Canis Africanis: A Dog History of Southern Africa by Lance van Sittert, Sandra Swart

By Lance van Sittert, Sandra Swart

The position of the puppy in human society is the connecting thread that binds the essays in Canis Africanis, every one revealing a distinct a part of the complicated social heritage of southern Africa. The essays variety greatly from issues over sickness, bestiality, and social degradation via playing on canines to anxieties over social prestige mirrored via breed classifications, and social uprising via resisting the puppy tax imposed by way of colonial professionals. With its concentrate on canines in human background, this venture is a part of what has been termed the animal flip within the social sciences, which investigates the areas which animals inhabit in human society and how within which animal and human lives interconnect, demonstrating how diversified human teams build various identities for themselves (and for others) when it comes to animals. So rather than conceiving of animals as in simple terms materials of ecological or agricultural structures, they are often comprehended via their position in human cultures.

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Additional resources for Canis Africanis: A Dog History of Southern Africa (Human-Animal Studies)

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108 ‘Natives’, the middle class agreed, ‘have no thought . . 110 Thereafter the SPCAs and their growing number of imitators, whose earlier devotion to the defence of the urban work horse was rendered redundant by the combustion engine, undertook the management of the urban canine underclass by preaching and practising population control in the ghetto through both sterilisation and canicide. 111 The only permissible post-1945 public canine presence was utilitarian, the South African Guide-Dog Association being founded in 1953 and police patrol dogs appearing a decade later.

Isolated examples are known from Zimbabwe, Namibia and the Western Cape29 but little can be said about their distribution as there are so few examples. In the southern Drakensberg, however, more than a dozen sites with images of dogs are known. 1 per cent of all painted images. Rock art is notoriously difÀcult to date, since the pigments contain too little carbon to be readily amenable to radiocarbon dating. Paintings of domesticated sheep and cattle must, however, date to within the last 2,000 years.

06–05–01: Census of Veterinary Services, Animal Hospitals and Care Centres, 1978 and Republic of South Africa Central Statistical Services, Report No. 06–05–02: Census of Veterinary Services, Animal Hospitals and Care Centres, 1984. 103 See, for example, S. K. Lowson, Baz ( Johannesburg, 1965); S. J. Whyte, Who Wants a Dog? D. du Plessis, Buster, Sally and Mark: The Story of Three Dogs (Cape Town, 1978) and A. Markowitz, This is Your Dog ( Johannesburg, 1978). 104 Cape of Good Hope SPCA, Annual Report, 1939.

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