The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

'Inventing' the horse

Nicholas Tarling

Bankoff, G. and Sandra Swart, with Peter Boomgaard, William Clarence-Smith, Bernice de Jong Boers and Dhiravat na Pombejra. 2007. Breeds of Empire. The ‘Invention’ of the Horse in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa 1500-1950. Copenhagen: NIAS Press. viii + 263 pages. Maps, tables, illus. ISBN 978 87 7694 014 0

This book is full of interest. The geographical and historical core of it may be found in the sub-title. Its chief authors, Greg Bankoff and Sandra Swart, are respectively authorities on the Philippines and Southern Africa: the former discusses the introduction of horses in the Philippines, their role in its colonial history, their impact on and adaptation to the environment; the latter the role of horses in settler South Africa and the emergence of the ‘Besotho pony’ in Lesotho.

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