Infrastructures of Migrant Labour in Colonial Ovamboland, 1915 to 1945

  • Foreword by Patricia Hayes
  • Language: English
  • Vol. 27, 2023
  • ISBN 978-3-906927-47-3
  • eISBN 978-3-906927-48-0
  • ISSN 2234-9561
  • eISSN 2297-458X
Lovisa Tegelala Nampala

Infrastructures of Migrant Labour in Colonial Ovamboland, 1915 to 1945

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Most research on the migrant labour system in Namibia under South African colonial rule emphasises its dehumanising aspects. In a complete contrast, this study highlights the social and ritual resources that contract workers and their families in colonial Ovamboland mobilised to provide forms of support and connection across great distances and absences. Based on extensive oral research, this study peels back the layers of intangible infrastructure that sustained migrant workers through all the stages of their contract, including observances around workplace deaths. This thesis vividly demonstrates the persistence of older practices that sustained the bonds of life, fellowship and family under stress, as well as adaptation to new colonial system such as the postal system.

Lovisa Tegelela Nampala works as a teacher and is currently the Principal of the Uukelo Combined School, Otunganga Circuit in the Ohangwena Region. She holds a PhD in History from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa for the thesis which comprises this book.

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