Coloureds

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Coloureds
Coloured-family.jpg
Extended Coloured family with roots in Cape Town, Kimberley, and Pretoria
Total population
~ 6,285,300 [1]
Regions with significant populations
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 5,176,750 (2019 Estimate) [2]
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 143,799 [3]
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 17,923 [4]
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia 3,000 [5]
Languages
Afrikaans, English
Religion
predominantly Christianity, other religions
Related ethnic groups
Africans, Cape Dutch, Cape Coloureds, Cape Malays, San people, Khoikhoi, Xhosa, Saint Helenians, Rehoboth Basters, Tswana
Coloured people as a proportion of the total population in South Africa.
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0-20%
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80-100% South Africa 2011 Coloured population proportion map.svg
Coloured people as a proportion of the total population in South Africa.
Density of the Coloured population in South Africa.
<1 /km2
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10-30 /km2
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>3000 /km2 South Africa 2011 Coloured population density map.svg
Density of the Coloured population in South Africa.
A genetic clustering of South African Coloured and five source populations. Each vertical bar represents individual. Barplots of ancestry proportions South African Coloured population estimated using genome-wide data.png
A genetic clustering of South African Coloured and five source populations. Each vertical bar represents individual.

Coloureds (Afrikaans : Kleurlinge or Bruinmense) are a multiracial ethnic group native to Southern Africa who have ancestry from more than one of the various populations inhabiting the region, including Khoisan, Bantu, Afrikaner, Whites, Austronesian, East Asian or South Asian. Because of the combination of ethnicities, different families and individuals within a family may have a variety of different physical features. [7] [8]

Contents

In the Western Cape, a distinctive Cape Coloured and affiliated Cape Malay culture developed. In other parts of Southern Africa, people classified as Coloured were usually the descendants of individuals from two distinct ethnicities. Genetic studies suggest the group has the highest levels of mixed ancestry in the world. [9] [10] Mitochondrial DNA studies have demonstrated that the maternal lines of the Coloured population are descended mostly from African Khoisan women. This ethnicity shows a gender-biased admixture. [11] [12] While a plurality of male lines have come from sub-Saharan African populations, 45.2%, Western European lineages contributed 37.3% to paternal components and South Asian/ Southeast Asian lineages 17.5%. [11] [12]

Coloureds are to be mostly found in the western part of South Africa. In Cape Town, they form 45.4% of the total population, according to the South African National Census of 2011. [13] :56–59

The apartheid-era Population Registration Act, 1950, and subsequent amendments, codified the Coloured identity, and defined its subgroups. Indian South Africans were initially classified under the act as a subgroup of Coloured. [14]

Background

Adam Kok III, leader of the Coloured Griqua People Adam kok III.jpg
Adam Kok III, leader of the Coloured Griqua People

The Coloured community is predominantly descended from numerous interracial sexual unions, primarily between Western European men and Khoisan or mixed-race women in the Cape Colony from the 17th century onwards. [11] [12]

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Coloured possess a diverse heritage including British, Irish, German, Mauritian, Saint Helenian, Indian, Xhosa and Zulu. [15] [16]

Zimbabwean Coloured are descended from Shona or Ndebele, British and Afrikaner settlers, as well as Arab and Asian people. Griqua, on the other hand, are descendants of Khoisan women and Afrikaner Trekboers. Despite these major differences, as both groups have ancestry from more than one naturalised racial group, they are classified as coloured in the South African context. Such mixed-race people did not necessarily self-identify this way; some preferred to call themselves black or Khoisan or just South African.

The Griqua were subjected to an ambiguity of other creole people within Southern African social order. According to Nurse and Jenkins (1975), the leader of this “mixed” group, Adam Kok I, was a former slave of the Dutch governor who was manumitted and provided land outside Cape Town in the eighteenth century (Nurse 1975:71). With territories beyond the Dutch East India Company’s administration, Kok provided refuge to deserting soldiers, runaway slaves, and remaining members of various Khoikhoi tribes. [15] In South Africa and neighbouring countries, the white minority governments historically segregated Africans from Europeans after settlement had progressed. They classified all such mixed race people together in one class, despite their numerous ethnic and national differences in ancestry. The imperial and apartheid governments categorized them as Coloured. In addition, other distinctly homogeneous ethnic groups also traditionally viewed the mixed-race populations as a separate group.

