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Town-State Formations on the Edge of the Kalahari

Social-Cultura Dynamics of Centralization in Northern Tswana Kingdoms

Ørnulf Gulbrandsen

While the people of pre-colonial and colonial societies in Africa often lived in scattered, sparse settlements, the people of the Northern Tswana kingdoms (present-day Botswana) were found in large towns with thousands of residents. This is puzzling in view of their location on the edge of the Kalahari, where such concentrations would normally be least expected. Moreover, while pastoralism is generally considered antithetical to the formation of densely settled populations, cattle have featured centrally in these kingdoms' political economy. Breaking away from ecological determinism, the author argues that the role played by cattle in these societies was mediated through social and political processes that favor both state formation and large, compact settlements. The article is particularly concerned with the centripetal forces vested in the cultural and symbolic wealth of Tswana royal towns.

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Lockdown and the Global Disruption of Intimacies with Routine, Clock Time, and the Intensification of Time-Space Compression

Rebecca Irons

demands on their time. No longer able to spend all day on agricultural tasks, the Tswana people now needed to attend church according to certain hours, the clock thereby taking new control over their lives. Although it may seem relatively harmless and

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Kinning and De-kinning

Houses, Heirlooms and the Reproduction of Family

Simone Abram and Marianne Elisabeth Lien

). Referring to Tswana homesteads, Morton's concern is primarily the embodiment of memory, but much of his ethnography suggests that daily practice implicates both the material and personal relationships that the house encompasses. Tswana homes are often

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Savages Have No Crime!

Radcliffe-Brown on Social Sanctions and the Law

Isak Niehaus

those of individuals, and ‘mixed sanctions.’ He also includes valuable descriptive material on policing, punitive measures, and mechanisms to curb excessive individualism. In the classical study, Handbook of Tswana Law and Custom (1938), Isaac Schapera

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The Uncanniness of Missionary Others

A Discursive Analysis of a Century of Anthropological Writings on Missionary Ethnographers

Travis Warren Cooper

pasts intruding on traditional ways of life. The Methodist mission to the South African Tswana, in other words, is much of the story. To be sure, anthropologists study marginalized, indigenous peoples, 14 but they also document those European tribal

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A Case of Insult

Emotion, Law, and Witchcraft Accusations in a Botswana Village Customary Court

Pnina Werbner and Richard Werbner

procedures that generate such dialogue resemble restorative justice practices discussed by criminologists and other socio-legal scholars. 1 Remarkably, although much has been written about the tendency of Tswana courts to promote reconciliation—for example

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Anthropology at the dawn of apartheid

Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski’s South African engagements, 1919–1934

Isak Niehaus

anthropology grew from 11 students in 1922 to 45 students in 1925 ( Phillips 1993: 27 ). Schapera, the only student to proceed to graduate studies, later produced an enormous corpus of work on the Tswana. However, William Norton’s courses in Bantu philology

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Toward a Critical and Comparative Anthropology of Disability

Absent Presence and Exemplary Personhood

Joshua Reno, Kaitlyn Hart, Amy Mendelson, and Felicia Molzon

and engage practically. In Bengal, religious values like renunciation and attachment “were experienced and pursued by Mangaldihi villagers as fundamentally varied, as coexisting and creating quandaries,” writes Lamb (2000: 141) . Similarly, the Tswana

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Building Legacies

Making Landscape, Home and Return between Nairobi and Western Kenya

Constance Smith

has proposed that the construction of a Tswana lolwapa , or homestead, ‘interweaves processes of remembering through the activity of building over time’ ( 2007: 159 ). Morton shows how the lolwapa is overtly understood in genealogical terms, and the