Carnival on the streets of Durban, Natal, 1860-1911

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Research into labour regimentation and control on the plantations in which the indentured worked and lived has been recorded in numerous publications. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which the indentured re-built their lives in an alien environment as they sought to survive and occasionally challenge a brutal system, particularly in South Africa. As part of an attempt to redress this gap, the article seeks to look at the festivals the indentured organised and important ways in which these events facilitated a collective identity. The second part of the article focuses on the reactions of the colonial masters as well as emergent religious bodies inside the Indian community, which resulted not only in a gradual erosion of support for these festivals, but a move towards sectarian and institutionalised religious celebrations. In the final part of the article, the focus shifts to post-apartheid South Africa and the return of religious festivals onto the streets of Durban.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalMan in India
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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