The Dead Will Arise: Nongqawuse and the Great Xhosa Cattle-killing Movement of 1856-7

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Indiana University Press, 1989 - History - 348 pages

"Anyone who thinks that South Africa's problems began with the Afrikaners and apartheid should read this book." —Richard Dowden, The Independent

"... should remain the last word for the foreseeable future." —Choice

"Peires is the premier historian of the Xhosa people. He speaks the language, knows the terrain, has collected oral traditions and has made an exhaustive study of the documented sources. The result is a fascinating and authoritative account of this astonishing catastrophe... The Dead Will Arise is fine scholarship and a good read. " —The Washington Post, Book World

" [Peires] has done a splendid job, combining a narrative of epic tragic sweep with a deep grasp of the Xhosa language and society... this is a powerfully wrought work, one of the best in recent years on a precolonial South African people... " —African Studies Review

"... The Dead Will Arise is remarkable for its clarity and accessibility.... It is bold, imaginative challenge to an orthodoxy which has persisted for one hundred and thirty years. The sophistication and scope of its analysis and its breath-taking literary style qualify The Dead Will Arise for the accolade 'brilliant.' " —International Journal of African Historical Studies

"... gripping reading. It is now one hundred and thirty years since the tragic events of the Xhosa Cattle-Killing and yet this book is the very first thoroughly researched and authoritative account ever to be written on the subject." —Journal of Religion in Africa

"One of the great strengths of this study is the rich biographical material that Peires provides on the various personalities involved in the incident." —American Historical Review

Drawing on private letters, spy reports, oral traditions, and obscure Xhosa texts, Peires explains for the first time the motivations which drove 100,000 Xhosa to kill their cattle, destroy their crops, and slowly starve to death—an extraordinary event that has defied historical explanation for over 130 years.

 

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Contents

A Surprise for Sir Harry Smith
4
Goliath
30
Crooked Like a Snake
45
Cutting down the Chiefs
60
Nongqawuse
78
The First Disappointment
94
Grey Intervenes
108
The Central Beliefs of the Xhosa CattleKilling
122
Transportation
221
The Clear Sweep
226
The End of Mhala
232
Kaffir Relief
241
No Bread for the Idle
245
Enter the Kaffir Relief Committee
250
Private Benevolence Is Not Requisite
253
The True Charity of Governor Grey
261

To the Bitter End
145
The Agony of the Unbelievers
158
The Hard and the Soft
165
A Disciple of Colonel Eyre
187
Mhala Gets a Message
193
Bulungwa Ploughs
196
Nonkosi Speaks
201
The Battle Is Joined
203
Gawler Triumphant
209
The Chiefs Plot
218
Under Our Thumb
273
Eating Thorns
277
The Reward of Virtue
286
Go to Jail
297
777e sand
300
Everything You Always Wanted to Know
309
And Last
324
Bibliography
339
Index
345
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