Explorations in ethnicity and social change among Zulu-speaking San descendents of the Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-Natal.
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This thesis is an ethnographic exploration of the people of the Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa that trace Zulu and San or Bushmen ancestry. I found that as these people attempt to reclaim rights lost through colonization, assimilation and Apartheid they are creating new rituals and attaching new significance to rock art sites. I also found that the contemporary ethnography of the Drakensberg peoples in general can aid interpretations of the rock art and also challenges established hegemonies of interpretation. The research also challenges the ethnic/cultural distinctions that are assumed to be salient between different peoples of South Africa and adds to the 'Kalahari debate' by questioning notions of an either or situation of assimilation or subordination. The ethno-historical record indicates a much more complex web of relations existed historically than is related in the dominant academic discourses. The extent that these people will be recognised as aboriginal remains to be seen, and currently they are creating social and political links with San organizations with the hopes of future gains and political recognition of their rights and identity.