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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Title Page 1
Title Page 2
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1
Table of Contents 2
The first twenty-five volumes
The diaries of Emin Pasha - Extracts II
Nyoro mortuary rites
Kasagama of Toro
Ismail Pasha and Sir Samuel Baker
Notes on contributors
Index to Volume 25 (1961)
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
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THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
DR. H. F. MORRIS
A. H. RUSSELL, M.B.E., D.S.C.
(assisted in England by H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.)
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY HEADLEY BROTHERS LTD
109 KINGSWAY LONDON WC2 AND ASHFORD KENT
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACrS II
NYORO MORTUARY RITES
KASAGAMA OF TORO
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER -
Baker and Ruyonga -
The Samson and Delilah Story
Speke and Stanley at the Court of Mutesa
Northwest Ethiopia: Peoples and Economy
SIR JOHN GRAY
FATHER J. P. CRAZZOLARA
SIR JOHN GRAY
J. H. M. BEATTIE
O. W. FURLEY
SIR JOHN GRAY
JOHN R. BAKER
A. T. MATSON
REV. F. B. WELBOURN
(by Frederick J. Simoons)
S. J. K. BAKER
Kenya Diary 1902-1906; Middle East Diary 1917-1956; Army Diary
1899-1926 (By R. Meinertzhagen) H. B. THOMAS
East African Rebels (by F. B. Welbourn) H. B. THOMAS
SOCIETY NOTES -
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
Index to Volume 25 of The Uganda Journal
[Photo: Department of Information, Uganda
Old Sikh Barracks, Kampala, The Society's First Home, 1938-60
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES
By SIR JOHN GRAY
T HIS issue completes the twenty-fifth volume of The Uganda Journal.
It will also mark the end of an arrangement of some fifteen years
standing, whereby the printing of the Journal has been carried out in England.
Henceforward, commencing with the issue of March 1962, the Journal will,
thanks to the good offices of the Uganda Government, be printed at the Govern-
ment Press, Entebbe.
So this is an appropriate moment at which to look back over the Journal's
career-its inception, its vicissitudes, and its performance; and, as it attains
its silver jubilee, to assess, by a random sampling of its contents, how far the
aims proclaimed at its birth have been achieved.
The Uganda Journal was first published in January 1934 as the organ of the
Uganda Literary and Scientific Society. This Society had been founded in
1923 by Mr. Justice Guthrie Smith, Alan Hogg (then Attorney General) and
E. J. Wayland (then Director of Geological Survey) with headquarters at
Entebbe. Its activities consisted in the reading of papers and delivery of
lectures. Its membership, which was almost entirely confined to Entebbe,
never exceeded seventy in number.
During the next five years over forty lectures were given. A list of these
appears in Uganda J., 4 (1936-7), 94-6. One, on 'Native Witchcraft' is published
in that volume. It was the work of Percy Perryman, late Chief Secretary of
the Government, and gave a thrilling account of his contacts with witchcraft
and witch doctors in his early days as an Administrative Officer in the then
primitive Bugisu District. A glance at this list shows the very wide field
covered. The names of the speakers are evidence that the quality of their
lectures was a high one.
Unfortunately there came a time when the little band of organizers either
dispersed or became too engrossed by other activities to be able to devote
sufficient time to the Society's affairs. It was found difficult to replace or to find
a locum tenens for the Secretary when he went on leave or was absent from
Entebbe. Subscriptions fell into arrears and lectures were not arranged. By
1928 the activities of the Society had almost completely lapsed. This must
have been particularly disappointing to Wayland who almost without a break
had been the Society's Honorary Secretary since 1923. Nevertheless he
managed to keep the Society just alive by an occasional lecture from some
distinguished visitor. Also, in the hope of a better day, he took care to con-
serve the Society's assets.
In June 1933 fresh interest was shown in the Society. By removing its
headquarters to Kampala and issuing a journal it was hoped that wider
support would be attracted and that the Society would be able to fulfil what
126 UGANDA JOURNAL
was clearly a much needed want. In July of that year a large number of people
were circularized. The replies were so encouraging that it was decided to set
the Society on its feet again, and the Governor, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, con-
sented to become its first Patron. On 19 September at the Kampala Club he
attended the first lecture of the revived Society. Very appropriately that
lecture, which was on the subject of 'Gold', was given by its sole surviving
founder, E. J. Wayland. It was mainly due to his dynamic enthusiasm
and that of E. F. Twining (as he then was) that the Society had once more
come to life.
In the Editorial of the first number of The Uganda Journal, it was stated
that its aim was "to collect and publish information which may add to our
knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might
be lost. To be a success it must at one and the same time have an appeal to
members of the Society and bring to light information which is not otherwise
The original intention was to publish quarterly. Each issue was to comprise
about sixty pages of reading matter with some ten or twelve photographs and
was to be in two main parts. The first was to consist of three or four sub-
stantial articles. The other was to contain short notes. The first Editorial
expressed a hope that "these notes would become a useful and popular
feature of the Journal. There are many people in Uganda who from time to
time acquire pieces of interesting information which may not be suitable for
long articles, but which could make interesting notes. It is of course essential,
if the Journal is to fulfil its purpose, that all members should be regarded as
Thus manifestly the intention of its parents was that the Journal should be
concerned, not to provide a general literary organ, embracing local outpour-
ings of belles-lettres and poetry, but to record matters of Uganda and
associated interest. With very few exceptions this policy has been followed
to this day.
In the Editorial to the second number it was stated that its predecessor
"has been received with an approval which is most gratifying to the promoters.
Since its publication the membership of the Society has risen from 172 to 269.
Demand for extra copies has been such that the original edition of 400 is
almost sold out and it is deemed expedient to order a reprint". Sceptics had
suggested "that the first number was a mere flash in the pan and that there
could not possibly be enough material to keep the Journal going". There were
certain criticisms of its format. One helpful comment regretted "that there were
no advertisements to provide really interesting reading matter". Today the
reflection of those who survey with understanding the fortunes of the Journal
throughout its life would probably be that twenty-five years of contributions,
so far from exhausting the Journal's chosen field, have revealed unsuspected
and continually lengthening vistas of knowledge. Perhaps fewer of the short
intimate notes which were a feature of early volumes are now coming forward,
with a preponderance of more weighty articles; but the balance may well
In this second number there appeared the first instalment from the pen of
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES 127
one of Uganda's grand old men, Omwami Ham Mukasa, and this was the
forerunner of other contributions from African members. It was printed in the
original Luganda with an English translation with the title 'Some Notes on the
Reign of Mutesa' a subject on which the writer, having been born in the reign
of that Kabaka, was well qualified to speak. The Society owed a debt of
gratitude to the Uganda Goverment for allowing these first two numbers,
which comprised Volume 1 of the Journal, to be printed at the Government
Press, and to Mr. J. Coates, the Government Printer, for the pains taken in
producing them in so attractive a form.
Sir Albert Cook was the first President of the revived Society. His fame as
doctor and missionary is well known. Here one need only speak of his services
to the Society. His contributions to the Journal included personal remini-
scences of the very early days of the Protectorate. Perhaps the best remem-
bered of these is one on 'An Early Newspaper in Uganda . and the News
contained therein', which he had delivered as a lecture in March 1936, and
which was published in Uganda J., 4 (1936-7). The audience greatly enjoyed
his extracts from Mengo Notes, which had come out in the first years of the
present century. The lecture drew attention to the fact that little was being
done at that date to preserve the files of Uganda newspapers, whether old
or recent, in such a manner as to make them readily accessible in the future.
One result of the lecture was a decision to publish serially extracts from
Mengo Notes derived from copies, kindly supplied by Sir Albert. These duly
appeared after the War in eight parts in Volumes 10 to 13 (1946 to 1949).
At a Special General Meeting held on 27 February 1935, the original title of
the Society was changed to its present style of 'The Uganda Society'. A new
constitution was at the same time adopted. For the drafting of this the Society
was greatly beholden to Mr. (afterwards Sir Mark) Wilson, one of the most
devoted of the Journal's early sponsors.
The first number of Volume 2, dated July 1934, appeared from the press
of the Uganda Printing and Publishing Company Ltd., which continued to
print succeeding numbers until in 1942 publication was suspended owing
to the exigencies of war time. This number informs us that at the close of its
first year the membership of the Society was over 320. By the time the fourth
number of Volume 2 came out in April 1935, the 500 mark had been passed.
The Journal continued to appear quarterly until the end of Volume 7 in
An article of great historical interest in volume 2, No. 1 was 'Ernest Linant
de Bellefonds and Stanley's letter to the Daily Telegraph' by H. B. Thomas,
which adduced evidence incisively destroying the legend (begotten of the
fertile brain of Sir Harry Johnston) that Stanley's letter was recovered from
the jackboot, which Linant was wearing when killed in a skirmish with the
Bari. The following issue contained another article in Luganda from the pen
of Yekonia K. Lubugo, 'Empisa ezokuzika mu Busoga,' which was trans-
lated into English by Miss Laight as 'Basoga Death and Burial Rites'. Two
entertaining items in this number may also be mentioned. One was Dr. H. L.
Duke's 'An Interesting Hybrid'. It gives a brief biography of a certain
Alexander, who had for parents one Susan, a sitatunga, and "a reprobate
128 UGANDA JOURNAL
father, a fine young bushbuck with a roving eye and no scruples". A second
note prints an unintentionally amusing letter sent in 1890 by that
hochwohlgebornen Hauptmann Adolf von Tiedemann to Mr. F. J. Jackson
of the Imperial British East Africa Company explaining why he was unable
to challenge him to a duel. The recipient of the letter afterwards became Sir
Frederick Jackson and Governor of Uganda. These items give some notion
of the varied fare provided in the first volumes of the Journal.
As a result of the increase in the membership of the Society, the Editor of
the Journal felt justified, in Volume 2, No. 3, in embarking on a number of
improvements. Most notable was the insertion of coloured plates. The first
article so illustrated was by E. F. (now Lord) Twining on 'Uganda Medals and
Decorations', a subject on which he is now a world-known authority. Coloured
plates accompanied George Hancock's 'The Major Pests of the Cotton Plant
in Uganda' in Volume 3, No. 1. In the same volume began an ambitious
series, 'A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda' by Captain C. R. S. Pitman, one
of the Journal's most enthusiastic and versatile supporters. This was com-
pleted in eleven parts with 23 very beautiful coloured plates. The whole was
published in book form by the Society in 1938 and is still a standard work
of reference. One of the War's calamities was that the colour blocks while
lying at the printers' premises in London were destroyed by bombing-an
irreplaceable loss. Pitman's 'Snakes' was the forerunner of many authoritative
natural history articles. To mind come Watson on 'The Wild Mammals of
Teso and Karamoja'; Temple-Perkins on 'Crocodiles' and 'Elephants';
Weekes on 'The Birds of Ruwenzori'; van Someren on 'The Birds of Bwamba',
a supplement of 111 pages to Volume 13 (1949); Eggeling on 'Ringed Birds
recovered in Uganda'; Perry on 'The growth and reproduction of Elephants';
Greenwood on 'The Fishes of Uganda', finalized in book form in 1958; Cott
on 'The Status of the Nile Crocodile'; and Donisthorpe on 'The Mountain
Gorilla'. Hopkins on 'Lice' and 'Fleas' may not be everyone's choice, but
typically these are scientific contributions of high quality and permanent
Resuming our survey of early Journals, by the time Volume 2, No. 4, came
out in April 1935 the Editorship had been taken over by John Sykes of
Makerere, one of the original stalwarts of the re-constituted Society to whom
much is owed for conscientious service of a high order during the Journal's
formative years. In this number R. M. Bere gave his personal experiences of
'An Ascent of Mount Mikeno'. It may not be out of place to mention that one
of the papers read to the old Society at Entebbe was 'My Recent Ascent of
Ruwenzori' by G. N. Humphreys, then a member of the Land and Survey
Department, who was the first European to explore the higher summits since
the Duke of the Abruzzi's expedition in 1906. Over the years the Journal has
published a number of important articles and notes on Uganda's mountains
-Ruwenzori, Bufumbiro, Elgon, and the west Nile hills; Bere's comprehen-
sive account of 'Exploration of the Ruwenzori' in volume 19 (1955) comes
particularly to mind.
The first of a series of articles in Runyoro appeared in Volume 3 (1935-6).
This with an English translation was in response to an appeal for information
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES 129
from Dr. J. M. Derscheid of the Colonial University of Belgium in Brussels.
The title was 'Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara'. It is a history of Bunyoro-Kitara
by a pseudonymous author, K. W. It is an open secret that he has since
become a distinguished Honorary Vice-President of the Society and that his
personal knowledge of that country dates back to the days when Kabarega
ruled the land.
In the Editorial for the fourth number of Volume 3 (April 1936) it is said
of the Journal that "its reputation is now well-established. To judge from
enquiries there are few parts of the civilized world to which copies have not
penetrated. One of the latest was from a gentleman in Moscow". Among
contributions to this issue was one from Mrs. R. Pentreath on 'Superstitions
in North Kavirondo', the first by a lady to be published in the Journal.
Another lady contributor to the same number was Mrs. Persse, who drew
charming illustrations for an article by her husband, E. M. Persse, on 'The
Bagwe. Ethnological Notes and some Folk-Tales'. As the Editor remarked,
the reproduction of fables current in an African tribe is to be especially
commended since "tribal folk-lore may be doomed to early oblivion unless
speedy action is taken by those interested in research". Another article
providing an example of a paralled line of enquiry was a collection by C. S.
Nason of 'Proverbs of the Baganda', The aggregate over the years of the
Journal's contributions in the field of legend, folk-lore and proverbs can well
claim substantially to have broadened appreciation of African ways of
thought in the Equatorial Lake Region.
Volume 4, No. 2 contains 'Music of Africa' by Y. Bansisa. This had been
the subject of a lecture by the Rev. J. M. Duncan in 1935 of which there is a
note in Volume 3. Dr. Wachsmann's 'An Approach to African Music'
(Volume 6) analyses an expert musicologist's researches into indigenous
music in Uganda. In the same issue of Volume 4 is 'The Black Forest Pigmies',
the substance of a letter written by the now almost legendary white-hunter,
Pete Pearson, who had accompanied the Prince of Wales on his first Uganda
safari. This was published posthumously, and in Pete's own inimitable style
forms a unique record of the ways of life of a little-known people. Another
posthumous item was 'Mwanga-the Man and his Times' by T. B. Fletcher,
who had reached Uganda in 1893. He had stayed on long after his con-
temporaries had quit the field and, at the time of his death in 1936, was still
in light harness.
Volume 4, No. 4 came out in May 1937 as a Coronation Number in com-
memoration of the crowning of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It
contained articles on accession ceremonies in Buganda (by R. A. Snoxall),
Bunyoro-Kitara (by K. W.), Ankole and Koki (by F. Lukyn Williams), and
Lango (by Erimayo Olyech). The joint Editors were now Twining and
Snoxall. The former who was pre-eminently qualified to speak on such a
subject, gave a most informative lecture to the Society on the coronation
ceremony at Westminster.
A notable event at the end of 1937 was the Government's offer to the
Society for its headquarters of part of the premises in Nakasero Road,
Kampala, which, from the fact that they had at one time been the quarters of
130 UGANDA JOURNAL
officers of the Indian contingent of the King's African Rifles, were generally
known as Sikh Barracks. Until this time the Society had no place of its own
in which to meet and to house its growing library and early records. Hitherto
lectures and meetings had been held in the Kampala Club, by the courtesy
of the Club's Committee. The new rooms were occupied in the course of the
following year and, thanks to the great generosity of Mr. Norman Godinho,
were soon handsomely furnished.
Volume 5, No. 2 (October 1937) with four succeeding numbers appeared
under the sole editorship of Snoxall. In multifarious capacities, as officer and
contributor he was for many years an indefatigable worker on behalf of the
Society and the Journal.
At the beginning of 1938 it was recorded that "there had been a most
satisfactory increase in the membership as a result of Mr. E. F. Twining's
'drive', but the small number of African members is still most noticeable".
Twining's massive contribution to the vitality of the Society and its Journal
continued until in 1939 he left Uganda to take up an appointment in Mauritius.
As already said it was due to him and to E. J. Wayland that the moribund
Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was revived and the Journal launched.
He was later to return to East Africa as Governor of Tanganyika. Yet amid
the manifold duties of his office he never failed to show that he had the cause
of African studies at heart. He gave to the Tanganyika Society and Tanganyika
Notes and Records every encouragement and support, and he continues to
be a member of our Society.
A valuable article by F. H. Rogers on 'The Stamps of Uganda' appeared in
Volume 5 (1937-38). During the war years Rogers did much valuable work
particularly in connection with the Society's library to which he eventually
presented his extensive collection of books on Uganda.
On 20 April 1938 a lecture on African Art was given by a future President,
Mrs. Margaret Trowell, and an article based thereon 'From Negro Sculpture
to Modern Painting' appeared a year later in Volume 6, No. 4. As is said in
the Journal, readers "will not be surprised to find that she has formed such an
appreciation of African Art and has done so much by her keenness and
voluntary labour to stimulate it", and the hope was expressed that she "will
for long be able to foster, encourage and advise our local artists and crafts-
men". Mrs. Trowell's subsequent activities in the encouragement of art educa-
tion in Uganda have won world-wide recognition and, as a permanent
contribution to an appreciation of the indigenous cultures of Africa are of
incalculable value. Other important articles by her are 'Some Royal Craftsmen
of Buganda' (Vol. 8 (1940), 47) and 'Clues to African Tribal History' (Vol.
10 (1946), 54).
Even before the outbreak of World War II misfortunes began to befall the
Society. At the end of 1938 Snoxall met with a serious accident. He had
hurriedly to proceed on sick leave and at short notice R. S. Shackell acted as
Editor for Volume 6, No. 3. Shackell should be remembered as having formu-
lated what is perhaps the most intimate and practical guide to the rules and
play of the Board Game, mweso, in print. These will be found in Volumes 2
and 3 of the Journal.
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES 131
Shortly after the outbreak of war Volume 7, No 2 (once more under
Snoxall's editorship) had to record the sudden death of Alan Lush. His
article on 'Kiganda Drums' in Volume 3 is an authoritative account of this
most interesting subject. He had done much to popularize the Journal amongst
all sections of the community with whom his touring duties as an Officer of
the Education Department brought him into contact.
At length with the appearance of Volume 8, No. 1 (September 1940) the
decision had to be taken to publish the Journal only twice a year. But with
undaunted optimism the Editor expressed the hope that "even though the
number of issues has to be curtailed, the amount of reading matter will not
be greatly affected and there is no occasion as yet to be apprehensive about
stocks of paper". In this number of the Journal had also to be recorded the
departure from Uganda on retirement of two of its most faithful contributors.
One was E. J. Wayland, whose sterling work as a founder of the old Society
has already been noticed. His many lectures were greatly appreciated at the
time and his authoritative articles and notes in the Journal are still constantly
referred to. Another was H. B. Thomas, whose services to the Society were
recognized in 1939 by his election as an Honorary Vice-President. As was
recorded in the Committee's report at the time, "The Editor feels his departure
acutely for his papers on Uganda history have been amongst the most valuable
contributions to the Journal; his wise counsel on the affairs of the Society
will be greatly missed."
At the same time it was reported that the Trustees of the King George V
Memorial Fund had granted 300 to the Society's library and had promised
an annual grant of 50 for the same purpose. This far-sighted benefaction
enabled the Society during the worst of war years to secure copies of rare
Africana which would today cost many times the prices then paid.
In 1942 Omwami Serwano Kulubya became President of the Society,
being the first African to be elected to that office. His presidential address
on 'Some Aspects of Baganda Customs' appeared in Volume 9, No. 2
But this was to be the last Journal to be printed for nearly four years. In
the Editor's words, "The blow has descended." Stocks of paper held for the
Journal had come to an end and it was next to impossible to get blocks made,
while the printers were busy on war work. It was hoped to publish occasional
papers on news-print "but publication of the Journal in anything like its
present form must be suspended".
After a considerable interval a slim green pamphlet printed on news-sheet
appeared in December 1943 as Bulletin No. 1 and four more bulletins appeared
to the end of 1945, these last four being produced in an improved format by
the courtesy of Mr. George Bell, the Government Printer.
These Bulletins played an important part in keeping the Uganda Society
alive during those difficult days. Articles maintained the same high standard
as in pre-war years and a real debt is owed to the loyal contributors who
rallied to the support of this 'holding operation'. They included Mrs. Trowell,
Miss M. E. Head, R. M. Bere, Lukyn Williams, Snoxall and T. R. F. Cox
with, last but not least, the veteran Ham Mukasa. Others were working
132 UGANDA JOURNAL
devotedly behind the scenes-Temple-Perkins, Dr. K. A. Davies, G. H. E.
Hopkins, E. M. Persse, F. H. Rogers and Mrs. Saben come to mind as also
E. B. Haddon. Ernest Haddon had already retired from Uganda when the
Journal was launched and was the Society's first 'Representative in Great
Britain'. Circumstances found him in Uganda during the war and for five
years he undertook special duties for the Government. A constant friend and
contributor to the Journal he is also one of the Society's most generous
But special mention must be made of Dr. A. W. Williams, who was
Honorary Secretary for most of this period and was particularly active in
arranging for lectures. The members' undiminished faith in their Society could
not be more practically demonstrated than by discussions which took place
in 1944. A report of these 'Plans for Development of the Society's Activities',
which is printed in Bulletin No. 3 shows remarkable courage and foresight
which it is interesting to compare with the Society's present achievement. This
unequivocally re-affirmed that the guiding principles of the Society should be
those of a learned society.
The end of the war found the society in good heart. The Journal, under
the energetic editorship of W. S. Eggeling, re-appeared in March 1946. From
then onwards it was decided to publish twice yearly in March and September.
Volume 10, No. 1, the first of the revived series, adopted a new format. An
innovation in this issue was the inclusion (with an English translation) of
'Two Lusoga Fables' by E. Gumba and E. Kafuho. This is one of the few
examples in print of Lusoga, a language with some curious phonetics which is
largely falling into disuse.
Volume 10, No. 2, also printed by the Government Press, was a reprint,
with some minor revisions and added illustrations, of those articles which had
appeared in the Bulletins and were considered of lasting interest. With it was
an Index to Volumes 1 to 10. The production of this bulky volume, in all of
over 200 pages, owed much to Mr. S. Foote, the Government Printer, who saw
all through the press in the absence of one of the Honorary Editors.
The Uganda Journal has been better endowed with indexes than many
similar journals. An index to articles only, of Volumes 1 to 8 had been printed
in 1941. The index to Volumes 1 to 10 embraced also a subject index. Later
Lukyn Williams set the seal upon his already great services to the Journal
by compiling a very much fuller index to Volumes 1 to 20, which was
printed as a special supplement to Volume 22 (1958). The value of the
Journal to African scholarship has been immensely augmented by the existence
of this admirable index.
During this year of reconstruction, 1946-47, the Society had the good
fortune to have its first lady President in Mrs. Trowell. It became clear that
the Journal could no longer trespass on the goodwill of the Uganda Govern-
ment and its overburdened press. Arrangements were accordingly made for
future numbers commencing with Volume 11 (March 1947) to be published
in England under the imprimatur of the Oxford University Press. From the
very first number the printing was in fact done at the press of Messrs.
Headley Brothers Ltd., Ashford, Kent. Later the mediation of the O.U.P. was
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES 133
dispensed with and from Volume 14 (September 1950) the Journal has been
handled directly between the Editors and the printers at Ashford.
Many of the architects of the first volume of the Journal are happily still
with us. But the revered first President of the Society, Sir Albert Cook, having
run a full course, died in 1951; and in 1956 Sir Mark Wilson, Chief Justice of
the Gold Coast, died, still in harness, at Accra. He continued as a subscriber
to the end and a few months before his death he wrote, "It was pleasant to
see the Society celebrate in such flourishing condition its 21st birthday. As
one who was present at the birth in 1934 in Twining's bungalow in 'Mayfair',
Kampala, I almost felt the glow of parenthood."
In 1960 the Society moved its headquarters from the Sikh Barracks to the
premises of the National Cultural Centre in Kampala. In order to qualify as
a constituent member the Society had to provide 1,500. This sum would
never have been forthcoming but for the substantial and generous aid given
by the late Dr. H. H. Hunter (President in 1935-36) and Messrs. E. B. Haddon
(an Honorary Vice-President) and G. C. Turner (formerly Principal of
Makerere College). On 16 March 1960 these new rooms were formally opened
by the Society's Patron His Excellency the Governor, Sir Frederick Crawford,
and here is now housed the Society's Library which Sir Frederick described
as "a comprehensive library on the history, sociology, natural history, travel
and other kindred subjects concerning East Africa, a library which of its kind
is the best in Uganda".
If in my account of the Journal's history since World War II I have not
gone into any great detail about its contents it is not because I fail to realize
or appreciate their value; but it would be invidious to mention only a few
and to exclude others equally deserving of mention. I will content myself
with quoting a passage from Sir Frederick Crawford's opening speech:
The Journal has maintained a consistently high standard. Published twice
yearly it has provided a wealth of information, scholarly and yet readable, on
all aspects of life in Uganda and has earned for itself a very considerable
reputation in academic circles in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The credit for this reputation is due to a large extent to the work of its
contributors, but had it not been for the well-directed energies of the Editors
and many others behind the scenes the Journal's high standard could never
have been maintained over the years. Once again I feel it would be invidious
to single out individual workers, but I believe that there are many who
would wish to put on record, as did Sir Frederick at the opening of the Society's
new headquarters, the great debt owed to H. B. Thomas.
Sixteen volumes, Nos. 10 to 25, have appeared since the war. During these
years something like twenty members, some for prolonged but a number for
only brief periods, have shared the burdens of Editorship in Uganda. But for
the past fourteen volumes since 1948 the scripts of every issue, and the sub-
sequent correction of proofs, have passed through H. B. Thomas's hands in
England on their way to the printers. The continuity of treatment thus
achieved has stamped its pages with a consistency and coherence which is
difficult of attainment in a journal so dependent on voluntary effort as is The
134 UGANDA JOURNAL
Uganda Journal. As Miss. Margery Perham has said in acknowledging his
assistance in the publication of The Diaries of Lord Lugard "his knowledge
of the country is in a very exact sense encyclopaedic, while at the same time
it is wide and humane"; and more than one contributor to the Journal will
say with her that "the altruistic presence of Mr. Thomas in the background has
given a great sense of security".
The following passage appears in the Editorial in Volume 2, No. 4:
It has been the experience in many countries that a publication like this
flourishes for a few years and then is forced to reduce itself owing to apathy
or lack of support. There should be no reason for such a falling off in Uganda.
Our knowledge of the country, though constantly growing, is still comparatively
small, and this Journal should prove a useful medium for dissemination of such
These words are as true now as when they were written over a quarter of
a century ago. As I turn over the pages of my well-thumbed twenty-five
volumes it is pleasant to reflect that, thanks to the devoted labours of a multi-
tude of those who have known and loved Uganda, the Editor's early fears
have proved to be groundless. This is an encouraging augury for the future.
Sir John Gray's apergu is defective in one particular-that he fails to refer
to his own part in the formation of the traditions of historical and scientific
integrity which have sustained, and will it may be hoped continue to sustain,
The Uganda Journal.
Gray came to Uganda in 1920 with some experience of historical research.
No competent historian had at this time turned his attention to Uganda or
indeed to East Africa. Into this largely unexplored field Gray brought for the
first time a trained historical sense. Stationed for some years in outposts he
was able to get very close to the living heart of the country. He soon acquired
a knowledge of Luganda and was thus the first to evaluate the vernacular
works of Sir Apolo Kagwa and others, and to collate all with French and
Gray left Uganda for the Gambia before the first number of the Journal
appeared. But he had already distilled his findings into three articles, which
are printed in volumes 1 and 2, 'Mutesa of Buganda', 'Early History of
Buganda' and 'The Riddle of Biggo'. These are seminal contributions of first
importance and are among the foundation stones upon which succeeding
schools of East African history, all non-existent thirty years ago, have been
In 1943 he returned to East Africa as Chief Justice of Zanzibar, and at
once renewed active association with the whole field of East African history.
His explorations among the Zanzibar Consular Archives and of Arab,
Portuguese and U.S.A. sources, have shed light on many opaque passages
of history and have yielded a rich harvest of discoveries which he has shared
THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE VOLUMES 135
with impartial generosity between Tanganyika Notes and Records and The
His ripe contributions-among outstanding studies which come to mind
are, 'The Year of the Three Kings in Buganda', 'Acholi History 1860-1901'
and 'Kibuka'-have immensely enhanced the standing of our Journal in the
world of scholarship; and his unswerving devotion to 'the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth' provides a precept for emulation by those
upon whom will fall responsibility for the direction of the future policy of
The Uganda Journal.
By FATHER J. P. CRAZZOLARA
IN my book The Lwoo, in addition to my own field work and particularly as
regards most of the evidence relating to the Lake Kingdoms, I placed
reliance primarily on the work of Pere, later Bishop, J. Gorju, Entre le
Victoria, I' Albert et I' Edouard published in 1920. In this work he summarized
the field notes, which he had begun as early as 1896, into a comprehensive and
continuous narrative. Previous to this, from his thorough knowledge of the
languages and peoples, he had published occasional articles in Munno; but
finally he was charged by his Bishop, Monsignor Streicher, to complete his
study and publish it as a monograph. For this purpose he was given all the
facilities of the Mission, was enabled to consult all published material and to
visit all parts of the country for his enquiries, which were made without need
of interpreters for he had a perfect knowledge of the languages concerned.
Everywhere he conferred personally with competent and authoritative
individuals, mostly his old acquaintances. The experience and records of all his
brother missionaries were placed at his disposal. Hence he was in a position to
produce a work of lasting interest and value at a critical time, when com-
petent elders could still be found in their original surroundings, and when local
traditions were still largely unaffected by imported foreign theories. I am afraid
that by now conditions have essentially changed and worsened. Old men who
are competent to speak with authority on native tradition have largely dis-
appeared; but their place has been taken by a bevy of new informants, even
more eager to talk than their fathers; but who, often ignorant of old
tradition and in any case incapable of adding anything more significant to it,
mould and modernize it uncritically according to any new theories which have
come to their knowledge and which seem to support their own tribal, national
or racial aspirations. Gorju's work deserves to be republished in English
and to be studied in detail by any serious student of the lake area. The latter,
if he has digested Gorju's records thoroughly, will be saved the trouble of
raising the same old questions time and again, thereby wasting his own
energies and causing added confusion, and making no progress towards a
definitive understanding of the historical situation. Gorju's work contains
precious material; details from it can only be discarded after careful and
prolonged study of such new material as is discovered.
With regard to the Bacwezi legend, and in particular the connection between
the Bacwezi and the Jo-Cwaa, and the relationship between the Jo-Cwaa and
the Babiito the following facts appear to be accepted:
I This article was originally prepared in September 1952 after the publication of Mr.
A. C. A. Wright's review of The Lwoo, Part I Lwoo Migrations, Uganda J. 16 (1952)
82-8. Fr. Crazzolara's spelling of Lwoo words has been retained; these frequently differ
from the standard orthography.
LWOO MIGRATIONS 137
(a) The short period of Bacwezi dominance in the Bunyoro area.
(b) The dynastic relationship between the last of the Bacwezi and the first
of the Babiito.
(c) The Lwoo origin of the Bacwezi and the Bahima.
I propose to deal with some points referring to this matter in general. The
Bacwezi-Babiito dynastic connection implies to my mind direct tribal relation-
ship i.e. that since the Babiito are unmistakably Lwoo, so also were the
One line of argument derives from the radical similarity of clan names and
the coherence of the pattern of tradition in the areas concerned. To demon-
strate this it is necessary to recapitulate briefly part of the historical narrative
contained in my book. It is known that the Jo-Lwoo came from the Anywaah
area in the Sudan, where the Jo-wat-Cwaa are still today the 'royal' clans,
beside whom are found among others the Jo-wat-Bitho or Jo-wat-Yuaa.