During the apartheid era in South Africa of the second half of the 20th century, the government used the term "Coloured" to describe one of the four main racial groups it defined by law. This was an effort to impose white supremacy and maintain racial divisions. Individuals were classified as white South Africans (formally classified as "European"), black South Africans (formally classified as "Native", "Bantu", or simply "African", and comprising the majority of the population), Coloureds (mixed-race), and Indians (formally classified as "Asian").

Coloured people may have ethnic ancestry from Indonesia, mixed-race, and Khoisan ancestry. The Apartheid government treated them as one people, despite their differences. 'Cape Muslims' were also classified as 'coloured.' They generally have Indonesian and black ancestry, as many Indonesian slaves had children with African partners. Many Griqua began to self-identify as Coloureds during the apartheid era, because of the benefits of such classification. For example, Coloureds did not have to carry a dompas (an identity document designed to limit the movements of the non-white populace), while the Griqua, who were seen as an indigenous African group, did.

Roussow speaking Afrikaans.

In the 21st century, Coloured people constitute a plurality of the population in the provinces of Western Cape (48.8%), and a large minority in the Northern Cape (40.3%), both areas of centuries of mixing among the populations. In the Eastern Cape, they make up 8.3% of the population. Most speak Afrikaans, as they were generally descendants of Dutch and Afrikaner men and grew up in their society. About twenty percent of the Coloured speak English as their mother tongue, mostly those of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Virtually all Cape Town Coloured are bilingual. [17] [18]

Genetics

At least one genetic study indicates that Cape Coloureds have ancestries from the following ethnic groups; not all Coloureds in South Africa had the same ancestry. [19]

The Malagasy component in the Coloured composite gene pool is itself a blend of Malay and Bantu genetic markers.

This genetic admixture appears to be gender-biased. A majority of maternal genetic material is Khoisan. The Cape Coloured population is descended predominantly from unions of European and European-African males with autochthonous Khoisan females. [11] [12]

Coloureds in KwaZulu-Natal tend to be descended from unions between Zulu women and British settlers, and the group includes people with Mauritian and St Helenian ancestry. [16] [15]

Pre-apartheid era

Coloured people played an important role in the struggle against apartheid and its predecessor policies. The African Political Organisation, established in 1902, had an exclusively Coloured membership; its leader Abdullah Abdurahman rallied Coloured political efforts for many years. [20] Many Coloured people later joined the African National Congress and the United Democratic Front. Whether in these organisations or others, many Coloured people were active in the fight against apartheid.

The political rights of Coloured people varied by location and over time. In the 19th century they theoretically had similar rights to Whites in the Cape Colony (though income and property qualifications affected them disproportionately.) In the Transvaal Republic or the Orange Free State, they had few rights. Coloured members were elected to Cape Town's municipal authority (including, for many years, Abdurahman). The establishment of the Union of South Africa gave Coloured people the franchise, although by 1930 they were restricted to electing White representatives. They conducted frequent voting boycotts in protest. Such boycotts may have contributed to the victory of the National Party in 1948. They carried out an apartheid programme that stripped Coloured people of their remaining voting powers.

Coloured people were subject to forced relocation. For instance, the government relocated Coloured from the urban Cape Town areas of District Six, which was later bulldozed. Other areas they were forced to leave included Constantia, Claremont, Simon's Town. Inhabitants were moved to racially designated sections of the metropolitan area on the Cape Flats. Additionally, under apartheid, Coloured people received education inferior to that of Whites. It was, however, better than that provided to Black South Africans.

