Schweizer im kolonialen Afrikaby Hans Werner Debrunner

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<ul><li><p>International African Institute</p><p>Schweizer im kolonialen Afrika by Hans Werner DebrunnerReview by: E. Morier-GenoudAfrica: Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 63, No. 2 (1993), pp. 297-298Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International African InstituteStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1160867 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 08:10</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>Cambridge University Press and International African Institute are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,preserve and extend access to Africa: Journal of the International African Institute.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 194.29.185.251 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 08:10:32 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cuphttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=iaihttp://www.jstor.org/stable/1160867?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>SHORTER NOTICES SHORTER NOTICES </p><p>familiar and commonsensical to an older generation must now be in danger of appearing archaic and puzzling to the younger generation without direct experi- ence of the original context. This beautiful book preserves much of which might other- wise be lost, and makes it coherent to the younger generation in a constructive way. Reynolds, Cousins and their collaborators have been especially successful in showing both the integrity and strength of the cul- ture and beliefs of the Tonga, and how those skills and beliefs are a vital ingredient in adaptation to the challenges of a new life in contemporary Zimbabwe. This is no dry-as-dust documentation for its own sake but a book designed to kit out the younger generation with a sense of themselves and where they came from in order that they may map out their own path into a better future. They can do so with considerable confidence in the authors' scholarly and scientific accuracy (in for example the 611- item checklist of plants). With its wealth of good artwork and photography the book is physically very attractive, and an impres- sive example of the production standards to which publishing in Africa can now attain. Only two things jar slightly. Given that in reality the book is the outcome, in some significant measure, of a collective enter- prise involving many contributors from the Tonga community, I wonder whether more scope might not have been found to adver- tise this fact in the attribution of author- ship? I mention this not to diminish the work of Pamela Reynolds and Colleen Crawford Cousins but with an eye to the book's acceptance by the Tonga people themselves. The second slight disappoint- ment was the section on music, where, in digressing upon African influences on New Orleans jazz, the opportunity was missed to say anything of substance about Tonga music as such. Neither criticism detracts seriously from a splendid achievement. Africa needs many more books of this kind - accessible accounts of social institutions, culture and history where the people them- selves have had a hand in the authorship. Lwaano Lwanyika sets a high standard for others to follow. It could and should be widely imitated. </p><p>PAUL RICHARDS </p><p>University College London </p><p>familiar and commonsensical to an older generation must now be in danger of appearing archaic and puzzling to the younger generation without direct experi- ence of the original context. This beautiful book preserves much of which might other- wise be lost, and makes it coherent to the younger generation in a constructive way. Reynolds, Cousins and their collaborators have been especially successful in showing both the integrity and strength of the cul- ture and beliefs of the Tonga, and how those skills and beliefs are a vital ingredient in adaptation to the challenges of a new life in contemporary Zimbabwe. This is no dry-as-dust documentation for its own sake but a book designed to kit out the younger generation with a sense of themselves and where they came from in order that they may map out their own path into a better future. They can do so with considerable confidence in the authors' scholarly and scientific accuracy (in for example the 611- item checklist of plants). With its wealth of good artwork and photography the book is physically very attractive, and an impres- sive example of the production standards to which publishing in Africa can now attain. Only two things jar slightly. Given that in reality the book is the outcome, in some significant measure, of a collective enter- prise involving many contributors from the Tonga community, I wonder whether more scope might not have been found to adver- tise this fact in the attribution of author- ship? I mention this not to diminish the work of Pamela