Today, among the Anywaah, the Jo-wat-Cwaa are much more numerous than
the Jo-wat-Bitho. The contrary is apparently the case in Bunyoro where the
Jo-wat-Bitho (or Babiito) outnumber the Jo-wat-Cwaa (or Bacwa). One may
infer from this that, in the movement of the Jo-Lwoo from Anywaah to the
south, a minority of Jo-wat-Cwaa and a majority of Jo-wat-Bitho were con-
cerned. The Jo-wat-Bitho of Anywaah according to Professor E. Evans
Pritchard (see The Political System of the Anuak of the Egyptian Sudan, and
Further Observations on the Political System of the Anuak, S.N.&R. vol. 28
1947) separated from the main group of the Lwoo at Wipari and retraced their
steps. They were the last to return to Anywaah.
Tradition indicates clearly that the Jo-Lwoo who marched south from
Wipari divided into two sections when they reached the area of what is now
the Bari District. One party, led by the Jo-wat-Cwaa, proceeded on the west
bank of the Nile and thereby eventually reached Pubungu and thence Bunyoro.
The other party, led by the Jo-wat-Bitho, proceeded east of the Nile, passing
through Pa-Jook (Farajok) into the southern Agoora lands immediately to the
south of the Agoro Mountain massif, where they halted for a while. We may
note that in Pa-Jook the Jo-Ywaaya-a modified form of the name Jo-wat-
Yuaa, which is the alternative to Jo-wat-Bitho-are the royal clan. Moreover
one of the groups associated with the Jo-Ywaaya is the Jo-Biti, which I take to
be merely a local modification of the form Jo-Bitho or Jo-wat-Bitho.
The western party, who pushed on fast, soon reached the ancient Nile ferry
points and crossed into Bunyoro where the head of the Jo-wat-Cwaa became
the ruler of the country with the title of Mukama. The Lwoo name Cwaa soon
became bantuized into Bacwezi, as we know Pa-Wii changed to Foweira and
we suspect Bura into Bwera. After some time, perhaps a generation, the Jo-
wat-Cwaa (Bacwezi) who controlled the Bunyoro area, hearing that a much
larger party of Lwoo led by the Jo-wat-Bitho, were approaching from the
north, preferred voluntarily to 'vanish' rather than to fight with their own
kinsmen for the control of the kingdom. This 'vanishing' we may take to
have been no more than the withdrawal of the family actually holding the
kingship and their migration elsewhere to avoid trouble. Meanwhile their
relatives remained behind to welcome the new Lwoo immigrants. The
138 UGANDA JOURNAL
Jo-Cwaa of Pa-Wiir (of the Jo-pa-Lwoo) a large clan group still resident in the
northern borders of Bunyoro, positively assert that their ancestors were driven
from the throne of the Bakama by the Babiito. Furthermore they assert the
identity of the names Jo-wat-Cwaa of Bacwa and Bacwezi all of which they
say are terms used to indicate a single Lwoo clan group from which they them-
selves derive their identity (see The Lwoo, pp. 108 et seq.). It was, in my opinion,
at the period of this Babiito invasion that parties of Jo-Lwoo emigrated from
Bunyoro north-eastwards into Pajule (where there were Jo-Cwaa people) and
westwards across Lake Albert. This explanation of the beginning and end
of the Bacwezi dynasty seems to me to have the merit of greater simplicity and
probability, as it is based on local tradition, than an explanation which involves
such items as the introduction of a completely extraneous word like the
Ethiopic term chewa 'soldier' which has been produced to explain the mean-
ing of the name. I leave it to readers to judge, but would remind them that, so
far as can be seen, clan names are the most permanent heritable expressions
both among the Jii people and the Bantu. Hence it is no light argument that
the Jo-Cwaa (or Bacwa) of Pa-Wiir positively claim that Bacwezi is Pa-Cwaa
and that they themselves are descendants of the Bacwezi (see The Lwoo,
pp. 108 et seq.).
A strong argument in favour of this interpretation of the name 'Cwaa' is to
be found in the behaviour of both of the royal houses of Bunyoro and Buganda
towards this name. Both in Bunyoro and Buganda the name Cwa (Cwaa
or Cuaa) occurs twice as a king's name among rulers of the country. It
appears that in Buganda there are three 'royal' families, one of which
accepts the name of Cwa as their patronymic. This cannot but be an
indication of historic antiquity. Thus we see that the families who were
actually connected with Bacwezi preserved the name exactly, while the sur-
rounding Bantu modified it as a general nickname for the invaders of the
country. It would be too much to expect that rulers of these areas should
openly connect themselves with the Jo-Cwa of the Jo-pa-Lwoo in Pa-Wiir
or with the dispersed Ba-Cwa among the Bantu; the name taken by the rulers
is a significant indication of their original relations. There are, it may be said
in passing, other instances elsewhere among the Lwoo of dethroned families
who continued to be considered as quasi-royal (lokaal) clans even after they
had been ejected from power, and who continued to live with the 'commoners'
alongside the more recent occupant of the throne.
The Bacwezi subsequently became important figures in local religious
cults, and, hence it is not surprising that later detachments of the old Jo-wat-
Cwaa (Pa-Wiir), who eventually became bantuized, should remain as
'Ba-Cwa' thereby producing a linguistic distinction between the ordinary clan
name in daily use and the community of ancestral individuals who had under-
gone a form of apotheosis.
Importance has been attached to the fact that the mpako (or pak) praise-
names, which are of undoubted Lwoo linguistic origin, are not used by the
pure aristocratic Bahima of Ankole. Gorju (op. cit., p. 56) refers to this custom
as a peculiarity of Bunyoro, of the great Bacwezi personages and their
descendants. Maddox shows that these names are also used in Toro and that
LWOO MIGRATIONS 139
they numbered twelve. I do not know how much further this custom extends,
but does it matter very much? The important points are; first, that stated by
Gorju (op. cit., p. 50 et seq.) that the Bacwezi were Bahima leaders and are
reverenced as such by modern Bahima; second that the mpako praise-names
are closely associated with Bacwezi tradition; third, that the mpako names
are all Lwoo. The inference from the conjunction of these three points is that
the Bahima are Lwoo.
It may be, I agree, a fact of some importance that the mpako, names are
not found in Ankole, where the largest aggregation of Bahima folk are
resident today; but it is equally important and significant that these names
are not found among the greater part of the Acholi, who are undoubtedly no
less Lwoo, though-as I have recorded- the names are found again among
the related Shilluk. The reason is not readily explained; it suggests the
possibility of some distinct layer of migration or of some group distinction
within the Lwoo community. The pak names do not occur among those Lwoo
groups who came south as elements of the original party led by the Jo-Cwaa
(as the Jo-Okooro of Aluur, and the Acooli of Patiko and Aleero), nor are
they found among those clans who later emigrated from Bunyoro towards
Pajule at the time of the Babiito invasion of Bunyoro, and who later dispersed
from there over eastern Acooliland. These latter are the Liira-pa-Lwoo, the
Pa-Yiira etc., who are generically known as having originally come from
'pa-Cwa' (of Pa-Wiir) and who eventually gave the geographical name of
'Chua' to that area. I would add a small point of personal observation, that
when staying at Agooro and Madi Opei it struck me how much the physical
features of the people there resembled those of the Pa-Wiir and Bunyoro
There is another point of similarity in social structure, which would suggest
a common Lwoo custom. As I have mentioned before, cases of dethronement
are by no means unknown in other Lwoo communities. Where this has
occurred, the retiring family has usually taken over, or has been given,
the right to look after the protecting spirits of the country. In other words
they have been charged with the priestly duties in the community. Wherever
I have noticed this situation among the Lwoo, the respective dethroned group
is up to this day carrying out its priestly duties with great regularity and strict
observance and I have often wondered whether this duty was to be regarded
as a privilege or as a punishment, or a mixture of both, so as to 'tie down' the
family concerned to a restricted range of operation. This would appear to be
the function of the charge of a barheth for royal wives in the Shilluk country,
an example of what might be called in English slang "being kicked upstairs".
In a similar way, I suggest, the Bacwezi royal family, having been ousted
from the kingship by the Babiito, was granted a status which involved wide-
spread and growing prestige in the whole dependent Bantu area to the south.
The Bacwezi attained divine status among the Bahima just as Nyikaango
attained it among the Shilluk. Both are now the objects of extensive religious
It should at this stage be clear that the Bahima or Bahuma are the descend-
ants of the people who came under the leadership of the Jo-Cuaa and the
140 UGANDA JOURNAL
Jo-Bitho to occupy Bunyoro. While the Jo-Cuaa became priests and divine
persons, the Jo-Bitho were installed as chiefs and kings and have remained
so ever since. Gorju speaks (op. cit., p. 50 et seq.) "of conflicts of interest which
have lasted for centuries between the Banyoro and the Bahima". This is a
significant statement, for, from extant tradition, the Banyoro were the dom-
inant tribe of the country at a period prior to the Lwoo invasion. They were
ruled by the Abatembuzi dynasty, a name which suggests the same Ma'di
origin which extant tradition also supports. Nyoro is in fact not a Lwoo
name but a Madi one, which occurs in the forms Nyoro, Nyori or Nyore in
several places among the Madi east of the Nile, as Bari. The Madi group
name Madi-Ndri is repeated in translation in the Aluur name Madi-Dyel
and again in the Bantu name Abatembuzi (literally Abaita-mbuzi, 'who
,slaughter goats'). The collective name Madi-Ndri is still used today to
indicate those Madi who live in West Nile District between the Logbara and
the Aluur with their headquarters at Okollo and Olepi. It is probable that the
name at a period prior to the Lwoo invasion comprised also the Aluur
extending to the south up to Lake Albert and across the Nile into Bunyoro
where the cognomen was bantuized and turned into a nickname in accordance
with the Bantu grammar.
Bu-Nyoro, Bu-Gaya, Toro, Ba-Jao, Bu-Cope, Bu-Dongo, Bwera, Bu-
Ganda, Bu-Ruli are similarly all names of Madi linguistic origin which
suggest a protracted Madi occupation of the country. As regards this, old
Acooli tradition says plainly: Munyoro Madi i.e. Bunyoro was Madi country.
In support it may be noted that the praise name of the Bahuma in Runyoro
and Toro is bara (or bala in Bantu speech), which derives direct from Baar the
alternative tribal name of the Madi. The bara praise-name was probably given
to the Bahuma by the Madi-Nyoro people in imitation of the Lwoo custom,
which they learnt from Bacwezi-Bahima conquerors, but with the intention
of recognizing and stressing the antagonism between them. This antagonism
is very far from any suggestion that the Bacwezi invasion was a voluntary
occupation. (Gorju, op. cit., p. 46 et seq.)
One of the most important Bahima clans, according to Gorju (op. cit., p.
33), is that of the Bashambo of Ankole and Mpororo. This group is also well
known further north in Aluur country where they are referred to as the
Jo-Kicambo or Jo-Kisambo. Small fractions of them are still resident in
Parabok, Aleero, while among the Jo-Naam of West Nile District they are
universally recognized as having been the 'royal clan' of the area, before they
were ousted by the Koc-Ragem clan (of Wadelai). As to their origin it is prob-
ably Madi (compare the name La-Tsam found among the Boori/Madi in the
Sudan and elsewhere). These Bashambo, with the Bahima clans, the rulers of
Ankole who claim a direct descent from the first Bacwezi invaders, together
form a most important part of the community now known as Bahima in
Ankole. The constitutional balance between these two groups and their
various allies and cadet clans is a very significant one. The late Nuwa
Mbaguta with the post of Enganzi wielded very nearly as much power
as did Kahaya, the Omugabe himself. There is no need to labour this par-
ticular point any further; it will be more useful to provide a brief reconstruc-
LWOO MIGRATIONS 141
tion of the outline of historical conditions in the region north of the lakes
starting about the year A.D. 1,000.
I would stress that I do not agree with the school of ethnology which
prefers to use artificial and, in my opinion, meaningless terms such as 'Nilotic',
'Nilo-Hamitic', 'Sudanic' etc. as labels for groups of tribes with linguistic and
cultural affinities. Here at any rate we are dealing with clearly distinct racial
political communities, and it is both more accurate and more convenient to
use the group names by which they have been known to one another for
centuries, that is to say 'Lwoo', 'Lango' and 'Madi' (Baar).
The area with which I wish to deal lies approximately between latitude
5* 3' 6" and 2 N., and longitude 30 and 36 E., and I would term it the
Agooro Section. At the period in question the Agooro Section so far as can be
established was inhabited by two large races, the Madi and the Lango. The
boundary line between these two peoples extended roughly from the region of
Paari/Lepfool (Lafon Hill on the maps) through PaJook (Farajok) to
Wadelai. To the west of this line lived the Madi (Baar), to the east the Lango.
There may have been small pockets of people of different races on isolated
hill features such as the Didinga (Nangeya); but generally speaking these two
large races with their numerous subdivisions were the occupants of this large
territory. The Madi universally called their eastern neighbours 'Lango', while
the latter normally referred to the Madi by preference as 'Baar'. The Lango do
not appear ever to have used a common collective name for themselves, though
Kumi or Kume seems to have been fairly widely used. On the other hand the
Madi and more recently the Madi/Lwoo mixture (i.e. the present Aluur and
Acooli) have always and everywhere called them 'Lango'. Travellers in these
regions fifty to sixty years ago often mention this name. The Jopa-Lwoo (Pa-
Wiir), the Aluur, the Acooli as far as Fa-Jook (Farajok) all speak of their north-
eastern and eastern neighbours generally as 'Lango'. The Jo-Lwoo (Jaluo) in
Kisumu use the same expression for the Masai to the east. To this generic
name, qualifying adjectives such as 'Dyang', 'Omiru' etc. are added to give
specific indication of a particular group.
The term 'Lango' thus comprises the Lotuko, Topotha, Turkana, Karamo-
jong etc., the Nandi, Masai, Kipsigis etc. and, by inference as being part of the
same tribal community, the Bari and the Lowi (Kakoa or Kakwa).
By contrast 'Madi' was and is the collective name for a group of tribes com-
prising the Meru, Avokaya, Keliko, Lango, Lugbara, Lolubo as well as the
Madi tribes as so recognized in West Nile District today. This is the generic
name they have always used for themselves which is everywhere known and
used beside the specific divisional names. In Acooli tradition. people who are
obviously of Madi descent will, speaking of themselves, repeat the phrase
Wa au Baar (we came from Baar) without the people as a rule being aware that
it means Madi. The name Baar is the old name by which the Lango knew them
and, as the Madi gradually infiltrated into Lango country apparently by friendly
settlement without fighting, they became accustomed to the name which the
Lango gave them and preserved it in their traditions. In some cases however
the name Baar became the specific name of certain regional groups of the same
descent and has remained so up to date. In particular the name Baar became in
142 UGANDA JOURNAL
the first place attached to the country around Rejaf and has remained so in spite
of the occupation of that territory by invading Lango. Old residents used it to
refer to the district and not as their tribal name. Modern Bari declare that Bari
was not their name originally. The Madi/Lango mixture which occurred
slightly further south was later infiltrated by Lwoo elements, so that the
present tribe is neither one nor the other but an amalgamation of all three
elements known as 'Acooli'. The names Baar, Jo-Baar, Bari are found among
the Acooli, the Jo-Lwoo of Kisumu, the Madi of West Nile District, the
Lugbara and even Anywaah. The Aluur are called Bari by the Lugbara as well
as Aluur; by the Madi-Ndri Bori. The Banyoro, as I have already mentioned
retained the praise-name Bala as a reminder of their origin. The Didinga still
call the Acooli Pari or Vari as the country which the Acooli occupy today was
formerly Madi country and ruled by them. The Didinga call the Paari/
Lepfool people (of Lafon Hill in Lotuka District) by the name Nyoro thus
preserving some old recollection of the apparent connection between the
Pugeri (the first Madi-inhabitants of Lepfool hill) with the Nyoro-Madi group
of old. The very name Paari used for the Lepfool people is probably connected
with the same root Baar which we are discussing.
About the year A.D. 1,000 (it cannot have been much later in view of the
subsequent prolonged tribal movements which took place), there started a
widespread invasion by the Lango of Baar (i.e. the Nile Valley region occupied
by the Madi). Little by little the Lango occupied or dominated the whole
country and those Madi who were able, or so wished, started moving out from
their old homeland in almost every direction except directly east, It is to this
period that we may possibly attribute the formation of the nucleus of the
Lwoo group. Parties of Madi with perhaps some Lango intermixed moved
north-north-west along the Nile and eventually came to settle in what is now
the modern Atwot Country. Here the Madi party, possibly with some Lango,
joined up with other (?Lwoo) parties and thus came to form the Lwoo part of
the Jii-speaking groups along with the Naadh and the Jaang tribes, between
which powerful peoples this relatively small mixed community was confined.
The possibility must be admitted that among these Madi (and Lango) moving
from Rejaf northwards, there were Cwaa groups also. What their origin was
we do not know. I personally believe that the name Cwaa was in origin
derivable from the Ethiopian Shoa as Baar was from Borana. Similarly I
suspect the transformation of Cwaa and Cwezi into Cwazi and Swazi further
south in Africa.
The tribal name Boor found near Rafil on the Sue river is Madi to all
appearances and, among the Boor and the adjacent Jo-Luuo of Wau, a good
number of other Madi names are to be found, even a clan known as Fi-Madi.
These facts all point in the same direction supporting the hypothesis of
migration which I have outlined above.
In consequence of these epoch-making events in what is now northern
Uganda and south-eastern Sudan the whole territory between, say, the Atwot
area and Lake Albert became an area of violent political instability, which
condition probably persisted for several centuries thus presenting an exceed-
ingly difficult and dangerous area for any travellers to try and cross.
LWOO MIGRATIONS 143
This newly formed community, the Lwoo, eventually found conditions too
hazardous for them in this area. They had to clear out and run for their lives.
The traditions and geographical situation of several small independent Luuo
groups, such as the 'Manangeer' (known as 'Bari' by the Naadh), who live
north and west of the important Jo-Luuo groups at Au, is an indication of this
event, as is the presence of numerous small independent families of 'Jo-Loh',
who are said by the Jikany Naadh on the Bahr el Ghazal to have originated
and to have come from the Atwot region to the south, and thence to have
settled in dispersed groups among the Naadh (Nuer) to the north and probably
elsewhere. The tradition relating to these 'splinter sections' is eloquent witness
to the catastrophe which fell upon the main Lwoo group in the area where
originally their tribal nucleus had been formed.
At this period the Atura-Pukwac-Nimule triangle, together with territories
as far north-east as the Agooro Mountains, as far west as the present Aluur
and Lugbara areas, and as far south as Bunyoro, had come under Madi
domination. This was the period when Bunyoro acquired its Madi name
'Nyoro' under the rule of the Batembuzi dynasty. In passing we may note that
Ngira is another Madi (not Bantu) tribal name which might be the derivation
of the Luganda word Balangira.
As regards place-names I doubt whether many of Lwoo origin are really to
be found anywhere in Bunyoro. In general the Lwoo have introduced their
language-as among the Acooli and Aluur, but names of places, areas, rivers,
and tribal groups have everywhere been taken over intact by them from the
Madi who were already resident in these territories, Bunyoro included. The
Madi occupation had been a prolonged and thorough one. Lango names are
met with in smaller numbers.
There is no need to recapitulate here the tradition of the northward march of
the Lwoo from the Atwot region, their settlement in Shilluk country and their
movement south through Anywaah into what is now Acooliland. There is
however a point which requires some further consideration: it is the question
of comparison of societies by the pattern of their social structure. I think if
we are considering tribal groups of common origin, the idea of drawing a
parallel between them comes naturally; but it is easier to suggest than to carry
out, and I have always felt sceptical of such comparisons, if they are made for
the purpose of drawing far-reaching historical conclusions. In the present case
when we are considering the relationship of the Hima and the Lwoo it is
questionable whether the points of comparison are sufficiently plain for any
conclusions to be drawn. The Hima (or Huma) are a large people comprising
many different clans. By tribal custom a Hima youth may only marry a Hima
girl of pure stock but unrelated clan. This we learn is a sacred principle of
marriage from the earliest times among the Bahima of Ankole, Karagwe etc.
Any cross-breed ceases to be regarded as a Muhima. In this way the Hima
community may well be able to preserve its original physical features from
one generation to another. No instance of any kind of such 'racial policy' is
known to occur amongst any of the Jii speaking tribes including the Lwoo;
nor has it been recorded among the Madi or Lango. No racial exclusiveness,
has been observed even among the lordly Shilluk where the Rheth (Ret) may
144 UGANDA JOURNAL
not marry a Kwaa-rheth or descendants of the royal family, but may take any
other Shilluk girl as his wife even from the bangarhel or serfs, or from the
Jaang, Naadh or Anywaah tribes. All the Sudan Lwoo divisions, such as the
Paai, Anywaah, Jo-Luuo of Wau and the Boor of Rafil have assimilated
numbers of non-Lwoo clans by marriage and this is equally true of the Shilluk.
The result of this policy is that all the descendants speak a form of Lwoo
speech, but physical features cease to show any marked difference which can
be associated with distinction of rank.
The outcome of such free cross-breeding is likely to produce a 'levelling
out' of types, whereby distinct elements are absorbed and blended, so that
within a single community a mean physical type is produced. This 'mean
physical type' naturally tends to differ in different areas. The same process of
blending and assimilation occurs also in customary behaviours and cultural
techniques. Thus Shilluk and Anywaah have both absorbed elements of Jaang
and Naadh peoples and culture; the Anywaah rather more from the Naadhi;
the Shilluk rather more from the Jaang and various other small heterogeneous
groups. The Jo-Luuo of Wau have assimilated both Naadh and Jaang families
together with other heterogeneous elements. The Paari community is probably
composed of a greater percentage of Lwoo clans and less of others (Madi and
Lango), and hence their members should today be closer than most of other
Lwoo speaking groups to the original Lwoo physical type. As regards the
Lwoo of Uganda and Kenya they have travelled still further away from their
original homeland and have absorbed en route a still wider range of hetero-
geneous tribal elements. Hence they may be expected to conform even
less to the original Lwoo human types which existed at the time when the
general character of the Lwoo language and character was established. Possibly
the Jo-pa-Lwoo of Pa-Wiir, who to some extent have been isolated, remain
in a slightly purer condition than most of the other Lwoo component groups.
Even the groups who exercise tribal chieftainship in the Lwoo areas are
rarely of homogeneous Lwoo origin. Normally chieftainship is limited to the
actual ruling family, the lokaal; but in some cases Madi ruling families have
succeeded in maintaining themselves in power, i.e. as lokaal and have even in
a few cases been joined by Lwoo as their dependants (Iwak). An example is
Cwaa-Bura. The Liira-pa-Lwoo group comprises a few Lwoo clans, and in
Chua District there are a few more, connected with the Pajule-Lwoo migration.
Conversely there are some kinship groups such as Pa-Labek, P' Adibe, Atyak,
where the Lwoo racial element is completely absent and the Madi ruling family
remains dominant; but in spite of this they are today all Lwoo speaking and
hence are fairly described as Lwoo. This applies both to the Acooli and the
Aluur. The Jo-pa-Adhola of Tororo and Jo-p'Owiny of Nyanza Province are
in no better position as regards the percentage of Lwoo blood in their veins,
which is certainly no more and possibly less than it is with the Acooli and
Aluur. This being the state of affairs it is clearly unreasonable to draw
parallels between the Acooli and the Bahima and to conclude from these
parallels that the Bahima are not Lwoo. It would be far truer to say that the
Bahima are Lwoo, while the Acooli etc. are not.
The Bahima have been compared with the Shilluk 'aristocracy'. But what is
LWOO MIGRATIONS 145
meant here by 'aristocracy' is just what the Acooli would call lokaal or royal/
ruling clan group i.e. a single consanguineous clan. By contrast the Bahima
represent a whole people with many clan and tribal groups. The Kwaa-rheth,
or royal clan among the Shilluk, are in exactly the same physical situation as
any other Shilluk of Lwoo extraction. All the Shilluk, not only the royal clan,
are as proud and scornful of foreigners as are the Bahima. They have their
Nyikaango cult as the Bahima have their Bacwezi cult. But the Shilluk do not
adopt an exclusive attitude to other African tribesmen, only to foreigners of
different race, such as Arabs, Turks and Europeans. I consider it an exaggera-
tion to speak of a material culture or social organization which has a distinctive
tribal identity and has been brought from one area to another. Distinctive
geographical, climatic and political conditions in the various areas where the
Lwoo settled provide the answer in general to the differences now found in
culture and organization. Of course it is accepted that various Lwoo groups
who left their homeland of Atwot must have had some material culture and
some social organization which they brought with them to the new areas of
settlement, but to speak of a particular high culture characteristic of the
Bacwezi/Bahima community which has been brought to it entirely from some
other region is absurd and is ridiculed by Gorju (op. cit., p. 29). All the fuss
about it must be due to European enthusiasts of 50 to 60 years ago, who were
keen to enhance the importance and interest of the tribes whom they had
discovered and among whom they worked. As regards the difference in political
structure, the Shilluk finding themselves surrounded by mighty enemies, the
Arabs, Jaang (Dinka) and Naadh (Nuer), with whom they had to fight
strenuously for survival, could not possibly afford to indulge in the luxury of
internecine wars as the Bahima have repeatedly done. At all cost they had to
keep a united front under a single ruler, and, though individual Jagi or chiefs
of sections might struggle for their favourite princes at the time of the election
of a new Rheth, they would never go so far as to divide the country. Generally
speaking there are few particular points of cultural resemblance or contact
between the Shilluk aristocracy and the Bahima which are of interest.
A reminder of an interesting tribal interrelation is the Pa-Nyikaango group,
who are resident west of Lake Albert in the Belgian Congo. (Compare also the
Kaango group of Okooro in the West Nile District.) This group declares that
they came from Bunyoro and that they are related to the ruling family there.
To find a place called Pa-Nyikaango on Lake Albert is indeed something
extraordinary; for not only is Nyikaango the legendary ruler of the Shilluk; but
Pa-Nyikaango is the name of a very large district of Lwak, the south-western
part of the Podhi Collo or Shilluk Kingdom. In Nyi-Lwak, the south-western
part of the Shilluk district of Pa-Nyikaango, there is situated the large village
of Obang. The family group of the Jago there claim to be the descendants of a
single member of the Cwaa group, who, so they state, was put in charge of the
village 'commoners' when the bulk of the Kwaa-Cwaa emigrated along with
the Kwaa-Ciilo to Anywaah, where a considerable party of the Cwaa people
remained when the majority emigrated towards Bunyoro. Such is definite
history. Are we then to regard the Shilluk as being more closely related to the
146 UGANDA JOURNAL
With regard to the matter of pedigrees, in Bunyoro, alas, the question of the
royal pedigree is anything but plain. In 1912 Mrs. A. B. Fisher recorded
13/15 Bakama, in 1920 Gorju recorded 18, and in 1936 the Omukama
T. Winyi recorded 26. This latest record cannot carry conviction in view of
the fact that competent elders in 1912 only knew of 15 names after a thorough
inquiry had been made. Shortly afterwards a new and quite independent
investigation was made and the figure reached 18. Finally fifteen years later
after all the really competent old men were dead the list has been increased
to 26 with a difference of names at nearly every stage. The reason is not far to
seek. The Baganda had 33 Basekabaka (Kings) in their dynasty and, since it
was well known that the two dynasties had been founded contemporaneously,
every effort was made to bring the Bunyoro total up to the same figure. The
method is that usually known as 'by hook or by crook'. In Ankole the com-
petent elders who were consulted in 1920 insisted that there had been only 13
Bagabe and Gorju (op. cit., p. 146) remarked that if the Baganda had been as
critical in composing their list of Basekabaka a more modest but more depend-
able pedigree would have resulted. Yet in 1947 J. Nyakatura added to the list
of 13 Bagabe twelve others who had been expressly excluded as rivals and
claimants by the competent elders thirty years before!
The law of succession which operates among the Shilluk explains and
vouches for the authenticity of a list of 26 rulers (see The Lwoo pp. 135 et seq.2),
though some students count as many as 30 or more. A very much more detailed
social and political study than any I am aware of would be required to satisfy
a serious student of the accuracy of the extant list of Basekabaka whose
dynasty is well known to have been established at the same time as the Bakama
of Bunyoro and not earlier than that of the Rheth of the Shilluk.
It is easy to explain how lists of traditional kings often differ in detail. Even if
we exclude the confusion caused by incompetent informants, there is always
the fact that with the best intention in world the knowledge of a responsible
elder as regards his tribal tradition is limited owing to the fallibility of human
memory. Hence, even competent elders dislike to be questioned alone and
prefer to have three or four responsible persons together when a traditional
record is required. If a group of this sort is formed they will give their opinions
and discuss and settle their decisions to the best of their ability which the
investigator may then record. It is prudent on any important matter not to rely
on the evidence of any single witness, even if he has written the record down
himself. Doubtless discrepancies are avoided in this latter case for the time
being but, after a few years, another informant will make himself heard-
probably with a slightly longer and consequently 'more authoritative' list.
The result is that the record changes every few years and no one knows what
the truth is. It may be noted incidentally that it is an obvious fallacy to suppose
that a ruling chief is necessarily qualified to provide a more authoritative
record of his predecessors than any other reliable person acquainted with the
facts. In most cases the chief is less qualified because, owing to his power and
reputation, contemporary Africans, who may well be more knowledgeable than
2 By a printer's error in The Lwoo, p. 138 Rheth No. 23, Ayokeer, is shown as the son
of Kwathkeer (Rheth 17) instead of the son of Yoor (Rheth 20).
LWOO MIGRATIONS 147
he is as to the facts, will fear to criticize or amend his statement. All such
records must be studied and compared and much of the credence that future
students will give to any particular pedigree will depend upon the degree of
care which field workers have given to testing and checking the trustworthiness
of witnesses and their sources of information.
One of the causes of confusion even among serious informants arises from
the nature of the succession to chieftainship, which in many places has been
the subject of dispute. There are marked differences of custom in this matter
in different tribes which have to be taken into account. Thus among the Acooli
the succession was usually peaceful as the successor was normally chosen
while the ruler was still alive and the latter's opinion counted a lot in the
decision made. Among the Aluur and the Jo-Naam (Okooro and Rageem) the
matter was more difficult, and the Rageem in particular were torn by wars
twice at least during the last hundred years. In Ankole and Bunyoro the
disputes over the succession were even more serious. Shilluk history records
rivalries, disputes, individual and clan fights, but owing-as explained above-
to the constant menace of foreign invasion, major political divisions have
generally been avoided, for whenever there was risk of this, there was sufficient
pressure of public opinion to enforce the claims of one candidate or another.
At worst a fight took place between the supporters of the respective candidates,
in which the majority of the tribe would remain neutral and the defeated
candidate would be forced to retire from the scene. Occasionally with two
strong stubborn and equally balanced candidates each might be 'installed' in
his own area and claim to be Rheth, but it would not be long before one or the
other found that he lacked public support and was compelled to emigrate. In
such a situation it is obvious that the unsuccessful candidate may sometimes
be listed as a ruler, and particularly by those who claim descent from him or
even perhaps out of ignorance or misunderstanding. Again in the Shilluk
country it has happened that a prince of the royal family who was beloved and
obeyed by the people of his own local area, came to be treated by the people
as Rheth and greeted with the salute (or pak), Woo, as though he was in
fact Rheth. If such a prince was unambitious and remained quietly at home
the Rheth of Fa-Coodo (Fashoda), the real Shilluk King, would often tolerate
these practices. Such individuals have sometimes figured wrongly in certain
king-lists. It has been said that graves, relics (jaw-bones) of kings were kept in
evidence so that the number of rulers could always be ascertained, but the
same attentions were also paid to princes and sometimes even to the heads of
major clans. I have taken down many pedigrees, but have never attached much
importance to a number of the first names contained in long lists. Illiterate
Africans unless they have had the lists written down for them, tend to change
the number, order and even nomenclature of the persons appearing in such lists
each time they repeat them, and this in spite of graves, jaw-bones and so on.
A list of names may on one occasion be reported as a series of brothers (side
by side) and on the next as a series of successive rulers (one below the other).
The Shilluk king-list has been recorded many times during the last fifty years
and I have myself taken down many different versions of it. The present list
referred to above was consolidated after having checked all the names from
148 UGANDA JOURNAL
former lists and having eliminated several in consultation with Acokee Wuad
Agwet, the wise Jago of Debaalo (Kwon), the greatest man in the Shilluk king-
dom after the Rheth. Since ancient times the Jago of Debaalo has been the
official (not, it may be noted, a Kwaa Rheth) who presided at the election and
installation of a new Rheth.
