different classes, races and genders. It focuses on how crises, like episodic outbreaks of rabies, altered human-dog and human-human relations in the country. It explores why colonial conservation ideologies sought to encourage Africans to keep ‘better and fewer’ dogs and what that meant for Africans and their dogs. It analyses how and why ideas of ‘dog breeds’ and ‘purity’ in dog breeding changed, examining the extent to which Africans accepted new ideas of dog breeds. It explores how the interaction of colonial ideas with ideas that came from African rural areas along with those of the African urban working. It also examines how all these dog-keeping practices created creolized dog breeding practises at different times in the country’s past. Zimbabweans have used dogs to think through issues that at first sight seem unrelated such as oppressions, tradition, colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, modernity, indigeneity and autochthony. Overall, the dissertation brings southern African dog histories into a productive historiographical conversation with those of the Global North and of the Middle East.