Reynolds and Colleen Crawford Cousins but with an eye to the book's acceptance by the Tonga people themselves. The second slight disappoint- ment was the section on music, where, in digressing upon African influences on New Orleans jazz, the opportunity was missed to say anything of substance about Tonga music as such. Neither criticism detracts seriously from a splendid achievement. Africa needs many more books of this kind - accessible accounts of social institutions, culture and history where the people them- selves have had a hand in the authorship. Lwaano Lwanyika sets a high standard for others to follow. It could and should be widely imitated. </p><p>PAUL RICHARDS </p><p>University College London </p><p>HANS WERNER DEBRUNNER. Schweizer im kolonialen Afrika. Basel: Baseler Afrika- </p><p>HANS WERNER DEBRUNNER. Schweizer im kolonialen Afrika. Basel: Baseler Afrika- </p><p>Bibliographien, 1991, 245 pp., 30.00 Swiss francs, ISBN 3 905141 51 5. </p><p>Switzerland has never been a colonial power, in Africa or elsewhere. It did, how- ever, play a role through its missions in the former Gold Coast and in South Africa. This is a fairly well known aspect of Swiss influence in Africa, although it is not the exclusive subject of Dr Debrunner's book. The author aims to paint a broad picture of all Swiss men and women who left for Africa 'with their own motivation, occupa- tion and sensibility'. The book is struc- tured round fourteen main biographies, and it uses them as well as more than 200 other life histories to depict the (scattered) presence of Switzerland in Africa before 1918. Explorers, mercenaries and merch- ants involved in the slave trade, mission- aries and farmers' wives - the subject is vast, and the author unfortunately does not go much beyond the recollection of indi- vidual experiences. The work relies mainly on archives and newsletters from 'Swiss African' societies; the sources, however, set the limits of the book. The biographies are illustrated and extensive, but no context is drawn. I would have liked to know more about the Swiss image of, and eventual policy towards, Africa and its eventual consequences and changes, but even more I would have liked to know about the influ- ence of all these people. Africans them- selves are almost totally absent from Dr Debrunner's work, and insights are only achieved when, for example, a mercenary himself becomes a slave. The consequences of the missions on language and identity- building are ignored, just as are the conse- quences of the education they provided to small African elites. Work has been done elsewhere on the Swiss influence and impact on the continent, and one misses this aspect in the book. This is not, how- ever, to deny the immense work Debrunner has undertaken. </p><p>The book conveys a good idea of the diversity of Switzerland's presence on the continent and helps the reader to appreciate the injustice of a one-sided picture. While some Swiss were involved in the slave trade, others devoted themselves to getting it banned; some collected scholarly know- ledge whilst others proselytised. A whole chapter is devoted to women's experiences, and there is an extensive bibliography of the published works of these 'African Swiss'. Much research is under way at pre- </p><p>Bibliographien, 1991, 245 pp., 30.00 Swiss francs, ISBN 3 905141 51 5. </p><p>Switzerland has never been a colonial power, in Africa or elsewhere. It did, how- ever, play a role through its missions in the former Gold Coast and in South Africa. This is a fairly well known aspect of Swiss influence in Africa, although it is not the exclusive subject of Dr Debrunner's book. The author aims to paint a broad picture of all Swiss men and women who left for Africa 'with their own motivation, occupa- tion and sensibility'. The book is struc- tured round fourteen main biographies, and it uses them as well as more than 200 other life histories to depict the (scattered) presence of Switzerland in Africa before 1918. Explorers, mercenaries and merch- ants involved in the slave trade, mission- aries and farmers' wives - the subject is vast, and the author unfortunately does not go much beyond the recollection of indi- vidual experiences. The work relies mainly on archives and newsletters from 'Swiss African' societies; the sources, however, set the limits of the book. The biographies are illustrated and extensive, but no context is drawn. I would have liked to know more about the Swiss image of, and eventual policy towards, Africa and its eventual consequences and changes, but even more I would have liked to know about the influ- ence of all these people. Africans them- selves are almost totally absent from Dr Debrunner's work, and insights are only achieved when, for example, a mercenary himself becomes a slave. The consequences of the missions on language and identity- building are ignored, just as are the conse- quences of the education they