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British Forts and Their CommunitiesArchaeological and Historical Perspectives$
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Christopher R. DeCorse and Zachary J. M. Beier

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056753

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056753.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

People at the Gates

People at the Gates

Fort Willshire and Cultural Transformation in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

(p.262) 10 People at the Gates
British Forts and Their Communities

Flordeliz T. Bugarin

University Press of Florida

During the early nineteenth century in South Africa, the British built Fort Willshire on the banks of the Keiskamma River. At its gates, they established the first official trade fairs and mandated that trade throughout the Eastern Cape be confined here. This area became a vortex in which a variety of people convened, traded goods, and influenced cultural and economic interaction. This chapter introduces the various Africans who gravitated to the region, claimed the surrounding lands throughout the river valley, and vied for economic resources and political power. By looking at the archival records, oral traditions, and archaeological evidence, research demonstrates that the region consisted of a variety of people with different backgrounds and affiliations. Furthermore, this area provides a model for understanding the impact of the British on the Xhosa, yet it is just as much a window to the interactions between various Xhosa factions and chiefdoms.

Keywords:   Xhosa, Eastern Cape, Keiskamma River, Fort Willshire, Trade fair

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