ASCL Seminar: The kingdom of the Barolong, kgosi Tau, and smallpox in 18th-century Southern Africa
This will be a physical event with a maximum capacity of 30 attendees. More information about livestreaming will follow soon. From at least the beginning of the 18th century and until at least the 1770s, the morafe or kingdom of the Barolong played a central role in the history of the Southern African interior. Then it collapsed during an epidemic, fragmenting in a number of groups competing for resources and primacy, which were progressively marginal on the expanding colonial frontier. A hundred years later, as colonialism engulfed the Diamond Fields and the surrounding lands, only the vague but recurring idea of the old ‘Land of Tau’ was left. The paper is an introduction to the history of the Barolong in the 18th century, sketching the eventful rule of kgosi Tau, the internal crisis, and the memory, remains, and remnants of the Barolong in the early 19th century. The work moves from the most recent archaeological research and from the redefinition of ‘traditional’ sources as writings of history in their own right, and proposes an analysis of long distance trade, urbanism, and smallpox epidemics in the Southern African interior.
Speaker: Dr Ettore Morelli. Registration: Click here to register for this event
Pieter de la Court building, Wassenaarseweg 52