Browsing by Author "Nel, Annemieke B."
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- ItemSouth African missions, Methodism, identity and agency in the Cape, with reference to the Klipfontein Mission Station, ca.1800s-2010s(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-03) Nel, Annemieke B.; Nasson, William R.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The development of an individual’s personal and community identity forms an intrinsic part of how that individual views the world around them and directs their choices and actions within that context. The nature of one’s interaction with their external environment and community affiliation, tied in with their personal values and beliefs, encompass all that defines a person and their community. In modern times, personal identity can be found to be more fluid – especially due to the increased amount of exposure that any single person experiences to the world and its global cultures and traditions. Historically, some communities were more isolated to an extent that a student of history can more clearly trace the various elements that influence identity development. In this thesis, a community on a mission station is chosen as the case study for exploring identity formation and the presence of agency over an extensive period, along with the presence of substantial external influences. Officially, Klipfontein was an out-station established by the Methodist (then called Wesleyan) Church. By its nature, mission stations in South Africa were homes to indigenous occupants of South Africa, but governed by Western religious values and traditions. This meeting of two different “worlds” and cultures, provided an interesting milieu in which community identity developed and evolved. The history of the Methodist Church and its roots, as well as its policy surrounding the evangelisation of so-called native people in South Africa (specifically the Cape) is of importance in order to understand the context in which the inhabitants of some mission stations developed their identity over their lifetime. Additionally, the racial climate and a consideration of how and why the nomadic Khoisan came to settle in the Cape and on mission stations, specifically, may contribute to a better understanding of Western-Cape based Coloured identity in the present day. A brief history of Klipfontein and its inhabitants is recorded, drawing on the limited resources available, as well as on stories told by the elders who reside on the remaining land. Lastly, the theory of identity formation is discussed, along with parallels between the elements of an individual’s cultural identity and the Klipfontein community. Over the last almost two centuries, generations of ‘Klipfonteiners’ have exhibited acts of agency in an attempt to secure their future on the land and preserve their historical and cultural roots that have evolved over a considerable period. The community’s connection to the land they live on and the symbolic importance of their ‘place’ in the world, has surpassed the conventions of the church and the physical borders on a map and remains just as prominent as when their forebears first discovered the stone from which a fountain flowed and decided to call this place home.