Building the Homestead: Agriculture, Labour and Beer in South Africa's Transkei (African Studies from the Netherlands)
- Publish Date: 2001-06-13
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Patrick A. McAllister
An ethnography of consumption and work, this volume examines the bond between beer drinking and co-operative agricultural labour among the Xhosa-speaking people in South Africa's Transkei region. It analyzes the underlying social, moral and religious principles on which both labour and beer drinking are based, and the historical and socio-political contexts in which their connection developed. This bond is encapsulated in the vernacular phrase ukwakh' umzi, building the homestead . Broadening its scope, the volume also studies rural Xhosa identity and community, and its survival in the face of the overwhelming odds stacked against it by colonialism and apartheid. The analysis directly relates to current debates about agrarian change, land reform and economic development in South Africa's communal areas, demonstrating how some rural Xhosa are able to maintain a sense of community and identity.