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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Sir Apolo Kaggwa and the pre-colonial history
Excavation at Mubende Hill
Kigezi operations 1914-1917
Acholi birth customs
Studies in heart disease in Uganda
The diaries of Emin Pasha -- Extracts XI
Uganda bibliography 1965-1966
Index to Volume 30 (1966)
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
The Uganda Jou
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGAND
VOLUME 30 MAR PBR1 9SB '
SIR APOLO KAGGWA AND THE PRE-COLONIAL HisToRY
OF BUGANDA M. S. M. KIWANUKA 137
EXCAVATIONS AT MUBENDE HILL- E. C. PLANNING 153
KJGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 Edited by H. B. THOMAS 165
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS S. HIGGINS 175
STUDIES IN HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA A. G. SHAPER 183
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS xi
THE GATHERING STORM IN EQUATORIA
27 MAY TO 20 AUGUST 1888 Edited by SIR JOHN GRAY 191
CORRIGENDA AND ADDENDA TO EXTrRACTS X
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ON THE NILE-CHOBI
CONFLUENCE B. M. FAGAN AND L. LOFGREN 201
THE LEVALLOISIAN FLAKE INDUSTRY OF NSONGEZI T. P. O'BRIEN 207
GROUND STONE AXE, LOITOME, KARAMOJA L. CLARK 208
An INTERESTING GYNANDROMORPH K. W. BROWN 208
STANLEY'S BLOOD-BROTHERHOOD M. DOORNBOS 209
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920 B. W. LANGLANDS 211
AN HISTORICAL NOTE ON NILE TRANSPORT J. W. KING 219
POLITICAL CHANGE IN BUSOGA P. RIGBY 223
KARAGWE REGALIA H. SASSOON 226
A FURTHER NOTE ON THE EDUCATION OF
AFRICAN MUSLIMS J. SYKES 227
History of East Africa Vol. II
(By V. Harlow and E. M. Chilver) R. BRIDGES 229
Zande dans I'histoire du Bahr el Ghazal et e I'Equatoria
(By A. Thuriaux-Hennebert) M. CRAWFORD YOUNG 233
Omukama Chwa II Kabarega (By A. R. Dunbar) J. BUSHARA 235
The glorious victories of Amda Seyon
(By G. W. B. Huntingford)- J. E. G. SUFTON 235
The fishes of Uganda (By P. H. Greenwood) P. SEMAKULA 236
Budongo, a forest and its chimpanzees
(By V. Reynolds) D. F. OWEN AND A. W. R. McCRAE 237
Understanding an African kingdom, Bunyoro
(By J. Beattie) P. RIGBY 238
Tarikh J. CHAPLIN 239
Gardening in hot countries (By A. S. Thomas) M. POSNANSKY 240
SOCIETY NOTES- 189
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 174
UGANDA BIBLIOGRAPHY 1965-1966
Compiled by B. W. LANGLANDS 244
INDEX TO VOLUME 30 (1966) 258
7,)/, /10 THE UGANDA SOCIETY
2 6 Price Shs. 15/-
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
OFFICERS FOR 1966-67
The Excelleney the President of Uganda, Dr. A. Milton Obote.
Professor S. J. K. Baker, O.B.E.
The Hon. Secretary.
The Hon. Treasurer
The Hon. Editor
The Hon. Librarian
Dr .. K. Almond
Dr. W. B. Banage
Mr. K %%. Brown
Mr. J. W\. Bushara
Messrs Cooper Bros. & Co.
Dr. M. S. M. Kiwanuka
Mr. J. L. Dixon
Mr. S. C. Grimley. M.D.E.
Mr. \V. B. Hudson
Mr. \V. S. Kajubi
Mr. F. X. Katete
Mr. Y. Kiesimira
Mr. A. W. R. McCrae
Mr P. M. Mulib%%a
Mrs. NI. Macpherson
Dr M. Posnansk5
MNr. M. 0. Bulama
Mrs. J. Bein
Mr. B. W. Langlands
Miss NI. E. Thompson
Hon. Legal Adviser:
Mr. R. A. Counihan
Sir Edward Mutesa, K.B.E.
