|About the Book|
This thesis explores the creation and negotiation of the South African states geographical basis through a comparative study of surveying and cartography between the 1850s and 1920s in two regions: the Kei river valley and the northeastern quarterMoreThis thesis explores the creation and negotiation of the South African states geographical basis through a comparative study of surveying and cartography between the 1850s and 1920s in two regions: the Kei river valley and the northeastern quarter of the former Transvaal. The two regions distinct histories show that different local beginnings, patterns of encounter and resistance, and relations with colonial administrations led to the emergence of different philosophies of spatial incorporation in both loci of cross-cultural encounter. Reconciling the philosophies and orders that developed in each region before 1900 in the period after the South African War ultimately led to the rise of territorial segregation to eventual ascendancy as a strategy for control under the Union Government after 1910. In order to define such segregation, the notional body of the colonial state required completion, and in that endeavor the surveyor was an essential figure.-Through the medium of the surveyor and the cartographer, the colonial state sought to assay, divide, separate, and repurpose the land, and often came into conflict with competing spatial orders on the ground as well as local actors with different agendas in the process. That conflict increasingly pitted European agricultural settlers or labor-hungry mining concerns against local producers and African authorities, but opposition was not always the case, and a great deal of porosity and uncertainty existed at the edge of the surveyors cadastre that defied the absolute value the diagram suggested. The various measures of the South African regimes that followed built upon the negotiated order of the colony, and aimed at giving force to the idealized order of the colonial map and the geographical archive of representative deeds, diagrams, photographs, and numbers that lent it power.