Unless educated Africans are trained in fundamental historical research
there will be a grave danger of traditions becoming hopelessly confused by
accounts which are written solely with an eye to contemporary individual or
tribal prestige, and which therefore have little or no historical validity. To
achieve any approach to historical truth requires long and serious study both
from the linguistic and cultural aspects of the problem, maintaining all the time
a strong critical sense towards the material collected with a readiness to discard
any theory which is clearly in conflict with the provable facts. The need for
historical study in Africa by Africans is only too obvious, and one will
delight to see such scholars come forth, and to read their work.
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS II
Edited by SIR JOHN GRAY
[These extracts from Die Tagebiicher von Dr. Emin Pascha, edited
Dr. Franz Stuhlmann, vols. i, ii, iii, iv and vi, (Braunschweig:
Westermann, 1916-27), have been translated and provided with
introductory notes and comments by Sir John Gray. They are
planned to appear in The Uganda Journal as a series covering
Emin's first visit to Buganda in 1876, his visit to Bunyoro in 1877
and his second visit to Buganda in the same year, followed by such
portions of his later diaries as are relevant to Emin's contacts with
the Uganda region during the years spent as Governor of Equatoria
until his withdrawal in 1889. The first extracts appeared at page 1
of Uganda J., 25 (1961).-EDS.]
II EMIN'S VISIT TO BUNYORO IN 1877
PERHAPS the most interesting of all Emin's diaries is that which records
his visit to Kabarega, Mukama of Bunyoro. A word or two should be said
about Emin's host by way of introduction to the diary itself.
When the explorers Speke and Grant visited Bunyoro in 1862, Kamurasi
was the ruler of the land. Though both of them realized Kamurasi's many
failings and shortcomings, they were nevertheless impressed by his intelligence.
On his return to England Speke addressed a meeting at the house of the
Marquess Townshend, No. 6 Grosvenor Place, London. At that meeting
(18 February 1864) he advocated the sending of Christian missionaries to
Bunyoro. They should proceed there by way of the Nile to "the foot of the
cataracts above Gondokoro, whence, by land, they would march up the Nile
to the kindom of Bunyoro. .. After a certain time, and the King of Bunyoro
can see and understand that legitimate trade is the best thing for the mainten-
ance of his Government, and the prosperity of his people, detachments of
Missionaries should be sent further on to the kingdoms of Buganda and
Karagwe." (U.J., 17 (1953), 150-1.) Nothing came at the time of this recom-
mendation. It was not until 1875, when Stanley's well-known appeal was
published in the Daily Telegraph, that the organization was first undertaken
of a mission to the Central African Lakes.
Kamurasi died in 1869. Seven years before his death, Speke had questioned
him as to the law of succession in Bunyoro. Kamurasi had replied that, "The
brothers fought for it, and the best man gained the crown". (Journal of the
Discovery of the Source of the Nile under date 29 October 1862.) This was
exactly what happened after Kamurasi's death. A number of rival claimants
150 UGANDA JOURNAL
appeared on the scene and for some two years Bunyoro was given over to
internecine fighting. The claimants included Kamurasi's son, Kabarega, and
two of his kinsfolk, Mpuhuka and Ruyonga, both of whom had been unsuc-
cessful claimants at the time of Kamurasi's own succession and both of whom
are referred to by Emin in his diary. Eventually, after Kabugumire, his
brother and most formidable rival, had been killed in battle, Kabarega
triumphed and was acclaimed Mukama of Bunyoro. As previously, in
Kamurasi's time, Mpuhuka and Ruyonga fled across the Somerset Nile and
took refuge in the Lango Country.
Though his decisive victories over his rivals resulted in his accession to the
throne by popular acclamation, Kabarega was throughout his reign troubled
by sporadic attempts on the part of certain of his fugitive rivals to seize his
throne. These rivals were from time to time assisted not only by the neigh-
bouring rulers of Ankole and Buganda, but also by members of the Nilotic
tribes living across the Nile to the north of Bunyoro and the Dongolese slave
traders operating in those regions.
In 1869 Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, had appointed Sir Samuel Baker
as Governor-General of Equatoria. In 1872 Baker arrived in Bunyoro, very
shortly after the final defeat and death of Kabarega's brother, Kabugumire.
On 14 May 1872, acting in reliance on the instructions contained in a firman
issued to him in 1869, Baker proclaimed the formal annexation of Bunyoro
to Egypt. Friction ensued and culminated on 8 June in actual fighting between
Baker's troops and the Banyoro. Thereafter Baker set fire to Kabarega's
capital at Masindi, burnt his own stores, and withdrew, fighting a rear-guard
action, across the Nile into the Acholi country. In the course of his retreat
Baker proclaimed Kabarega's deposition and appointed his rival and cousin
Ruyonga as ruler in his place. But it takes something more than a proclama-
tion to overturn a throne and in the heart of Bunyoro Kabarega still main-
tained his power.
Baker's term of office expired in 1873 and in the following year he was
succeeded by Colonel Charles George Gordon. As the result of Baker's
experiences Gordon regarded Kabarega as a hostile and thoroughly unworthy
person, whom, in the words of one of his letters to his sister, it was his duty to
'quell'. But none of his operations enabled him to achieve this object. He was
able to force Kabarega to flee into the southern part of his dominions and he
established a bridgehead across the Nile and military posts at Kirota, Kisuga
and Londu, but he could not force the fugitive into submission. He also
decided that Ruyonga was not the man to back against Kabarega and that
Anfina (Mupena), the brother of the former claimant Mpuhuka, had stronger
and better claims to the throne than either Ruyonga or Kabarega. But Anfina
proved no more likely to supplant Kabarega than Ruyonga. Eventually in early
1877 Gordon came to the conclusion that it would be better policy to send an
officer to try and get into touch with Kabarega, and if possible, bring about
an amicable settlement of outstanding difficulties. He accordingly detailed
Emin for the task.
Emin's diary sets out in detail how he carried out his mission. There was a
certain amount of danger attaching to the task. In his own words, Emin
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II 151
decided to proceed to Kabarega's headquarters en petit comitd. Apart from
two servants and a few porters, only two soldiers accompanied him, one of
whom fell out by the way. His sole weapon of defence was his revolver, which
Kabarega coveted but did not succeed in obtaining. Perhaps it was the very
fact that he arrived without a formidable military escort which at once created
a favourable impression in the mind of the young Mukama. Added to this,
there was of course Emin's extremely tactful handling of his host. Alone of all
the Europeans who ever stayed at Kabarega's court, Emin was able to find
favour in his sight. He succeeded in persuading Kabarega to send an embassy
It is quite impossible to say what might have been achieved if Emin's plans
had not been interfered with. There is, however, no doubt that the subsequent
officious interference of Nur Aga completely upset all that Emin had been at
such pains to arrange. When Nur Aga issued orders to the garrison under his
command to go foraging in Kabarega's territory, hopes of a peaceful settle-
ment of outstanding difficulties came to an end. Nur Aga was clearly
profoundly jealous of Emin. He could not forget that only a year before this
bespectacled civilian had succeeded in extricating the troops under his
command without casualties from the very precarious situation in Buganda in
which his own blundering had placed them. It was clearly pique, and not just
short-sighted militarism, which led him to write letters and to issue orders
which resulted in the complete undoing of Emin's careful preparations.
As portrayed in Emin's diary, Kabarega's picture is very different from that
of almost every other European who crossed his path. As Emin was well
aware, the ruler of Bunyoro had many failings, but, taken by and large, Emin
depicts a very likeable person. In contrast with his contemporary Mutesa,
he was no stickler for ceremonial. None the less, he had many kingly instincts.
As the diary shows, not the least of these was a keen sense of justice and a
strong desire to do right to all manner of men without fear or favour,
affection, hatred or ill-will.
Emin described this visit to Bunyoro in a long journal article printed in
Petermanns Mitteilungen, 1879. This, considerably rearranged, was translated
in English and appears in Emin Pasha in Central Africa, 1888. Some parts
of this last, which serve to amplify or clarify Emin's Diary, have been
incorporated in the following Extracts.
Extracts from Emin's Diaries
May 11, 1877. .. I was called by the Pasha (sc. Colonel C. G. Gordon) and
asked if I would undertake a second journey to Mutesa so as to settle matters
with him. As I gathered, he wanted permission for me to travel to Karagwe and
thence to the S.W. and S.S.W.; also to make an excursion to Stanley's Alexandra
Lake1 and Mufumbiro2 and to return thence by a route of my own choice. A visit
to Kabarega was completely out of the question. I must make my own prepara-
tions, but must delay all this, because the Pasha's urgent business makes me
indispensable to him. Several strenuous days were spent on the subject.
May 31. (Left Khartoum.)
July 8. (At Bedden.) ... I find here Colonel Mason,3 who has completed in five
days (Steamer Nyanza) his navigation of Albert Nyanza, and has found the
152 UGANDA JOURNAL
southern end, as Gessi said, to be 1" 10' north and its most westerly point 30* 30'
east. There is only a slight variation from this. At the southern end the Muzizi flows
into the lake. There is no outflow to the west. The natives in the south are very
July 15. (Reached Duffle.)
July 19. To the west of Duffle the Madi extend to Makraka and on the west of
the river to Wadelai, where Madi and Magungo are spoken. From there to the
Lake dwell (always on the west bank) the Alur whom Kabarega has subdued and
who speak Magungo.
To the east of Duffle dwell first of all the Madi, then the Lango and Umiro4
and finally the Galla. The easterly Lango are very black as are the Galla. To the
south on the east bank of the river are the Madi as far as Bora and then Acholi
July 23. (Set sail from Duffile and reached Bora at 9 p.m.)
July 24. (Took on wood at Bora in exchange for beads. Chief Mota came on
board. Paramount chief Looja lives a little way from the river. Sailed past Wadelai
July 25. (Reached Magungo.)
July 29. Negroes from Patiko are on a visit to Kabarega. What equipment must
they take for the journey? As for ourselves we have a thousand things to take
July 30. . The arrows of the Magungo are made of cane, in which the iron
point (smooth and without hooks or barbs, shaped like a needle, and spreading
out at the upper end into the shape of a small paddle) is fixed and fastened by bast
fibre and strips of skin. They are all spread over with black poison. The bows are
August 2. (Reply received from Kirota.)
August 3. (Reached Kirota.)
August 5. On the way we met a number of Lango, easily recognizable by their
peculiar wig head-dresses, which are richly adorned with cowries and glass beads.
They have tall muscular figures with a European profile of not very brown tinted
colour. They have come over the rapids at Karuma and Atada. The Lango belong
to the large tribe of Omiro. Their fear of the crowd which accompanied us was
remarkable . .
August 5. (Reached the newly established station of Masindi.) A picturesque
confusion of huts and fences, enclosed by a strong Zeriba of tree trunks. (Five
hours from Londu and former headquarters of Kabarega's Banassura. A garrison
of one officer and 30 men.) In addition there is Anfina5 the negro chief whom we
met last year, a stately, well-dressed man, whose light skin, rounded head,
orthognatic figure, well developed ears show that he belongs to the race of
Wahuma, the well-known light-skinned cattle-folk. Thanks to our steady advances,
he has by reason of the overthrow of a number of Kabarega's Batongole (chiefs)
become a small overlord, surrounded by a host of people. He was wanting in a
certain amount of tact. After he had received a present (kaftan, belt and tarbush),
he told me a number of Lango dwelling on the other side of the river had submitted
to him, and promised me that in the event of a journey thither to supply me with
men and porters because the Lango would be unwilling to do so.
August 6. (Reached Londu.)
August 8. Towards midday a post came back from Kisuga and with it a
Mutongole of Kabarega's named Kiza, who had just come back from Patiko,
where he had been staying with the Mudir along with two others, in order to come
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
to an agreement with him. When he was brought to me, I commissioned him to tell
Kabarega to allow me to be taken to him, as I wished to see him. He promised me
to do all he could, telling me that Kabarega wanted peace and would certainly
send people (to me). He only asked for a present so that he could show it to his
overlord and prove that he had actually been with me.
August 9. Kabarega's Mutongole came quite early to bid farewell. He received a
kaftan, tarbush, looking-glass and some fine beads as a present and also the
necessary flour for the journey, which will last two days. Early on the third day he
will come into his own land, which is called Abuhaia (?Bugahya) and is not far
from Magungo. I repeated my commission to him and he promised to do his best
to arrange the matter, and so he bade farewell. I allowed him to be escorted for
one hour by the soldiers so that he could be protected from Anfina's people .. The
people, who went from Kabarega to Patiko, took ship to Alur, crossed the river to
Wadelai and then went to the east.
August 10. (Yuzbashi Abdallah Aga and Ali Grenati arrived from Mruli.)
August 13. Early today I sent again to Masindi to obtain porters.
August 14. At about 10 a.m. I received a very silly letter from Kuku Aga and
have consequently given up the journey to Kabarega. Perhaps it may be possible to
go to Kabarega from Mutesa's with Mutesa's people on my return from Mruli.
In the meantime I have asked for porters from Masindi and, Inshallah, I will go
early in the morning to Kisuga and thence to Mruli so that I may possibly go to
August 15. (Reached Kisuga.)
August 16. I have received a remarkable curio-the dish-plate of Kabarega's
August 18. (Reached Mruli. Letter sent to Mutesa.)
August 20. Ruyonga6 informed me that Mutesa, frightened by a threatening
letter from Mohammed Effendi Ibrahim, had allied with Kabarega and would no
longer receive any Egyptian.
August 22. Fresh differences with the jealous Kuku Aga.
August 23. In order to put an end to the deliberately endless correspondence with
Kuku Aga, I went to him and after I had explained to him his injustice and
convinced him that he would get nothing out of the unseemly language and
intrigues contained in his letters, he agreed that he would permit Kabarega's people
to come here and would write to that effect to Londu.
August 25. The station at Mruli, which in former years was, partly for reasons of
health, sited ten minutes inland to the S.W., lies in a wide plain, which is thickly
planted with trees. In that plain lies the water drainage channel Chor Kafu,
which is recognizable by a row of trees and takes a course from W.S.W. to N.
The roads to Kisuga and Foweira are at its mouth. The river, which is close to the
old station and almost completely choked by growths of vegetation (Papyrus)
ranunculus, nymphaea, pistia sysimbrium, vallisneria, ottelia enlarges into an
expanse of open water and becomes a very papyrus-choked but wide channel of
about one kilometre leading up to the main stream (sc. the Nile), which at this point
flows from S.E. to N.W. Its current is fairly swift, whilst Chor Kafu with its
deep and marshy banks appears to have little or no current. The north bank
of this rather broad river (sc. the Nile) is about five or six metres high and
is thickly covered with grass and mimosa trees and extends far to the east over
a flat plain.
Mruli is important as a departure point for more distant stations leading to the
lake (sc. Victoria). The station is kept very beautifully clean and airy, well laid out
and very tidy. The surrounding plots of durrah (grain), maize, arachis, and bananas
make a very pleasant prospect.
August 26. Late yesterday evening the Batongole of Kabarega came with the gifts
sent for me ... (Ali Grenati, a blood brother of Kabarega, is to be sent to him).
August 27. The soldiers have gone to Lango wanting to procure provisions. They
made their crossing in small canoes over a period of twelve hours.
September 5. About noon Ruyonga's people, whom I had sent with my letter to
Mutesa, came back, that is, one of them came. On the way they were attacked by
Kabarega's people. My letter was taken from them and the greater part of them
were sent as prisoners to Kabarega.
September 7. After we had arranged everything for Halil Effendi's departure
(sc. to Bunyoro) and all our letters had been written, an onbaschi (lance-corporal)
arrived at midday with the news that the soldiers had been attacked in the Lango
country, that Kuku Aga and Abdul Chor Aga were dead as well as many of the
soldiers, and that much ammunition, many weapons etc. had been lost. Soon after-
wards two canoes arrived, bringing the wounded people with many penetrating
wounds caused by spears. It is remarkable that many women had been wounded,
most of whom were already dead. Immediately this news spread through the zeriba,
it caused dismay and it was thought that an attack would be made on the zeriba
itself with the ammunition and weapons which had been lost. Halil Effendi's
departure is postponed because there are no porters ready. Some of Ruyonga's
people are likewise dead.
September 8. (Emin was busy attending to the twelve casualties which had
arrived the previous day. They included one officer and five other ranks, two male
civilians and four women. They had received their injuries four days previously
and their condition was aggravated by high temperatures.)
September 9. . At two o'clock in the afternoon people arrived from Kisuga
(sc. in Bunyoro) and almost at the same time the people returned from the raid into
the Lango country, having cowardly left behind them their provisions and cattle as
well as their equipment. Thus this large expedition (200 men) has become a miser-
able defeat for us. Kuku Aga with his two servants and three personal servants and
thirty soldiers dead, ten to fifteen wounded, about thirty women and children
killed, fifty blacks (twenty of Mahongi's men and thirty of Ruyonga's) killed, about
thirty weapons and the carriage for the rockets (lafetta) lost and not a dishful of
September 10. Today the avenging force (Rachekorps) set out.7
September 11. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon came a dragoman from Ali,
whom I had sent to Kabarega, and a mutongole of his, named Kapempe, with
one of their dragomen and thirty persons . Ali informed me that he thought
Kabarega was well disposed. I have made up my mind. Halil, who is very
frightened, remains behind with the bulk of the goods at Mruli, and I go.
September 13. This time I am en petit comitd: my porters, two soldiers (one to
look after the horse), my two servants (boys), Ali's dragoman and my dragoman
with wife and servants. The last three are very frightened.
(Halted at midday under some trees near some pools of water.) Kapempe enter-
tained me by mimicking in a most amusing way the gestures of the porters who
found their burdens too heavy. These people express astonishment in a way quite
new to me ... a rapid raising of the closed fists to the crown of the head, from
which they are drawn energetically to the forehead. The rumbling of thunder in the
distance and dark clouds overhead warned us to start, but we were hardly on our
way, when the rain poured down in torrents. Every moment a porter would stop to
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
cover himself with a banana leaf, or to take off the ox-hide which serves him for a
dress, in order to protect it from the rain, which renders it hard. In this way the
whole column was brought to a standstill; a very pleasant episode in such rain as
this, which poured in at one's collar and out at one's boots! Then, in great haste,
we again started forward, through bananas and whorled eriodendrons, till, after a
march of 71 hours, we reached Kisuga.8
September 14. (Remained all day at Kisuga in order to dry baggage.)
September 15. When at last we were ready to start, one of the soldiers who
accompanied me was taken ill, I expect, from fear of the danger he apprehended on
the journey. I had, therefore, but one soldier left to take charge of my horse, and
my two servants, boys between ten and twelve years of age-an imposing escort!
Being put on my guard by Baker's account of Kabarega's talent for begging, I left
everything that was not absolutely indispensable, even my gun, in Kisuga; and then
we started in the direction of Londu, along the road we had previously trodden,
through tall grass and numerous banana groves, in which reddish-yellow passion-
flowers threw their tendrils across our path. The porters marched in total silence, a
contrast to the noisy Baganda; no drum was carried with us. Our halts became fre-
quent, and the porters seemed to be very hungry, as on every possible opportunity
they picked up some bananas or a sweet potato. Towards midday we reached our
former station, Londu;9 the defenceless stockade of which, with many a spot
charred black by fire, produced a very painful impression. The zeriba had not been
occupied by the Negroes, as a sort of superstitious fear prevents them from dwell-
ing in houses previously occupied by us. Small herds of bullocks and goats and a
few solitary inhabitants were visible in the vicinity.
After having settled ourselves for the night as best we could, we sent to the chief
of the district, who lived near, to request porters for the morrow, as Kabarega had
promised them. I should have preferred my own porters from Mruli, as I could
then have been more independent in my movements, but Ruyonga's people abso-
lutely refused to follow me into the land of their deadly enemy, and thus I had to
rely upon Kabarega's people. Biabo, the Mutongole who had charge of this place,
a corpulent young man with slightly prognathous features, paid me a visit in
company with five or six of his men. They were reddish-brown in colour, except
one who was deep black-a man from the district of Jopaluo which lies near the
rapids of Tada. The colour of the people throughout this country is very variable,
and graduates from black to yellow; yet, for the most part, the fundamental colour
is red. The people are clothed in soft ox-hides from which the hair has been
removed except at the borders,where a strip of hair of two fingers'-breadth has
been left as an ornament; their costume is completed by arm-rings and anklets
made of brass and necklets composed of roots. The head is not shaved-shaving is
a sign of mourning-indeed you often see very elegant cork-screw-like curls. A
small present of beads procured me in return several baskets full of sweet potatoes,
and as I had brought a bullock with me from Kisuga and presented it to my porters,
song and revelry lasted far into the night.
September 16. (Detained at Londu by torrential rain.)
September 17. A very cloudy sky did not promise well for our further journey;
nevertheless we broke up camp in good time (6.15 a.m.) in order to reach our distant
quarters at the appointed hour ... We did not escape the rain; and as only grass and
forest lay before us, and neither huts nor plantations were to be seen, we were
compelled to press vigorously forwards, until, about two o'clock in the afternoon,
we reached a small group of miserable huts, where we were obliged to remain for
the night. The inhabitants had fled at our approach, but we found fires still burning
in the huts. Mutongole Bikamba, the chief of the village,10 did not keep us long
waiting, for we had hardly placed our things under cover when he, accompanied
by two sub-chiefs and several of his people, put in an appearance, to pay his respects
to me and to present me with a goat and two sheep-quite a luxury. The people
impressed me favourable; they were modest and unpretentious, and satisfied with
anything that was given them. If they were allowed to choose between glass
beads and cloth, they preferred the latter. This place was called Kimanya.
The Banyoro appear to be very much afraid of dew and rain; at any rate they
will never get up early in the morning; and if, when on the march, they come upon
grass wet with dew, they lay down their loads and quickly tie before them either a
large banana-leaf or a bunch of dry leaves in order to protect themselves. A woman
who was travelling with us was so completely covered with dead leaves that she
looked exactly like a wandering withered bush.
September 18. We started very early, but after ten minutes march, we came to a
halt near an extensive plantation of bananas and sweet potatoes, in order to change
our porters. Mutongole Bikamba had the best intentions; but much palaver and
some blows were required before he was able to convince the people that they must
go on; and when, after a quarter of an hour's halt, we were again on the move, he
followed us, with one of his sub-chiefs, gesticulating and shouting in such an
energetic manner that I expected every minute a fight would ensue. At last, however,
the dispute was settled, as usual by a friendly kirungi (good), and soon after
Bikamba turned back to his village.
We then proceeded upon our way, stopping, however, at every group of huts to
try and press porters into our service .. Arrived at clearings where bananas, sweet
potatoes, and lubias intermingled, and here and there the green stalks of maize
were seen, or the broad leaves of Virginian tobacco. Compounds containing three
or four huts lay scattered throughout the cultivated land. They were hemispherical
and their grass roofs stretched down to the ground all round, except where a porch
was formed over the door. The frames were made of light reed wicker-work and
supported by numerous poles. Inside, the huts were not exactly inviting; they were
divided into two compartments, the floors of which were covered with hay, and
infested by innumerable mice, cockroaches, crickets, and fleas. Household utensils
were not numerous, for their inhabitants had fled before us, taking all their
treasures with them.
We halted at Kitongoli, in one of these clearings, where I was fortunate
enough to obtain three huts for myself, my people and my belongings. Here I
had the pleasure of a visit from the village chief, a good-looking young man,
whose father is Kabarega's confidant. He made quite an imposing figure, being
clad in thin white skins, over which a reddish-brown mbugo hung like a toga; his
servant bore after him a double-barrelled sporting-gun. The usual presents having
been exchanged, he sent a messenger to Kabarega to apprise him of my approach,
for the next day we expected to reach our destination. If, however, I understand
African ceremonials rightly, many a day will still pass before I reach Kabarega's,
although we are quite near to his residence. It is always uncomfortable to travel
during the rainy season, because you are never master of the situation, which,
indeed, leaving the rain out of the question, is rarely the case. From midnight the
thunder rolled on all sides, thick fog enveloped the country, and it rained as if it
were absolutely necessary for the clouds to rid themselves of their whole contents
that day. Of course, it was no good thinking of further progress in such weather;
and to make matters worse, my hut was not water-tight. I had seen none of my
people that day, for, on account of the rain, and possibly also of hunger-for meat
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
does not satisfy them, and corn could not be obtained-they were having a long
(The porters refused to continue the journey when the sun came out.)
September 19. At midnight the horns were blown-the drum serves only as a war
signal-to assemble the porters; yet at six in the morning not ten persons had turned
up; and when, after half an hour's bargaining and palaver, a few more negroes
appeared, no one seemed to know the road, although Kabarega's capital could not
have been more than five or six hours distant. I was therefore compelled to send
two men to Kabarega to beg him to send me a guide, knowing all the while that
this ignorance was a mere pretence. Fortunately I had been able to procure a sheep
and a few fowls, as well as some sesame (sesamum orientale) for my people in
exchange, for a few beads, so that they at least did not starve. There were several
heavy storms of rain again.
September 21. We started. The horns had been blowing for hours, and my people
had urged me to march. As however, I had heard the beating of a big drum for
about half an hour, I concluded that Kabarega was sending one of his chiefs to
meet me; and so it turned out, for soon after, Mukungu (big chief) Bikamba10
appeared, accompanied by a drummer, a gun-boy, and some five or six other people,
to greet me and to escort me at once to Kabarega. Everything was now arranged
like magic, and off we marched, our luggage in advance ... At last the mountains
opened out, and before us lay Mpara-Nyamoga, Kabarega's headquarters,
The huts destined for my use are situated at one side of the town, about fifteen
minutes away from the large block of huts which forms the king's residence, and
together with another block of huts, standing apart from the former, constitutes the
village. Our road lies uphill. Reports of guns salute us. Ali appears in full dress and
is most happy to greet me. The hemispherical huts (one being still in the course of
construction) are ready for reception, and we have scarcely stored away our things
in them when a thunderstorm begins and rain falls in torrents.
The evening was spent in chatting with the Mutongole. It was not until late that
the Katikiro (first minister) came to greet me and to tell me that the King had
intended to receive me but that the rain had prevented this. For the same reason
the oxen intended for me were not to hand, which he hoped that I would excuse.
I simply told him that I was very grateful to his ruler, but that I had not exactly
come for the purpose of asking for oxen, and that if Kabarega had no oxen, I
was quite content to be without them. Then the Mutongole Bikamba, whom I had
sent to announce my arrival to Kabarega came and brought me his compliments.
Ali is hopeful that I shall succeed in making a treaty with Kabarega.
September 22. Much noise of voices and lowing of cattle from Kabarega's
zeriba. First of all I must make ready the presents for him. Surely he has never
before seen so many pretty things. (Here Emin enumerates the articles in detail.)
All are enclosed in a case. They are certainly more than he deserves.
Today the two fat oxen promised yesterday arrived and were chased in the grass
for over half an hour before the men succeeded in securing them. (Striped and
spotted oxen and cows are not eaten by Ruyonga's people.)" Soon afterwards the
Katikiro appeared, bringing me a pound of fine white salt, three pounds of leebun
(eleusine coracana), and two pounds of the same grain as a present from the king,
who was to receive me later on.
Shortly before 11 a.m. my guide appeared, accoutred on this occasion in kaftan
and tarbush, in order to announce that Kabarega was ready to receive me. I quickly
donned my uniform and our cortege set out. The three Batongole were in front,
Kapempe, Bikamba and the dragoman Kapimpani, then came my old dragoman
Kiza (one of Ruyonga's men) and the bearers carrying the presents intended for
Kabarega, then myself on horseback, my soldier and Ali . .
We passed on our left a very large zeriba with high huts being the cattle zeriba
of the chief, who appears to own very large herds. A few more paces brought us
over an open, muddy area to a moderately large circular hall, with high doorways
front and back, and strewed inside with green fronds of papyrus. This is Kabarega's
throne and reception room. In the middle of the room His Majesty King Kabarega
was seated on a raised platform of beaten earth, between two posts which supported
the roof of the hall, on which a rough and wide arm-chair had been placed. He was
in national dress, namely, he was wrapped up to the chest in a piece of fine salmon-
coloured bark-cloth, from which, at times his feet protruded. From the chest
upwards he was naked. Above the wrist of his right arm he wore a thin bracelet
of iron and above the right elbow an amulet of roots, which so tightly encircled
the arm as to be embedded in the flesh. Over his left shoulder he wore, in the
manner of a plaid, another piece of pretty bark-cloth of a somewhat darker colour.
He had a necklace made from the hairs of a giraffe's tail with a single large glass
bead in the centre. His head was completely uncovered and was closely shaved.
There were no scars on his face except two brand marks on his temples, which are a
charm against headache. The four lower incisors and two eye-teeth had been
extracted, the upper teeth were slightly protruding, but not to any marked degree,
and they were well kept. His hands were small and neat and the nails were well
trimmed. Kabarega has a remarkably light complexion. Many Baggara Arabs and
Dongolese are just as dark as he is. The signs of Hima blood in his veins are
There were sitting around him about fifty persons, including his brother and
several gun-bearers with heavy percussion guns and one Remington rifle. Except
my followers, who were dressed in textile cloth, all those present wore clothes of
skin or bark-cloth. People were continually coming and going through the back-
door. Outside the hall a crowd of some 400 or 500 people had gathered and were
squatting on the ground at a distance of about twenty yards away. If they ventured
further forward, they were unmercifully beaten by one of the batongole.
My iron chair was placed near the throne, which was covered with the skins of
antelopes and reed rats (aulacodes). I seated myself. After we had taken stock of
each other, I presented my credentials as representative of His Excellency the Pasha.
After these had been opened, I was requested to read them. I was requested to
read the letter as none of his people can read or write . After this we mutually
expressed our pleasure at seeing each other.
Kabarega assured me that he entertained the most friendly sentiments towards our
government and that he was ready to agree to all our proposals. He also expressed
regret at the occurrence in the Lango district (the defeat of our soldiers) and
declared that henceforth he intended to till his land living in peace with us, and that
he would cause his people to live in the neighbourhood of our zeribas.
I then handed him the rich presents which I had brought. The people went into
loud raptures over them. He himself condescended to handle a silk brocade shawl,
but seemed to be chiefly interested in a few pieces of scented soap. He repeatedly
smelt and inspected them and at once understood that they were intended for the
face and hands. The money, thirty dollars, was counted twice. He then expressed
his thanks for the many gifts.
My horse was then brought in for inspection from all points of view. Kabarega
asked whether the mane grew all along the back down to the tail and how many
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
kinds of horses we possessed. He also asked whether I knew the zebra and whether
it could be caught and tamed. He asked whether the camel resembled the horse
or the giraffe. (The giraffe does not seem to exist here and the much valued tails
come from the Lango.)
After this the small revolver which my servant carried in his belt came in for
inspection. I myself was unarmed. Kabarega at once understood its mechanism
and asked me to take it to pieces. Thereafter he himself put it together again. He
then asked me to show how it was fired and how far one could shoot with it.
There was a tree at a distance of about fifty paces which afforded a convenient
target. Five shots were fired and it was hit. After once more examining it,
Kabarega handed the revolver back to me.
There then followed a conversation in Magungo. It was carried on by means of
an interpreter, who sat at Kabarega's feet and spoke Sudanese Arabic very well.
In fact nearly all the people understand Arabic. Kabarega himself speaks it well,
but in public prefers his own language and the aid of a dragoman.
I was asked if I was the person who had gone last year alone to Buganda and
Busoga and if I intended going there again this year. I thought I could recognize
in all these questions some arriare pensde and therefore declared that I did not care
about going to Buganda provided that I could arrange matters with him. He again
expressed his assent to everything and that perhaps it might be possible to go from
here direct to Karagwe without passing through Buganda.
Finally, Kabarega said "Rain threatens; I am going home; and do you go home
too; I shall see you again". Accordingly I took my leave and returned home in the
same order of procession as before, after an audience which had lasted about two
and a half hours.
