An African Aristocracy : Rank Among the Swazi book cover
1st Edition

An African Aristocracy
Rank Among the Swazi

ISBN 9781138586123
Published April 28, 2020 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

Originally published in 1947 and reprinted with a new preface in 1961, this book is based on field studies and gives an account of the social organization of the Swazi, wiith special reference to the aristocratic structure of their society and the way in which birth and rank determine social relationships and activities. The book provides a historical picture of the Swazi and the part played by them during the period of European expansion in British and Boer conflicts in South Africa. The economic structure of a society based on agriculture and the influence exerted over every aspect of social activity by the conservative and aristocratic political hierarchy is analyzed and post-War changes and their effect upon the Swazi also reviewed.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction and Historical Background 1. Introduction

2. Conquering Aristocracies: 1. The Dlamini

3. Conquering Aristocracies: 2 The Europeans

Part 2: The Basis of Conservatism

4. The Tempo of Peasant Life

5. The Conservative Political Hierarchy 

6. Ritualization of the King

7. Choice of the Heir.

8. Blood, Kinship and Locality

9. The Age-Class System

10. Wealth in the Peasant Society

11. Individual Variability and Ritual

12. Death as an Index of Rank

13. The Drama of Kingship

14. Conclusion

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Hilda Beemer Kuper (nee Beemer; 23 August 1911 - 1992) was a social anthropologist most notable for her extensive work on Swazi culture. She was Professor of Anthropology at  UCLA.