Converts and conservatives: missionary representations of African rulers in the Northern Transvaal, c. 1870-1900

Kirkaldy, Alan and Kriel, Lize (2006) Converts and conservatives: missionary representations of African rulers in the Northern Transvaal, c. 1870-1900. LFM. Social Sciences & Missions (18). pp. 109-144. ISSN 1420-2018



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During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Berlin Mission Society made strenuous efforts to convert the rulers of the people in whose areas they worked in the Northern Transvaal. In this they were largely unsuccessful. This raises questions about what forces influenced success and failure, and how the missionaries interpreted this. In this article, we interrogate the Berlin Missions Society’s accounts of the life and death of August Makhahane, a ruler of the Vhavenda who converted to Christianity, against the background of the accounts dealing with Matsiokwane Leboho, a ruler of the Bahananwa who did not convert. Through such a comparison, we aim at exploring the contrasted ways in which the Berlin missionaries reported about the two rulers.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:African religions; August Makhahane; Bahananwa; Berliner Missionsberichte; Berlin Mission Society; Baluberg; Blouberg; burial practices; Carl Stech; Christianity; conversion; dreams; Evangelical Lutheran Church; evangelists; Georgenholtz; Gertrudsburg; Kruger National Park; Leboho; Limpopo; Luvuvhu; Makhahane; Matsiokwane Leboho; Mhinga; missionaries; missionary representations; Nathaniel Lalumbe; polygyny; Reinhold Wessmann; religious conflict; settlement patterns; succession disputes; Transvaal; Tsonga-Shangaan; Vendaland; Vhalembetu; Vhavenda; witchcraft
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > History
ID Code:459
Deposited By: Dr Alan Kirkaldy
Deposited On:14 Mar 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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