R. A. Sir Tito W\Vni Gafabusa IV,
c.B F Oinukama of Bunyaro
Lord Twining of Tanganijka and
Godalming, Gj.C.M G., M.B.E.
Sir John Milner Gray
Mr. E B. Haddon
Mr. H. B. Thomas, O.B.E.
Professor A. \\. \\ illiams. c.Br.
Reverend Father J. P. Crazzolara
Captain C. R. S. Pitman, C.B.E. D.S.O., M.C.
1933-34 Sir A. R. Cook, C.M.G.. O.B.E.
1934-35 Mr. E. 1. Wa5 land, C.B.E.
1935-36 Dr. H. H. Hunter, C.B.F., LL.D.
1936-37 Dr. H. Jowitt. c.M.G.
1937-38 Sir H. R. Hone, K.C.M.G., K.B.C,
1938-39 Mr. J. Sykes, O.B.E.
1939-40 Mr N. V. Brasnetl
1940-41 Captain C. R. S. Pitman, C.B.E.,
1941-42 Mr. S. W. Kulub1a, C.B E.
1942-43 Mr. E. A. Temple Perkins
1943-44 Mr. R. A. Snoxall
1944-45 Dr. K. A. Davies, c.M.G.. O.B.F.
1945-46 Mr. G. H. E. Hopkins, o.E.
1946-47 Mrs. K. NI. Trowell, M.B.E.
1947-48 Dr. W. J. Eggeling
1948-50 Dr. G. ap Griffith
1950-51 Rev. Fr. F. B. Gaffney, w.r.
1951-52 Professor A. W. Williams, C.B.E.
1952-53 Sir J. N. Hutchinson, C.M.C., F.R.5.
1953-54 Mr. J. D. Jameson, O.B.E.
1954-55 Dr. Audrey 1. Richards, C.B.E.
1955-56 Rev. Dr. H. C. Trowell, o B.E.
1956-57 Mr. D. K. Marphatia. M.B.E.
1957-58 Mr. M. Barrington Ward
1958-59 Dr. H. F. Morris
195Q-60 Professnr A. \V. Southall
1960-61 Mr J. C. D. Lawrance, O.B.E.
1961-62 Mr. B. E. R. Kirwan, M.B.E.
1962-64 Mr. W. S. Kaiubi
1964-65 Dr. M. Posnanskv
1965-66 Dr. W. B. Banage
Mr. S. W. Kulubva, C.B E.
Mr. B. K. Mulhanti, O.B.E.
Secretary" Mrs. J. Bevin
Mr. G. P. Saben
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
B. W. LANGLANDS (Hon. Editor)
A. W. R. McCRAE
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Copyright Uganda Society 1966
SIR APOLO KAGGWA AND THE PRE-COLONIAL HISTORY
OF BUGANDA M. S. M. KIWANUKA 137
EXCAVATIONS AT MUBENDE HILL- E. C. PLANNING 153
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 Edited by H. B. THOMAS 165
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS S. HIGGINS 175
STUDIES IN HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA A. G. SHAPER 183
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XI
THE GATHERING STORM IN EQUATORIA
27 MAY TO 20 AUGUST 1888 Edited by SIR JOHN GRAY 191
CORRIGENDA AND ADDENDA TO EXTRACTS X
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ON THE NILE-CHOBI
CONFLUENCE B. M. FAGAN AND L. LOFGREN 201
THE LEVALLOISIAN FLAKE INDUSTRY OF NSONGEZI T. P. O'BRIEN 207
GROUND STONE AXE, LOITOME, KARAMOJA L. CLARK 208
An INTERESTING GYNANDROMORPH K. W. BROWN 208
STANLEY'S BLOOD-BROTHERHOOD M. DOORNBOS 209
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920 B. W. LANGLANDS 211
AN HISTORICAL NOTE ON NILE TRANSPORT J. W. KING 219
POLITICAL CHANGE IN BUSOGA P. RIGBY 223
KARAGWE REGALIA H. SASSOON 226
A FURTHER NOTE ON THE EDUCATION OF
AFRICAN MUSLIMS J. SYKES 227
History of East Africa Vol. II
(By V. Harlow and E. M. Chilver) R. BRIDGES 229
Zande dans l'histoire du Bahr el Ghazal et de l'Equatoria
(By A. Thuriaux-Hennebert) M. CRAWFORD YOUNG 233
Omukama Chwa II Kabarega (By A. R. Dunbar) J. BUSHARA 235
The glorious victories of Amda Seyon
(By G. W. B. Huntingford)- J. E. G. SUTTON 235
The fishes of Uganda (By P. H. Greenwood) P. SEMAKULA 236
Budongo, a forest and its chimpanzees
(By V. Reynolds) D. F. OWEN AND A. W. R. MCCRAE 237
Understanding an African kingdom, Bunyoro
(By J. Beattie) P. RIGBY 238
Tarikh J. CHAPLIN 239
Gardening in hot countries (By A. S. Thomas) M. POSNANSKY 240
SOCIETY NOTES 189
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 174
UGANDA BIBLIOGRAPHY 1965-1966
Compiled by B. W. LANGLANDS 244
INDEX TO VOLUME 30 (1966) 258
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Price Shs. 15/-
Uganda Journal, 30, 2, (1966) 137-152.
