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Historia

On-line version ISSN 2309-8392

Historia vol.54 n.2 Durban  2009

 

 

"Figure-ing" it out

 

Jean-Marie Dederen
Thohoyandou

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

1 P Mitchell, The Archaeology of Southern Africa (Cambridge University Press, Cape Town, 2002),         [ Links ] is a case in point: the figurine tradition is neither illustrated, nor discussed systematically
2 The two sites with the largest, best preserved and aesthetically most interesting assemblages are, sadly, undocumented (Everton Farm: 144 almost complete clay sculptures; and Mutare Altar: 136 soapstone figurines)
3 The narrative in Chapter 5 is mainly based on the cognitive anthropology of A Jacobson-Widding and W van Beek (eds), The Creative Communion (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Upsala, 1990)
4 TN Huffman, Handbook to the Iron Age. The Archaeology of Pre-Colonial Farming Societies in Southern Africa (University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, Scottsville, 2007)         [ Links ]
5 P Roumeguere and J Roumeguer-Eberhardt, "Poupees de fertilite et figurines d'argile Leur lois initiatique", Journal de la Societe des Africanistes, 30, 2, 1960, pp 205-223         [ Links ]
6 A Nettleton, "The Figurative Woodcarving of the Shona and Venda " PhD thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1985         [ Links ]
7 Clay initiation equipment is destroyed after the concluding rituals
8 Thus if most of the broken pieces are identified as Category 1, subclass 1b, as is suggested by the author on p 51
9 Huffman, Handbook to the Iron Age, p 117
10 A Kuper, Wives for Cattle, Bridewealth and Marriage in Southern Africa (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1982)         [ Links ]
11 Combining "natural" and "cultural" in one category seems, in any case, somewhat unusual!
12 The stylised female torso: Category H3 in Hanisch and Matenga's Category 1, subclass 1b
13 Fiction is a standard feature in her controversial publications on Venda cosmology
14 The fact that Roumeguere compiled her research on "Venda cosmology" in a mixed Venda-Tsonga/Changana area, may explain some of the ambiguous nature of her narrative
15 The coexistence of circumcision-based and non-circumcision-based initiation schools in the Venda-speaking region and elsewhere, increases the complexity and, in addition, illustrates the interethnic or transcultural nature of the phenomenon of rites-of-passage
16 B Fagan, Southern Africa during the Iron Age (Thames and Hudson, London, 1965)         [ Links ]
17 R Summers, "Human Figurines in Clay and Stone from Southern Rhodesia and Adjoining Territories", Occasional Papers of the National Museums of Southern Rhodesia, 21A, 1957         [ Links ]
18 AI Richards, Chisungu: A Girls' Initiation Ceremony among the Bemba of Northern Rhodesia (Faber and Faber, London, 1954)        [ Links ]

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