THE OCHRE PEOPLE by Noni abavu


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Another return to her homeland by the author of Drawn in Color, (see p. 215, 1962), while it lacks the tragic, dramatic immediacy of the earlier mission (to bury n only brother murdered by Johannesburg gangsters) weaves the same fine, close eins of human relationships observed and entered into. At Middlethrift, in East ape country, a visit with an old chief, an encounter with a washerwoman formerly connected with the family, the difficulties that are recognized in the relation of the author to her unwillingly resented stepmother, new to the house, all provide aterial for the revelation of a culture attuned to interpersonal relationships, based n a reciprocity and interdependence that finds individualism difficult to absorb. Two varied sojourns, one in the Transkei on her uncle's farm, the other at her aunt's ome in Johannesburg, served to reveal to the author more of her cultural heritage, er personal background, and the present press of ""apartheid in action"" (""Apartheid atmosphere is making us devour one another"", says a friend). With its brutal invasion of privacy, its fear of native gains, its effects on the morality and daily lives of the people are inescapable. Yet her father, a leading linguist, and a friend look o the eventual victory which they will share as ancestors (after death). A rare find for those deeply interested in the dynamics of other cultures; for others, on the fine-grained, special side.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1963
Publisher: St Martin's Press