SIR APOLO KAGGWA AND THE PRE-COLONIAL HISTORY OF
By M. S. M. KIWANUKA
According to his own account in Basekabaka, Sir Apolo Kaggwa was
born about 1865; but apart from this testimony concerning his birth little is
known about Kaggwa's early years. It is clear from the evidence,' however,
that his parents placed him in the household of a relative who was himself a
chief. Thus the next important information on him is when he was in the house-
hold of Basudde, the chief of Ekitongole Ekisuuna.2 During the years he spent
in Basudde's household, Kaggwa made acquaintance with Nzalambi who
was the caretaker of the royal mosque. It was probably through this acquaint-
ance that Kaggwa eventually entered the royal court and joined the service of
Kulugi; the chief keeper of the royal stores. His first job under Kulugi was to
distribute food among the members of the household, and this would appear
to have been in 1884, because Zimbe argues that by the time King Mutesa
died (October 1884), Kaggwa had been in the court for about a year3.
Meanwhile, Kaggwa had been converted to Christianity by the members of
the Church Missionary Society.4 In 1886, King Mwanga arrested him with
other Christian converts, but he escaped execution and he was beaten instead.5
He first became politically prominent in 1887, when he was promoted to become
chief of the royal stores (probably in succession to his former master, Kulugi).
The new appointment put him at the head of a large number of the Protestant
converts.6 Thus after the civil war of 1888, Kaggwa got the chieftainship of
Mukwenda as one of the leading members of the Protestant faction. The turn-
ing point in his political career came during the first religious wars of 1887,
when the Muslim faction defeated the Christians and the latter took refuge in
Ankole. Then, after Honorato Nyonyintono, the Prime Minister, had been
killed in the battle of Mawuki (1889), Kaggwa became one of the leading
contenders for the office of Prime Minister among the Christian group.7 Thus
after the Christian victory over the Muslims in 1889, Kaggwa became the Prime
Minister and continued to hold this office until his enforced retirement in 1926.
Long before his retirement he had been honoured by the colonial government
with a K.C.M.G.
Like many of his contemporaries, Kaggwa acquired a passion for writing.
