The Khōjā of Tanzania, Discontinuities of a Postcolonial Religious Identity attempts to reconstruct the development of Khōjā religious identity from their arrival to the Swahili coast in the late 18th century until the turn of the 21st century. This multidisciplinary study incorporates Gujarati, Kacchī, Swahili, and Arabic sources to examine the formation of an Afro-Asian Islamic identity (jamatī) from their initial Indic caste identity (jñāti) towards an emergent Near Eastern imaged Islamic nation (ummatī) through four disciplinary approaches: historiography, politics, linguistics, and ethnology. Over the past two centuries, rapid transitions and discontinuities have produced the profound tensions which have resulted from the willful amnesia of their pre-Islamic Indic civilizational past for an ideological and politicized ‘Islamic’ present. This study aims to document, theorize, and engage this theological transformation of modern Khōjā religious identities as expressed through dimensions of power, language, space, and the body.
Ethnography from the Mission Field: The Hoffmann Collection of Cultural Knowledge Joubert et al. offer a translated and annotated edition of the 24 ethnographic articles by missionary Carl Hoffmann and his local interlocutors published between the years 1913 and 1958. The edition is introduced by a historic contextualisation using a cultural historical approach to analyse the contexts in which Hoffmann’s ethnographic texts were produced. Making use of historical material and Hoffmann’s own words from personal diaries and letters, the authors convincingly draw the attention to the discursive context in which the texts annotated in this book had been compiled. In a concluding chapter the book traces the captivating developments of the orthography of Northern Sotho through Hoffmann’s texts over almost half a century.
Brill has made the documentary film “A Journey into the Life of a Mission-Ethnographer” which is interlinked with this book available online via its online channels. To access it please click
The digital database of the “Hoffmann Collection of Cultural Knowledge” (HC-CK) can be accessed by clicking
here. It is an amalgamation of digital scans, images and video footage relating to missionary Carl Hoffmann’s work and life on various mission stations, made available by the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.