Apartheid era

Explanation of South African identity numbers in an identity document during apartheid in terms of official White, Coloured and Indian population subgroups ApartheidPopulationGroups.jpg
Explanation of South African identity numbers in an identity document during apartheid in terms of official White, Coloured and Indian population subgroups

J. G. Strijdom, known as "the Lion of the North", worked to restrict Coloured rights. He removed their ability to exercise their franchise. Strijdom's government expanded the number of Senate seats from 48 to 89. All of the additional 41 members hailed from the National Party, increasing its representation in the Senate to 77 in total. The Appellate Division Quorum Bill increased the number of judges necessary for constitutional decisions in the Appeal Court from five to eleven. Strijdom, knowing that he had his two-thirds majority, held a joint sitting of parliament in May 1956. The entrenchment clause regarding the Coloured vote, known as the South African Act, was amended.

Coloureds were placed on a separate voters' roll. They could elect four whites to represent them in the House of Assembly. Two whites would be elected to the Cape Provincial Council, and the governor general could appoint one senator. Both blacks and whites opposed this measure. The Torch Commando was very prominent, while the Black Sash (white women, uniformly dressed, standing on street corners with placards) also made themselves heard.

Many Coloureds refused to register for the new voters' roll and the number of Coloured voters dropped dramatically. In the next election, only 50.2% of them voted. They had no interest in voting for white representatives—an activity which many of them saw as pointless.

Under the Population Registration Act, as amended, Coloureds were formally classified into various subgroups, including Cape Coloureds, Cape Malays and "other coloured". A portion of the small Chinese South African community was also classified as a coloured subgroup.

In 1958, the government established the Department of Coloured Affairs, followed in 1959 by the Union for Coloured Affairs. The latter had 27 members and served as an advisory link between the government and the Coloured people.

The 1964 Coloured Persons Representative Council turned out to be a constitutional hitch[ clarification needed ] which never really got going. In 1969, the Coloureds elected forty onto the council to supplement the twenty nominated by the government, taking the total number to sixty.

Following the 1983 referendum, in which 66.3% of white voters supported the change, the Constitution was reformed to allow the Coloured and Asian minorities limited participation in separate and subordinate Houses in a tricameral Parliament. This was part of a change in which the Coloured minority was to be allowed limited rights, but the Black majority were to become citizens of independent homelands. These separate arrangements were removed by the negotiations which took place from 1990 to provide all South Africans with the vote.

Post-apartheid era

During the 1994 all-race elections, some Coloured people voted for the white National Party. The National Party recast itself as the New National Party, partly to attract non-White voters. This political alliance, often perplexing to outsiders, has sometimes been explained in terms of the culture and language shared by White and Coloured New National Party members, who both spoke Afrikaans. In addition, both groups opposed affirmative action programmes that might give preference to non-Coloured Black people, and some Coloured people feared giving up older privileges, such as access to municipal jobs, if African National Congress gained leadership in the government.

Since the late 20th century, Coloured identity politics have grown in influence. The Western Cape has been a site of the rise of opposition parties, such as the Democratic Alliance (DA). The Western Cape is considered as an area in which this party might gain ground against the dominant African National Congress. The Democratic Alliance drew in some former New National Party voters and won considerable Coloured support. The New National Party collapsed in the 2004 elections. Coloured support aided the Democratic Alliance's victory in the 2006 Cape Town municipal elections.

Patricia de Lille, former mayor of Cape Town and founder of the now-defunct Independent Democrats, does not use the label Coloured but many observers would consider her as Coloured by visible appearance. The Independent Democrats party sought the Coloured vote and gained significant ground in the municipal and local elections in 2006, particularly in districts in the Western Cape with high proportions of Coloured residents. The firebrand Peter Marais (formerly a provincial leader of the New National Party) has sought to portray his New Labour Party as the political voice for Coloured people.

Coloured people supported and were members of the African National Congress before, during and after the apartheid era: notable politicians include Ebrahim Rasool (previously Western Cape premier), Beatrice Marshoff, John Schuurman and Allan Hendrickse. The Democratic Alliance won control over the Western Cape during the 2009 National and Provincial Elections and has since brokered an alliance with the Independent Democrats.