He seems to have begun at an early date to record events of the 1880s and
1890s. For instance, one learns from R. P. Ashe of the C.M.S. that by 1894,
Kaggwa had already written a small book called Entalo za Buganda (The Wars
of Buganda)8. The book presumably referred to those wars in which Kaggwa
himself had played an important role and which had resulted in his becoming
the Prime Minister. Ashe himself expressed his indebtness to this small book in
the preface to his Chronicles of Uganda. The Entalo is no longer extant, though
one can safely assume that the information it contained was included in the
later works. These were the Basekabaka be Buganda (The kings of Buganda),
first published in 1901; Ekitabo Kye Empisa za Buganda (The book of the man-
138 UGANDA JOURNAL
ners and customs of the Baganda), first published in 1905; Ekitabo Ky'Ebika bya
Abaganda (The book of the clans of the Baganda) published in 1908, and the
book of the Grasshopper clan Ekitabo Kye Kika Kye Nsenene, which seems to
have been begun in 1893. These are Kaggwa's most outstanding historical
writings. That work of such size should appear a little less than thirty years
after the Luganda language had been committed to writing was no mean achieve-
ment on the part of Kaggwa. What is curious, however, is that all these books
should have been written between 1900-1912, the years during which the country
was just settling down to the new colonial administration and when Kaggwa, as
the Prime Minister and first Regent of the young king, must have been very
A question which has often been asked and to which it is difficult to give
an exact answer is why did Kaggwa write? While it is true that Kaggwa himself
was extremely interested in writing, it is also not unreasonable to suppose
that he was greatly influenced by the literary atmosphere provided by the
missionaries around him, such as J. Roscoe, R. P. Ashe, Walker and others.
The present writer was repeatedly told by Kaggwa's family, that it was John
Roscoe who suggested to Kaggwa to write in Luganda what he himself was
already writing in English.10 It is worth noting also that it was Kaggwa who
summoned most, if not all, of the informants Roscoe used as his sources. As
these gave their information in Luganda, Kaggwa wrote it down and these
notes provided the basis of his own writings. An interesting comparison can
in fact be made between Kaggwa's writings and Roscoe's The Baganda.1"
The latter consists of a long section on the history of the kings, on the history
of the clans and their totems, and the rest of the book deals with every other
aspect of Kiganda society; military, political, cultural and social. As shown
above, Kaggwa's writings also deal exactly with these same subjects, but in a
more detailed manner. Another interesting comparison is that The Baganda was
published in 1911, and after that date Roscoe concluded his serious enquiries
in Buganda. In 1912, Kaggwa's Ebika was re-issued and after that date he
did not do any more writing except for a few occasional articles he contributed
to the Ebifa, a C.M.S. newspaper. The Ebika ends with a chronology of the
most important events of the nineteenth century. The editor of the Uganda
Journal drew attention to the fact that Kaggwa's chronology was based on that
of J. D. Mullins The wonderful story of Uganda which had been published in
1904. The editor further observed that though the characters included in the
chronology showed that Kaggwa's was largely an independent compilation,
the dates were nevertheless taken from Mullins' book.12 The comparisons do
not prove that Kaggwa copied the work of the missionaries, but at least they
indicate that part of the initiative to write came from them. This influence is
clearly illustrated in the planning and arrangement of his historical writings.
The three main books of Kaggwa supplement each other. This is because
the views expressed and the incidents described in one book are referred to
in another book in a similar or different context. Hence the information pro-
vided in Empisa, for example may be modified in Basekabaka and vice versa.
Because of this, no full account of the history of Buganda can be made without
using material from all of them. Basekabaka itself, is a volume of nearly 90,000
words and it is the principal source of the dynastic history of Buganda. It
recounts the history of each king from Kintu, the supposed founder of the
dynasty, to the reign of Cwa II.13 The details differ from reign to reign. The
accounts of some reigns are full, while those of others are tantalizingly short
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 139
and uninformative. The reign of Kintu, for example, is recorded at great length,
probably because he represented the period of settlement. After the reign of
Kimera (who seems to have introduced a new dynasty) there is a dearth of
information and it is not until the reign of Nakibinge that the oral accounts
become detailed again. From this reign until the reign of Kateregga in the seven-
teenth century, little useful information is recorded, and even after this reign,
there are some disappointing gaps. Thus, the excellent accounts of Mwanda and
his subjugation of the Busoga states, are followed by the scrappy accounts of the
short reigns of Mwanga I and Namugala. Like most chronicles, Basekabaka
becomes more detailed as recent times are approached. Thus the three reigns
of Kamanya, Suna II and Mutesa I take up as much space as the previous
twenty-seven reigns. There are several reasons for this. Information on the
nineteenth century was collected from eyewitnesses, and inevitably much more
was remembered on this period than any other. Moreover, as Buganda had
expanded territorially, so had her administrative and military needs become
more complex. Thus the lists of the chiefs are longer.
