The Ama-Xosa: Life and Customs (Cambridge Library Collection - Anthropology) by Soga, John Henderson
Cambridge University Press, 21 November 2013
Paperback, 508 pages
Son of Tiyo Soga, the first black South African to be ordained, John Henderson Soga (1860-1941) was a Xhosa minister and scholar. Like his father, he was one of the first of his people to be educated in Europe and to marry a European woman. His perspective on his people's history and culture is therefore distinctive. Conscious of the effects of modernity on Xhosa traditions, he published this work of social anthropology in 1932 to record their way of life as distinct from other tribal communities in South Africa. Soga traces the historical development of their clan system and laws, while offering uniquely informed insights into their beliefs and practices, such as the function of witch doctors and the customs of circumcision, lobola or 'bride price', and polygamy. The South-Eastern Bantu (1930), Soga's earlier survey of three branches of the Bantu family, is also reissued in this series.
One of the first studies of the Xhosa as distinct from other tribal communities in South Africa, published in 1932.