As Kabarega was seated all the time and never rose, I am unable to say anything
as to his figure except that he appeared to be a tall man. The naked chest showed
a strong development of muscle and fat. The small head together with the light
complexioned face bore witness to the purity of his race. He gives one an exceed-
ingly favourable impression. He is lively, laughs a great deal, often shaking with
mirth. He is very talkative and appears to submit to ceremonial with a certain
measure of constraint. He greatly differs in this respect from the self-conscious
ruler of Buganda. If matters continue thus, I shall be well content.
Immediately after I had returned home, Kabarega's dragoman and three of his
companions came to ask for presents. At the same moment the rain came down in
torrents, accompanied by a gale from the east. In a few moments every hut was
flooded. I therefore put off the men and sent them home after buying some pretty
little brass and copper ornaments.
Under Kabarega's feet there was spread a rather ragged mat or rug, upon which
he frequently spat. This is the only bad habit I noticed in him.
September 23. Towards noon the Katikiro came to tell me that Kabarega was
waiting to see me. I went to him at once . He was seated in the same high-back
chair as yesterday, which was covered with the same skins and with the same ragged
mat at his feet. The lower part of his body, and also his feet, were hidden by a
piece of brick-red bark-cloth up to the chest. Over his shoulder he wore a piece of
cloth of the same colour. Round his neck he had a necklace of large blue and red
glass beads and on his arm a different bracelet, together with the same amulet
as yesterday on the upper arm. The only hair on his face was a short beard on his
chin and a few hairs on the upper lip. In addition to six men armed with guns
(amongst which I saw a Remington and a Snider), he had around him about
twelve persons, including his brother, who is very black.
There soon began a lively and merry conversation. Some of those sitting around
were chewing coffee beans. They took part in the conversation with the greatest
sans-gene and vivacity. Taken by and large, they do not observe here the same
strict ceremonial as in Buganda. The people either squat or stretch themselves on
the ground leaning on one elbow. Their ruler laughs and jokes with them. Even
those people who come on business will at the most kneel in front of the hut and
state their business from a distance, or else stand in a half inclined position,
leaning on their long knobbed sticks, which are carried by all the people here.
First of all the conversation was confined to a number of jokes with Ali.
Kabarega owns two donkeys which he offered to exchange with Ali for two
pretty girls. Kabarega then turned to me. After having at my request dismissed
all those present except the gun-bearers and a few confidential persons, I was
compelled to listen to a long recital of the doings of the Dongolese, Ruyonga,
Anfina and his deceased brother Fovoka (Mpuhuka).12 The sum and substance
of it all was that he had been continually attacked by them, although he was the
occupant of the throne and was entitled to rule over them. I then told him that I
quite understood this, but that others had made friends with the Government,
whereas he had always remained hostile. He replied very plausibly that these
others had made friends with the Government because they were compelled to do
so for their own safety. As for his own hostile acts, it was true that he had killed
some Dongolese and had fought with Baker Pasha, but this was only in self-
defence. He now begged me to tell him what were the Government's desires, as
he wished to live in peace with us. "You do not know me. Far away from here you
say to each other 'Kabarega is a robber and a murderer'. Has one of you ever
come to me? Has anybody ever satisfied himself as to whether these statements
are true or false? Why do Anfina and Ruyonga decline to make peace with me
or to come to me? Are they not men of Bunyoro like myself? Are not Ruyonga's
two sons, with their families, living here with me and have I killed or ill-treated
I then gave him to understand that the Government greatly desired to see all the
land which he formerly possessed settled and cultivated by him. If he wished for
an annual grant of money or for presents, he should tell me and I would guarantee
that he should have them. If he wished to send men to Cairo, I would secure a
safe-conduct for them. If he wished to go there himself, it would be so much the
better and I would remain here as a hostage in his country until he returned. As
for Anfina and Ruyonga, I was convinced that they ought to return to their
islands. I could not promise to bring them to him, but if I again returned here, I
should do all that I could to reconcile them.
All this seemed to please him. He thought that I was at any rate the most
reasonable man of all whom he had seen. I ought now to have a rest and then go
to Mruli and Khartoum and he would send men to accompany me there. When
I told him to choose men who understood Arabic, in order that they might hear
what I told the Pasha, lest I might say something different from what I had said
here, he took me by the hand-I was sitting next to him- and said "We are
This having been settled, there remains the question of obtaining Bulondoganyi
and of the journey from here to Rumanyika, whom he described to me today as
being a great prince.
He then asked me to show him my watch and to explain how it worked and
what it indicated. He wanted to know whether it was identical with the compass.
Finally he asked me to send him a large watch from Khartoum. He also wanted
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
a sword and a revolver and also powder. I emphatically declined to procure the
latter, but promised him the sword. He then asked me to write a letter so that the
things might be sent from Mruli. I told him that could not be done, as every-
thing was locked up in cases and I had the keys here. He appeared to be greatly
amused at this and more especially so when I handed him the keys on a ring.
He played with them and then returned them to me. He asked me, if I went to
Mruli, to send him a tin box so that he could keep the new things safe from rain
and damp. I promised him this also.
I then asked him to send his ivory for sale or barter to Kisuga or Mruli. This
he promised to do, but added "Will you sell me guns?" I was of course obliged
to refuse this and we both had a good laugh over the matter .
September 24. Kabarega wanted silver money before I arrived. Ali has given
him thirty reals13 and has received a slave girl for this. To-day Kabarega has sent
to him for the second time a person who demands ten reals or the corresponding
value in cloth or clothing as a premium. A good pupil of the Dongolese.
Towards evening the Katikiro came to see me and told me that Baker had
given two slaves, whom Kabarega had sent to him, to his servants and that
Kabarega had presumed therefrom that white men did not accept slaves. The
Katikiro has been three times to Gondokoro and was Baker's companion on his
Later in the evening I was told that the day before yesterday the wooden chest
which was sent to him was no good, and that Kabarega wanted the already
mentioned steel trunk from me. I simply replied, Inshallah! Ruanda is well known
to Kabarega's people. Its people must often come here from there. Unfortunately
there are none of them here at present. There is a direct road from here to
Karagwe, which is often used and does not pass through Mutesa's territory. The
people will not talk with me on the subject of this road or any other geographical
Melindwa's (? Muliwandwa's)14 son has come from Kitongoli on a visit. He
and his father are pleasant, peaceful people . .
September 25. . Yesterday three or four dragomen came here from Magungo
and at once Kabarega gave them an ox. He gave me to understand that he would
see the people and then let me see them. I at once replied that I wished him to send
them to me according to the instructions given to me. Up to now no reply has
been received. It is raining and Kabarega therefore keeps to his house.
September 26. Since midnight it has rained without ceasing . Kabarega does
not come out of his private house and so it is impossible to do anything. We are
here in the middle of the country like prisoners on our hill . I sent Kabarega
a zinc trunk, which was sent back to me in evening because it had no key and
the trunk was rusty. At the same time Kabarega sent me two loads of meal and
two loads of lubia as a present.
Throughout all Bunyoro robbery is punished by confiscation of the pick of
the cattle and women. If one black man kills another, the relatives of the mur-
dered man have the right to seize him and kill him, with a spear, and in addition
to receive a cow from the family of the murderer. If they cannot get hold of the
murderer they go to the chief of the tribe and must give him nine head of cattle
and three sheep as his fee. Execution is performed with a spear.
September 27. Kabarega sent early to greet me and to say that he could not
meet me yesterday because of the rain. He asked me to send a large trunk to him
from Mruli for his things. Today I saw a curious instance of administration of
justice. My dragoman Kiza, being angry with his wife, tied a rope round her
neck and fastened her to a tree. After a short time he set her free. As the reason
for his action, he told me she had deserted him.
September 28. (Kabarega sent some food.) He asked for a red lining for his
mantle. Unfortunately I have none. The people are modest enough. He asks me to
send to Mruli for a still to make gin arakk) of which he has already learnt from
the Dongolese . .
September 29. In the forenoon Melindwa came on a visit and brought me a
piece of fresh butter and told me that his wife Kijihango was a Muhuma from
Buganda, and sent me the butter as a present...
With regard to my wish to visit him, Kabarega sent Msige to Mruli to fetch
me, but he had misunderstood his instructions and brought Ali instead of me. Ali
had previously caused trouble between Kabarega and Baker and for this reason
he did not trust him.15 He wished to deal only with me. All this sounds plausible,
as if he wished to separate Ali from me, so that he can control both of us. I
know quite well how much I have obtained from Ali. He is quite a good man, but
nevertheless puts his commercial interests before those of the Government. I have
brought more and finer presents. He hopes for more presents from me when I
return to Mruli.
September 30. At 1 p.m., just as I was at lunch, some of the people came to call
me to Kabarega who, having caught a glimpse of the sun, had come to his divan.
I found him there. Today he was wearing a string of blue glass beads round his
neck and had wrapped round his body a piece of light coloured bark-cloth, which
was ornamented in regular stripes with small black lines, thus giving the whole
a very pretty appearance. I have often seen specimens of this cloth in Buganda.
It is exclusively reserved for the use of the rulers. The common people are not
allowed to wear it.
Today an unusually large assembly was gathered round him. Among them were
two figures of a striking reddish-brown complexion, who were clothed in dirty
shirts. Their free manners at once attracted my attention as even more did their
peculiarly hard and marked pronunciation of the local dialect, which in other
respects they spoke fluently. Kabarega shortly afterwards introduced them to me
as merchants from Karagwe, who had brought powder, arms, lead and textile
fabrics, which they bartered freely in exchange for salt, ivory and female slaves.
I asked Kabarega to allow them to come to me so that I might question them
about their country, their language and the road. I was told in reply that he knew
all these things just as well as they did and that, if I desired to question them, I
need only come to the divan and question them in his presence. Nothing more
was said about this matter today.
My geographical knowledge of his country and of that situated further to the
south excited general admiration and delight. When I told him that I had a sketch
(by Speke) of his father in full divan and finally mentioned his father's dwarf
Kimenya, his surprise and laughter knew no bounds. Immediately two very short
men were produced. One of them was very hunch-backed and formed the butt
of the whole assembly. Hunch-backs are said to be common here.
The conversation then turned upon white and coloured people. I was informed
that some very light complexioned people could be found here. By way of an
example, a tall young man, who I afterwards learnt was Kabarega's nephew, then
appeared. He stood out in marked contrast to all the reddish-brown people owing
to his yellowish complexion. Jokingly, Kabarega asked we whether I would like
to take him with me. When I told him that he was taller than myself and not
suitable, to me, he laughed heartily . .
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
I then turned the conversation again to countries, rivers etc. and learnt that the
river flowing from the east to the south and discharging itself into the Mwutan-
Nzige (Lake Albert) is called Muzizi. Baker's Kaigiri is not known by that name.
The river which forms the Kiriamboga waterfall is called Wambabia.
It was emphatically denied that any people of my complexion were present in
Buganda or Karagwe.19 It would therefore appear that the Englishmen have not
gone there from Zanzibar. On the other hand mention was made of a white man
who attempted to get to Ruanda by water. This is presumably Stanley. They do
not know where he is now. One of Kabarega's men, who has just returned from
Buganda and who had a most terrible squint, was then brought in. I asked him if
he had seen any white people in Buganda. He said he had not, but at the same time
told me that he had seen my old friend Hamadi (Ahmed bin Ibrahim) there.
I could not obtain any geographical information because Kabarega monopo-
lized the conversation, thus spoiling everything. I therefore relinquished all
inquiries for the present and only asked for permission to look about the country
and inspect the market and the huts. This was granted. I soon afterwards withdrew.
A short time before I left, the men from Magungo appeared, namely a sergeant,
a soldier and a dragoman. Kabarega told me I might take them home with me,
because they were leaving next morning and that perhaps I might have letters
for them. At the same time people were placed at my disposal to take letters to
Mruli. The soldiers from Magungo came here by a new direct route, of course
with many delays, in seven days. As usual, they could not name any village, stream
or mountain which they had passed, or give any general information about their
route. They each received from Kabarega a female slave and two oxen as presents.
I entrusted them with letters to His Excellency the Pasha, Consul Hansal16 and
Murjan Aga at Magungo. After which they took their leave.
October 1. The soldiers have left for Magungo. I have prepared my mail to
Halil Effendi and asked for two porters.
October 4. (Katikiro and Kitakara, chief of Masindi district17 report that Anfina,
accompanied by soldiers from Kirota, has raided the latter's district and carried
off six women.)
October 5. ... It is five days since Kabarega saw me. Every day there is the
excuse of bad weather ... At 12.30 in the afternoon Kabarega sent to me ... I
received a detailed account of all the events that happened during Baker's visit,
a curiously different account from that which is given in Ismailia.18 He said
to me in precise Khartoum Arabic "I do not know what I ought to say to thee.
Thou art so different from all others who have so far come to me that I fully
understand why the Pasha prefers thee to others and sends thee forthwith to me.
If Baker had been as thou art, the things which befell him would never have
happened." The conversation turned upon a hundred different topics. As the sky
was again overclouded, I retired after a four hours' conversation, and had
scarcely time to reach home before the storm broke over us.
October 6. ... Kabarega has populated the Masindi-Londu district with people
from Alur (Madundi) who still practise circumcision. Today the district is called
Bugahya. Further south is Bugangadzi. The whole country is divided into large
districts, which Kabarega places in charge of a person called a Mukungu . .
There are often appeals from these chiefs. The person aggrieved stands before
Kabarega's hut at a distance of ten paces and makes his complaint. Kabarega then
decides the case, but does not do so always in favour of the Mukungu. For the
maintenance of himself, his slaves and women folk, the chief has a tract of land
in the district to which he is appointed and some slaves and cattle. If he does his
duty properly he remains at his post. If not, one night a party is sent to levy
execution, surrounds the house, and confiscates everything inside for the benefit
of the sovereign. Another Mukungu is then appointed and installed in his place.
Every Mukungu is from time to time sent for to Kabarega's court and stays
sometimes a long time and sometimes not so long. Each Mukungu has a number
of Batongole, each of whom rules a portion of the whole district, and a number
of villages are included in his division . .
October 8. Kabarega again sent me supplies. I called to thank him and was
taken to his private house, where I for the first time found him clothed in
Arabic dress, and I conversed with him in Arabic. The fat women whom I saw
on this occasion came up in all respects to the descriptions of Speke and Grant,
those reliable and conscientious travellers, who saw similar fat women in Karagwe.
Such a custom as this fattening of the king's wives says more than everything else
for the original unity of these countries, or at the least goes to prove that the
rulers are of the same origin. Notwithstanding his pedigree the ruler of Buganda
is only a usurper and a parvenu.
There exists here a singular custom amongst the women. There are in Kabarega's
house, as immediate slaves, a number of girls, whose duty by day is to give their
services to Kabarega's wives, but enjoy unrestricted liberty at night. They are
usually good dancers or else possess bodily attractions. They are called Muranga
and Baranga. At night they go out, and, if they are accosted by a man with the
word akamanzo, they go with him and often stay with him four or five days if
he so wishes. They often accost a man, whom they meet, with a formal vakatu and
stay with him or go to the house of some Mutongole and stay with him. Their
wishes are always obeyed, with regard to food etc. Their reward consists of
cowrie shells, cowskins, skins fashioned as cloths, cattle and even slaves. If their
reward is not forthcoming or is insufficient, appeal is made to Kabarega, who
always decides in their favour, although he gets no profit from it. All that these
women obtain belongs to them and, if they are lucky enough to amass a lot, they
establish themselves in a house near their master's zeriba, and sometimes marry a
slave of his. If one of them becomes pregnant, the child belongs to Kabarega. If
the child is a boy, he will be enrolled in the ranks of the pages (barupapura), and
go later into the lifeguards (barusura),20 but he always remains a slave. There is no
stigma cast upon him because of the irregularity of his birth. If the child is a girl,
she joins her mother's profession, naturally remaining a slave of Kabarega, who
personally never comes in contact with them, except when he sees them dancing.
This institution appears to be a very old one. The Dongolese found it here ten
years ago. Kabarega himself does not know its origin, but thinks that the first
Baranga belonged to another tribe.21
October 9. In celebration of the feast of Ramadan-Bairam (Id ezzuraiyar)
Kabarega sent a present of an ox.
(Emin's diary records that at this time Kabarega was preoccupied with prepara-
tions for the new-moon ceremony and the celebrations which followed on the
sighting of the moon. Emin supplies a few details, but apparently was not allowed
to be present at the celebrations. The ceremonies are described in Roscoe, The
Bakitara, pp. 107-10. They extend over nine days.)
October 10 A band of people from Buganda has arrived with goods and will
camp quite close to us ... At 12 o'clock noon the Mutongole Mbyasi of Buganda
came and told me that when Mutesa heard of my coming, he sent people to
Mruli to fetch me but only myself alone.
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
October 11. Amusing effort by Ali to make me promise to take him with me
Letters which I received today from Mruli confirmed the arrival there of one
hundred and fifty Baganda, but as I was not there they had returned to Buganda.
At the same time I also received English and Arabic letters from Mutesa inviting
me to come to him, but "to bring no soldiers with me". I was also told that some of
the things which I had intended to present to Kabarega had been dispatched, but
had been taken from the porters at Khor Kyai by Kabarega's people. I, of course,
demanded them back, but Kabarega sent me word that I need not trouble about
them, because he himself was the aggrieved party and would immediately take
steps to recover them.
There is hunger at Mruli. The avenging force has come back without fulfilling its
task. They have set out again leaving only five men behind to wait for me and bring
me porters. As usual Mohammed Effendi has given them nothing to eat. The things
sent by Halil Effendi-a gilt sabre, a sunshade, a musical box-were taken from
my people not far from Khor Kyai by Kabarega's people. At Mruli Abdul-Chore
Aga has died of his wound. May he rest in peace. He was one of the best in this
October 12. The Baganda say two men and a white woman have come to their
country. The last named can sew very well. The others know how to make
weapons. They have come from Karagwe. I am curious to know if this is true
and who they are. My old friend Hamedi (Ahmed bin Ibrahim) the merchant
from Zanzibar is not there.
October 13. It is now a week since I saw Kabarega.
The messengers whom Kabarega had sent to recover the presents returned and
laid the unopened bundle at my feet. According to their information, all the
inhabitants of the village had fled and had deposited the goods in the house of a
neighboring chief, who had delivered them up to them. I at once sent to
Kabarega to thank him and at the same time to request an audience, when I
intend to ask for permission to depart.
October 15. (Audience with Kabarega.) My official business was brought to an
end to our mutual satisfaction. I cannot refrain from again recording the friendly
treatment accorded to me by Kabarega. It was never disturbed by a single
unfriendly word even up to the last moment. I shall always remember with
pleasure the days that I have spent here. As a parting present I gave Kabarega a
richly gilded sabre, which very much delighted him. I can therefore anticipate
starting upon my return journey in a week, if no unforseen delays occur. Kabarega
gave me his 'dead' watch to be repaired in Khartoum. He also asked me to send
him an Arab clerk.
October 17. The Katikiro has been sent by Kabarega on a raid to the south-
west. For the embassy to Khartoum there has been named Kasabe, an important
Mutongole, who formerly accompanied Baker, and has already been to
October 19. Yesterday I sent my Mutongole to tell Kabarega that I wish
to and must depart. Today comes the answer. When I asked the Mutongole,
why he had not brought an answer yesterday, he said very significantly, "A hungry
man's next thought is eating". This now is Kabarega's answer. He fully knows
that people like me will not stay, if they have so said they must depart. He will
at once collect the necessary porters.
. The people from Buganda have now been here nine days and have not yet
been officially received, but to judge by the sound of the their drums the Baganda
have now actually been received at court. This seemed to be the day for paying
tribute. At any rate the number of packages and bales lying in front of Kabarega's
divan, as well as piles of new bark-cloth, and the number of people who had
gathered together proved that a great reception was taking place. The King sent me
some loads of meal for our journey.
October 20. (Emin is presented by Bikamba with two girl slaves from Dussekera,
Mwenge, aged 7 and 8 years.)
October 22. I was again called to Kabarega. He was carrying on a lively con-
versation with a number of people, amongst whom I noticed the Baganda; but
when I arrived, the whole party was dismissed and I was in the first place requested
to show him my revolver. After he had examined it, he asked me to send him
some like it. A very animated conversation then followed upon the most varied
subjects and was prolonged until near evening, when pouring rain commenced and
compelled me to return home. My real business here was at an end.
(Kabarega sent Emin six oxen this day. He also gave the Baganda an audience.)
October 23. I had my farewell audience and can state with satisfaction that the
wish on both sides to meet again was very cordial. The people who were to go to
Khartoum were still away settling their houses in order. The king informed me
they would overtake me at Mruli.
October 24. The porters who had been promised me for today, of course, did
not appear, although Msige, who was to accompany me, was early on the spot.
At 11 o'clock in the morning came Kajibarra, the dragoman, who had accom-
panied Rukara22 on his journey to Patiko and Lado. He brought me and Kabarega
letters from Nur Aga23 who has reached Magungo and writes to me that he wants
me to come there and I must write to him. Kabarega asked me what I wanted to do.
Murdjan Aga of Magungo is on the way and coming here. Hammam Aga has
treated the people badly. I told Kabarega I must go early in the morning to
Magungo, see Murjan Aga and Nur Aga and then wait for his people at Mruli ...
As for the rest, I do not think Nur Aga is the man to place with (impanieren)
In consequence of this I almost decided to go to Magungo, but soon relin-
quished the idea, for, on account of the constant rain, the distance would have
been too great for my people.
October 25. Manyara came to give me the following news from Kabarega:
Nur Aga had told Kajibarra to tell Kabarega that he should "pay no attention to
my words; I am his subordinate and he is my chief, and I came to Kabarega with-
out his permission. If he had given me ivory, Kabarega must take it back, until
he came and arranges matters with me." I abstained from commenting on this
clear falsehood. I told Kabarega that I had brought a letter to him from His
Excellency the Pasha and he could see whether Nur Aga brought a like letter.
If he did, he could learn therefrom who was right; if he did not, it was quite
clear which person came from the Pasha.
Having received two elephants' tusks as a parting gift from Kabarega, we
began the return march by the same road as had brought us here. A volley of
guns was fired from Kabarega's headquarters on account of the parting guest.
(Rain during most of the march. Reached Bulindi.)
October 26. We reached Kitongoli, somewhat below the place where we had
previously passed the night. We sheltered in some huts, dried ourselves by a blazing
fire, and could not think of continuing our journey until midday. An unpleasant
incident happened to me here. I discovered that unluckily I had lost my note book
during the rain; but after the rain was over, a woman returned it to me uninjured.
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
Another occurrence took place shortly before starting. Msige wanted to take a jar
full of lubias from a woman, but she, taking the joke ill, struck him over the head
with the jar and wounded him badly. A fearful disturbance arose. At first they
wanted to kill the woman. Eventually, after I had energetically protested, they
contented themselves with carrying off a young ox and some bark-cloths and skins
from her hut. The district here belongs to my acquaintance Mukiwandwa, who was
unlikely to approve of this summary kind of justice. Msige's head was bandaged as
well as could be and we then resumed our march. After wading through much
mud and water, we got back to the old road and reached Kimanya late in the
afternoon. The huts which we had previously occupied had been burnt down by
the inhabitants because I, a white man, had slept in them. Nevertheless I received
a friendly welcome from Bikamba and was also able to obtain a goat. We also
obtained by barter a beautiful skin of the tragelaphus scriptus, which is very
common in Bunyoro.
October 27. Kabarega had sent Mutongole Matabere to look after my porters
and my comfort, but he took little trouble about these matters. It was already
nine o'clock and not a single porter was to be seen I therefore sent for him, but
received neither answer nor porters. So I gave the order to start and left him
behind with all my belongings, for which I held him responsible to his master.
Continual struggle with thorns and grasses had thoroughly tired us out, so we
were very thankful soon after to reach a few miserable huts, where we could take
shelter from the torrential rain which began to pour down upon us. Only the
most useless of my loads had yet arrived, while my bedding and cooking apparatus
remained behind, so I was obliged to go to bed supperless, while the leaky hut,
with its mosquitoes and water pouring in on all sides, proved no paradise, and I
preferred sleeping on a bullock's hide in the open air. But in the morning it grew
desperately cold, and when the sun rose we were all ready to start at once,
although our things were only arriving in driblets. This place was called Butobe
and was inhabited by only one family, consisting of one man, eight women, two
children and a dog.
October 28. A short journey through tall grass brought us to Londu, which we
left a little to one side, to halt half an hour's march beyond it, in Kijibeka, where
some good huts were at once placed at our disposal, and where we were given
some sweet potatoes, which we relished much after our thirty-six hours' fast. The
Madundi, who inhabit this district, are of a very dark colour, and speak a language
quite different from that of the Banyoro. It strikes one particularly by its humming
tones and jerky syllabification. These people are said to have originally come from
beyond the Albert Lake, and they still practise circumcision. Their houses differ
from the hemispherical 'bee-hives' of Bunyoro, in the construction of their reed
walls and high porches. Some of the children are pot-bellied, a result of irregular
nourishment-today a great deal, tomorrow nothing. The women wear the pretty
striped aprons of bark-cloth noticed by Baker. All smoke pipes with enormously
long reed stems.
October 29. A clear sky promised a fine day, and our station of Kisuga lay
quite near, where we could hope to rest. Matebere appeared just before we started,
and with him the greater part of my baggage. Wanted loads were still lacking,
including the whole of my store of butter. He now began to make all kinds of
excuses, and depreciated and cursed the people, etc., while extolling his own
virtues; but as my acquaintance, Biabo, the chief of this district, most kindly
offered me men, I was able to continue the march at once. Some delay was
occasioned by the arrival of messengers from Kabarega, who in his name ordered
168 UGANDA JOURNAL
Msige to return the things he had taken on the way as compensation for his
broken head, and said that on his return he might make complaint and seek
From eight to ten o'clock a.m. we fought our way through grass and reeds,
rested a little in a banana grove, and at last, tired and exhausted, arrived at two
o'clock at our station, Kisuga.
October 30. (Emin made his way across a flooded countryside to Mruli, where
eventually his missing baggage arrived intact and in good condition.)
November 3. I was informed that Nur Aga had written from Kirota and demands
from here twenty soldiers for his journey to Kabarega. For what I managed with
one man, he needs twenty and I have done very well not to stay at Kabarega's for
Nur Aga's arrival, which would have cost me another 20 days. What Nur Aga
really wants, I fail to comprehend. He with his 20 and Murdjan Aga with 15
soldiers. Whence will be forthcoming the necessary provisions for all these people?
November 9. Halil Effendi has gone . He goes to Foweira by water and
thence by land . With him go Kabarega's people.
Kabarega's land borders on the south on Mpororo and Ankole, which is ruled
by a ruler named Ntale, who also appears to administer parts of Ruanda. The
most southerly province of Kabarega is Mwenge.
November 14. Towards evening a post came from Kisuga and with it the
surprising news that Nur Aga, whom I believed to be on the way to Kabarega, has
arrived at Kisuga without having yet been to Kabarega. There must be something
else besides this . Why he has not gone to Kabarega is not clear to me.
November 17. At 4.30 in the afternoon Abdulla Aga comes here by himself.
Nur Aga with his bag and baggage is with Rukara; and Kajibarra and his porters
are at Kisuga. The people say they do not know the way. He has sent his Acholi
dragoman to Kabarega's capital to obtain a guide and has himself come to
Kisuga. At the same time Abdulla Aga said it was quite probable that Nur Aga
would come here to morrow.
November 21. At nine o'clock in the morning came Mutongole Kasabe whom
Kabarega is sending to the Pasha to negotiate for his submission. He has been
kept back by Nur Aga. I now send him to Foweira. Perhaps he will overtake
Halil Effendi at Lado. He complains about our soldiers. I think on good grounds.
I have written to Feraj Aga at Lado to give him further assistance.
Nur Aga, who travelled with a banner and thirty soldiers, has returned from
Kabarega's he writes me a humble and melancholy letter.
November 23. Nur Aga has, after making his report, issued a station order for
provisioning himself in Kabarega's territory. So all my labours are in vain.
1 Stanley was misled by native information into the creating of a non-existing lake,
which he called the Alexandra Nyanza.
2 Mount Mufumbiro was at this date known only from distant views of it obtained
by Speke in 1864 and Stanley in 1876. The exact position of the Mufumbiro Range was
first plotted by the Anglo-German-Belgian Boundary Commission in 1911.
3 Alexander McComb Mason served in the Confederate Navy during the American
Civil War of 1861-65. He entered the service of the Egyptian Government in 1870. In
1876-7 he made a scientific reconnaissance of the Nile between Duffile and Lake Albert,
and in 1877 proceeded to a thorough reconnaissance of Lake Albert itself and discovered
-the Semliki river. He steamed a very short distance up this river in the Nyanza.
Reporting on his voyage he said that "on both sides of the lake the mountains diminish
in altitude; and to the southward and at the foot of the lake between the two ranges
was a large isolated mountain", doubtless the Ruwenzori massif, distant some sixty
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-II
miles from the mouth of the Semliki. Mason retired from the Egyptian service in 1885
land died in Washington D.C. in 1897. Accounts of his surveys of the Nile and Lake
Albert are to be found in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, 22 (1877-
.78), 225-9; and P.R.G.S. n.s. 12 (1890) 40-1, 170.
4 The term 'Lango' or 'Lango-dyang' is misleading. When an Acholi uses either of these
words, he refers to his Nilo-Hamitic neighbours to the east and north-east and not to the
inhabitants of the modern Lango district, of whom he speaks as 'Omiru' (R. M. Bere,
'An Outline of Acholi History', U.J., 11 (1947), 5 footnote).
5 Anfina (Mupena) and his elder brother Mpuhuka were the sons of Kachope, chief
of Kihukya county, who was himself the son of Kyebambe III Nyamutukura, Mukama
of Bunyoro and great grand-father of Kabarega. Mpuhuka had been an unsuccessful
claimant to the throne at the time of Kamurasi's accession. He was again unsuccessful
in the assertion of his claim when Kabarega succeeded Kamurasi. Mpuhuka (called
Fowooka in Baker's Albert Nyanza) died some time before 1876. On 3 February of that
year Gordon informed his sister that "everyone says there is little doubt but that
;Kabarega's followers, when they see Masindi and Mruli taken, will bring the stool to
Anfina's at Masindi. I shall leave it with Anfina for some time, for great importance is
attached to it." (Birkbeck Hill, Colonel Gordon in Central Africa, p. 154.) The stool,
however, never fell into Anfina's hands (K.W. 'The Kings of Bunyoro-Kitara', U.J.,5
(1937-8), 63-6) For the relations of Anfina with the Lango and the Acholi, see Driberg,
The Lango, pp. 32-3. Anfina died in December 1886 or January 1887.
6 Ruyonga was an unsuccessful claimant to the throne of Bunyoro at the time of
Kamurasi's succession. He subsequently took refuge on an island in the Victoria Nile.
After his rupture with Kabarega Baker proclaimed Ruyonga as ruler of Bunyoro, but
Kabarega nevertheless remained de facto ruler of the country. Ruyonga died in 1881.
He and Kabarega's father, Kamurasi, were cousins.
7 An entry in Emin's diary on 11 October suggests that the avenging force met with no
greater success than its predecessor. When R. W. Felkin visited Mruli on 1 June 1879,
he was told that "some of the solders had been killed by the Lango, who live on the
east bank of the Nile, and had to be avenged. The offenders were severely punished,
eight hundred head of cattle had been taken from them, so that food was abundant
now." This raid on the Lango had evidently taken place after Felkin's earlier call at
Mruli on 27 January 1879. (Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan, i, 333; ii, 38-9.)
8 The Egyptians had a small military post at Kisuga.
9 Muhammad Wat el Mek, who had been instructed by Gordon to occupy Masindi,
had reported to Gordon that he had in fact done so, whereas he had in fact only occupied
Londu. Gordon's letters to his sister and earlier in Emin's diaries disclose the very
critical position in which they were placed when they made their way in 1876 from Mruli
to Baker's Masindi, only to find that there was no Egyptian garrison there. Londu
appears thereafter to have been abandoned as a military post.
10 According to K. W. op. cit. U.J., 5 (1937-8), 67 Bikamba, the son of Kabale, of the
Abaranzi clan, was county chief of Busindi.
11 Striped and spotted cows are the totems of certain Banyoro clans and therefore
cannot be eaten by members of those clans (Roscoe, The Bakitara pp. 7-9).
