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Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850 - 1913

The Politics of Divided Space in the Cape and Transvaal

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Lindsay F. Braun

In Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850 - 1913, Lindsay Frederick Braun explores the technical processes and struggles surrounding the creation and maintenance of boundaries and spaces in South Africa in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The precision of surveyors and other colonial technicians lent these enterprises an illusion of irreproachable objectivity and authority, even though the reality was far messier.

Using a wide range of archival and printed materials from survey departments, repositories, and libraries, the author presents two distinct episodes of struggle over lands and livelihoods, one from the Eastern Cape and one from the former northern Transvaal. These cases expose the contingencies, contests, and negotiations that fundamentally shaped these changing South African landscapes.