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Hughes, Heather (1995) Politics and Society in Inanda, Natal: The Qadi Under Chief Mqhawe, c. 1840-1906. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study of the Qadi chiefdom begins with an account of its experiences of the Zulu kingdom, first subordinated to its rule and then forced to flee from it in the late 1830s. Remnants regrouped near the small settlement of Port Natal in what was soon to become the Colony of Natal. The Qadi elite under their Chief Mqhawe, whose reign was almost coterminous with colonial rule and is the focus of this study, rebuilt the material as well as political coherence of the chiefdom, showing a single-minded determination to employ whatever resources were locally available, even elements of the colonial framework itself. Opportunities for 'chiefdom building' were generally favourable in the period up to the 1870s; thereafter, with shifts in policy towards Africans (to do with extracting labour power for the mines), more defensive strategies had to be adopted. Basic to the chiefdom's development was that its heartland was situated in a valley that became a mission reserve of the American Zulu Mission. The Inanda station was one of its most prestigious, and the Qadi chief established a close relationship with one section of converts. Certain converts (notably the Dube and Cele families) had originally come from within the Qadi elite and after conversion, maintained their positions of influence within it. Qadi settlement on reserve land also meant that the chiefdom attracted a large number of schools. Coupled to the respect accorded Mqhawe by local settlers and colonial authorities, this meant that when Qadi men went out onto the job market, they were considered 'reliable' and were able to find a specific niche for themselves, as watchmen. The origins of anti-Indian racism, strong among both African converts and the Qadi elite at Inanda, are also traced. In all, the strength of Qadi identity was due in large measure to the vigorous strategies pursued by the Qadi chief and the elite throughout the colonial period.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 16:57

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