12 Mpuhuka was an elder brother of Anfina (see Note (5)), whom he predeceased.
He was county chief of Chope and, like Anfina, an unsuccessful claimant to the throne
13 The real was the Maria Theresa dollar or German Crown. In 1864 this was
declared in Zanzibar to be legal tender at the rate of 4-75 to the gold pound sterling
(R. H. Crofton, Zanzibar Affairs, 1914-1933, p. 68).
14 According to K. W. op. cit. 5 (1937-8), 67 Muliwandwa, son of Ogati, of the
Agyasi clan, was county chief of Bulega, on the west side of Lake Albert.
15 Ali Grenati (or, as Baker styles him, Genninar) was at one time in the service of
Ibrahim, the leading slave trader in the Sudan. Baker commissioned him as a lieutenant
in his irregular forces. After Baker's retreat from Masindi Ali had joined forces with
Ruyonga and the Lango and attacked and defeated Kabarega, which had led Baker to
assert in Ismailia p. 451 that "the country of Bunyoro was now completely in the grasp
of Ali Genninar and Ruyonga". In fact Kabarega had taken refuge at Kibiro on Lake
Albert and it was a case of reculer pour mieux sauter. Ruyonga never succeeded in
holding for any appreciable length of time any part of Bunyoro.
16 Martin Ludwig Hansal was Austrian Consul at Khartoum from 1862 until 1885,
when he was killed in the general massacre following upon the capture of Khartoum
by the Mahdi.
17 Kitakara is more than once mentioned by Baker in Ismailia. The two met on
170 UGANDA JOURNAL
17 April 1872, when Baker described him as "a kind of prime minister to Kabarega"
and as "the only gentleman I have seen in this country, and he never asks for presents".
Nevertheless, though Baker described him as having been "our greatest friend", he was
constrained to add that he "could never look me straight in the face, but always had
his eyes cast on the ground when speaking or listening". After the final rupture at
Masindi he approached Baker as a mediator between him and Kabarega, assuring him
"that the outbreak was not the fault of Kabarega", but that the responsibility lay with
those who had without orders killed two of Baker's messengers, but Baker decided that
notwithstanding these protestations "it was impossible to credit one syllable in Bunyoro"
and declined to come to terms with Kabarega. Ismailia, pp. 291-371).
18 Baker's account of his dealings with Kabarega is to be found in Ismailia, Chapters
XVII to XXII. Andereya Duhaga, a son and successor on the throne of Kabarega,
supplied another version of the affair to Mrs. A. B. Fisher, who incorporated it in
Chapter XII of Twilight Tales of the Black Baganda. In 1920 Roscoe obtained a slightly
different version of the affair from a man, who stated that he had acted as a messenger
between Baker and Kabarega at the time of the former's visit to Bunyoro. This is
given by Roscoe in The Soul of Central Africa, pp. 137-8. Before judgment can be
passed as to the rights and wrongs in the events which led to the final rupture between
the two protagonists, all these three accounts should be compared together. Examination
will show that to a large extent, they are complementary, rather than contradictory,
of each other. Reading between the lines of all three, one is driven to the conclusion that
misunderstanding of each other's point of view, mutual suspicion and frayed nerves on
both sides were mainly responsible for the final upshot.
19 In actual fact Lieutenant Shergold Smith R.N. and the Rev. C. T. Wilson of the
C.M.S. had reached Mutesa's capital on 30 June 1877, having sailed across Lake
Victoria and not travelled overland through Karagwe. Smith had returned to the
southern end of the Lake on 30 July but Wilson remained in Buganda. Stanley had
finally left Karagwe en route for Lake Tanganyika on 30 March 1876. The information
given to Emin on this occasion and the even more extraordinary information given to
him on 12 October videe post) gives some indication of how often the information
supplied to Emin was unreliable. It was not until 1895 that the first European ladies
arrived in Uganda as members of the C.M.S.
20 The Barusura were members of a standing army first organized by Kabarega
(K. W. op. cit. U.J., 5 (1937-8), 66).
21 "In the royal enclosure the king's wives had their servants and attendants. Of
these there were three grades. The first two classes were permanent servants who lived
in the enclosure, one set being the Bahuma maids whom the king and princes might take
to wife, and the other daughters of peasants. The third class were servants, mostly from
the agricultural class, who came in by the day and when they left the enclosure
were free to do what they liked. It was this class that Emin Pasha came across and took
to be prostitutes; many of them were indeed guilty of immorality, but it was pre-
marriage and later they were married to the man." (Roscoe, The Bakitara, p. 154.)
22 According to K.W. op. cit. U.J., 5 (1937-8), 67, Rukara, son of Magigi, of the
Baranzi clan, was country chief of Busongora (now forming part of the Kingdom of
Toro). According to Baker (Ismailia p. 287) he was at the time of that writer's visit in
1872 Kabarega's generalissimo. He was driven out of Busongora in 1891 when Lugard
reinstated Kasagama at Mukama of Toro (K. W. op. cit. U.J., 5 (1937-8), pp. 64-5).
23 Nur Aga was responsible for the fiasco which almost led to the loss of the
Egyptian garrison which he endeavoured to establish in Buganda in 1876. It is clear
that the fact that it was the civilian Emin, and not himself, who managed to extricate
the troops without loss, that rankled with him. In a letter to Petermann Emin described
Nur Aga as "a worthless, mendacious sneak". It seems perfectly clear that jealousy
was the motive behind the steps which he took subsequently and which ruined all
prospect of coming to amicable terms with Kabarega. The little one knows about him
suggest that he was a typical example of the miles glorious.
NYORO MORTUARY RITES1
By J. H. M. BEATTIE
LIKE other people, Banyoro fear death. In rural Bunyoro, as in most other
simple peasant communities where western medical aid, though becoming
increasingly available, is still exiguous, illness and death are a part of every-
body's experience. People contract sudden illnesses and die, and the rate of
infant and child mortality, especially, is high; there are few families which
have not lost one or more children. Nyoro peasants do not believe that death
comes by chance; it is almost always attributed to sorcerers, ghosts, or other
malevolent non-human agents. Yet although these various forces may cause a
man to die, the death2 that they bring upon him is thought of as being a power
in its own right. As in other cultures, death is figuratively represented as a real
being, almost as a person. There are many sayings which represent it in this
way, and, also, explicit or implicit references to the personalized notion of
death enter into many Nyoro personal names.3
When a person dies, old people-usually old women of the household, or
neighbours--close the eyes and mouth of the corpse, shave the hair and
beard, trim the finger nails, and clean and wash the body. The limbs are
straightened out in line with the body; it is said that if they are stiff they can
be straightened by pouring water on them. The body remains in the house for
a day or two with its face uncovered, so that relatives and neighbours may
come and see it for the last time. During this period the women of the
household weep and cry out loudly; men are not supposed to weep noisily.
When the deceased was the head of the household4 a rite5 used to be
performed before the body was wrapped up, which symbolized the close
attachment between the dead man and his dependants, an attachment now
broken by death. Some grains of millet (the traditional staple of Bunyoro),
mixed with simsim and fried cow-peas,6 were placed in the dead man's right
hand. This mixture, often eaten on ceremonial and other occasions, is called
ensigosigo. Each of the dead man's children approached, took in his lips a
small quantity of the mixture from the corpse's hand, and ate it. This signified
the end of his fatherly care for them; in many contexts in Bunyoro close
attachment between two people (parent and child, grandparent and grandchild,
lovers, and others) is expressed by one taking from his own dish a small morsel
of food, moulding it in his fingers, and putting it in the other's mouth.7
When neighbours and relatives have seen the body, it is tightly wrapped up
in grave clothes in preparation for burial; formerly bark-cloth (now very
expensive) was used, but nowadays blankets and sheets are more usual. If
the deceased was a man, the body is wrapped by men; if a woman, by women.
Formerly a rich man might be wrapped in five or six large bark-cloths. The
cloths now used should be newly purchased from the shops, and they should
be contributed by the friends of the deceased and, especially, by his sons-in-
172 UGANDA JOURNAL
law. Only if he lacked both friends and sons-in-law would money from his
estate be used.
If the deceased was a household head, certain rites had to be performed by
one of his sister's sons,8 real or classificatory, as soon as possible after his
death. All of these tasks symbolize the destruction of the household of which
the deceased was the head and with which he was ritually identified. The
sister's son has to wrench out the central pole of the house (this would only be
possible in the old-fashioned beehive type of house, where there are several
poles to support the roof), and he throws this in the middle of the courtyard.
Also taken out is the dead man's eating basket,9 his bowl, and the cooking
stones from the hearth; like the household head, the fire which forms the
centre of the home is extinguished. There will be no fire or cooking in the
house until the first three or four days10 of mourning have passed. A banana
plant from the household's banana grove, with fruit on it, is also added to the
heap. Then the sister's son should go to the well with the household water
pots; he brings back some water in it, and he then breaks it in the middle of
the courtyard, among the other things. These various things are broken or
just scattered in the courtyard, though the sister's son has the right to take
utensils or other articles that are of some use if he wants to. Traditionally,
that house would not be lived in again, but a new one would be built nearby,
the traditional Nyoro house being a compact, beehive-like structure which can
be built in a day.
Other acts that the sister's son is expected to perform are likewise symbolic.
He should catch and kill the cock which was master of the dead man's poultry;
it would not do for the cock to crow, and thus act like the head of a household,
when its master was dead. Even a male goat may be killed, and it is said that
in former days when Banyoro had cattle the chief bull of the herd might be
slaughtered. Such an animal would not be slaughtered until four days after
the household head's death, but its testicles would be ligatured at once, to
prevent it from engaging in any sexual activity during the time of first
mourning. The meat of a fowl or animal so killed belongs to the sister's son,
but it would be shared with others of the household. This -killing of male
animals, so that when the head of the household no longer rules no other
creature in it shall do so either, is called mugabuzi. If there is no sister's son
to carry out these tasks, some other person, not a member of the family, is
selected to perform them.
The grave is dug soon after death, the next morning if the death took place
at night. The dead man may have selected the site himself, perhaps in his
banana grove; in any case it will be very near his home. The grave should not
be dug by the deceased man's relatives, but by his friends and neighbours:
only men may dig it. The person who begins the digging is called the grave-
maker (kihanga mbya). One man digs at a time. These people come to dig
because of their regard for the dead person, and also because they know that
when they die or lose a relative others will help them: it may be difficult to
find grave-diggers for an unpopular man, and this can be very awkward for his
family. Banyoro express this obligation tersely in the phrase 'a dead person
isn't meat'n The point is not unsubtle, and shows the delicacy with which
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 173
Banyoro think of neighbourly relations; it is that one need feel no compunction
in going to a burial, as one might in going at ordinary times to a house where
meat was, for in the latter case the householder might have wished to keep it
for himself or his cronies, or perhaps to dry and preserve it, in which case a
visit would be an embarrassment to him.
The grave is long enough to accommodate the corpse at full length, and also
for the two men who will stand in the grave to receive it. It is usually about
7 feet long, about 5 to 7 feet deep, and about 4 feet across. In traditional burial
there is a narrower, coffin-like cavity along the bottom, about 18 inches deep,
in which the body is laid.12 When the digging is finished one of the diggers
descends with a number of strong sticks about three to four feet long; these will
be laid transversely across the lower cavity to prevent earth from falling or
pressing on the body. (Fig 1.)
4' A// "
Burial should take place in the morning or afternoon, not in the middle of
the day, as it would be bad if the sun shone directly into the grave. When all
is ready, the body is brought by some older men, who make sure that it has
been properly wrapped. If the dead person was a man, the last cloth is secured
at the front of the house, in the door-way; if a woman, in the inside room.
At this time women are expected to moderate their weeping. The body is
borne out through the gateway of the compound and taken to the grave.
Everyone follows (except that a pregnant woman should not attend a burial;
it might cause her to miscarry), and the group gathers round the grave. There
is no weeping there. Two men get into the grave to receive the body, which
may be let down with ropes.
The body of a man is laid on its right side; that of a woman, on its left; these
are the proper positions for men and women to adopt when sleeping. The head
174 UGANDA JOURNAL
is placed towards the east. Then the sticks are laid, close together, across the
bottom trench where the body now lies, a mat is laid on the sticks, and old
clothes or bark-cloths on top of that. This prevents soil from falling on the
body. The children of the deceased then sprinkle the first earth on the grave;
they may scoop it up with their hands, but first they would, traditionally,
brush a little in with their elbows, three times for a woman, four for a man.
Males used their left elbows, females their right. The significance of this
custom is that the survivors' hands are no longer of use to them, since they
cannot now carry out their proper function of serving the deceased. Others
may do likewise. This is an important act in showing good will towards the
deceased and solidarity with his descendants; a person may curse13 another
by saying to him 'even if I die, you shall not sprinkle earth on me'14 (nobundifa
otalinsensaho eitaka), and such a curse is a very serious one. Care is taken to
replace the red earth from the bottom of the grave first, leaving the darker
earth from nearer the surface till the end, so as not to frighten people and
make them unhappy by leaving the tell-tale red clay on the surface. If the
deceased was a small infant, the mother may squeeze a few drops of breast
milk into the grave before it is filled up. When the grave is half-full of earth,
the stick which was used to measure the corpse before the grave was dug is
thrown in and buried; it is said that if this were not done, the measuring stick
might be taken and used by sorcerers. When all the earth has been put back it
is trampled down.
Until the burial is finished, no one should leave the grave; the grave-diggers
should not be left there by themselves. Nor, indeed, should anybody else.
Anyone so left behind might say 'they have left us so that death may come and
kill us'15 Also, the grave should not be left unattended before the burial; if it
is it may demand another person to be buried in it. Should a grave be dug
prematurely and the supposedly dying person recover, a large banana stem16
is brought and buried in the grave instead.
The hoe used to dig the grave, which should be the one the dead person
used, was formerly left on the grave, together with the basket which was used
for removing the earth. These should not be used again by the bereaved
family but the hoe at least might be picked up and used by others: now-
adays it may be sold, and the proceeds spent on beer for the grave-diggers.
Other small personal effects of the deceased, such as his bowl or his drinking
gourd, might also be left on the grave.
After the grave has been filled in, the grave-diggers are given water to wash
themselves with; it is believed that if they were to walk through their fields
with earth from the grave still adhering to their feet and legs, their food crops
would rot. They also cut a small bit of their hair, back and front, and throw
this on the grave. After they have drunk their beer the grave is left, but after a
few days (four in the case of a man, three in the case of a woman) lumps of
smelted iron17 may be heaped on the grave, or sometimes just large stones.
These are put there simply to mark the grave so that people will know that it
is there and will not dig or build there. To do so might bring back the death,
especially if a house should be built over a grave, when all the people of the
house might sicken or die. Ghosts and evil spirits are thought to haunt burial
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 175
places, and they might make a person dream, perhaps demanding something
very difficult to provide, like the sacrifice of a baby, if evil is to be averted.18
During the day of the burial nobody in the village does any agricultural
work. For anyone to do so would suggest that he was a heartless person (and
therefore very likely a sorcerer); also, it is said that crops planted or tended on
such a day would not yield as they should.
Older informants say that formerly if a person died very ill-disposed
towards someone in the family, the mouth and anus of the corpse might be
stopped up with clay; it was supposed that this would prevent the ghost19 from
escaping and causing injury to the people against whom it had a grudge.
After the grave is filled in the party returns to the house, and the women's
keening breaks out afresh. Everybody speaks of the goodness of the deceased,
especially to his mother. The women cry out in various set phrases, of which
the following are examples: J
"He is dead, my strong buffalo, my beautiful one: he has gone; he shall not
"He has gone for ever, that good man; he has gone: he shall not be
"Death has stolen him from me."22
And a wife, especially a favourite one, would often cry:
"Where shall I go? Alas, where shall I go? Now I am a beggar. like a
dog, in this house."23
The men, who do not weep aloud, may tell the women not to mourn too
loudly. But they pay no attention; women's tears, Banyoro say, are always
nearer than men's.
On the evening of the day of the burial of a household head, the opener of
the grave24 officiates in a curious rite, in which he takes a handful of a juicy
plant25 and squeezes it with soot in his hand, so that the juice runs down his
arm to his elbow. The children of the dead man, of both sexes, have to drink
this juice from the elbow of the opener of the grave, as it runs down. This
medicine protects them from certain kinds of illness ritually associated with
the death. The shoot of a young tree growing from the root of a mature one is
sometimes exposed when the grave is being dug, and this also may be used as
a medicine for the children of the dead person: the symbolism here seems
On the day of the burial of a household head, a log of firewood may be
placed in the centre of the courtyard, and the children of the dead man seated
on it in turn. The opener of the grave taps each of them on the side of the head
with a large food basket,26 and a small amount of hair from the part of the
head thus tapped is cut and thrown away.
After the burial there is a period of full mourning, which lasts for four days
for a man, three for a woman.27 This period is called ekiragura, the time
of darkness, or the 'black' mourning. During this time no cooking is done. To
begin with, the grown-up mourners should fast, though neighbours would
bring food for young children; after a day or two increasing quantities of food
(but not meat) already cooked, and also beer, are brought by neighbours. Gifts
of money, often quite substantial, are also made to the bereaved family, and
176 UGANDA JOURNAL
nowadays European commodities, such as sugar, tea and bread, may be
brought. The mourners do not eat from proper vessels; they use leaves, and
pieces of broken pots. The deceased's children tie dry banana stem fibres
around their waist as a sign of mourning, and nobody in the household washes,
shaves, changes his garments, or sleeps on a bed. They cut dry banana leaves28
and sleep on these, usually spread around a fire made up in the courtyard.
This is called okugaragara, and may be done by children, mother, clansfolk
and wives of a dead household head (though nowadays mostly by men and
boys); but married daughters or sisters' children who belong to other house-
holds need not do it. During these three or four days of deep mourning,
friends and relatives may spend a good deal of time with the bereaved family,
perhaps even spending the nights with them, so as to distract them, with
conversation about other things, from thinking too much about the dead
person and his ghost, which may, by this time, already be abroad.
At the end of these four (or three) days, the mourners go into the high grass
a little way from the house, and wash with a decoction of a plant called
mubuza,29 shave one another's heads, pare their nails, and anoint themselves
with oil. This shaving is called the 'black' shaving30 They also change into
clean clothes, perhaps leaving the old ones there. Some of the hair and nail
clippings are collected and thrown on the grave, as also are the dry banana
leaves on which the mourners have slept. After this they return to the house,
led by the man who (if the deceased was the household head) will take charge
of the installation of the heir. This man, who may be a brother or a close friend
of the dead man, is called mukuza, which means guardian or sponsor; he
carries the spear of the dead household head. On the way back to the house
the party passes through a small, flimsy hut, with a front and a back
entrance, which has been erected for this purpose. This symbolizes the
'leaving behind' of the death.
On that day the heir is formally installed, and there is a feast. The feast is
called 'the emerging from death'.31 A goat or fowl from the dead man's estate
may be slaughtered for it, and neighbours and friends also bring contributions
of cooked millet and other food, as well as beer. In particular, the deceased
man's sons-in-law,32 as also his sisters' husbands, should bring a pot of beer
each. If they do not do this it is said that their wives may not be allowed to
return home with them; the sponsor announces the name of each one who
brings beer. Before the feast begins the heir is formally installed. He is
probably the son of the dead man, and may be quite a young boy. A special
kind of grass33 is spread in front of the dead man's house, and the heir sits
on the right side, the widow or widows on the left. Other herbs have also been
spread in the courtyard; sweet-smelling lemon grass,34 a species of yam,35 and
a small herb with a pretty white blossom, perhaps a celosia.36 The heir is
dressed in a bark-cloth. Another old man, probably another of the dead man's
close friends, then takes a spear, and raising it as though he were about to
strike the heir with it in the face, he approaches him and says :
"Now you are the heir to your father's stool;37 be a man; the founder dies
but a protector (of his line) remains. You should always welcome your
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 177
father's old friends.38 Protect the daughters of the household and treat
them fairly. Anything that you find too difficult you should discuss with
us old men. Be strong in your father's place: if you refuse to welcome us,
your father's friends who used to eat and drink with him, we shall never
give you any help. Be a hero like him, and take care of all your
The heir may also be addressed as Rwolekeire (from the verb kwoleka,
'to show', and the prefix ru, referring to death): the meaning is that death is
being shown another, future, victim.
After this the sponsor brings the boy into the house, where the dead man's
stool has been placed on a bark-cloth in its accustomed place, facing and to
the right of the doorway, in the place called rusika rwa nyineka (the household
head's partition, or room). He is seated on the stool. Then his father's spear,
perhaps one or two of the tools he mostly used (such as an adze or an axe),
and two sticks of a shrub40 are handed to him. Coffee berries which have been
cooked and dried, customarily handed round on polite formal occasions, are
brought in, also ensigosigo (grains of finger millet and simsim). The sponsor
picks up a pinch of this and sprinkles it on the ground, praying "may there
be life, wealth and childbearing; men die, they leave others behind".41 And
the heir also sprinkles some of it before and behind him, and so do the other
people present, some of them repeating the same prayer. But the heir does not
speak; he has to remain completely silent throughout the ceremony. After
this everybody is given coffee berries to chew, and a round basket is put in
the middle of the floor for people to put small gifts42 in for the heir, usually
ten- or fifty-cent pieces, sometimes shillings. At this time, also, anybody who
has a claim against the estate of the dead man introduces himself and, explains
about the debt he is claiming. Any claim not made now cannot be considered
afterwards, except for very good reason, and only if the dead man's wives
confirm it. After all this is finished, the heir leaves the stool and retires to
remove his bark-cloth. Then he begins to dispense food and beer to all the
guests. The beer is drunk outside; it is not brought into the house. When
everybody has eaten and drunk and the beer is finished all the guests go home.
After this there is a further period, said formerly to have been two months
but now more usually two weeks, during which the condition of ritual
danger43 consequent on the death persists, and certain ritual restrictions
have to be observed. This period is called the white mourning,44 in con-
tradistinction to the 'black' mourning, which was, it will be remembered,
the period of three or four days immediately after the death. During the time
of white mourning the young men of the household may not sleep with
women, even with their wives, and they may not even place their hands on
the shoulders of any woman (an act which symbolizes sexual intercourse).
The women of the household in particular, especially the wives of a deceased
household head, are subject to a corresponding prohibition, but children who
have left the household and married elsewhere are not. This period is also
called the time of 'taking care of the kigoye'45. The kigoye is a short length of
plaited rope of a special grass,46 the ritual significance of which is referred to
178 UGANDA JOURNAL
below. 'Taking care of the kigoye' during the period of white mourning implies
essentially a ritual obligation on the part of the widow or widows of a dead
household head to abstain from sexual intercourse with anyone during this
time. At the end of the white mourning everyone in the family should shave
their heads again; this is called the 'white' shaving, to distinguish it from the
earlier shaving, which was the 'black' shaving.47
At the end of the period of taking care of the kigoye there used to take
place a rite called 'finishing the kigoye',48 which has now, I think, fallen out
of use. The children of the dead man, with their mother (the deceased's
widow) seek out the home of a distant mother's brother49 in order to 'leave
the death' there. That is, they seek the home of some distant member of the
child's mother's clan (in other words, of the clan from which the dead man
obtained a wife); there need be no actual, or even presumed, genealogical
relationship. But it must be a house where the bereaved family is not known;
if they are known and news of the death has reached there, they will be
refused entry, for they are bringing death to the house. If, by good luck, they
find the house empty and the door open, they go in and, taking up some ashes
from the hearth, they suck them and spit them out again. They also pick some
grass from the roof or floor of the house, bite it, and twist it into a short,
plaited cord. This they throw in the hearth, or elsewhere in the house. Then
they drink some water from the household water pot, and go home. If they
find people in the house, but are not recognized, they beg for a drink of water
as though they were passing strangers, and surreptitiously pluck the piece of
grass, twist it, and leave it there. If they are recognized all is lost, for if their
intention is discovered the distant 'mother's brother' will be very angry, and
may even accuse them in the chief's court. Or, worse still, he might use
sorcery against them, or even return the kigoye to their home, which would
lead to further deaths there.
The next day the widow and her children visit the home of their 'real' or
nearest mother's brother (i.e. the widow's brother's or, if he is still alive,
father's home). He receives them formally, seated on a bark-cloth, and asks
them: 'Did you not spoil the kigoye? so 'No' they reply. The widow would then,
in former times, have been required to perform a further rite before she could
enter her father's, or her brother's (her father's heir's) house. A plaited rope
of grass (the kigoye) is laid across the threshold and she is required to step
over this. She may also be required to pass through the long stem of a banana
leaf51, split longitudinally, which is held up for her to step through. Before
she does so she swears as follows:
"If I have done wrong with regard to the kigoye by sleeping with any
man, may my mahano (magical potency) rise up and kill me this very
If she swears this oath and undergoes this ritual falsely, it is believed that
not only will she die, but also she will bring death to her natal family and all
her agnates. If it were already known that she had broken the rule of sexual
abstinence, she would not be permitted to undergo the ritual or enter her
father's house: when she visited there she would have to stay outside, and
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 179
food would be brought to her in the courtyard. This prohibition lasts as
long as the father or his heir lives.
If all is well and the rite is successfully performed, the father or his heir
formally seats his daughter and grandchildren on his lap, a rite which in
Bunyoro signifies a very close and intimate attachment.3 The widow may
also be decorated with garlands of yam and (?) celosia,54 and sprinkled
with water from a gourd55 as a sign of welcome and blessing. The guests are
then given coffee berries and ensigosigo, and they pray in terms similar to
those used at their inheritance ceremony: 'may there be increase, riches and
child-bearing'56 and 'people die, but they leave others behind'.57 All who are
present, including children, take pinches of the ensigosigo and sprinkle it
behind and before. Then they are given food and beer, but they do not stay
On their way home, young men in the party should find a girl or woman-a
stranger, with whom they will have no further contact-and place their hands
on her shoulders. And the women should do likewise with some strange male.
This gesture, symbolizing sexual intercourse, is the way of 'finishing off the
death'.58 It is essential that the 'victim' in each case should not know what is
being done, for if he or she reciprocates, the 'death' is returned to the person
who is trying to get rid of it. For this reason a small boy or girl is often chosen.
It is thought to be a bad thing for the unsuspecting recipient, who may become
ill and even die as a result. If the person to whom it is done knows or suspects
what is happening, she (or he) may resist. In one case of which I was told an
unsuspecting foreigner, a Lugbara, whom the niece of a dead person met in
a shop when returning home, was, literally, pressed to sit down by means of
this ritual 'laying on of hands'. In another, a young girl, who knew what was
being done, struggled fiercely but ineffectually against a similar assault by a
young man. Real sexual congress is, of course, no less effective, but again the
victim must be unsuspecting; if a woman suspects that she is being 'used' in
this way, she may return the death to her ravisher by seizing his sexual organs.
If any member of the deceased person's family 'spoils' the kigoye by
sleeping with someone during the period when this is prohibited, he may thus
bring death into the mother's brother's house. A sister's child who does this is
guilty of a grave ritual offence against his mother's brother, and he is not
allowed to enter the latter's house again.
After these ceremonies have been carried out, the mourning is finished, and
members of the bereaved family return to normal status.
Except where it has been otherwise indicated, these ceremonies are also
carried out when a woman of the household dies. The girl who is to be her heir
is chosen, seated on a bark-cloth inside the house, and formally advised of her
new duties and responsibilities by older women, friends or co-wives of her
mother, who are present. These duties mainly relate to the necessity to be
welcoming to guests, to cook well for them and so on.
Different funerary ceremonies are prescribed for the King (Mukama), and
for twins of whom either or both die in infancy. I leave these for discussion in
other contexts, adding here only a note on the method of disposing of the
bodies of suicides. Suicide is not uncommon in Bunyoro, especially among
180 UGANDA JOURNAL
women. It is almost invariably carried out by hanging from a tree. The proper
mode of burial is to dig a grave directly under the tree so that when the rope or
cloth is cut the corpse falls directly into it. The tree has to be uprooted and
completely burned; if this is not done it is believed that it may exercise an
evil influence,59 and other people will be drawn to hang themselves on it.
Incomplete and partial though the foregoing account is, it does suggest one
or two points of comparative interest. Most of the symbolism involved is, of
course, familiar from other cultures; the stress on the period of ritual and
physical uncleanness, for example, the requirement of sexual abstinence,
shaving as a rite of transition, and so on. But there are three features, in
particular, which, although they may not be peculiar to Bunyoro, are especially
expressive of Nyoro ideas and social values. The first is the stress on the
importance of the household head, the second is the significant role played
by the sister's son, and the third is the underlying antagonism between a man
and his affines which is ritually expressed in the curious usage of 'finishing
the kigoye'. I conclude with a few words on each of these three themes.
In Bunyoro the head of the family is a most important person. He is the
owner60 of everything the household contains, even the property of his adult
sons; he is said to 'rule' the household61 as the king rules the whole country,
and everybody in it is expected to be respectful and obedient to him. In a
sense he is the household, so when he dies it also ceases to exist. This is the
reason for its symbolic dismemberment and destruction by the sister's son. It
is consistent with this situation that the installation of the new heir is, as we
have seen it to be, a very formal matter. For the son who inherits is not simply
taking over the property of the dead man; he is assuming his status, and may
almost be said to 'become' his father. In fact his father's son-in-law (who
stand in a relationship of marked inferiority to their father-in-law's lineage)
should henceforward address him and behave towards him as a father-in-law.62
These important aspects of the household head's status are well brought out in
the mortuary and inheritance rituals which have been described.
The relationships between sister's son and mother's brother is in Bunyoro
an ambivalent one. The sister's son is a 'child' of his mother's clan and lineage,
and yet at the same time he is a stranger in it. He is a 'man from outside';63 the
child of the 'outsider' to whom his mother's group have given a daughter or a
sister. This ambivalence expresses itself in Bunyoro, as it does elsewhere, in
a number of ritual prescriptions and prohibitions, and it is significant that if
there is any breach of these it is the mother's brother not the sister's son who
suffers. Jn-thlsway thesister's-son-has-power-over nd issaid-to'rule' his
mother's brother. These considerations make the sister's son the appropriate
person to carry out the ritual destruction and scattering of effects which
symbolize the end of the household head, and of the household which was
identified with him. For these acts of violation are mahano; they are fearful
and dangerous things to do, constituting, as they do, an assault on the principle
of patriarchal authority, and no member of the deceased's family could possibly
perform them. But the sister's son, who is not a m he~rofthean
/ 'outsider', can do them with-imputinity. And he is rewarded with the meat
(tradiit-io ty-thread)-of--any-anrifal or animals killed in the mugabuzi
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 181
ceremony. It may also be suggested (on evidence from elsewhere; I have not
put the hypothesis to Banyoro) that the sister's son is, for the group of his
mother's brothers, an appropriate symbol of fertility, since he is living proof of
their lineage's capacity to bear children. It is natural, then that on the occasion
of death, which, as we saw, for Bunyoro quite explicitly implies reference also
to the idea of birth, death's opposite and complement, the sister's son should
play an important role.
I now turn to the third theme and here I suspect that the rite of 'finishing the
kigoye', is also to be understood in the context of inter-group affinal relations.
The death which has destroyed the household head has, somehow, to be got
rid of by taking it into the clan from which his wife and the mother of his
children came, for it cannot be retained in the agnatic group of the dead man.
The notion that death, like some other kinds of spiritual powers, is a real
entity which may be disposed of by taking it somewhere else but which can
never be wholly destroyed, is consistent with other Nyoro ideas about these
matters. Some of the spirits which are employed by sorcerers, for example,
cannot be destroyed, but may be induced to leave their victims, and can then
be disposed of by being left in the bush or elsewhere, where they continue to
exist, and may seize other people. But why should the death of the household
head be got rid of by depositing it in the house of a distant clansman of his
widow? I can only suggest, very tentatively, that the answer lies in the relation-
ship of concealed and potential antagonism which, as Banyoro themselves
acknowledge, underlies the formal relationship of good will which subsists be-
tween a man and the group of his wife's agnates. Whether, at the same time,
the very fact that the household head's affines have 'given life' to him and to his
agnates by providing him with a woman to bear him children, makes it appro-
priate (because of the identity-in-opposition of birth and death) to return the
death to them, I have not the evidence to decide.64 Such a view would certainly
be consistent with the ideology of Nyoro descent grouping, for just as the
agnatic group endures-or should endure-so, ideally, does the household
head. In a sense the heir becomes his father, and so for the paternal lineage
there is no death. Hence, perhaps, the need for its symbolic removal, and for
its disposal among distant affines, members of the group which is most sym-,/
bolic of mortality, and which, in Bunyoro, is regarded as both enemy and
1 My fieldwork in Bunyoro was carried out during 1951-53, and for a part of 1955,
chiefly under the auspices of the Treasury Committee for Studentships in Foreign
Languages and Cultures, London. The following notes derive mostly from two inform-
ants, the late Mr. Perezi Mpuru, whose untimely death in 1953 deprived Bunyoro of
a native ethnographer of great potential ability, and Mr. Lameki Kikubebe.
