The "Malaboch" books
This study looks into the making of historical knowledge through written texts and publications. The focus is on the colonial subjugation of a South African community, the Hananwa of Kgalusi Mmaleboho, in a war against the Boers in 1894. During the course of the twentieth century two diaries, one by an Anglican priest (Colin Rae) and one by a German missionary (Christoph Sonntag), came to play an extraordinary role in the way 'Malaboch' and his people would be represented in what Roland Barthes referred to as the "civilisation of the written word". Attention is paid to the diary as a source for historical research, and the extent to which, especially in published form, its aspirations also as a literary genre affect its possible meanings for successive generations of readers.