Location

Sydnor Auditorium

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2022

Department

History

Abstract

Religious, linguistic, and material cultures of the Dutch Cape Colony (present-day South Africa) reflect the rigid racial and social hierarchy transplanted from Europe. Founded in 1652, the Cape developed into a diverse, yet stringently divided society. The experiences of four generalized categories of Cape individuals offer insight into such division. The Cape Gentry, or white Dutch colonial families with economic connections through the Dutch East India Company, maintained the highest order of Cape hierarchy, enforcing their superiority through distinctive architectural styles and accumulation of material goods. The laboring poor Boer class were white citizens seeking religious and political freedom from Europe and whose experience at the Cape was defined by the strict religious customs of the Dutch Reformed Church and tensions with racial minorities and indigenous peoples. The Cape’s sizable slave population from across the world were tasked with developing innovative communication methods across a multitude of languages. And the indigenous Khoikhoi and San peoples fought to keep their own vital traditions alive against the threat of Atlantic colonialism. The racial and social tensions arising between these four groups of Cape society persisted throughout Dutch occupation of the Colony and continue to be defining features of South Africa's modern history.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Lisa Crutchfield

Rights Statement

The right to download or print any portion of this material is granted by the copyright owner only for personal or educational use. The author/creator retains all proprietary rights, including copyright ownership. Any editing, other reproduction or other use of this material by any means requires the express written permission of the copyright owner. Except as provided above, or for any other use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.), you may not reproduce, republish, post, transmit or distribute any material from this web site in any physical or digital form without the permission of the copyright owner of the material.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 6th, 10:15 AM

Religious, Linguistic, and Material Culture as Indicators of Prejudice and Social Stratification in the Dutch Cape Colony, 1652-1795

Sydnor Auditorium

Religious, linguistic, and material cultures of the Dutch Cape Colony (present-day South Africa) reflect the rigid racial and social hierarchy transplanted from Europe. Founded in 1652, the Cape developed into a diverse, yet stringently divided society. The experiences of four generalized categories of Cape individuals offer insight into such division. The Cape Gentry, or white Dutch colonial families with economic connections through the Dutch East India Company, maintained the highest order of Cape hierarchy, enforcing their superiority through distinctive architectural styles and accumulation of material goods. The laboring poor Boer class were white citizens seeking religious and political freedom from Europe and whose experience at the Cape was defined by the strict religious customs of the Dutch Reformed Church and tensions with racial minorities and indigenous peoples. The Cape’s sizable slave population from across the world were tasked with developing innovative communication methods across a multitude of languages. And the indigenous Khoikhoi and San peoples fought to keep their own vital traditions alive against the threat of Atlantic colonialism. The racial and social tensions arising between these four groups of Cape society persisted throughout Dutch occupation of the Colony and continue to be defining features of South Africa's modern history.