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The Rickshaw and the Policeman: Zulu Men, Work and Clothing in Colonial Natal
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This paper will explore the two careers of rickshaw puller and policeman through the lens of clothing since the rickshaw pullers were often spectacularly dressed in “costumes” that echoed “Zulu” aesthetics while the policeman was stripped of such excess and given a suit and various other articles of clothing made of worsted wool. As photographic subjects, the rickshaw and the policeman seem to be polar opposites and yet many men seem to have cycled through both careers. The paper will also explore how the very notion of a “career” was established specifically for Zulu men and how forms of work as diverse as child caring and laundering were all tied together by assumptions that were made about the expendability of Zulu bodies. Needless to say, even the term “Zulu” is used advisedly since there was as much wishful thinking and fantasy on the part of photographers as there was a tangible reality that can be termed “Zuluness”.

Time: 4:45 pm
Location: RKC 115
Sponsor: Africana Studies Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program
Contact: Drew Thompson.
Phone: 845-758-4600

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