Basekabaka is not a source of royal history only, but also of the chiefs and
their clans. The reign of each king is concluded with a long list of chiefs and the
lists become longer towards more recent times which suggests that there had
been rapid administrative and military expansion. The Empisa is a study of
the manners and customs of the Baganda, but it includes also a long section on
the history of the kings. For example 66 of its 319 pages are a repetition of
Basekabaka in a more or less detailed manner. And the reign of each king is
concluded not only with a list of chiefs, but also with a list of the royal wives,
their fathers and clans and the royal children they bore. There are also detailed
sections on the military organisation and taxation system. Kaggwa was at his
best when he described these aspects of Kiganda society. It should not sur-
prise us that he showed such knowledge, because a Muganda chief was an
administrator and a tax-gatherer in peace time and a leader in time of war.
The Ebika was Kaggwa's major work on the clans and their histories. The
Baganda are divided into totemic clans, each of which has its own head and
Butaka.14 Kaggwa recorded thirty-one clans and twelve others which he classified
as the Buddu clans.15 The book is full of details, not only of the supposed origins
of the clans, but also of their relationships with the monarchy. Thus evidence
is provided of the unique social and political relationships in Kiganda society.
Knowledge of a common history, and in some cases of common origins (though
remote) with a single leader; and the participation at the royal court in the
ritual functions at the occasion and death of each king, gave the clans a great
sense of unity. At the same time this feeling of unity drew the clans and the
monarchy closer together. Some clans were vastly larger and had greater
influence at the royal court than others. Evidence suggests also that before the
seventeenth century the heads of the clans had greater influence in the affairs of
the kingdom, and they seem to have regarded the king merely as primus inter
pares. It was not until the reign of Mutebi who first stripped them of their
privileges, that their powers began to decline. Successive kings gradually gathered
all the threads of power in their hands, so that by the middle of the nineteenth
century, the king was the fountain of all honours and privileges.
Each clan had its own main Butaka on which it buried its dead and on
which the head of the clan lived. Baganda clans, unlike those of the Nilotes,
for example, did not live in communities. They were scattered all over the
country, though some tended to concentrate more in certain areas than in others.
There are several explanations for this. One is the increase in population
140 UGANDA JOURNAL
which forced clansmen to spread out and settle in other parts of the country.
In addition territorial expansion was another factor. Once an area had been
conquered, a Muganda chief was appointed to rule it. Inevitably the chief
would be followed by his relatives and clansmen. If he stayed long enough in
that area and had children born there, these would also settle nearby. If he
died in that area, it could become a Siga (sub-clan) of his clan. In other cases
some chieftainships were hereditary, which meant that many men of one clan
settled permanently in a particular district with some of their off-spring and
other clansmen. It was in this way that the clans spread. By plotting on a map
of Buganda the sites of the various Butaka and by carefully investigating when
these were founded, one can establish fairly accurately when some districts
became parts of Buganda. There are two interesting examples of the Cephalopus
(Forest duiker) and of the Sheep clans. Some ancestors of these clans claim to
have been the conquering generals of the modern counties of Gomba and
Butambala. The writer discovered during his field research that all the Butaka
in Gomba traced their foundation to King Kateregga in whose reign these
areas were annexed from Bunyoro. The other Butaka which exists in Gomba
is that of the Grasshopper clan. These, however, do not trace their origins to
the reign of Kateregga but to Kimera and their claim is supported by the
traditions of the surrounding districts. In Butambala all the members of the
Sheep clan date the foundation of their Butaka to the same reign of Kateregga,
and they stress that they had no Butaka in that county before that period.
It is thus clear that the existence of clan Butaka in a district can be a very useful
clue to the date when particular districts were annexed by Buganda. So far as
the book of the Grasshopper clan is concerned, it was merely a record of the
clan traditions, and it was even less detailed than that of the Lungfish clan which
was published in 1916.16 But because of the clan's close links with the immigra-
tion of Kimera the traditions of the Grasshopper clan have a significant bearing
on the early history of Buganda.