3 Thus, for example, it is commonly said that 'Death is unknowable' (orufu
turumanyirwe), that is, it is unpredictable, and also that 'Death is ignorant; it takes the
young and leaves the old' (orufu turumanya; rwita omuto, ruleka omukuru). For some
account of the part played by the concept of death in personal nomenclature, cf.
J. H. M. Beattie 'Nyoro Personal Names', Uganda J., 21 (1957), 101-2.
5 Called enteterwa.
182 UGANDA JOURNAL
6 Enkole nyamugobe.
7 I am told that for hygienic reasons the ceremony of enteterwa is no longer performed.
10 Three for a woman, four for a man: see post.
11 Omufu taba nyama.
12 Nowadays this lower cavity is not made when a coffin is used (sometimes it is not
made even when there is no coffin).
14 Nobundifa otalinsensaho eitaka.
15 Batulekeire orufu ruleke rutuite.
18 Even today it is not uncommon for a family to move away altogether from a place
where one or two of its members have died: 'this place is bad for us; it haunts us'
(kururuma), they may say.
20 Afuire, mbogo yange, omurungi wange; atalyeba.
21 Ahezere omurungi agenzere omurungi; atalyeba.
22 Rumunyagire orufu.
23 Ndagyaha nyowe male ngende nakaha; munaku wabu mbwa nyowe.
24 Kihanga mbya.
25 Called mugosora.
27 This constantly reiterated association of the number four with the male sex and
three with the female occurs in many cultural contexts in Bunyoro. Its occurrence at
death reflects a usage at birth; when a child is born the mother remains inside the house,
by the fire place, for four days if the child is a boy, three if it is a girl, without going
outside. The association through opposition of birth and death is expressed in the saying
'the happiness of birth is equal to the grief of burial' (okusemererwa kw'okuzarwa
kwingana n'okuganya kw'okuzika).
29 The symbolism here seems to depend on a pun; the idea is 'to lose, get rid of,
the death' (okubuza orufu).
30 Ekiragura. Nowadays, when many men have adopted a European-style haircut,
it is often enough if a small lock of hair is cut from the front and back of the head. At
a funeral in 1953, one of my informants attended the hair-cutting ceremony four days
after the burial of a neighbour's infant boy. He merely had two small locks of hair cut
in this way. The child's father wished to do likewise, and asked my informant to cut
them for him. But the mother of the dead child intervened and insisted that he (the
'father) should have the whole of his head shaved in the traditional manner. If he did
not, she said, she would 'do something to herself'-a threat of suicide. The father, a
Christian, reluctantly agreed, saying "all right, I will follow the heathen custom
y'ekikafuiri, but what good will it do? If I am shaved will it bring my child back to
life?" In Bunyoro, as elsewhere, old is giving place to new, but not without inter-
personal friction and strain in a very wide range of social situations.
31 Kuturuka orufu.
33 Ehunda, or ebihira bakazi.
37 Kitebe. This word, which literally means 'stool' or 'chair', symbolizes the whole
of the father's familial authority. It is often loosely used, as a collective noun, to
denote the local group of agnates subject to that authority.
38 Abanywa b'emikago, literally partners in the blood pact (omukago). This institu-
tion, formerly widely practised and still highly regarded, is now dying out, but the
terms are still used to refer to any particularly close and intimate friendship.
39 The full text of this speech iin Lunyoro is as follows: Mpaho waba mugwetwa
wekitebe kyaso, bamusaija, 'hafa katoma hasigara kalinzi,' noiriza abanywebemikago,
nolinda abana bahara otalibatwara emikono enyuma, ekirakulemaga oyehanuzege
abakuru nabanywani baso, bamanzi ha kitebe kyaso, obwolyanga kutuiriza itwe
banywani baso abalyaga nawe nokunywa, titulikufaho nakamu, so yali musaija alya
nabantu, naiwe bamanzi nkaso, nolinda bona aboruganda.
NYORO MORTUARY RITES 183
40 Called rusinga.
41 Obwomezi, okutunga, okuzara; abantu bafa basiga abandi.
45 Kulinda kigoye.
46 Called esojo.
47 Kumwa ekiragura. The association of black with impurity, evil and danger, and of
white with goodness and purity, occurs also in many other Nyoro cultural contexts.
48 Kumara kigoye.
50 Ekigoye mutakasise?
52 Obundaba nasobeze ekigoye nabyama nomusaija, hati bunu nfe ntalya nakenfuka.
s3 This is called kubukara. It occurs, also, for example, at marriage, when the\
bride is seated on the laps of her parents before she leaves her home on her wedding-
night, and, with her husband, on those of her parents-in-law when she reaches- their/
54 Rweza and rwihura.
56 Okwomera, itungo, okuzara.
57 Abantu bafa, basiga abandi.
58 Okumara orufu. The idea that a state of ritual danger (mahano) may be
finished by a ritual act of intercourse occurs in other contexts also. For example, an
initiate in the Nyoro spirit (mbandwa) possession cult may be required to copulate with
one of the initiators, in order to finish off the mahano brought about by the secret and
sometimes fearful proceedings of initiation, which include, inter alia, ceremonial
enactments of death and rebirth.
63 Muntu w'aheru.
64 I owe this suggestion to Dr. Godfrey Lienhardt.
62 For 'an account of the ambivalence of affinal relationships in Bunyoro see
LJ.M. H. Beattie 'Nyor-e Marriage and Aflinity', Africa, 28, No. 1, January, 1958.
KASAGAMA OF TORO'
By 0. W. FURLEY
THE kingdom of Toro in the Western Province of Uganda has seen some
remarkable changes in its short history, and not least of these is the period
following the restoration of the monarchy under Kasagama by Captain Lugard,
acting for the Imperial British East Africa Company. What had been a puny,
weak principality, which had splintered away from the kingdom of Bunyoro,
now occupied a key position in the establishment of the British 'sphere of
influence' in East Africa. At the same time, it became a model kingdom
through which the principles of British colonial policy in this part of Africa
could be exemplified, for here there was not one half of the political and
religious complications which hampered administration in the neighboring
and better known kingdom of Buganda. Also, the restoration provided a
splendid opportunity for leadership and the re-vitalizing of the Batoro people,
which the youth Kasagama took with complete confidence, and used in such a
way as to develop an unchallenged authority and a prestige among his people.
It was typical of him that he was one of the very few African rulers to have left
some account of his life, which enables the historian to gain a more realistic
impression of his career than would otherwise be possible.a1 If on occasions he
fell short of the hope of his British mentors, these failings stand out sharply
only because, for the most part, his reign was a success. What had been
begun by the merest chance, when Lugard met Kasagama and promised to
take him with him on his safari to the West, quickly developed in such a way
as to make an understanding of Toro history essential for the study of Uganda
as a whole.
There is a generally accepted version of the early history of Toro which
places its separation from Bunyoro in the early nineteeth century, when
Prince Kaboyo was sent by his father Kyebambe, Mukama of Bunyoro, into
Toro to collect tribute. Instead, he rebelled and set up a rival kingdom there,
founding a royal line which had some success until Bunyoro revived in power
under its warrior king, Kabarega. In 1873 he invaded Toro and overran the
country, and in the confused period which followed Mukama Nyaika,
Kaboyo's son and successor, died in exile, leaving as heir his infant son
Kasagama. He was taken by his mother to join his cousin Yafeti in Buganda,
where they were hospitably received by Kabaka Mutesa. Yafeti appears to
have held a minor office at Mutesa's court, but, when Mwanga succeeded,
Yafeti and Kasagama retired into the country, where they had been granted
an estate. Yafeti was an early follower of the Protestant missionaries then in
Buganda, and it is probable that Kasagama was brought up in a home where
some Christian influence was felt, which would account for his ready accept-
ance of the faith and zeal for its propagation when he became King. Mean-
KASAGAMA OF TORO 185
while, Kabarega ruled Toro with an iron hand, exploiting the country, driving
its inhabitants far afield, and setting up his own chiefs to rule there.
The great opportunity for Kasagama came when he heard that Lugard was
setting out from Kampala to march west, in June 1891. Lugard, anxious to
enlarge his small troop of Swahili soldiers into a force sufficient to keep the
peace among the hostile politico-religious factions in Buganda, heard that
Sudanese troops whom Emin Pasha had abandoned were still encamped near
the western limits of the British sphere of influence. They were reported to be
still under their native officers who, Lugard hoped, might be induced to enlist in
the Company's service. If he could find them in time he hoped to forestall the
Germans, who were reported to be trying to reach them. Also, Lugard was
greatly taken with the prospect of opening up western Uganda for commerce.
Lake Victoria and Lake Albert were to be connected by a trade route,
Ankole and Toro were to be annexed in order to give access to the timber of
the forests on the Congo border and, more especially, to the enormous herds
of elephant there, which Lugard called 'the ivory reserve of the world'. He
had also heard of the salt lake at Katwe, and wrote enthusiastically to his
employers about the prospects.2 Thus, by his march to the west, he hoped
to achieve substantial economic and military advantages; and as he progressed
he became even more convinced of the great commercial possibilities of the
area, so much so that he considered that Buganda would become of secondary
importance. At first, he had no plans for the political settlement of the area,
beyond taking with him some of the standard treaty forms of the Company
for chiefs to sign. The idea of reinstating the Toro royal line arose quite
fortuitously when Yafeti and Kasagama came to see him before the journey
began. Lugard's recently published diaries make it clear for the first time
that the suggestion to reinstate Kasagama came from these two men, not from
Lugard. Lugard was quick to appreciate the possibilities of such a plan, and
based his agreement chiefly on a very favourable first impression of
Kasagama's character. He tells how Zachariah, one of his men, "brought a
young man of extremely prepossessing appearance. This young man, together
with a older man named Yafeti, were, he said, close relations of Kabarega's
and of the royal family of Bunyoro . These men now volunteer to accom-
pany us. They say that the chief of Toro, the southern part of Bunyoro,-and
the very part I wish to go to-is at Ntale's and that he will follow at their
instance. They say that they can raise Toro to their standard, and that if they
send on messengers there the people will not fly from us, but will join us
against Kabarega whose tyrannies are detested."3
During the march Lugard chiefly consulted Yafeti, the older man, but his
plan was to leave Yafeti at the fort he established at the salt lake (Fort
George), and then take Kasagama with him into Toro proper; for Busongora,
the area round the salt lake, was not then considered part of Toro. Forts were
built at various strategic points to protect Toro and the salt lake from incur-
sions by Kabarega, and Kasagama was to be installed in the central one. On 10
August they met the first group of Batoro and Lugard told them that
Kasagama was now king, that Kabarega's men had been driven off, and that
they could regard the British as their friends. They were delighted, and the
186 UGANDA JOURNAL
same story was repeated wherever Lugard went. Kabarega's men fled for the
most part without giving battle, while the Batoro slowly and timidly emerged
from hiding to join Kasagama, rejoicing at the prospect of better times to
come. Lugard, still searching for the Sudanese, who were now reported to be
considerably further north, left Kasagama at Fort Edward, and signed a treaty
of protection with him which, in character with Lugard's somewhat casual
methods, was written on the back of one of the Company's treaty forms. It
states the plain fact that Kasagama was "made King of Toro by the British",
then follows the usual pattern, to the effect that Kasagama places himself
under the orders and instructions of the Company, and undertakes to prevent
slave-raiding and arms-trading in his country. But, because Kasagama had to
rely completely on Lugard's military protection against Kabarega, he was in
no position to bargain about the very harsh clause which Lugard included
appropriating all ivory in Toro to the Company and reserving the Company's
exclusive right to kill elephants. Nor could he demur at the clause which
provided that "so far as may be possible, and at the direction of the Com-
pany's Agent, the expenses of garrison etc. to which the Company may be put,
for the safety and protection of the country, and expenses for its development
and improvement, shall be defrayed out of the finances and resources of the
Lugard knew that if, and when, he enlisted the Sudanese troops he would
have no money to pay them, and that they would therefore have to 'live off
the land' wherever they were stationed. He did not, apparently, realize that
this would involve placing the protected areas under penalty of severe
devastation and plunder. By mid-September he had contacted the Sudanese
and enlisted them. He then installed a company of them in each of four
forts facing east to guard Toro from Kabarega's attacks. Another European
officer, de Winton, was left in charge of Toro, but he was given no power to
issue orders to the Sudanese troops. These were to be directly under their
native officers,.who in their turn were personally responsible to Lugard.5 Such
an arrangement meant that Kasagama was protected, but at a very heavy
price. Lugard has been criticized for this, especially by his missionary con-
temporary, the Rev. R. P. Ashe, who wrote feelingly of this and of the treaty
signed by Kasagama, since the latter "was forced to promise the Company
a monopoly of all ivory (elephants swarmed in the district), and in all matters
to obey the Resident at Mengo. This treaty is quite a model instrument.
Insistence on obedience in all matters-after giving up the most valuable item
of revenue- might appear even to the most cynical to be going too far; while
to those who advocate fair treatment for native chiefs, it will furnish a fresh
argument against the system of chartered companies." De Winton had been
given an impossible task, Ashe went on, of trying to maintain peace between
the troops and the Batoro. "The boy chief, Kasagama, whom these wolves
were placed to guard, very soon felt the sharpness of their fangs, while the
unhappy people found to their cost that if Kabarega had scourged them with
whips, these ruthless strangers scourged them with scorpions."6 This charge
contained some truth, but in fairness to Lugard it must be said that he fully
realized what a menace the Sudanese troops were7 and issued the strictest
KASAGAMA OF TORO 187
orders to them that they might raid for food in Kabarega's country, but not in
Toro. There were severe penalties for any soldier found dealing in slaves and
all ranks were to treat Kasagama "with all the respect due to a sultan".8 As
for requisitioning all the ivory, Lugard soon relented and gave Kasagama
permission to shoot elephants for a trial period of one year and to retain one
third of the ivory shot.9 He also strictly forbade the Sudanese to impose a
suggested grain tax on the people and wrote to de Winton that the Sudanese
were to cultivate for themselves. He realized that the troops urgently needed a
European officer to supervise them, but there was simply no one to spare.10
Lugard soon left Toro to return to Kampala, but not before he had given
pledges to the Batoro of considerable historical importance. It was fully
realized that Kasagama's continued rule, and the newly won happiness of the
oppressed Batoro, would last only as long as the British remained in Uganda,
and as long as the chain of forts was manned by the Sudanese troops. The
Batoro were risking their lives in acknowledging Kasagama: retribution would
swiftly follow if Kabarega returned. Lugard pointed this out to the Admini-
strator-General of the Company in a letter. The ivory and salt trade would
prove valuable, so would the trade of Lake Albert, but, he wrote, "while
obtaining these advantages very heavy responsibilities have been entered into,
and the protection of the Company pledged to a helpless people (in Toro)
who, on withdrawal of that protection, would be left to certain destruction.""
He had assured all those Batoro whom he met that "the British flag would
never go back", and if they doubted it "they could go and see the fort we had
built on the Lake", of which he was most proud.12 This was the position when
Lugard left, and he allowed Kasagama to hoist the Union Jack at Fort
Edward. Kasagama was to tour his kingdom with de Winton and establish his
authority in all parts, setting up chiefs to represent him. His rule, however,
was to be confined for the time being to Toro proper, which meant that
Kitakwenda, Busongora, Butuku and Mboga were excluded. These districts
were to remain directly under the Company's control, and chiefs were
appointed in them. Kasagama disliked this arrangement and especially
resented the appointment of Karakwanzi to Busongora, as Karakwanzi
showed little respect to him and tended to be a rival. He demanded his
dismissal, but Lugard shows in his diary what his plans for future settlement
were: "I said that Kasagama had his hands very full at present to settle Toro
proper and that until he had done so, he need not come to me with any
questions or requests regarding Busongora. First I wanted to see his capacity
for rule. If I found he could rule and settle his country, I would enlarge it,
but first I wanted to see heads of districts appointed, officers of state, a law
of the land, a court of justice, etc., throughout all the country from No. 1 stock-
ade (Wavertree) on the North to Ruwenzori on the West, and No. 4 on the
South here. When he had instituted law and order here, I would add
Busongora and perhaps Butuku, also the country to west of Ruwenzori and
to the boundary of British dominions, but first I must see his capacity for
rule.""3 To this end, de Winton was left in Toro to help Kasagama and was
instructed by Lugard to supervise the establishment of law and order. His task
was extremely difficult: not only did he have little control over the Sudanese
188 UGANDA JOURNAL
garrisons, but also some of the more powerful chiefs were not ready to
acknowledge Kasagama as their king. He achieved much however, and was
soon sending reports to Lugard that Kasagama was doing very well, chiefs
were being appointed, and thousands of Batoro were returning to their land.14
Even before he reached Kampala, Lugard received news that the Company
was proposing to abandon Uganda as too great an expense. The story of his
intense concern at this news, and of his subsequent publicity campaign in
England, urging the British Government to take over protection of the country,
is well known. Sir Gerald Portal was sent out by the Government to report
whether such action was feasible, and when he arrived he had no hesitation in
declaring a protectorate over Buganda, action which the Government later
ratified. It is clear however that Portal disapproved of Lugard's activities
in the West, and treated his work there as of little value. The Sudanese in the
forts were reported as a curse on the land, and Portal discounted Lugard's
claims for the commercial prospects of Toro and the Salt Lake. "The former
ideas about its probable value would appear to have been founded on a mis-
conception", he wrote,15 and he did not consider that the British Government
had any responsibility for arrangements made by the Company outside
Buganda. He sent Major Owen and his own brother, Captain Raymond Portal,
to withdraw the garrisons of the northern-most forts, No. 1 (Wavertree) and
No. 2 (Lorne), guarding Toro, and establish new forts on a line facing north, to
protect Buganda from invasion by Kabarega. "If Kasagama elects to remain
near forts 1 and 2" Portal wrote to Owen, "as I gather from your letter that he
does, he will remain there entirely at his own risk. I understand that he claims
to have been promised 'British protection', by which I presume he means the
protection of the Imperial British East Africa Company. While not admitting
that such promises on the part of the Company, who have definitely aban-
doned all interference in the affairs of Uganda and the neighboring countries,
throws responsibility on H. M. Government, I am quite prepared, pending
the final decision of the government on this question, to extend protection to
Kasagama provided that he establishes himself in some place to be pointed
out by yourself, protected by, and in the vicinity of, an English fort."16
Portal in fact wanted to offer Kitakwenda as a suitable region where
Kasagama might settle. "Remember that Toro in itself is an encumbrance,
pure and simple," he told Owen.17 The latter, seeing the situation on the spot,
disapproved whole-heartedly of this cavalier treatment of Kasagama, and
attempted to modify Portal's policy so far as to border on outright insub-
ordination. He refused to abandon Forts 1 and 2, writing to Portal that his
reasons for retaining them, at any rate temporarily, were "economical,
strategical and philanthropical",18 and one suspects that the last reason was
the one which weighed most with him. He entirely agreed with Kasagama
that to abandon the forts would be "like taking the lock and key from his
front door", and he considered that to leave Kasagama, whose subjects now
numbered 5,000, to the mercy of Kabarega, would be a crime against
humanity.19 Eventually he persuaded Portal to agree to abandon only the
northernmost fort, and to build another, known as Fort Gerry (later Fort
Portal), to protect Kasagama. Fifty soldiers were left at Fort Gerry, and
KASAGAMA OF TORO 189
Kasagama was to supply them with food for six months.20 Indeed, Kasagama
was virtually the only source of food supply for most of the troops during
Owen's evacuation, and this appeared to Owen to increase the moral
obligation to help him. Kasagama was given the choice of leaving Toro to
settle in a more secure area, or of fending for himself with the help of the
reduced garrisons. Captain J. R. L. Macdonald, who temporarily succeeded
Portal as Commissioner, offered him territory in Singo. Typically, Kasagama
chose to stay and defend himself, and was given two hundred muskets for
his defence, while Macdonald went one stage further than Portal and decided
to withdraw the entire body of Sudanese troops into Buganda.21 Kasagama
in his diary confirms this story but adds the laconic comment that very few
cartridges were supplied with the muskets.
Kabarega quickly perceived what the evacuation meant, and invaded Toro
once more with such force that Kasagama and his men were put to rout and
fled into the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains. In his diary, Kasagama
vividly describes his life during the next few months as a fugitive king, hunted
and hungry, with men round him dying from cold and exposure. His reflec-
tions concerning British protection might well have been bitter. But
Macdonald had at least promised that an expedition against Kabarega would
be sent within a few months, and this promise was kept. Kabarega, as the
Rev. R. P. Ashe pointed out, did in fact have some justification for over-
running Toro and claiming the territory as his, and for making some reprisal
for the Sudanese raids into Bunyoro which Lugard had licensed.22 Colonel
Colvile, who replaced Macdonald as substantive Commissioner in November
1893, heard of the invasion of Toro in December, and decided that its
re-occupation was necessary in view of his official instructions to protect
British interests in the Nile Basin. The Khalifa's armies in the Sudan were
the chief threat: these might join with the hostile Kabarega and even with
the Muhammadan party in Buganda. Colvile's aim was, therefore not only
to re-occupy Toro and resume defence of the forts, but also to invade Bunyoro
and capture Kabarega.23 He heard moreover that the Germans were said to be
advancing towards the Salt Lake. If the defence of the Nile basin seemed
rather a remote reason for turning his attention towards Toro, Colvile also
had another reason: he took a different view from Portal and judged that the
salt and ivory trade would be of substantial value.
Accordingly he set out with a considerable force against Kabarega, and
when the advance was going reasonably well he despatched two officers, Owen
and Villiers, with thirty-eight Sudanese and forty-seven Swahilis, to restore
Kasagama's position in Toro, and to form a confederacy of friendly chiefs
round him. By late February 1894 Colvile was able to report that Owen had
been successful: Kasagama had been re-established in his capital by Fort
Edward, and Fort George at the Salt Lake had been re-occupied. Kasagama
was once more king of Toro proper and, furthermore, Owen had extended his
authority over Busongora and Kitakwenda, while the lesser chiefs of Mwenge,
and Kyaka also acknowledged his rule, thus somewhat enlarging his kingdom.
On 3 March 1894, Owen and Kasagama signed a new treaty, which followed
the usual form in allowing British subjects free access and the right to build
190 UGANDA JOURNAL
houses, possess property and conduct trade.24 However, he also imposed for
the benefit of H. M. Government monopoly of the trade of the country and
this agreement, if rather more liberal than Lugard's, still deprived Kasagama
of much of the natural resources of the land. All salt was to be the Govern-
ment's, part of the proceeds being used to defray the expenses of the Fort
George garrison, while, in return for British protection, Kasagama was
burdened with a tax of forty frasilas of ivory per annum, equivalent to 800
at the Coast price.25 In his diary, Kasagama states that at the time he was still
illiterate and knew very little about frasilas. Certainly the tax was harsh, and
two years later it was reduced from forty to ten frasilas, while Kasagama was
allowed to take a proportion of the salt. He was helped, and the garrisons
supervised, by a special officer, J. P. Wilson, whom Colvile sent to Toro in
June. Colvile also sent a second expedition against Kabarega, which having
all but succeeded in capturing him drove him into deeper hiding and secured
an even greater measure of safety for Kasagama. The British Government,
however, still tended to take Portal's view concerning territories outside
Buganda, and the Earl of Kimberley wrote to Colvile from the Foreign Office
that responsibilities of H. M. Government were primarily connected with the
protectorate of Buganda, and that he should confine his actions elsewhere
to such measures as might be necessary for military reasons in order to provide
for the defence and security of the Protectorate.26 Toro clearly was still of
little value in the eyes of the government, although its position was now
incomparably better than it had been under the protection of the Company.
The unruly Sudanese had for the most part, gone; the forts were manned only
by small garrisons, 'symbols of our friendship' as Colvile called them; they
were under British command, and there was now a permanent British officer
in the district. Moreover, Kabarega, though still at large, was no longer the
danger that he had been. His military power had been broken.
Now that comparative peace was established, Kasagama was able to lead
his people, with British help, towards a more advanced level of civilization.
One very important step in Toro was the establishment of Protestant and
Roman Catholic missions on a permanent basis. When Kasagama had first
become king, Yafeti, who was his chief adviser, was already a Protestant
follower, and he persuaded the Rev. R. P. Ashe in 1892 to translate the Lord's
Prayer, the Creed and the Ten Commandments into Lutoro. Ashe printed a
thousand copies, which he sent to Yafeti. They were torn up by the Sudanese
troops, who at this stage formed a barrier against the spread of Christianity.
Kasagama, however, sent messengers to Kampala asking for Christian
teachers to be sent, and Bishop Tucker was anxious to respond to the request.
Sir Gerald Portal was in Uganda at the time, and, seeing the confusion caused
by Protestant and Catholic rivalries in Buganda, refused to allow both
missions to begin work in Toro simultaneously. Accordingly, he tried to get
both Bishop Tucker and Monsignor Hirth to agree that the former should
extend his activities to the East only, and the latter to the North and West,
Bishop Tucker, therefore agreed not to send missionaries to Toro 'for some
months to come', or until he had received the decision of the C.M.S. Com-
mittee regarding this. Portal, however, hoped that such an agreement would
KASAGAMA OF TORO 191
last for five or ten years.27 In fact this was only a verbal agreement and,
though much sympathy may be felt for Portal's effort to prevent the
further spread of religious rivalry, there was a clear demand in Toro for both
Protestant and Roman Catholic teaching, and teachers of both denominations
found their way there. Four Protestant teachers had gone to Toro in 1894.
Early in 1896, when Kasagama was called to Entebbe, he took religious
instruction preparatory to his baptism at Kampala on 15 March by Bishop
Tucker, taking the name of Daudi. Later Tucker also baptised the Namasole,
Victoria, and the Queen, Damari. In addition to the Baganda evangelists
working in Toro, Fisher and Lloyd went there in the same year, and
Kasagama built a house for them. Bishop Tucker went with Fisher, and on
his arrival at Kasagama's capital, Tucker held a service attended by five
hundred worshippers. There were fifteen Baganda teachers at work in Toro,
and soon all districts except Kitakwenda were under the rule of Christian
chiefs.28 What Portal had tried to prevent, had, however, already started.
Father Achte of the White Fathers Mission had reached Kasagama's in
November 1895 and was later joined by Father Varangot. Thus there was
keen competition among the missionaries to gain the adherence of chiefs.
Antagonism between them grew, so that Captain Sitwell, officer in charge of
Toro in 1896-8, had the task of reconciling the two sides in order to put them
even on speaking terms with each other, which he did by inviting them to
share his hospitality.29 But the situation was far from perfect, because
Kasagama himself was intensely partisan in such matters, tending to favour
only Protestants. Complaints were made to Entebbe of his persecution of
Roman Catholics, and Sitwell did his best to stop Kasagama from forcing
the Protestant faith on his chiefs.30 Sitwell, however, put much of the blame
on Achte and Fisher, and noted a marked improvement in Kasagama's
attitude after the temporary departure of Fisher in February 1897.31 Gradually
the intensity of feeling diminished, though Father Roche complained fre-
quently on behalf of the Catholics in 1899, and Bagge, officer in charge in that
year, constantly urged Kasagama that he must be impartial in such matters,
as Kasagama records in his diary. Bishop Tucker paid a second visit to Toro
in July 1898, with Dr. Albert Cook, and found that most of Kasagama's
ministers and chiefs were Protestants. Tucker was pleased with the progress
made, and found that the missionaries Lloyd and Buckley now had a church
to hold a thousand people at the capital, Kabarole, while twenty Baganda
teachers and forty-five local teachers carried on work at twenty outstations.
During the next few years he paid frequent visits to Toro, since he regarded
it as a mission sphere which was not merely an outpost of the C.M.S. work in
Buganda, but equally important in its own claims.32 Sir Harry Johnston,
coming to Toro to make the 1900 Agreement with Kasagama reported that
Christianity had clearly made widespread progress in Toro, as it had done
in Buganda, but that these were the only two areas where it had so far taken
a real hold.33 At the time of the Agreement, he made provision for land to
be held by the missions, so that teachers could establish self-supporting
plantations, with their small communities of followers round them. Maddox
of the C.M.S. was responsible for another major advance when he substituted
192 UGANDA JOURNAL
a Lunyoro New Testament, Prayer Book and Hymn Book for the Luganda
texts used previously. This was at the request of Kasagama and, according to
Tucker, this change was greatly pleasing to 'nationalist sentiment'.34
As in other parts of Uganda, education in Toro was pioneered entirely by
the missions, who fostered both general and technical education. The C.M.S.
mission established a spinning and weaving school;35 they also formed a syn-
dicate with Kasagama and the principal chiefs to erect a power mill for Toro
wheat, until it was taken over by the British East African Corporation Ltd.36
Progress in building schools was slow, but before the outbreak of the Great
War a fair beginning had been made, the White Fathers having built schools
to accommodate 693 boys and 450 girls, the C.M.S. having two boarding
schools for 60 and 40 pupils, and a large new day-school for younger
The influence of these developments on Kasagama's character and his rule
cannot be overestimated, and in many ways he proved to be a ruler of remark-
able liberalism and enlightenment. With the encouragement of the C.M.S.
missionaries he freed all those slaves who desired freedom; abolished the
superstitious taboo on eating mutton by eating it himself and by inviting
some of the Christian chiefs to the same meal; initiated vaccination against
smallpox, and asked to be allowed to witness an operation with chloroform
which he then saw with amazement, performed by Dr. Cook. He encouraged
industrial training by sending people to the centre at Kampala, and bought
tools from England, erected a shed close to his palace, and installed a youth
as carpenter to the royal household, with twenty apprentices under him. By
1900 he was using a typewriter, and was engaged in writing a history of Toro,
(perhaps the beginnings of the 'diary' mentioned above). He took to wearing
spectacles, and learned to play tennis. On a more serious note, he gave con-
stant encouragement to the spread of education and to the establishment of
cash crops in Toro: he was one of the first to plant coffee, and was a founder
director of the Toro Mills Limited in 1915. In that year also he drew up an
ambitious, though much too premature, scheme for compulsory universal
education in Toro.38 In such ways did he fulfil the hopes of Lugard when the
latter installed him as king, and if his reign saw the emergence and rapid
development of Toro, it was due in no small measure to his own character.
It cannot be said, however, that his relations with the Protectorate Govern-
ment, or with British administrators in Toro, were always easy; and from the
Government's point of view he was neither a model nor a puppet king.
Quarrels were frequent, and on several occasions Kasagama was summoned
to Entebbe to be reprimanded by the Governor. The most serious crisis was
the first, in 1895, when Captain Ashburnham was the officer in charge, and
here it seems that, though Kasagama was at fault, Ashburnham dealt with
him in an unnecessarily harsh manner. He accused Kasagama of stealing
women, gun-running and trading in powder, contrary to the treaty he had
signed. Clearly there was confusion after the fighting against Rabadongo, a
warring chief, who surrendered seventy rifles, which Kasagama was accused
of appropriating. Further, Ashburnham decided to arrest Kasagama for not
paying his tribute of forty frasilas of ivory to the government, though earlier
KASAGAMA OF TORO 193
he himself had admitted that the tax was too heavy, and ought to be reduced.