The Congress has had some success in winning Coloured votes, particularly among labour-affiliated and middle-class Coloured voters. Some Coloureds express distrust of the ANC with the comment, saying that the Coloured were considered "not white enough under apartheid, and not black enough under the ANC." [21] In the 2004 election, voter apathy was high in historically Coloured areas. [22]

Intermarriage

According to The Christian Science Monitor , around 4 in 100 South African marriages occur between members of South Africa's major ethnoracial groups, with trepidation toward interracial marriage polling far lower among black South Africans than among white South Africans. [23] It is not known how many descendants of post-apartheid interracial relationships identify as Coloured or with the Coloured minority group.

Southern Africa

Racial-demographic map of South Africa published by the CIA in 1979, with data from the 1970 South African census. South Africa racial map, 1979.gif
Racial-demographic map of South Africa published by the CIA in 1979, with data from the 1970 South African census.

The term Coloured is also used in Namibia, to describe persons of mixed race, specifically part Khoisan, and part European. The Basters of Namibia constitute a separate ethnic group that are sometimes considered a sub-group of the Coloured population of that country. Under South African rule, the policies and laws of apartheid were extended to what was then called South West Africa. In Namibia, Coloureds were treated by the government in a way comparable to that of South African Coloureds.

In Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Zambia, the term Coloured or Goffal was used to refer to people of mixed race. Most are descended from mixed African and British, or African and Indian, progenitors. Some Coloured families descended from Cape Coloured migrants from South Africa who had children with local women. Under Rhodesia's predominantly white government, Coloureds had more privileges than black Africans[?], including full voting rights, but still faced social discrimination. The term Coloured is also used in Eswatini.

Culture

Lifestyle

As far as family life, housing, eating habits, clothing and so on are concerned, the Christian Coloureds generally maintain a Western lifestyle. Marriages are strictly monogamous, although extramarital and premarital sexual relationships can occur and are perceived differently from family to family. Among the working and agrarian classes, permanent relationships are often officially ratified only after a while if at all.

The average family size of six does not differ from those of other Western families and, as with the latter, is generally related to socio-economic status. Extended families are common. Coloured children are often expected to refer to any extended relatives as their "auntie" or "uncle" as a formality.

While many affluent families live in large, modern, and sometimes luxurious homes, many urban coloured people rely on state-owned economic and sub-economic housing.

Cultural aspects

There are many singing and choir associations as well as orchestras in the Coloured community. The Eoan Group Theatre Company performs opera and ballet in Cape Town. The Kaapse Klopse carnival, held annually on 1 January in Cape Town, and the Cape Malay choir and orchestral performances are an important part of the city's holiday season. Kaapse Klopse consists of several competing groups that have been singing and dancing through Cape Town's streets on New Year's Day earlier this year. Nowadays the drumlines in cheerful, brightly Coloured costumes perform in a stadium. Christmas festivities take place in a sacred atmosphere but are no less vivid, mainly including choirs and orchestras that sing and play Christmas songs in the streets. In the field of performing arts and literature, several Coloureds performed with the CAPAB (Cape Performing Arts Board) ballet and opera company, and the community yielded three major Afrikaans poets the well-known poets, Adam Small, S.V. Petersen, and P.J. Philander. In 1968, the Culture and Recreation Council was established to promote the cultural activities of the Coloured Community.

Education

Until 1841 missionary societies provided all the school facilities for Coloured children.

All South African children are expected to attend school from the age of seven to sixteen years, minimum.

Economic activities

Initially, the Coloureds were mainly semi-skilled and unskilled labourers who, as builders, masons, carpenters and painters, made an important contribution to the early construction industry at the Cape. Many were also fishermen and farm workers, and the latter had an important share in the development of the wine, fruit and grain farms in the Western Cape.

The Malays were, and still are, skilled furniture makers, dressmakers and coopers. In recent years, more and more Coloureds have been working in the manufacturing and construction industry. There are still many Coloured fishermen, and most Coloureds in the countryside are farm workers and even farmers. The largest percentage of economically active Coloureds is found in the manufacturing industry. About 35% of the economically active Coloured Women are employed in clothing, textile, food and other factories.