A proper assessment of Kaggwa's historical writings cannot be made without
an understanding of the man himself. Mention of his character has already
been made, but one requires to know his relatives, his political associates
and his attitude towards his political and religious rivals. A careful study
of these points should throw light on his merits and weaknesses as a collector
of the Kiganda traditions. First of all his historical writings are a living example
of the man himself and a notable testimony of his great industry and ability.
So far as his politics were concerned, he belonged to the Protestant faction.
In Ebika and Basekabaka he describes their activities and defends their conduct
in the crises of the 1880s and 1890s. But he disparages severely the supporters
of the other factions, Catholic and Muslim.Mwanga is portrayed as an evil
king, who was misguided by his evil counsellors. It did not occur to Kaggwa
that Mwanga and his followers, who opposed British colonialism, were defending
their independence. Throughout the text, particular individuals are specially
mentioned by name. For instance, the reader is told more than a dozen times
in the reign of Kamanya and Suna, that Bunya was one of Semakokiro's
Kangawos.17 The reason for this would appear to be that Kaggwa wanted to
demonstrate that he had distinguished ancestors, because he claims that Bunya
was his great-great-grandfather.
An advantage which Buganda had over her neighbours, was that her tradi-
tions were collected in the very early period of the colonial administration when,
as Professor Oliver has put it, anybody over sixty years would have received
his education in the old tribal society.18 In the original edition of the text,
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 141
Kaggwa does not give a list of his informants. He only states that he wrote it
after he had inquired from very many old people who knew the things of the
past and who did not forget them. In the 1927 edition, however, he gave the
following list of informants; Kalunga, Sekamwa Kibaale, Kweye, Paulo Buzi-
bwa, Isaya Mayanja, Tefiro Kulugi, Princesses Tajuba, Maliyamu Gwoisa,
and Ndalike (the bark cloth maker). In the Empisa (1918 edition) he gave a
longer list of his informants and described how he proceeded in his inquiries
I wrote this book after I had inquired from many very old people and these are their
1. Maliyamu Gwoisa of the Lungfish clan, who was the wife of Sebbowa the Sabaganzi
(official maternal uncle) of King Kamanya.
2. Princes Tojuba, the daughter of King Kamanya.
3. Luka Sekamwa of the Oribi Antelope clan, who was the Kimbugwe (bearer of the
royal umbilical cord) and who was also the Kibaale.
4. Paulo Buzibwa of the money clan, who was the chief of the Ekitongole Ekimanya.
5. Isaya Mayania of the Lungfish clan, who was that chief of the Ekitongole Ekinakulya.
6. Tefiro Kulugi of the Colobus Monkey clan, who was the chief storekeeper at the
court and who was also the chief of the Ekitongole Ekirangira.
7. Ibulaimu Basudde of the Grasshopper clan, who was the chief of the Ekitongole
8. Ndalike of the Otter clan, who was the chief of the bark cloth makers at Kasaka.
9. Saulo Bwogi of the Grasshopper clan, who was the chief of the Ekitongole Ekitabuza.
10. Makumbi, the Mugema of the Monkey clan. All these were chiefs of King Mukabya.
11. Kwei who used to bear the jawbone of Prince Kawagga Ebuwagga. This man
belonged to the Envuma clan, and he was full of the ancient knowledge.
12. Kulanga was the bearer of King Kiggala's jawbone. He also knew a great deal of the
traditions of Busiro.
13. Lujumba, the chief of Bulenga who was the son of Mugema of the Monkey clan.
14. Bitanga of the Yam clan, who was the chief of the makers of the spears.
15. Abidenigo Misagyankumbi, a Mutongole chief under the Ekitongole Ekikabya.
He was particularly well informed about those who became chiefs in the olden times.
16. Erasto Kawagga, a prince descended from King Suna I. He is now the head of the
princes who have no immediate claim to the throne. After I had inquired from these
people, I also made inquiries from the ladies who were in King Suna's court, and
also in the court of King Mukabya Mutesa Walugembe. I also inquired from the
principal princesses of King Suna II, and also from the heads of the clans. They
told me about their clans and how they came to Buganda and their customs.
After I had made these inquiries I wrote this book. .".
