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NCJ Number: 126352 Find in a Library
Title: Cows of Mongoloza: Youth, Crime, and Amalaita Gangs in Durban, 1900-1936
Journal: Journal of Southern African Studies  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1990)  Pages:79-111
Author(s): P La Hausse
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 32
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: Based on oral and archival sources, an understanding of the amalaita, which emerged in Durban in the wake of the massive social dislocation experienced by African societies in Natal and Zululand in the period 1896-1902, is presented.
Abstract: Oral testimonies support the idea that the amalaita gangs were mainly migrant youth organizations whose members adapted a repertoire of Zulu rural cultural practices and forms of self-organizations to cope with new conditions of life in town. The historical usage of the term is in relation to gangs of up to 30 migrant youths employed predominantly as domestic workers in the same urban locality and organized along suburban lines. The meaning of the term sometimes included relatively discrete forms of adult migrant and criminal association. Although not political in an advanced sense, the amalaita provided the basis for more concerted challenges to local political authority. Official attempts to de-politicize popular cultural expression together with qualitative changes in police control and the rapid social transformation of local society began to remold the patterns of migrant youth association in Durban by the late 1930's. 138 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Youth groups
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Political influences; Social cohesion; South Africa
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