In the language of the tactics of colonialism, few phrases are as widely used as ‘divide and conquer’ or ‘divide and rule’. While it is certainly true that a policy of creating or manipulating tensions within a society in order to prevent unity was a crucial strategy of many colonial situations, the strategy itself has remained curiously uncomplicated in much of colonial history. It is as if ‘divide and conquer’ were simply a modular technology, one already floating in space, and complete in theory and practice. Because so many aspects of colonial relationships, from the identities of both ruler and ruled to the forms of administration and exploitation, were forged in tandem by the colonisers and the colonised within a unique setting, I would argue that those discourses of power, founded as they were on concepts and practices involving issues of race and ethnicity that were constructed in specific environments, had to be reimagined and reinvented from one colony to another.