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Introduction: Reconsidering Hunting as a Site of Masculine and Imperial Domination

  • Angela Thompsell
Chapter
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)

Abstract

As a boy, Walter Montagu Kerr’s imagination ‘was fired … with the thought that at some time or another [he] would wander over virgin soil on the dark continent’, but when he landed at the Cape in 1883, he had no idea how to get to the lands he had come to see. He could find little help in Cape Town, either, as ‘reliable corners’ only advised against an expedition into the ‘interior’, citing the difficulties of fever, language barriers and hostile terrains. Eventually, Kerr decided to contact the already famous big game hunter Frederick Courteney Selous, as he believed that ‘no better counsellor [sic] could guide early steps into this land of mystery’.1 Kerr failed to reach Selous, but began making his way north and serendipitously met him in Kimberley. Selous was about to return north to the ‘heart of the hunter’s home’ and invited Kerr to travel with him as far as Bulawayo, the capital of Matabeleland. There, the Ndebele King, Lobengula, gave Selous instant passage in his lands, but Kerr, as a newcomer, had to wait anxiously to learn whether the ‘great black king’ ‘who had so much power to aide or thwart’ was going to allow him to pass through his country. Kerr found Lobengula very amenable, and after only a few days—when others had to wait for weeks or months—Lobengula granted Kerr’s request, enabling the young sportsman-explorer to begin his trek north into the lands known as the interior some six months after arriving in Cape Town.2

Keywords

Imperial Control Colonial Control Virgin Soil African People Imperial Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Walter Montagu Kerr, The Far Interior: A Narrative of Travel and Adventure from the Cape of Good Hope across the Zambesi to the Lake Regions of Central Africa (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1886), 1: 2, 5–7.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    David B. Espey, “Imperialism and the Image of the White Hunter,” Research Studies 46 (March 1978): 13.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    John M. MacKenzie, The Empire of Nature: Hunting, Conservation, and British Imperialism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
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    Stephen J. Rockel, Carriers of Culture: Labor on the Road in Nineteenth-Century East Africa (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2006); Ruth Rempel, “‘No Better than a Slave or Outcast’: Skill, Identity, and Power among the Porters of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, 1887–1890,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 43, no. 2 (January 2010): 279–318.Google Scholar
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    For excellent examples, see Johannes Fabian, Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Greg Dening, Islands and Beaches: Discourse on a Silent Land: Marquesas, 1774–1880 (Chicago: Dorsey Press, 1980), 43.Google Scholar
  22. 12.
    Relevant studies of women hunters in other geographic fields include Erica Munkwitz, “Vixens of Venery: Women, Sport, and Fox-Hunting in Britain, 1860–1914,” Critical Survey 24, no. 1 (June 2012): 74–87, doi:10.3167/cs.2012.240106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  25. 14.
    Chris Roche, “‘Fighting Their Battles O’er Again’: The Springbok Hunt in Graaff-Reinet, 1860–1908,” Kronos, no. 29 (November 2003): 86–108.Google Scholar
  26. 15.
    Brian Herne, White Hunters: The Golden Age of African Safaris (New York: Henry Holt, 1999), 4, 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Angela Thompsell 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Thompsell
    • 1
  1. 1.The College at BrockportSUNYUSA

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