Children of Hope

The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa


Available
  • Format: Soft Cover
  • ISBN: 9781775822769
  • Category: History

R420.00



In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell traces the lives of 64 Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy and ultimately sent for their safety to Lovedale Institution, a Free Church of Scotland mission in the Eastern Cape which became famous as an educational institution for black teachers. Because Scottish missionaries in Yemen interviewed each of the Oromo children shortly after their liberation, using a questionnaire, we have 64 structured life histories told by the children themselves. 

In the historiography of slavery and the slave trade, first-passage narratives (from capture to being put on a boat) are rare, groups of such narratives even more so. In this analytical group biography, or prosopography, Shell describes the experiences of the captives in detail and context. Using statistical methods for social sciences, she compares the children by gender, age, place of origin, method of capture, identity and other characteristics, and thus brings new insights into this region and period, as well as uncovering a little-known event in South African history. Exquisite graphs, maps and illustrations carefully detail the demographic and geographic layers of the children’s origins and lives after capture. In this way, she honours the individual stories of each child while applying scientific rigour to the historical data.

Part I Roots: Memories of Home

Chapter 1 Ethiopia: The Lie of the Land

Chapter 2 The Family Structure of the Oromo Captives

Chapter 3 Wealth and Status of the Oromo Captives’ Families

Chapter 4 Topography, Domicile, and Ethnicity of the Oromo Captives 

Part II Routes: From Capture to the Coast

Chapter 5 The Moment of Capture

Chapter 6 On the Road 

Part III Revival: From Osprey to Lovedale

Chapter 7 Interception to Aden

Chapter 8 Sojourn in the Desert and the Onward Voyage

Chapter 9 By Sea and Land to Lovedale

Chapter 10 Education at Lovedale 

Part IV Return: Forging a Future

Chapter 11 Going Home 

Part V Reflections

Appendices

Appendix A The Variables and Authentication of the Data

Appendix B The Oromo Narratives

Appendix C Gazetteer of Place-Names in the Narratives

Appendix D “My Essay Is upon Gallaland,” by Gutama Tarafo

Appendix E Repatriation Questionnaire, 1903 

Scholars of Horn of Africa and South African history, mission history, slavery and the slave trade, sociology, and childhood studies, as well as the general reader interested in these subjects.

  1. Review of The Children of Hope: : The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa

    The story of Oromo slaves bound for Arabia who were brought to South Africa is captured in Children of Hope, a book laden with graphs, maps, charts and statistics. But if you like your history as narrative, read this extraordinary story written by Sandra Rowoldt Shell in Children of Hope: The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa. Read the review at https://juta.co.za/press-room/children-hope/.

    Reviewed by Paula Whitaker on 14 May 2019, 1:10 p.m. | Permalink

    This review has no votes.

In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell traces the lives of 64 Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy and ultimately sent for their safety to Lovedale Institution, a Free Church of Scotland mission in the Eastern Cape which became famous as an educational institution for black teachers. Because Scottish missionaries in Yemen interviewed each of the Oromo children shortly after their liberation, using a questionnaire, we have 64 structured life histories told by the children themselves. 

In the historiography of slavery and the slave trade, first-passage narratives (from capture to being put on a boat) are rare, groups of such narratives even more so. In this analytical group biography, or prosopography, Shell describes the experiences of the captives in detail and context. Using statistical methods for social sciences, she compares the children by gender, age, place of origin, method of capture, identity and other characteristics, and thus brings new insights into this region and period, as well as uncovering a little-known event in South African history. Exquisite graphs, maps and illustrations carefully detail the demographic and geographic layers of the children’s origins and lives after capture. In this way, she honours the individual stories of each child while applying scientific rigour to the historical data.

Part I Roots: Memories of Home

Chapter 1 Ethiopia: The Lie of the Land

Chapter 2 The Family Structure of the Oromo Captives

Chapter 3 Wealth and Status of the Oromo Captives’ Families

Chapter 4 Topography, Domicile, and Ethnicity of the Oromo Captives 

Part II Routes: From Capture to the Coast

Chapter 5 The Moment of Capture

Chapter 6 On the Road 

Part III Revival: From Osprey to Lovedale

Chapter 7 Interception to Aden

Chapter 8 Sojourn in the Desert and the Onward Voyage

Chapter 9 By Sea and Land to Lovedale

Chapter 10 Education at Lovedale 

Part IV Return: Forging a Future

Chapter 11 Going Home 

Part V Reflections

Appendices

Appendix A The Variables and Authentication of the Data

Appendix B The Oromo Narratives

Appendix C Gazetteer of Place-Names in the Narratives

Appendix D “My Essay Is upon Gallaland,” by Gutama Tarafo

Appendix E Repatriation Questionnaire, 1903 

Scholars of Horn of Africa and South African history, mission history, slavery and the slave trade, sociology, and childhood studies, as well as the general reader interested in these subjects.

  1. Review of The Children of Hope: : The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa

    The story of Oromo slaves bound for Arabia who were brought to South Africa is captured in Children of Hope, a book laden with graphs, maps, charts and statistics. But if you like your history as narrative, read this extraordinary story written by Sandra Rowoldt Shell in Children of Hope: The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa. Read the review at https://juta.co.za/press-room/children-hope/.

    Reviewed by Paula Whitaker on 14 May 2019, 1:10 p.m. | Permalink

    This review has no votes.