However, he imprisoned Kasagama and put him to work in the chain-gang
like a common criminal; he beat the Katikiro, and allowed the Sudanese
troops to ransack Kasagama's palace in search of arms and powder.39 He
sent Kasagama under arrest to Entebbe, where Bishop Tucker interceded for
him, after having written a strong letter of complaint to the Commissioner,
Berkeley, about the treatment accorded to him. Kasagama was exonerated, his
tribute was reduced to ten frasilas, and Ashburnham was shortly afterwards
replaced by Captain Sitwell.40 Kasagama understandably nursed a grudge
over his treatment, but it seems probable that his own conduct left something
to be desired. Sitwell also had trouble with him, and reported that he was
'above himself'. He continued to steal wives, and Sitwell was relieved when
Kasagama's elder brother, previously a prisoner of Kabarega's arrived in
1896: "Now there is someone to whom one could give the country if
Kasagama does not behave," he wrote.41 Berkeley also at this time considered
it likely that Kasagama would have to go if he did not improve as a ruler.42
Later Sitwell was able to report that there had been very few complaints
against Kasagama by his own people;43 but early in 1899 he was again in
trouble and was sent to Kampala where he was fined 10 frasilas of ivory and
10 cows. Bagge, who took over in 1899, was pleased with Kasagama and
described his rule as praiseworthy, and he upheld him against further charges
of intolerance by the Roman Catholic missionaries; he also placed entire
confidence in him over his appointment and dismissal of chiefs, frequently
pointing out that such matters were for Kasagama to decide.44
Such was the position when Sir Harry Johnston came to Uganda as Special
Commissioner late in 1899, and after much negotiation effected the Uganda
Agreement, 1900, providing the Administration with revenues from a hut
tax, and with Crown lands for development. Johnston also wanted to do the
same thing for Ankole and Toro, and wrote to Bagge that he was to prepare
the Batoro for such steps, and as a first requirement Kasagama was to appoint
chiefs to sub-districts capable of collecting a hut and gun tax, similar to that
now imposed in Buganda.45 Such an imposition, coming without any previous
warning or explanation, naturally caused consternation in Toro. Kasagama
records in his diary hostility primarily to the notion that the hut and gun tax
would herald an agreement copied from the one Johnston had made in
Buganda; while Bagge also doubted the feasibility of a hut tax in a country
where few had any means of paying.46 Johnston, however, intended to make a
Toro Agreement on somewhat similar lines to the Buganda Agreement, and
arrived in June to execute it, relying on his own powers of persuasion. These
were great: he was greeted with warmth, and his speech on arrival was
flattering and re-assuring. In an remarkably short time the Agreement was,
with the aid of Maddox as interpreter, drawn up and signed. The chiefs raised
few difficulties except the one mentioned above, that it was too like the
Buganda Agreement. This was so, but it was a much simpler version.47 The
principles were the same: the ruler and his chiefs were acknowledged, they
were given private estates and official holdings, and a percentage of the hut
and gun taxes. Native law courts were set up. All land which was uncultivated
194 UGANDA JOURNAL
at the time was claimed by the Government. There were, however, some details
which caused confusion later on. The idea of a 'Confederacy' of Toro,
originally introduced by Owen, was retained, so that although Kasagama was
acknowledged as 'Kabaka' of the whole, he was given the status of county
chief as well, in his own division of Toro proper. For this he was entitled
to 10% of the tax revenues of the division, just as the other chiefs were, quite
apart from his 10% of the total tax revenue of the whole country. This in
fact led to a diminishing of his authority over the other chiefs, who tended to
look on him as in one sense their equal. Further, waste lands, forests, mines,
minerals and salt deposits were to be in the hands of the Government, while
the Kabaka and those chiefs named in the Agreement were to hold some land
by virtue of their office and other land as private estates. None of these chiefs
was to levy tribute or rent from tenants except by permission of the Govern-
ment, but their reward was to be solely the percentage of tax revenue
mentioned above. Such a land settlement caused difficulties which grew
continuously until the end of Kasagama's reign. In the first place, the vast
majority of lesser chiefs were not named in the Agreement and so received
no official estates. They, therefore, continued to levy private tribute from
their tenants, which often put them in a more advantageous position than
the named chiefs, whose share in the tax revenue proved to be a small reward;
and when they retired or were deposed, they had no means of support.
There was much confusion as to which were official and which private estates,
as these estates were not surveyed or marked out until many years later.
By this time the amount of cultivated land had greatly increased, so that it
was impossible to tell what had been uncultivated land at the time of the
Agreement, and could therefore be claimed as Crown land. Johnston wrote
to the Marquess of Salisbury reporting this settlement, but did not point
out that all depended on a complete survey of the land being made in the near
future. He cannot, of course, be blamed for the grave omission of the Govern-
ment in not providing such a survey for many years, and he did try to make
it clear (though not in the Agreement itself), that all land in the occupation of
native owners at the time of the Agreement would be secure and undis-
turbed.48 Moreover, while he remained in Uganda, he received reports giving
every indication that the Agreement was to everybody's satisfaction. Baile,
the officer in charge, now styled 'Collector', told him that the taxes were being
paid without undue trouble and that though many Batoro had gone to the
Belgian Congo to avoid payment, this situation was temporary only since
the taxes there were much heavier and the emigrants would therefore soon
return.49 Two months after the Agreement Johnston wrote that the Toro chiefs
were more loyal than any in Uganda.50 In 1901 Kasagama was given the lease
of the Salt Lake, which in effect meant a useful additional revenue, in return
for which he was to pay the government a royalty of one rupee per 60 lb. load
It was only to be expected, however, that in the continued absence of a land
survey, doubts and fears would arise. Assurances had to be given by the
Government that private lands held before the Agreement would not be taken
away, and the chiefs wanted to know if sub-chiefs were to be allowed private
KASAGAMA OF TORO 195
estates. Mounting uncertainty and dissatisfaction led finally to the crisis in
1906, when the so-called 1906 Agreement was drawn up, though in fact it
was merely a number of amendments to the 1900 Agreement. The Kabaka
and his assembly of chiefs, the Lukiko, wanted a large number of far-reaching
changes, and proposed them in a long petition to the Commissioner. Knowles,
Acting Sub-Commissioner for Western Province, went into the matter
thoroughly, and reported on the situation to the recently appointed Com-
missioner, Hesketh Bell.52 They stated that they did not fully comprehend the
1900 Agreement at the time they signed it, though Knowles points out that
the petition in fact arose through the 'overruling influence' of Kasagama: the
five chiefs of the sub-divisions were quiescent in the matter, except in so far
as they wanted further provision in the land settlement. In the petition
redress was sought in respect of a large number of grievances. A document
was drawn up containing the substance of the amendments required,53 and
Knowles expressed sympathy with most of it. The administrative division of
Toro Proper was to cease to exist, and was to be divided up into new areas,
whose saza chiefs were to be officially recognized. Thus Kasagama would lose
his percentage of revenue from 'Toro proper', but he was to gain a certain
amount of additional private estate. The main advantage was that he would
no longer be a saza chief; the notion of a confederacy would no longer exist,
and his status as king would be greatly enhanced. Kasagama was to have the
right to nominate his successor, but the succession was to be entailed in
Kaboyo's line, and to be subject to the approval of the Lukiko and Govern-
ment. In the same way, chiefs were already entitled to nominate their
successors, but the Lukiko now sought power to approve their choice.
Regarding the most important question, the land settlement, the Lukiko
naturally wanted Crown lands to be taken not from land uncultivated "at the
date of this Agreement", but at the time when the government survey shall
take place". Knowles approached the Commissioner on this point, and he
agreed, "as it would be only fair to the natives not to claim their cultivated
lands, and a great encouragement to the people to cultivate with this under-
standing". The chiefs were then to mark out and cultivate their private estates,
and when the survey was made they could take it that their official estates,
which were perquisites of office only and not hereditable, would be marked
out of waste land.
The chiefs also made an entirely new demand for 3,000 square miles to be
allotted to the sub-chiefs and batongole, (lesser chiefs) of whom there were
eight hundred, who were not provided specifically by the Agreement with any
land at all. Knowles thought this was a very high proportion of land to
demand, as the whole of Toro was said to be only 6,000 square miles. Further
more, the Lukiko wanted the bakopi, the peasant tenants, not mentioned
in the Agreement, to be confirmed in their holdings, provided that a rent of
two rupees or one month's labour per annum was allowed, payable to the
saza chiefs. This they considered was a modest rent, which could not be
labelled extortion. Finally they wanted better terms for working the Salt
Lake; but Knowles thought Kasagama already made a reasonable profit. He
did, however, suggest that they ought to be allowed access to iron ore deposits
196 UGANDA JOURNAL
sufficient for their needs. He would also inspect the districts of Mboga and
Bwamba to see whether is was desirable to add them to the kingdom. Knowles
in fact attached much importance to the Lukiko's demands which were not
so much amendments as amplifications of the Agreement, and he thought the
time was ripe for such clarifications to be made. "There is no doubt," he
wrote, "that a spirit of unrest is germinated, which becomes more serious
as years pass on; no definite settlement is made and there is little doubt that
the delay in this matter is accountable for the tardy progress up to date made
by Toro in comparison with the other countries under the Protectorate. I am
glad to be able to report an undoubtedly forward movement has commenced
this year in Toro, as evidenced by the hut tax revenue being practically
double that of last year, and a more favourable opportunity than the present
could not be chosen to encourage a steady progress."
Hesketh Bell, the Commissioner, drew up the final concessions to be
granted to them in what is called the 1906 Agreement, on 13 July.54 In it he
wished to assure the Kabaka and Lukiko that the Government's promises
would be fulfilled, and they would continue to receive protection and justice
in return for loyalty and obedience. To clear up any doubts regarding the
intentions of the Government, he declared the following "decisions and direc-
tions". First, Kasagama was recognized as king of the whole Toro Con-
federacy, including what had been Toro proper. (Unfortunately the word
'confederacy' was retained, though Knowles had strongly advocated the term
'kingdom'.) Toro proper was now divided up into four sazas, under saza
chiefs who were to have the same privileges, estates and emoluments as those
possessed by chiefs recognized in the Agreement. Secondly, Kasagama
obtained the right to nominate his successor, "and when possible such
successor will be a descendant of Kaboyo. His appointment shall, however, be
subject to the approval of H. M. Commissioner." It was granted to the Lukiko
to approve saza chiefs' nominations of successors. The Katikiro, not men-
tioned in the 1900 Agreement, was to be awarded official estates. Promise
was made to consider other requests, and, in return for the benefits and
concessions now granted, the hope was expressed that Kasagama and the
chiefs would loyally observe the spirit of the Agreement.
This declaration marked a definite constitutional advance for the kingdom,
and it met some of the Lukiko's demands fully. In fact it added little to
what had already been promised regarding the land settlement, and for many
years afterwards the Batoro had to be content with promises and the tempor-
ary issue of provisional titles to land until the survey took place between
1923 and 1928. Such was the weight of the Government's assurance, and such
was the general satisfaction with the promises for the future, that no further
major demands were put forward for the next twenty years, that is until the
crisis of 1926 which provoked a special enquiry.55 Then the grievances and
uncertainties expressed were almost exactly the same as those in 1906; this
was an extraordinary comment on the trust exhibited by the people, and their
acquiescence in the slow rate of development. 1906 had indeed been a land-
mark when trust was renewed, confidence restored, and Kasagama's authority
strengthened. Other agreements were signed, improving the administration of
KASAGAMA OF TORO 197
the country, such as the Poll Tax Agreement of 1910, and the Judicial Agree-
ment of 1912; but the formative, crucial years had now passed. Lugard's
decision on the spur of the moment to take Kasagama with him to Toro had
been the signal for a remarkable revival of the kingdom, which was to flourish
as never before, and to become a permanent and valued constituent part of
the Uganda Protectorate. Kasagama continued to rule until his death on
31 December 1928; the second half of his reign was one of administrative,
economic and educational development, a different type of story from that
related here, but all of which was built on the foundations laid between
1891 and 1906.
1 Read as a paper to the Uganda Branch of the Historical Association.
1i I am indebted to the District Commissioner's office, Fort Portal, for allowing me
to peruse this diary, which is headed 'Toro Notes', being notes made chiefly by
Kasagama himself. My thanks are also due to Mr. A. Manyindo, a student at Makerere
College, for translating it from Lutoro into English.
2 Report to the Imperial British East Africa Company, 13 August 1891, Africa No. 4
(1892), C.6555, pp. 114. 120.
3 The Diaries of Lord Lugard, ed. M. Perham and M. Bull, London, 1958, 5 June 1891,
4 Treaty with Kasagama, 14 August 1891, F.O./6341/95, Inclosure No. 2.
5 Instructions to Mr. F. de Winton, Kivari, 27 November 1891, Africa No. 2 (1893),
6 R. P. Ashe, Chronicles of Uganda, London, 1894, pp. 184, 187-8.
7 See 0. W. Furley, 'The Sudanese Troops in Uganda, African Affairs, 58 (1959), 311.
8 Orders for Sudanese, Kivari, 27 November 1891, Africa No. 2 (1893), C. 6848.
9 Africa No. 2 (1893), C. 6848.
10 F. D. Lugard, The Rise of Our East African Empire, Edinburgh, 1893, ii, 402.
11 Lugard to the Administrator-General of the Imperial British East Africa Company,
Mombasa, 5 January 1892, Africa No. 2 (1893), C. 6848.
12 Africa No. 2 (1893), C. 6848.
13 The Diaries, ii, 407-8.
14 F. D. Lugard, op. cit., ii. 400-1.
15 Portal to the Earl of Rosebery, Port Alice, 24 May 1893, Africa No. 8 (1893),
16 Portal to Owen, Port Alice, 6 May 1893. Entebbe MSS Outward, A 3/1.
17 Portal to Owen, Kampala, 23 April 1893. Entebbe MSS Outward, A 3/1.
18 Owen to Portal, Port Alice, 25 August 1893. Zanzibar Residency MSS B. 27.
19 Owen to Portal, Fort 2, 23 April 1893. Entebbe MSS Inward, A 2/1.
20 Owen to Portal, Fort de Winton, 9 June 1893. Entebbe MSS Inward, A 2/1.
21 J. R. L. Macdonald, Soldiering and Surveying in British East Africa, London, 1897,
22 R. P. Ashe, op. cit., pp. 459-60.
23 Colvile to the Consul-General, Zanzibar. Port Alice, 28 November 1893. Zanzibar
Residency MSS B. 28.
24 Africa No. 7 (1895), C. 7708.
25 Owen to Colvile, Fort de Winton, 8 March 1894. Africa No. 7 (1895), C. 7708.
26 The Earl of Kimberley to Colvile, 23 November 1894, Africa No. 7 (1895), C. 7708.
27 Portal to the Earl of Rosebery, Kampala, 8 April 1893, Africa No. 8 (1893),
28 Bishop A. R. Tucker, Toro Visits to Ruwenzori, London, 1899,passim.
29 Sitwell, Report on Toro District for 1897-8. F.O.C.P. 7400/82.
30 Sitwell to Berkeley, 16 September 1896. Entebbe MSS Inward, A 4/5.
31 Sitwell, Report on Toro District for 1897-8. F.O.C.P. 7400/82.
32 Bishop A. R. Tucker, op. cit., p. 31.
33 Sir Harry Johnston, The Uganda Protectorate, London, 1902, i, 272.
34 Bishop A. R. Tucker, Eighteen Years in Uganda and East Africa, London, 1911,
pp. 331-2; and R. B. Fisher, On the Borders of Pigmy Land, London, (1905), p. 95.
35 Cmd. 787, Annual Report and Blue Book, Uganda, 1912-13, pp. 14-5.
198 UGANDA JOURNAL
36 Entebbe 3314, Western Province Annual Report, 1912-13, p. 4.
37 Entebbe 3314B, Western Province Annual Report, 1914-15, p. 28.
38 Kasagama's diary: R. B. Fisher, op. cit., passim; Entebbe 3314B, Western Province
Annual Report, 1914-15.
39 Ashburnham to Berkeley, 12, 13, 23 November, and 18 December 1895. Entebbe
MSS Inward, A 4/3.
40 Tucker to Berkeley, 27 November 1895. Entebbe MSS Inward, A 6/1; and
Berkeley to Sitwell, 25 April 1896. Entebbe MSS Outward, A 5/2.
41 Sitwell to Berkeley, 1 October, 13 November and 16 August 1896. Entebbe MSS
Inward A 4/6, A4/5.
41 Sitwell to Berkeley, 1 October, 13 November and 16 August 1896. Entebbe MSS
Inward A 4/6, A4/5.
42 Berkeley to Sitwell, 11 November 1896. Entebbe MSS Outward, A 5/2.
43 Sitwell, Report on Toro District for 1897-8. Africa No. 4 (1899), C.9232, p.2.
44 Bagge to Ternan, 20 August, 22 September 1899. Entebbe MSS Inward, A 4/20;
A 4/21; Kasagama's diary.
45 Johnston to Bagge, 14 April 1900. Entebbe MSS Outward A 5/9.
46 Bagge, Monthly Report on Toro, 31 May 1900. Entebbe MSS Inward A 4/29.
47 The Toro Agreement, 26 June 1900. Government Printer, Entebbe.
48 Johnston to the Marquis of Salisbury, 25 August 1900. F.O.C.P. 7689/28 (No. 191,
49 Baile to Johnston, 29 November 1900. Entebbe MSS Inward A 14/1.
50 Johnston to Jackson, 26 August 1900. Entebbe MSS Inward A 4/1.
51 Wylde Monthly Report on Toro, 31 October 1901. Entebbe MSS Inward A 14/1.
52 Knowles to Bell, 21 January 1906. Entebbe MSS Inward A 14/3.
53 'Substance of Amendments Relative to Petition of Toro Lukiko.' Entebbe MSS
Inward A 14/3.
54 The Toro Agreement, 13 July 1906. Entebbe C. 2, Item 4.
55 Enquiry into the Grievances of the Mukama and People of Toro. Report of the
Committee, Government Printer, Entebbe, 1926.
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER
By SIR JOHN GRAY
ON 10 December 1872, Mr. R. Beardsley, United States Consul-General
at Cairo, introduced the United States Consul at Port Said to Ismail
Pasha. On the following day he sent to the Secretary of State at Washington
the following account of a conversation which he had with the Khedive on
In the course of a very pleasant conversation His Highness informed me
that he had just received bad news from the expedition of Sir Samuel Baker.
The news was conveyed in a letter from an officer attached to the expedition
and was somewhat indefinite as to dates and localities, but it seems that Sir
Samuel had undertaken an expedition into the interior of the country with a
force of 300 men, probably for the purpose of breaking up the slave trade in
The particulars of the expedition are not known except that it was a dis-
astrous failure, Sir Samuel having been attacked by the natives and so com-
pletely routed that he only reached the river and his boats again after a
precipitate retreat, the destruction of all his ammunition and stores, and with a
remnant of only 30 men. I asked His Highness if he knew Sir Samuel's object
in making this expedition into the interior. His Highness touched his forehead,
shrugged his shoulders and said that he did not, but that, whatever the object
may have been, it was proof of want of judgment on Sir Samuel's part.
His Highness intimated that Sir Samuel had not confined himself to the
letter or spirit of his instructions and that such expeditions as the one in question
were foreign to the objects of his mission.
Evidently His Highness is much displeased with Sir Samuel and I presume
that he is especially annoyed that commerce with the head waters of the Nile
has been for the moment interrupted. He seems to think that Sir Samuel himself
is to blame for many of the difficulties which he has encountered and he
certainly does not appear to appreciate the embarrassments of Sir Samuel's
position. It will not do to condemn Sir Samuel unheard. It cannot be denied that
his mission is a most difficult one, full of dangers and delays, the fruits of which,
even if successful, may not immediately be apparent. If His Highness earnestly
desires the suppression of the slave trade, he must expect temporary derange-
ment of the commerce with the slave trading countries, which he must be
satisfied to accept as a present evil for the sake of a future good.
His Highness said he was entirely ignorant as to the future plans of Sir
Samuel. There is a report current here that he is on his way down the river, but
at this moment there is not trustworthy news aside from what I have here
M. F. Shukry. The Khedive Ismail and Slavery in the Sudan (1863-1879),
App. A, pp. 7-8. (Cairo University Press, 1938.)
Basing his criticisms on this report and certain other contemporary docu-
ments Dr. M. F. Shukry (op. cit., p. 163) has alleged that "it was the non-
200 UGANDA JOURNAL
adherence of Baker to the letter and spirit of his instructions that largely
caused the failure of his mission to accomplish its most immediate and
paramount object-the establishment of government and the suppression of
the slave trade in the Upper Country".
With the American Consul-General we must say that "It will not do to
condemn Sir Samuel unheard". Without holding any special brief for Baker,
it is clear that Dr, Shukry has overlooked certain facts which throw a different
light on the documents upon which he has relied.
In the first place it is necessary to see what were Baker's original instruc-
tions. Dr. Shukry tells us that "on 27 March 1869, Sir Samuel Baker, as an
employee of the Egyptian Government, drew up the terms of his own contract
of service with the Khedive". ibidd. p. 160.) The text of this alleged contract is
set out Appendix A, pp. 1-2 of Dr. Shukry's book. It is signed by "Samuel
White Baker" and is dated "Alexandria, 27 March 1869". If this document
had been the actual contract between Baker and the Egyptian Government,
it might have been fair to say that in a number of respects Baker subsequently
failed to conform to the letter and the spirit of his instructions. But the docu-
ment was not a concluded contract. It merely sets out Baker's original
proposals as to the terms upon which he was prepared to serve the Khedive.
In Baker's words "after some slight modifications" the terms of the final
contract were embodied in a firman. (Baker, Ismailia i, 6.) Here, it is not
proposed to set out in any detail the differences between the proposals of 27
March 1869, and the text of the firman, but mention should be made of the all
important one as to the duration of the contract. Baker had originally pro-
posed a term of "two years at least" from 1 April 1869. The firman declared
the term to be four years from that date.
The firman reads as follows:
We, Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, considering the savage condition of the tribes
which inhabit the Nile Basin;
Considering that neither government nor laws, nor security exists in these
Considering that humanity enforces the suppression of the slave hunters who
occupy those countries in great numbers;
Considering that the establishment of legitimate commerce throughout those
countries will be a great stride towards future civilisation and will result in the
opening to steam navigation of the great Equatorial Lakes of Central Africa
and in establishing a permanent government;
We have decreed, and now decree, as follows:
An expedition is organised to subdue to our authority the countries situate
to the south of Gondokoro;
To suppress the slave trade;
To introduce a system of regular commerce;
To open to navigation the Great Lakes of the Equator;
And to establish a chain of military stations and commercial depots at
intervals of three days' march throughout Central Africa, accepting Gondokoro
as a base of operations;
The supreme command of the Expedition is confided to Sir Samuel White
Baker for four years commencing from the first April, 1869; upon whom also
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 201
we confer the most absolute and supreme power, even that of death, over all
those who may compose the expedition;
We confer upon him the same absolute and supreme authority over all the
countries belonging to the Nile Basin, south of Gondokoro.
(Baker, op. cit. 1, 6, 7; Murray and White. Sir Samuel Baker-A Memoir,
On 19 May 1869, Baker wrote from Alexandria saying "I have settled
everything satisfactorily with the Khedive. All is signed, sealed and delivered;
and I have the most absolute power over the southern Nile Basin." (Murray
and White, op. cit. p. 149. As to Baker's interpretation of the contract see his
letter of 22 October 1869, in the same work pp. 150-1. For reasons which will
hereinafter appear, it is not necessary to consider whether he placed a correct
construction on the terms of the firman.)
It is very clear that both Ismail and Baker underrated the immensity of the
task which confronted the expedition. For reasons. which need not be
discussed here, the expedition was very slow in getting under weigh. Baker
did not reach Gondokoro, which was to be the base of his operations, until
15 April 1871, when half the period of his contract had already expired.
On arrival he found it necessary to consolidate his position there before he
could set out further to the south.
On 26 August 1871, Baker wrote to the Prince of Wales from Gondokoro
I am building a new town and port of Ismailia, after which I shall go through
the Bar country with 600 men and thoroughly subdue them . I have news
from Europe to the 9th of January 1871. (Times, 8 February 1872.)
On 19 October 1871, he again wrote to the Prince from "Gebel Regiaf,
14 miles south of Gondokoro", saying:
Since the enclosed letter was written to Your Royal Highness, I have been
obliged to make a month's campaign against the Baris, from which I returned
a few days since, having completely subdued them . The officers on the 12th
inst. declared in writing their intention to abandon the expedition and to return
with the troops to Khartoum. This declaration was also signed by the Colonel
(Ra'uf Bey) in command on the plea of scarcity of corn. I think I checkmated
them by at once leading them to this land of abundance on the main river, which
is the granary of the country, and I have forwarded to the Viceroy the written
declaration of the officers, with a request that he will express his opinion in
the most severe terms on so gross a breach of discipline. (Times, 8 February
On 20 October 1871, Baker also wrote to Gustave Oppenheim at
Alexandria from "N. Lat, 4V 55'" (the latitude of Gondokoro) giving the same
information as was contained in his second letter to the Prince of Wales. This
letter was published in The Times of 30 January 1872. Those to the Prince
were forwarded to The Times by the Prince's private secretary on 6 February.
A telegram, which Sir Henry Rawlinson communicated to The Times on 19
January 1872, shows that these letters must have reached Cairo at least two
days before. It was from the British Consul at Cairo and read as follows:
202 UGANDA JOURNAL
Cairo, 17 January 1872-News from Baker dated 8 October 1871. Latitude
4.55 deg. North. All Europeans well.
It must therefore have been at about the date of this telegram that the
Khedive received the letter which Baker refers to in his letter to the Prince
of Wales 19 October 1871. We know that this letter was dated 8 October
1871, and we know something about its contents. Baker tells us that:
Although I had written most important letters to the Khedive and also to his
minister, Cherif Pasha, on the 8 October 1871, which necessitated a reply, I
never received an answer. I reported the conduct of Abu Su'ud in having
captured herds of cattle from the Shir. I had also reported the conduct of my
regimental officers in having purchased slaves in large numbers. I had also
represented in severe terms the conspiracy of the officers to abandon the expedi-
tion and I had begged for an immediate reply. (Ismailia, ii, 518-9.)
As Baker's letter of October 1871, to the Prince of Wales shows, he also
expressed his dissatisfaction with Ra'uf Bey. Abu Su'ud, to whom Baker
refers in the above cited passage from Ismailia, was at this date the head of
the trading firm of Aqqad & Co. to which the Khedive had granted a mono-
poly of the ivory trade in the southern Sudan and which was also indulging
in a traffic in slaves.
In fact a reply was drafted to Baker's letter and there is even reason to
believe that it was despatched to him at Gondokoro, but more will be said
regarding this anon. The reply shows that Baker also made two other requests.
The first was that his tour of duty should be prolonged for a fifth year; the
second that his nephew and fellow traveller, Lieutenant Julian Baker, a naval
officer, twenty-six years of age, should be appointed to succeed him in his
Ismail Pasha's reply to this letter was written in French on some date
(unspecified) in February 1872, that is to say, at least a fortnight after receipt
of Baker's letter. It translates as follows:
My dear Sir Samuel,
I have received the report which you have sent me dated 8 October regarding
the situation at Ismailia, where you have arrived after a voyage of more than
five months. Before acquainting you with my replies to the questions which
you have addressed to me, and my ideas on the actual situation, I tender to you
all my congratulations on the success of your journey and the energy which
you have had to employ to surmount the obstacles which nature itself had put
in your way.
I express also my satisfaction at the courage and patience of the troops,
which I have placed under your command, who have been obliged not only to
cut out a route amid the swamps, but also to haul after them a steamer and
some loaded vessels.
As the subordination to his chief is the first duty of every officer, I am going
to recall Ra'uf Bey, against whom you have lodged a complaint with me.
Nevertheless, in judging the conduct of this officer, I shall not forget the fatigues
which he has undergone, the privations which he has endured, and that he has
helped his soldiers to endure even the lack of food, when from what you tell
me, you were in need of durra and were compelled to send to Khartoum to
look for it. I will send another officer to take his place.
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 203
The period which I assigned to Aqqad for withdrawing from the Sudan
and to stop the trade which they are doing there is drawing to an end and you
believe that it would be good to incorporate these men with your troops and at
the same time to replace your troops by the people who compose the bands of
Aqqad, as they are broken into fatigues and more accustomed to the country.
I differ entirely from your opinion. Your mission is a mission of pacification
and of progress. You have been called to reconcile the inhabitants of the country
to the men with a white skin. Up to the present time these latter have been
brought into their land solely for killing, pillaging and making slaves. If I have
paid large sums to Aqqad and those who devote themselves to this form of
commerce, or rather of brigandage, it was not for the purpose of showing my
government to the native tribes under any aspect of pillage. So if the natives
see the companions of Aqqad under my orders, they will necessarily be led to
believe that the system is the same and that instead of bringing peace and
tranquillity and instead of introducing a reign of calm and order amongst
them, you have come like the former slavers, and in greater strength than
former slavers, to seize their durra, their cattle, and even their people.
On the contrary, you should endeavour to impress on the minds of the chiefs
of the tribes the difference that exists between you and the former slave dealers.
This is an essential point of which you must never lose sight; and, if I properly
understand your report, I see with regret that the want of provisions and durra
has led you to have recourse to force in order to procure them for yourselves.
The natives refuse without doubt to give them to you, because they confuse in
their minds the men whom you command with those who have always despoiled
them. However difficult in itself the want of durra may be for men who have
endured such great fatigues, it is vexatious that this want of provisions should
first of all bring you into collision with the natives and show your mission in
an aspect entirely different to its true character.
I attach considerable importance to the first impression which you ought to
produce amongst the savage tribes whom we are seeking to attach to ourselves.
Therefore I am led quite naturally to give you my ideas, to which I beg you to
conform. They are as follows.
You have arrived in a fair and fertile country. You are surrounded by
a defiant population, who have become hostile by reason of the former actions
of the slavers, actions to which it is moreover your duty to put an end. Your
communications with Khartoum are long and difficult. In these circumstances it
would appear to me to be imprudent for you to advance further, leaving behind
you tribes which have not been pacified and brought to trust us. Stop at
Gondokoro and fortify yourself. Begin your task employing every means
possible to make it known to the chiefs of the tribes. As you propose, mono-
polize the trade, not because I am a friend of monopoly, but because here it
is justified, for it is necessary to circumvent the traffickers who obtain slaves for
themselves under the guise of barter. Only you must exercise it in a large and
liberal manner in order to substitute amongst the natives a lawful for an unlaw-
I wish to be informed as to the articles of barter which may be most likely
to interest the natives. You have got Inglebotham (Edwin Higginbotham, died
at Gondokoro, 28 February 1878). I think a single engineer is not enough. I
will send another to serve under his orders. Employ them in looking for means
to facilitate your communication with Khartoum. You have been vigorous with
respect to the Bari chiefs. Be also just towards them and they will gain con-
204 UGANDA JOURNAL
fidence in you and will quite quickly learn that you have come to instruct them.
This moral and material task will take up a lot of your time. I cannot say
how much. But since you have reached a certain point, be persuaded that, with-
out leaving Gondokoro, you will have lying open to you an easy road to the
lakes, from which you are separated by more than 100 leagues.
I have traced for you in broad outline the line of conduct which I want to see
you take. It is for you and for your intelligence to find the means of attaining
this end. In one word, do not advance, teach, colonize, make friends with the
inhabitants, and once this has been done, advance.
I cannot overstress my ideas on this subject. You have seen for yourself the
spirit of the troops which you command. They have splendidly endured fatigues,
hunger and privations and they have followed you. In fact you are beginning to
lose your ascendancy over them. If you advance, they will be tempted to
abandon you. The idea of having to undergo fresh fatigues may lead to despair
amongst men, who are already enfeebled. The idea of staying for a time in a
fertile country will bring them back to their sense of duty. The change of
Colonel will show them how well you have been supported by me in your
mission and will restore discipline and obedience amongst them. It is impossible
to recall these troops and replace them by Aqqad's adventurers for the reasons
which I have explained to you. To recall them so as to send fresh troops in their
place, before they had arrived in the land of the Bari would cause great dis-
couragement to the new troops. Look after your men. Let them rest and you
will find them ready when the moment comes to advance.
Thus from every point of view you must stop your forward march. This,
as I have told you, will at length be able to ensure more easily and more
certainly the attainment of my purpose.
You wish to have your powers extended for a year. I consent thereto with
pleasure and my orders will be given to that effect . .