Another important field of work is the service sector, while an ever-increasing number of Coloureds operate in administrative, clerical and sales positions. All the more professional and managerial posts and posts are. In order to stimulate the economic development of the Coloureds, the Coloured Development Corporation was established in 1962. The corporation provided capital to businessmen, offered training courses and undertook the establishment of shopping centres, factories and the like.

Cuisine

Numerous South African cuisines can be traced back to Coloured people. It is said that bobotie, snoek based dishes,  koe'sisters, bredies, Malay roti are staple diets of Coloureds and other South Africans as well. [24] Most dishes are passed down for many generations.

See also

Related Research Articles

Black people is a racialized classification of people, usually a political and a skin color–based category for specific populations with a mid to dark brown complexion. Not all black people have dark skin; in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification in the Western world, the term "black" is used to describe persons who are perceived as dark-skinned compared to other populations. It is mostly used for people of Sub-Saharan African descent and the indigenous peoples of Oceania. Indigenous African societies do not use the term black as a racial identity outside of influences brought by Western cultures. The term "black" may or may not be capitalized. The AP Stylebook changed its guide to capitalize the "b" in black in 2020. The ASA Style Guide says that the "b" should not be capitalized.

Cape Coloureds

Coloured South Africans or Cape Coloureds are an ethnic group composed primarily of persons of mixed race. Although Coloureds form a minority group within South Africa, they are the predominant population group in the Western Cape.

Khoisan African ethnic group

Khoisan, or according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab orthography Khoe-Sān, is a catch-all term for the "non-Bantu" indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, combining the Khoekhoen and the Sān or Sākhoen.

Mulatto is a racial classification to refer to people of mixed white and black ancestry. A mulatta is a female mulatto.

Multiracial people are people of many races. Many terms exist for people of various multiracial backgrounds, including multiracial, biracial, multiethnic, polyethnic, Métis, Creole, Muwallad, mulatto, Colored, Dougla, half-caste, mestizo, Melungeon, quadroon, Chindian, sambo/zambo, Eurasian, hapa, hāfu, Garifuna, pardo and Guran.

Asian South Africans

Asian South Africans are South Africans of Asian descent. The majority of Asian South Africans are of Indian origin, most of whom are descended from indentured workers taken from India in the mid 19th century by the British Empire to supply the labour demand of wealthy sugar Barons on the plantations of the Natal Colony. Indenture became a method of labour exploitation used by British colonies to bypass recent laws to abolish of slavery. Largely illiterate people were lured onto transport vessels with false promises of crown land and citizenship after a period of labour, only to arrive at Port Natal for processing under inhumane conditions and transported to a sugar plantation to serve out their indenture period. All descendants of indentured labourers are English speaking, although many also retain some ties to the languages of their ancestors. They were made to suffer greatly under numerous draconian laws by the British, and then under the Apartheid regime of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party government. Many Anti-apartheid activists and international human rights activists have come from this small group of people. There is also a significant group of Chinese South Africans, of whom the great majority are recent immigrants of the last two decades.

National Party (South Africa)

The National Party, also known as the Nationalist Party, was a political party in South Africa founded in 1914 and disbanded in 1997. The party was an Afrikaner ethnic nationalist party that promoted Afrikaner interests in South Africa. However in 1994 it became a South African civic nationalist party seeking to represent all South Africans. It first became the governing party of the country in 1924. It was an opposition party during World War II but it returned to power and was again in the government from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994.

The arrival of the Boers and the colonial masters to the area known as Griqualand West, denied the Griquas the opportunity of following their own development paths. They lost their land and traditional resources, and were tossed into a sea of rapid social change which saw them lose the independence they had searched for in the Orange Free State area.

Population Registration Act, 1950 Apartheid law

The Population Registration Act of 1950 required that each inhabitant of South Africa be classified and registered in accordance with their racial characteristics as part of the system of apartheid.

