1st Edition

Building the Homestead Agriculture, Labour and Beer in South Africa's Transkei

By P. McAllister Copyright 2001

    This title was first published in 2001. "This is also a study of rural Xhosa identity and community, and its survival in the face of the overwhelming odds stacked against it by colonialism and apartheid. The maintenance of homestead production can be properly understood only if this wider context is taken into consideration. The analysis is thus directly relevant to current debates about agrarian change, land reform and economic development in South Africa's communal areas, since it shows how some rural Xhosa are able to maintain a sense of community and identity, and of how they are able to harness the socio-cultural resources at their disposal to engage in productive activity, with some success."--BOOK JACKET.

    Maps, Tables and Photographs -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- 1. Introduction -- Fieldwork in Shixini -- Building the homestead -- Agrarian development in South Africa’s communal areas -- 2. Shixini and its people -- Historical and administrative background -- Physical characteristics and settlement -- Ecology and demography -- Making a living -- Migrant labour -- 3. Subsistence agriculture, or ‘ scratching about in the soil’ ? -- Land and livestock -- An agricultural ethos -- Maize yields: What is a ‘harvest ’? What is ‘maize ’? -- The implications for rural development -- 4. Co-operative labour in Africa: an overview -- Exchange labour and festive labour -- Efficiency and uses -- Who works for whom, and why? -- Work parties and rural differentiation -- Reciprocity -- 5. WORK PARTIES AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF RURAL PRODUCTION -- The historical context: changing rural production -- The development of beer drinks -- Kinship and neighbourhood organization -- The organisation of agricultural labour -- Agricultural companies and work groups -- Umgqibelo and other labour combinations -- 6. Drinking and working -- The occasions for beer -- Rules of beer drinking -- Work party beer -- 7. BEER, LABOUR AND THE HOMESTEAD -- Conclusion -- References.