provided to small African elites. Work has been done elsewhere on the Swiss influence and impact on the continent, and one misses this aspect in the book. This is not, how- ever, to deny the immense work Debrunner has undertaken. </p><p>The book conveys a good idea of the diversity of Switzerland's presence on the continent and helps the reader to appreciate the injustice of a one-sided picture. While some Swiss were involved in the slave trade, others devoted themselves to getting it banned; some collected scholarly know- ledge whilst others proselytised. A whole chapter is devoted to women's experiences, and there is an extensive bibliography of the published works of these 'African Swiss'. Much research is under way at pre- </p><p>297 297 </p><p>This content downloaded from 194.29.185.251 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 08:10:32 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>SHORTER NOTICES SHORTER NOTICES </p><p>sent, including that on missions, which should see some major progress. This book gives an idea of the vast, still unresearched, historical record on Switzerland and Africa, and one can only hope that it will serve as a source of inspiration. </p><p>E. MORIER-GENOUD School of Oriental and African Studies, </p><p>London </p><p>I. D. TALBOTT. Agricultural Innovation in Colonial Africa: Kenya and the Great Depression. Lewiston, N.Y., Queenston, Ont., and Lampeter, Dyfed: Mellen, 1990, 190 pp., ISBN 0 88946 262 3. </p><p>This book brings into print a 1970s doc- toral thesis on colonial policies towards African agriculture in Kenya during the inter-war years. The central theme is the impact of the economic recession of the 1930s upon the development plans of Kenya's Department of Agriculture, es- pecially the shift from concentration upon European farming in the White Highlands to the encouragement of African produc- tion in the Native Reserves of the colony. Four of the chapters deal with the organisa- tion of the Department of Agriculture, and another offers a discussion of the debates surrounding the marketing of African crops. The remaining chapters focus upon specific crops (wattle, cotton, coffee, minor cash crops and animal products). </p><p>While it is perhaps useful to have this study more widely available, its publication now will make little impact. The few valu- able insights provided by Talbott have already been employed in the work of other scholars, some of whom gained access to </p><p>sent, including that on missions, which should see some major progress. This book gives an idea of the vast, still unresearched, historical record on Switzerland and Africa, and one can only hope that it will serve as a source of inspiration. </p><p>E. MORIER-GENOUD School of Oriental and African Studies, </p><p>London </p><p>I. D. TALBOTT. Agricultural Innovation in Colonial Africa: Kenya and the Great Depression. Lewiston, N.Y., Queenston, Ont., and Lampeter, Dyfed: Mellen, 1990, 190 pp., ISBN 0 88946 262 3. </p><p>This book brings into print a 1970s doc- toral thesis on colonial policies towards African agriculture in Kenya during the inter-war years. The central theme is the impact of the economic recession of the 1930s upon the development plans of Kenya's Department of Agriculture, es- pecially the shift from concentration upon European farming in the White Highlands to the encouragement of African produc- tion in the Native Reserves of the colony. Four of the chapters deal with the organisa- tion of the Department of Agriculture, and another offers a discussion of the debates surrounding the marketing of African crops. The remaining chapters focus upon specific crops (wattle, cotton, coffee, minor cash crops and animal products). </p><p>While it is perhaps useful to have this study more widely available, its publication now will make little impact. The few valu- able insights provided by Talbott have already been employed in the work of other scholars, some of whom gained access to </p><p>and acknowledged the unpublished thesis (including the present reviewer), others of whom applied similar (and often deeper) analysis to these matters from a wider range of materials. The very limited range of sources consulted for this work place serious constraints upon its worth. The only archival materials consulted are the district and departmental annual reports (these seen from the microfilm collection of Syracuse University) and the relevant files held at the Public Record Office, London. The vast array of correspondence files, dealing with the daily work of the Agricul- tural Department, as well as with other arms of colonial government in Kenya, have not been consulted by Talbott, although these sources have been well thumbed by other researchers. The cover- age of official publications on agricultural matters by the Kenya administration in the 1930s is more exhaustiv...</p></li></ul>

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