Griqualand West

Griqualand West is an area of central South Africa with an area of 40,000 km2 that now forms part of the Northern Cape Province. It was inhabited by the Griqua people – a semi-nomadic, Afrikaans-speaking nation of mixed-race origin, who established several states outside the expanding frontier of the Cape Colony. It was also inhabited by the pre-existing Tswana and Khoisan peoples.

Afro-Asians or African Asians, are persons of mixed Asian and African ancestry. Historically, Afro-Asian populations have been marginalised as a result of human migration and social conflict.

Apartheid System of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation's minority white population. According to this system of social stratification, white citizens had the highest status, followed by Asians and Coloureds, then black Africans. The economic legacy and social effects of apartheid continue to the present day.

Coloured Zimbabweans are persons of mixed race claiming both European and African descent, in Malawi, Zambia, and, particularly Zimbabwe. They are also known as Coloureds. The community includes many diverse constituents of Shona, Northern Ndebele, Bemba, Fengu, British, Afrikaner, Cape Coloured, Cape Malay and less commonly Indian descent. Similar mixed race communities exist throughout Southern Africa, notably the Cape Coloureds of South Africa.

The system of racial segregation in South Africa known as apartheid was implemented and enforced by many acts and other laws. This legislation served to institutionalise racial discrimination and the dominance by white people over people of other races. While the bulk of this legislation was enacted after the election of the National Party government in 1948, it was preceded by discriminatory legislation enacted under earlier British and Afrikaner governments. Apartheid is distinguished from segregation in other countries by the systematic way in which it was formalised in law.

Indian South Africans are citizens and residents of South Africa of South Asian descent. The majority live in and around the city of Durban, making it one of the largest Indian cities outside India. Many Indians in South Africa are descendants of migrants from Colonial India during late 19th-century through early 20th-century. At times Indians were subsumed in the broader geographical category "Asians".

Although the Portuguese basked in the nautical achievement of successfully navigating the cape, they showed little interest in colonization. The area's fierce weather and rocky shoreline posed a threat to their ships, and many of their attempts to trade with the local Khoikhoi ended in conflict. The Portuguese found the Mozambican coast more attractive, with appealing bays to use as waystations, prawns, and links to gold ore in the interior.

Coloured people in Namibia

Coloured people in Namibia are people with both European and African, especially Khoisan and Bantu ancestry, as well as Indian, Malay, and Malagasy ancestry especially along the coast and areas bordering South Africa. Coloureds have immigrated to Namibia, been born in Namibia or returned to the country. These distinctively different periods of arrivals, from diverse backgrounds and origins have led to a diverse Coloured population. This diversity was even further exploited by South African officials who referred to three distinct groups amongst the coloureds, namely: "Baster", "Cape Coloureds" and "Namibian Coloureds".

Ethnic groups in South Africa

The ethnic groups in South Africa have a variety of origins. Statistics South Africa asks people to describe themselves in the census in terms of five racial population groups. The 2011 census figures for these categories were Black South African at 76.4%, White South African at 9.1%, Coloured South African at 8.9%, Asian South African at 2.5%, and Other/Unspecified at 0.5%.

Cape Qualified Franchise

The Cape Qualified Franchise was the system of non-racial franchise that was adhered to in the Cape Colony, and in the Cape Province in the early years of the Union of South Africa. Qualifications for the right to vote at parliamentary elections were applied equally to all men, regardless of race.

Stephen Fritz

Stephen Michael Fritz is a Khoi leader born in South Africa on the 4th March 1970. He is a South African indigenous and traditional leader and a registered member of the National Khoisan Council. Fritz is the Senior Chief of the South Peninsula Customary Khoisan Council, which is based in the Western Cape of South Africa. He is a well-known environmentalist and public speaker. He is an expert in the use of plants for medicinal purposes and he is a qualified indigenous guide and wildlife conservationist. He is also an activist for the rights of the indigenous people of South Africa. Chief Fritz is a founding member of the Pro Elephant Network and member of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum South Africa.

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