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Genocide on Settler Frontiers: When Hunter-Gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash

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Volume 22

War and Genocide

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Genocide on Settler Frontiers

When Hunter-Gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash

Edited by Mohamed Adhikari

370 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-738-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-739-8 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This volume adds value not only to our knowledge of (often, but by no means always) genocidal practices in encounters between early settler colonialism and local hunter-gatherer communities. It also offers striking new aspects in the analysis of the settler communities and their motives. The comparison from global perspectives thereby allows lessons to be drawn that are not necessarily as obvious as they would have been had the studies been confined to a specific region. Further studies on settler colonialism and local interaction – as well as the studies on forms and practices of genocide – will greatly benefit from the insights presented in this publication.” • Africa Spectrum

“By highlighting the destructive impact of commercial stock farming and its connection to international markets, Genocide on Settler Frontiers draws attention to a neglected yet crucial element in the fatal nexus between colonialism and genocide. Covering cases in Africa, Australia, and North America, this is an original and much-needed comparative volume.” • A. Dirk Moses, European University Institute, Florence

“This collection brings cutting-edge research into the history of genocidal situations in southern Africa, Australia, and North America by younger as well as established scholars, illuminating the history of not only modernity but also world history.” • John Docker, University of Sydney

“The book is on the cutting edge of scholarship on settler genocide. The focus on the conflict between hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers advances our understanding of these murderous conflicts.” • Norman Naimark, Stanford University


European colonial conquest included many instances of indigenous peoples being exterminated. Cases where invading commercial stock farmers clashed with hunter-gatherers were particularly destructive, often resulting in a degree of dispossession and slaughter that destroyed the ability of these societies to reproduce themselves. The experience of aboriginal peoples in the settler colonies of southern Africa, Australia, North America, and Latin America bears this out. The frequency with which encounters of this kind resulted in the annihilation of forager societies raises the question of whether these conflicts were inherently genocidal, an issue not yet addressed by scholars in a systematic way.

Mohamed Adhikari is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town.

Subject: Genocide History Colonial History


Notes on the Contributors

Chapter 1. ‘We are Determined to Exterminate Them’: The Genocidal Impetus Behind Commercial Stock Farmer Invasions of Hunter-Gatherer Territories
Mohamed Adhikari

Chapter 2. ‘The Bushman is a Wild Animal to be Shot at Sight’: Annihilation of the Cape Colony’s Foraging Societies by Stock-Farming Settlers in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Mohamed Adhikari

Chapter 3. ‘Like a Wild Beast, He Can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c.1806–1830
Jared McDonald

Chapter 4. ‘We Exterminated Them, and Dr. Philip Gave the Country’: The Griqua People and the Elimination of San from South Africa’s Transorangia Region
Edward Cavanagh

Chapter 5. Vogelfrei and Besitzlos, with no Concept of Property: Divergent Settler Responses to Bushmen and Damara in German South West Africa
Robert Gordon

Chapter 6. Why Racial Paternalism and not Genocide? The Case of the Ghanzi Bushmen of Bechuanaland
Mathias Guenther

Chapter 7. The Destruction of Hunter-Gatherer Societies on the Pastoralist Frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared
Nigel Penn

Chapter 8. ‘No Right to the Land’: The Role of the Wool Industry in the Destruction of Aboriginal Societies in Tasmania (1817–1832) and Victoria (1835–1851) Compared
Lyndall Ryan

Chapter 9. Indigenous Dispossession and Pastoral Employment in Western Australia during the Nineteenth Century: Implications for Understanding Colonial Forms of Genocide
Ann Curthoys

Chapter 10. ‘A Fierce and Irresistible Cavalry’: Pastoralists, Homesteaders and Hunters on the American Plains Frontier
Tony Barta

Chapter 11. Dispossession, Ecocide, Genocide: Cattle Ranching and Agriculture in the Destruction of Hunting Cultures on the Canadian Prairies
Sidney L. Harring

Chapter 12. Seeing Receding Hunter-Gatherers and Advancing Commercial Pastoralists: ‘Nomadisation’, Transfer,
Lorenzo Veracini

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