You propose to me your nephew as your successor. Certainly the experience
which he has acquired under your command is a ground for recommending
him in my eyes. But the idea of opening the centre of Africa to science, com-
merce and progress is a great idea, which has gained hold of me to such a high
degree, that I believe that the greatest circumspection is needed for the choice of
those whom I shall entrust with realizing it. I cannot therefore give you at
present any reply on the subject. I shall think about it.
(Shukry, op. cit. App. A, pp. 2-4.)
Here, it is not proposed to examine or criticize the contents of this letter in
any detail. Whilst the Khedive may have been influenced in writing to Baker
by information given to him by certain of Baker's subordinates, who were
not well disposed to having a foreigner set over them and may not have been
as cooperative with Baker as they ought to have been, it is clear that much of
his criticism was of Baker's own actions as described by Baker himself. For
present purposes we will confine ourselves to the main theme of Khedive's
letter. Baker is not to proceed further south of Gondokoro until he has con-
solidated his position at that place.
By this date the Khedive had realized that in the original firman he had
granted to Baker what was more or less a blank cheque. He undoubtedly had
a perfect right to alter or modify those very wide instructions in the light of
later knowledge acquired by him. There is nothing to criticize in his letter, but
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 205
it has to be remembered that Ismail Pasha was dictating his letter from his
study in the Abdin Palace in Cairo and could not possibly have fully
appreciated the difficulties which confronted the man on the spot. Neverthe-
less, after receipt of these instructions, it would undoubtedly have been
Baker's duty to conform as closely as possible to both the letter and spirit
thereof, unless intervening circumstances beyond his control had rendered it
impossible for him to do so.
We must now return to note Baker's movements after he had sent the
Khedive his letter of 8 October 1871. He left Gondokoro on 22 January 1872,
and set out on his expedition southwards. It was not until a week or more
later that Ismail Pasha put his signature to his reply to Baker's letter. Baker
did not reach Fatiko until 6 March 1872. Thence he proceeded to Masindi,
the capital of Kabarega, Mukama of Bunyoro. On 14 May 1872 acting in
reliance on the instructions contained in the firman of 1869 "to subdue to our
authority the countries situate to the south of Gondokoro", in the presence
of Kabarega, he proclaimed the annexation of Bunyoro to Egypt. On 8 June
Kabarega attacked the fort which Baker was erecting at Masindi. This attack
was driven off with heavy loss and in retaliation Kabarega's town was burned
to the ground. Baker, however, realized that his position in Bunyoro was
untenable and, after destroying his heavier baggage, he hastily retreated
across the Nile into the Acholi country. He eventually made his way back to
Fatiko, where he arrived on 1 August 1872. He found that his station at this
place was being seriously threatened by the local slave traders employed by
the firm of Aqqad & Co., whom he proceeded to attack and to rout with
heavy loss. For the next six months he spent his time in building a fort at
Fatiko and in extending his rule to the adjacent tribes. Thereafter, he made
his way back to Gondokoro, where he arrived on 1 April 1873, the very day
on which in accordance with the firman his contract expired.
To judge from the time which it took for Baker's letter of 8 October 1871,
to reach Cairo, the Khedive's reply thereto in the following February could
not have reached Gondokoro until the early days of May, 1872. By that time
Baker was already in Masindi and his expedition could not possibly have been
called off. But that was not all. Both in his Ismailia and in subsequent letters
to friends in England Baker was constantly complaining that he could not get
any reply to his letters to Cairo. Thus, he says that on arrival at Gondokoro:
Although I had written the most important letters to the Khedive and to his
minister in October 1871, I had to my amazement not received one word in
reply by the post that had arrived from Egypt. I had apparently been looked
upon as a dead man that did not require a letter. It appeared that my existence
was utterly ignored by the Egyptian Government, although I had in due course
received my letters from England.
(Ismailia ii, 480. See also ibid. ii, 518-9.)
Even when he reached Khartoum in June 1873, on his way to Cairo he
complained that "there was no letter either from the Khedive or Cherif Pasha,
in reply to the important communications that I had written more than two
years before". ibidd. ii, 487.)
The reason for the failure of this letter to reach Baker can only be a matter
206 UGANDA JOURNAL
of conjecture. Two things can be certain; that Ismail Pasha was most anxious
that it should reach Baker before he advanced south of Gondokoro, and that
the letter never came into Baker's hands.
After October 1871, neither the Khedive, nor his ministers, nor any of
Baker's friends in England received any communication from him for some
eighteen months. Meanwhile rumours began to spread to the effect that some-
where to the south of Gondokoro Baker's expedition was isolated and in a
position of great danger. On 17 April 1873, The Times commented in a lead-
ing article on a rumour that Sir Samuel and Lady Baker had been murdered
and expressed the hope that the report was untrue. Three weeks later the
Pall Mall Gazette repeated the story, adding that according to the report the
whole of Baker's party had been massacred (Times, 10 May 1873).
Not unnaturally reports such as these caused great anxiety to the Bakers'
friends in England. Colonel Stanton, the British Consul-General at Cairo, was
repeatedly asked by the British Government to send any authentic informa-
tion which he could possibly obtain from the Egyptian Government. The
Khedive was equally worried. Though from such information as came to his
notice he believed that Baker himself was solely responsible for the precarious
situation in which he was supposed to be, he felt that he was under an obliga-
tion to do everything possible to extricate him. According to some reports he
even meditated sending a succouring expedition to Mombasa to make its way
thence to Baker's relief.
On 24 March, Sir Henry Rawlinson informed the members of the Royal
Geographical Society that they:
No doubt felt greatly distressed at the intelligence which had appeared in the
Times of the danger in which Sir Samuel Baker was placed. No official telegram
had, however, been received from Colonel Stanton, our Consul-General in
Egypt, although he was in the habit of telegraphing all important information.
It was therefore fair to conclude that no official intelligence of such a calamity
overtaking Sir Samuel Baker had been received at Cairo or Alexandria. The
relief expedition organized by the Khedive had left Suez for the east coast of
Africa; and they would proceed into the interior from Mombas or some point in
the vicinity, from whence they would pass along the base of Kilima Njaro and
the shores of the Barengo lake, so as to endeavour to relieve Baker from the
south. The expedition, however, only consisted of 80 or 90, and, if the news
about Baker were true, it is doubtful whether he would be able to hold out till
their arrival. If, however, any information of such a disaster to Baker's party
had reached the Egyptian Government, there could have been no doubt that it
would have been at once communicated to the British Government.
(Proc. R.G.S., 17 (1872-3), 161.)
On 17 April 1873, Edward Saunders wrote to The Times as follows:
When I left Cairo in March, an expedition was in process of organization to
proceed via Zanzibar to the relief of Sir Samuel Baker under the command of
an American officer in the service of the Khedive, named Colonel Purdy. But
not only had the expedition not started when I left Egypt in March, but it was
quite uncertain when it would depart. I therefore fear that any hopes of Sir
S. Baker's relief by the Zanzibar expedition must be discarded.
(Times, 19 April 1873.)
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 207
At this date Purdy Bey (Erastus Sparrow Purdy) was employed on a number
of surveys in Upper Egypt between the Nile and the Red Sea. It is just
possible that Ismail Pasha toyed with the idea of diverting one of his survey
parties to Mombasa or Zanzibar in order to make its way overland to
Baker's relief. But, as the Khedive was evidently aware, there were a number
of objections to any such project. Mombasa was known to be within the
coastal strip claimed by the Sultan of Zanzibar, who might not allow the
passage through his dominions. Furthermore any such expedition would
have to be on a very large scale and to be fully equipped for a long march
from the coast through the lands of possibly hostile tribes. Last but by no
means least, there was the time factor. Baker's fate might well have been
sealed before the expedition could set out. The course actually taken by
Ismail was the more obvious and the infinitely more practical one of instruct-
ing the Governor-General at Khartoum to send strong reinforcements from
Fashoda to Gondokoro and from thence to get in contact with Baker in order
to supply him with provisions and whatever else he might need (Colonel
Stanton to Foreign Office, 5 March 1873, Times, 25 March 1873).
As the report by the American Consul-General regarding his interview
with the Khedive shows, unofficial rumours that Baker was in difficulties had
reached Cairo in the early days of December 1872. A letter from Martin
Ludwig Hansal, the Austrian Consul at Khartoum, had reached Alexandria
towards the end of that month and was published in The Times on Christmas
Day 1872. A much fuller report was published in the New York Herald in
the same month, having been communicated to that journal by its correspon-
dent at Khartoum, who would appear to have derived his information from
the same source as had Ismail Pasha. The opening sentences of this report
read as follows:
On the 7th day of November the merchant fleet arrived here, comprising
ten sail, owned by Muhammad Aqqad, who is the sole proprietor of the ivory
establishment situated south of Gondokoro. The expedition brought tidings
from Sir Samuel Baker that you will perhaps regard as more precious than
ivory. Baker himself has not written a line either to Europe or to the Egyptian
Government so far as I can learn. I, therefore, can only report what I have
patiently gathered from men who have seen Baker in the equatorial regions.
Although they have come direct from there and from association with him, the
reports must, until further advices, be received with a certain degree of caution.
(Proc. R.G.S., 17 (1872-3), 305.)
Except that the report makes no reference to Baker's proclamation of the
annexation of Bunyoro to Egypt, it describes his subsequent retreat from
Masindi and his fight with the slave traders at Fatiko, who were employees
of Abu Su'ud. It ends with the two following sentences:
The trading enterprise of Aqqad is therefore interfered with and Abu Su'ud
proposes to go to Egypt with a view of personally reporting to the Khedive.
Regarding Sir Samuel, whose contract expires very soon, we can form no ideas.
ibidd. p. 308.)
This last sentence is significant. Evidently nobody at Khartoum was at this
208 UGANDA JOURNAL
date aware that the Khedive had written to Baker extending his contract for
As the contents of the report show, Abu Su'ud bore a grudge against
Baker and the information, supplied either by him or by his employees, was
hostile to Baker and had to be received with considerable reserve.
There is no need to repeat the many rumours which reached England
during the first half of 1873. Suffice to say that all anxiety regarding the safety
of Baker's party was finally allayed by the following telegram addressed by
the Hon. H. C. Vivian to the Foreign Office:
Alexandria, 30 June (1 p.m.)-Telegram just received from Sir Samuel Baker,
dated Khartoum yesterday, reports his arrival there in good health with all the
other Europeans. The country as far as the Equator annexed to the Egyptian
dominion. All rebellions, intrigues and slave-trade completely put down.
Country orderly. Government perfectly organized and road open as far as
Zanzibar. El Zaraf navigable. Victory on 8 June with only 105 men over army
of Onioso (sic.). The mission is completely successful.
(Annual Register (1873), Part II, p. 58.)
The story of the final winding up of Baker's expedition can best be given in
his own words:
We reached Cairo on the 24th August at 4.30 p.m. On the 25th I had the
honour of presenting myself to His Highness the Khedive to explain the large
chart of his new territory that I had annexed in Central Africa.
I received from His Highness the Imperial Order of the Osmanie, 2nd class,
as a token of his approbation of my services. I had already had the honour to
accept from his hands the order of the Medjidie, 2nd class. His Highness now
conferred upon Lieutenant Baker the order Medjidie, 3rd class . .
His Highness expressed his determination to judge Abu Su'ud by a
special tribunal . .
.. I insisted upon appearing personally as accuser against Abu Su'ud, but
I was begged to return to England and to confide him to the hands of the
authorities, as His Highness declined to bring him before the public tribunal ..
After a delay of about six weeks in Egypt, His Highness afforded us a
gracious and hospitable occasion of taking leave of himself and the young
princes, to all of whom I am indebted for much courtesy and kindness.
(Ismailia, ii. 494-8.)
From these passages in Ismailia one gathers that Baker and Ismail Pasha
parted on the best of terms. There is no mention in that work or in any of
Baker's correspondence which has come to my notice of the letter which the
Khedive addressed to him in February 1872. In the absence of any such
reference one must conclude that Baker was unaware that any such letter had
been written. Thereafter he persistently defended Ismail when attacked on the
ground that he did not genuinely wish to suppress the slave-trade in the
Sudan. "I still believe," he subsequently wrote, "that the Khedive is sincere at
heart in wishing to suppress the slave-trade, but he requires unusual moral
courage to enter the lists single-handed against Egyptian public opinion."
(Ismailia, ii, 521.)
The conclusion that one draws is that no allusion was ever made by the
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 209
Khedive to his letter or to any of its contents, because he realized that Baker
had never received that letter. If he had referred to it, he would have had to
disclose the fact that he had agreed therein to prolong Baker's period of
office and he would also have had to announce that he was not prepared to
consider Lieutenant Julian Baker as his uncle's successor. Sir Samuel believed
that his contract had come to an end by the effluxion of time and it suited the
Khedive's purpose to leave him in that belief. He was not entirely satisfied
with the manner in which Baker had interpreted his original instructions and
the easiest and smoothest way of dispensing with his services for the future
was to thank him for his past services under a contract which had duly
Baker must therefore be exonerated from having violated the letter and spirit
of written instructions which had never come into his hands. But that does
not conclude the matter.
One has only to read between the lines of Baker's Ismailia and his letters
to friends in England to realize that he had not achieved all that he claimed
in his boastful telegram to Vivian from Khartoum. In a letter to his sister,
Charles Gordon, who became Baker's successor in office, wrote after his
arrival in the Equatorial Sudan saying:
The only possessions Egypt has in my provinces are two forts, one at Gondo-
koro and the other at Fatiko. There are 300 men in one and 200 in the other. As
for paying taxes or any government outside the forts, it is all nonsense. You
cannot go out in safety half a mile because they have been fighting the poor
natives and taking their cattle.
(G. Birkbeck Hill, Colonel Gordon in Central Africa, p. 15.)
As Gordon informed Colonel Stanton at about the same date.
Needless to say, I dispute that Baker annexed the country to (the) Equator, or
that the native pays corn tax, or that he deposed Kaba Rega, but that does not
matter; he told (the) Khedive so.
(Sudan Notes and Records 10 (1927), p. 27.)
His own version of the facts as given in Ismailia shows that Baker failed
effectively to annex Bunyoro to Egypt or to dethrone Kabarega. Like the
evacuations of Corunna and Dunkirk, his repulse of Kabarega's attack upon
his camp at Masindi, immediately followed as it was by his hasty retreat
across the Nile, may have been an exhibition of masterly strategy in the
conduct of a rearguard action under great difficulties, but it can in no sense be
styled a victory.
Here it is not proposed to enter into an exhaustive discussion of the rights
and wrongs of Baker's operations in Bunyoro. Judicabunt alii. The question
for us is whether despite the very wide powers bestowed upon him by the
firman of 1869, Baker was as a matter of military strategy justified in under-
taking the operations which led to his subsequent predicaments.
It is of course axiomatic in many military operations that the commanding
officer must be prepared knowingly to undertake one or more calculated
risks. But it is equally axiomatic that no general ought to hazard his forces
in operations which at the best have only the remotest chance of success and
are little better than reckless throws of the dice. The only justification for
210 UGANDA JOURNAL
risks of this latter nature is that they succeed despite all odds. Was Baker's
march into Bunyoro a calculated, but in the circumstances a justifiable, risk?
Or was it no better than a gambler's throw of the dice?
This is what Baker himself had to say in regard thereto:
I was well aware of the difficulties of my position, but I had only the choice
of two evils. If I remained at Gondokoro, my term of service would expire
fruitlessly. I should simply have reduced the Baris and established the station.
Abu Su'ud would remain in the interior among his numerous slave establish-
ments to ridicule my impotence and defy my orders that he should quit the
country. He would thus continue in the heart of Africa until I returned helplessly
to England. He would then have resumed his original work of spoliation. The
expedition would have been a failure.
On the other hand, should my small force meet with defeat or destruction,
both the military and civil world would exclaim "Serve him right! The expedi-
tion into the interior made under such circumstances showed a great want of
judgment; a total ignorance of the first rules of military tactics. What could he
expect, without an established communication at a distance of three or four
hundred miles from his base?"
I knew the risks and the responsibility; but if I remained passive, I should
be beaten. I had often got through difficulties, and if risks are to be measured
in Africa by ordinary calculations, there could be little hope of progress.
I determined to carry as large a supply of ammunition as could be trans-
ported, together with sufficient merchandise, carefully assorted, to establish a
legitimate ivory trade in my old friend Kamurasi's country.
(Ismailia, ii, 3-4.)
In a letter, which he wrote to his brother James Baker from Gondokoro on
13 May 1873, shortly before he started on his return journey to Khartoum
en route for Cairo, he gave this account of the difficulties which beset him in
By the general conspiracy of the officers in October 1871, who wished to
abandon the expedition, my force of 1,700 men was reduced to 502 (including
officers). With this absurdly small force I had everything to do. The sick and
refractory had returned to Khartoum.
I took 212 officers and men and, having engaged carriers 87 miles south of
Ismailia (sc. Gondokoro), I pushed on to Fatiko-161 miles distant from this.
On arrival I found it the headquarters of slavers, who occupied the country
in great force . The total force of slavers comprised about 1,000 men in the
country between Fatiko and Unyoro.
. Having arranged matters and made friends with all the native chiefs, to
whom I was well known on my former visit, the country declared its allegiance
to the Government.
I left 100 men under Major Abdullah, with the heaviest baggage and
ammunition, to hold a station at Fatiko while I pushed on to Unyoro.
. I arrived with a little force of 112 men in Unyoro. I was now 318 miles
from Ismailia at the capital of Unyoro-Masindi, a day's march from the Albert
Nyanza . .
Having arranged with Kabba Rega, he professed allegiance to the Sultan.
I hoisted the Ottoman flag and formally took possession . Everything
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 211
appeared couleur de rose. I sent 11 men with the post to Fatiko, 157 miles
distant. together with 25 prisoners (sc. slave-traders captured en route to
Bunyoro). I was quite unprepared for the treachery that was intended.
(Times, 14 August 1875.)
One of the many letters, which Baker addressed to his friends just prior to
setting out on this expedition, was written at Gondokoro on 8 October 1871,
and addressed to Gustave Oppenheim at Alexandria. The following are some
of the sentences contained therein:
If the Viceroy does not order the main stream to be cleared, there is little
use in spending money on the annexation of Central Africa . .
Upon arrival here we were quickly plunged into war with the Bari tribes . .
I trust to reduce them to subjection shortly . I hope no intrigues in the
Soudan or Egypt will interfere with my expected reinforcement of 800 men.
I have now 1,035 troops, including ten guns. It is too small a force to divide
amongst distant stations.
(Times, 30 January 1872.)
On 22 January 1872, without waiting for these reinforcements and after his
fighting strength had become depleted to 502 officers and men, Baker set out
I do not think further evidence on the subject is called for. Baker was well
aware that his lines of communication were most unsatisfactory and that the
troops at his disposal were quite inadequate for the project he was about to
undertake. Finally when he set out from Fatiko on his march to Masindi, he
was well aware that he was leaving in his rear an armed force of hostile slave-
traders, who outnumbered both the garrison which he had left at Fatiko and
the small column under his command by close on five to one. His misadven-
tures in Bunyoro were not due to misfortune despite sound strategy and good
generalship. He had taken a gambler's chance and it was not in the least
surprising that he had failed.
Baker's expedition to Bunyoro was therefore a grave strategic blunder, if
nothing else. As so often happens, a blunder may have more far reaching
consequences than an actual crime. Baker never got over Kabarega's attack
at Masindi. "When you arrive in Unyoro," he told Gordon, his successor in
office, "let me implore you not to trust Kabarega. There is no country that I
have seen where such treachery and cunning are to be found as in Unyoro.
Falsehood and treachery are reduced to a science; and no kindness or good
intentions are appreciated." (Baker to Gordon, 18 September 1875. Murray
and White, op. cit. p. 241.) When a few years later he learnt that Emin Bey
had visited Kabarega and been received by him in the most friendly manner,
he again wrote to tell Gordon that "he (sc. Emin) must be very careful in that
quarter, as the Wanyoro are treacherous people". (Same to same, 5 May 1878.
Murray and White, op. cit. p. 241.)
For many a long year Kabarega was known to the British public only by
the reputation given to him by Baker. Unfortunately for Kabarega and his
people, Baker's assessment of his character appeared to receive corroboration
from rival claimants to the throne of Bunyoro and from his hereditary
enemies, the ruler and leading chiefs of Buganda, all of whom had strong
212 UGANDA JOURNAL
personal motives for painting his portrait in lurid colours. Emin Pasha was
to prove that, if sympathetically handled, he had the making of an excellent
agent for the introduction of more civilized ideas into the Lake Regions of
Central Africa. But this was not to be. Emin's visit to Kabarega never received
the publicity, which was given to Baker's visit, Baker had given Kabarega a
bad name which clung to him with results disastrous to him and his country.
Kabarega was born too late. His ambition was to recover the territories
which his immediate predecessors had lost, but the time for achieving this had
passed. With Hamlet, he might well have exclaimed that the time was out of
joint and that it was a cursed spite which prevented him from putting it right.
Moreover fate had decreed that Buganda and not Bunyoro should encounter
western civilization under the more liberal manifestations presented by such
as Stanley and the Christian missionaries. Had Kabarega enjoyed the advan-
tage of more direct contacts with the outside world which were conferred
upon Mutesa by his geographical situation the history of the kingdoms of the
Equatorial Lake region would almost certainly have been very different, and
Bunyoro might well have become the dominant Kingdom.
Like contemporary neighboring rulers, Kabarega had faults which were
neither few nor small. But he retained the loyalty of many of his subjects
even after he had been driven from his kingdom. The work he did was done
with all his might and it was the work of a born ruler of men. When in the
end he was grievously wounded and brought to bay, Kabarega might well
have uttered the words spoken four centuries before by a very brave English
nobleman-'I was taken as a knight should be'.
Whilst Baker's march to, and attempted annexation of, Bunyoro undoubt-
edly exposes him to severe criticism, different considerations apply to his
operations in Acholiland. In the first place, at Fatiko, he was much nearer
to his main base at Gondokoro. Secondly, and this is the strongest point in
his favour, at Fatiko he met with far greater success. As Gordon pointed out,
he did succeed in establishing a permanent military station there. It is easy to
point out a number of mistakes which he made regarding the administration
of that post and the adjacent countryside, but against all these must be set the
fact that he gained the confidence of the local inhabitants. So much was this
the case that today, close on a century after he finally left Fatiko, he is
remembered by the Acholi as the one great administrator in their land before
the advent of the Uganda Protectorate.
When Charles Delm6-Radcliffe took charge of the Nile Province in 1899, he
learnt that in Acholiland:
Sir Samuel and Lady Baker . seem to have inspired the natives everywhere
with the greatest possible affection. They never ceased to tell us wonderful
stories of 'Murrdu', or Lion's Mane, as they called Sir Samuel, and of 'Anyadue',
or Daughter of the Moon, which is their name for Lady Baker. Many of Baker's
old adherents came to us to ask for news of them .. Our best recommendation
to the natives we found to be that we belonged to the same nation as Baker,
and that our government would be like his.
(C. Delm6-Radcliffe, 'Surveys and Studies in Uganda', Geographical Journal
26 (1905), 482-3.)
ISMAIL PASHA AND SIR SAMUEL BAKER 213
Half a century later an anthropologist working in the field in Acholiland
Baker had become an integral part of nearly all the groups that I studied.
He is known as Pasha, and his wife as Nyadwe, Daughter of the Moon: stories
of his hunting exploits and physical strength, and of her beauty were known
to all. The battle in which the mono kutturia, slave traders, were defeated by
the use of rockets has become part of the folklore of the Acholi. Baker has
become a kind of archetypal figure, a symbol of the roseate days when
Europeans freed the people from the slavers.
(F. K. Girling, The Acholi of Uganda, (H.M.S.O., 1960), p. 132.)
When during a brief period of residence in a strange land a stranger so far
gains the affection and trust of the dwellers therein as to obtain an enduring
reputation such as this, it cannot be denied that there must have been in him
many of the elements which go to make a man a great administrator.
BAKER AND RUYONGA
By JOHN R. BAKER
AT the time of Samuel Baker's first visit to Bunyoro in 18641,2 a feud had
existed for some years between Kamurasi and Ruyonga,3 the two principal
aspirants to supremacy in the country. Kamurasi invited his rival to visit him
at his headquarters in Mruli for friendly discussion. The unsuspecting
Ruyonga accepted, but was made prisoner and condemned to death by
burning. He was rescued by a gallant friend, Sali, who was captured and
tortured to death by Kamurasi. Ruyonga escaped to the north. In alliance
with Fowooka (Mpuhuka), another powerful chief, he and his adherents
occupied the many islands in the Nile between the Karuma and Murchison
Falls, and threatened to separate off the northern part of Bunyoro as an
independent kingdom of Chopi.
Baker's main purpose was to discover the great lake (Albert Nyanza) that
had been reported to exist on the western side of Bunyoro. He knew that he
must pass through territory under Kamurasi's control if he was to achieve his
object. If he made friends with Ruyonga, Kamurasi would oppose his entry
into Bunyoro. Baker therefore took particular care to avoid Ruyonga and
his adherents. He crossed the Nile near the Karuma Falls and moved south
to Kamurasi's headquarters.
On the day after his arrival at Mruli, a powerful chief named Mugema,
impersonating Kamurasi but acting in fact as his deputy, suggested an
alliance to attack Ruyonga. The rifles in the possession of Baker's party
would have constituted a powerful addition to Kamurasi's military strength.
On this and all subsequent occasions Baker resolutely refused to lend his aid
to an attack on Ruyonga, who had not injured him in any way.
After the discovery of the Albert Nyanza and Murchison Falls, Baker and
his party were kept by Kamurasi for more than two months in a state of
semi-starvation at a place a few miles south of the Nile, east of the Murchi-
son Falls. The intention was to force him to agree to an attack on Ruyonga
and Fowooka, but Baker kept to his resolution. Kamurasi at last relented
when Baker's moral support had saved Kamurasi from attack by Arab
On his second expedition to Central Africa,45, 6 as commander of the
Khedive's Expedition for the Suppression of the Slave Trade, Sir Samuel
Baker was accompanied by his nephew, my father, then Lieutenant Julian A.
Baker, R.N., as his aide-de-camp. When the party reached Bunyoro in 1872,
Kamurasi was dead and had been succeeded as Omukama by his son,
D C BA
A V *
At Nyakagwenyi, Bunyoro, 19 July 1957. (A) Kachope and (B) Ruyonga are sons of
(C) Omubito Kosiya K. Labwoni. (D) John R. Baker
Kabarega. On crossing the Nile into the latter's territory near the Karuma
Falls, the Bakers at once heard that an Arab trader, Suleiman, was about to
join Kabarega in an attack on Ruyonga, whose headquarters were now on the
island of Kanyamaizi, some 15 miles upstream from Foweira. Baker forbade
and prevented this attack, and shortly afterwards arrested and imprisoned
After the battle of Masindi (8 June 1872), Baker's party, though victorious,
was left in a very precarious situation. They were short of food and deprived
of the assistance of native porters. Baker at once decided that the only
possible move was a retreat to the Nile at Foweira, and an alliance with
Ruyonga. The party reached Foweira on 24 June, having been under almost
continuous attack from Kabarega's forces on the way. Ruyonga's spies had
kept him informed of the situation, and he soon sent his nephew to establish
communication. Baker built a stockade at Foweira and went south in
Ruyonga's canoes to establish personal contact. He landed on the west bank
of the Nile, opposite Kanyamaizi Island.7
On 19 July 1872,8 Ruyonga crossed to the west bank with his retainers.
An alliance was at once concluded, and sealed by the ceremony of blood-
brotherhood. Ruyonga exchanged blood with Samuel Baker, and his son,
Komwiswa, with my father. This alliance was extremely valuable to both
parties. Without it, Baker's force would have lacked food and at the same time
would have been subject to a continuation of Kabarega's attack. It would have
been difficult or impossible to cross the Nile and reach the expedition's base at
Patiko. The alliance removed these difficulties. At the same time Baker was
able to leave the Egyptian Colonel, Abd-el-Kader, with 65 soldiers in the
stockade at Foweira, and this made Ruyonga's position much more secure.
When Baker had firmly established himself at Patiko, he sent another
officer with 60 or 65 men to replace Abd-el-Kader's detachment.6'9 In his
valuable paper on 'European Travellers in Bunyoro, 1862-1877', Dunbar10
gives the misleading impression that Abd-el-Kader and his men were recalled
without replacement. This would have left Ruyonga unsupported.
Samuel Baker6 describes Ruyonga as "a handsome man of about fifty, with
exceedingly good manners . perfectly at his ease . [He] was well aware
how often I had refused to attack him, and he confessed that I had been his
saviour by the arrest of Suleiman, who would have joined the forces of Kabba
Rdga (Kabarega) to have crushed him .. he seemed quite rejoiced that I, who
had always declined to molest him before I had known him personally, should
now have taken him by the hand".
When Colonel C. Chaill6-Long, Gordon's Chief-of-Staff, met Ruyonga in
1874, he was 'singularly impressed'. He refers to 'the ever-gratefully remem-
bered Rionga,' brave, loyal, and honest, 'every inch a king'-a king who, in
marked contrast to the despotic Mutesa, 'never exercises over his subjects the
punishment of death.'1 The Adjutant-Major at Foweira told Long that
Ruyonga's word was his bond.
My father was 24 years old at the time of the blood-brotherhood ceremony.
He married late in life and I was not born until 28 years after the alliance
with Ruyonga. I realized that my very existence might quite probably be
216 UGANDA JOURNAL
due to this alliance, since the whole of Baker's force would have been
imperilled without it. I was therefore anxious to meet Ruyonga's descendants.
This was arranged through the kind help of Sir George Duntze, Bart., Mr. E.
R. Norris, and especially Mr. P. N. Lane. On 19 July 1957, exactly 85 years
to the days after the conclusion of the alliance, I met Ruyonga's grandson,
Omubito Kosiya K. Labwoni, and the latter's sons, Kachope and Ruyonga.
With Mr. Lane we travelled several miles southwards by Land-Rover from
Mutunda down a narrow track parallel with the Nile, and then walked along
a footpath to reach the river at Nyakagwenyi,7 near the place where the
alliance was concluded, within sight of Kanyamaizi Island. Here I clasped
hands with Omubito Labwoni and we agreed that the blood-brotherhood had
descended to us and would be transmitted to our respective sons.
On our return to Mutunda, Omubito Labwoni made a short speech and
presented me with a spear that had belonged to Ruyonga and is now one of
my most treasured possessions. I replied, and gave photographs of Sir Samuel
and Lady Baker, suitably inscribed, to him and his sons.
It is a source of special satisfaction to me that I have made a close bond with
I must mention the extraordinary helpfulness of everyone I met in Uganda,
especially the Government officers. The arrangements made for my benefit
worked everywhere with clockwork precision. I hope to have opportunities of
acknowledging the assistance of others than those named in this article, when
recording further experiences of my visit to Uganda. My cousin, Mr. Robin
Baily, kindly allowed me to make use of Samuel Baker's manuscript diaries1. 4
in writing this article.
I Samuel Baker's Diary of his first African expedition, in manuscript (in the posses-
sion of Mr. Robin Baily).
2 Baker, S. W. (1866). The Albert N'yanza, Great Basin of the Nile. 2 vols.
3 Baker and Chaill6-Long both spelled the name 'Rionga'. In the present note the
proper names of African persons and places are spelled in accordance with the modern
4 Samuel Baker's diary of his second African expedition, in manuscript (in the posses-
sion of Mr. Robin Baily).
5 Julian A. Baker's diary of Samuel Baker's second African expedition, in manuscript
(in the possession of the author of the present article).
6 Baker, S. W. (1874). Ismailia. 2 vols.
7 Information from Omubito Kosiya K. Labwoni.
8 On 5 November 1872, it was discovered by Julian A. Baker by astronomical obser-
vations, that the expedition was one day in error in its record of dates. In Samuel
Baker's diary4 the date of the ceremony of blood brotherhood is given as 20 July 1872,
but the correct date (19th) is given in his book.6
9 Samuel Baker's diary,4 entry of 21 August. Ismailia, vol. ii, p. 413.
10 Dunbar, A. R. (1959). 'European Travellers in Bunyoro-Kitara, 1862-1877',
Uganda 1., 23, 101.
11 Chailld-Long, C. (1876). Central Africa: Naked Truths of Naked People.