In this extract Kaggwa wrote as if the information he obtained from these
informants was used only in writing the Empisa. It is safe to assume, never-
theless, that he did not categorize his informants. He probably collected all
the information he wanted at once and divided it according to the plans of his
books. One hopes that Kaggwa inquired from more people than those listed
above. It could well be that these were mentioned because he regarded them
as his principal sources. Evidence that he inquired from more people is sug-
gested by the Roscoe-Kaggwa Inquiry.19 Roscoe made a record of the informants
including those already mentioned by Kaggwa, and it is not improbable that
these others were used by Kaggwa also. Kaggwa's list of informants is very
impressive indeed and at first sight it is beyond reproach. By inquiring from the
Abataka of Busiro, he went to some of the most authoritative sources in the
country. These were the men and women who guarded the royal jawbones and
their shrines, the royal tombs and the royal umbilical cords (called the twins).
They were the men who performed the ritual duties at the accession and death
of each king. Hence their knowledge especially of royal history was extremely
wide. By also inquiring from the heads of the clans Kaggwa went to the best
sources and he was thus able to write a valuable account of the clans and their
142 UGANDA JOURNAL
relations with the monarchy. It is worth mentioning also, (though he himself
was perhaps too modest to mention the fact) that Kaggwa was his own source
and a very important one. His own clan, the Grasshopper, had long and close
associations with the monarchy. From the reign of Kamanya (whose mother
belonged to that clan) many of its members got chieftainships. For Kaggwa
this meant that he had a close network of clansmen who had been active in
public life and should have therefore been well informed. He had also other
advantages. Apart from the fact that he was a product of the royal court, he
was at the time of his inquiries the Prime Minister and the first Regent of the
young king. As the virtual ruler of the country, he could summon as many
informants as he wanted and presumably the majority of these came.
But impressive as Kaggwa's list of informants may be, the omission of
some of the would-be excellent sources of information is significant. For ex-
ample, Princess Katalina Mpalikitenda, one of the daughters of King Kamanya,
is not included in the list of informants.20 Yet Kaggwa asserts that she was
greatly honoured and that she outlived all her sisters and died in 1907. Also
missing from the list of informants is Kasujju of the Manis clan, whose family
and clan were associated with the throne from the reign of Mutebi in the
seventeenth century until the reign of the present king without a break. Kasujju
was the guardian of the princes; he settled their cases and looked after their
welfare. Whenever there was a peaceful succession to the throne, he was one of
the few men who chose the new king. Another important omission is that of
Mugwanya, who was one of the Regents during the minority of Cwa II. Mu-
gwanya himself was the son of the guardian of the god Nnende, and he claims
to have been in Mutesa's court even before Kaggwa was born. What was more,
he would appear to have been a trusted courtier of Mutesa, because Hamu
Mukasa tells us that he was one of the few men Mutesa trusted and could appoint
to look after his mother and the princesses. These are just a few examples of
the important informants whom Kaggwa ought to have interrogated. Equally
disturbing is the fact that Kaggwa's list includes few clan heads and of those
mentioned there is a predominance of a limited number of clans. This seems
to confirm the accusations of Kaggwa's critics that he ignored the best qualified
informants and inquired from his personal friends. The general deduction,
therefore, is that Kaggwa discriminated against some informants on political
and religious grounds. But even if he did, the damage caused to the recorded
traditions was not as great as it may appear. This was largely due to the complex
social and political organisation of Buganda. Clans did not behave as com-
munities and political allegiance was not always determined by clanship ties.
Moreover, one cannot put all the blame on Kaggwa, for it is probable that
some informants objected to being questioned by him. Neither in Kaggwa's
case, nor in that of others, should this surprise us. The civil wars of the 1880s
and 1890s were still too fresh in people's memories. Some members of the royal
family presumably regarded Kaggwa as a traitor for his role in the events
which led to the deposition of King Mwanga II by the colonial government.
To some Catholics and Muslims he was probably no more than a leader of the
Protestant faction. And to another class of Baganda he was a mere upstart
who had come from Busoga as a slave boy.
Although the information provided in Kaggwa's books is copious, it is far
from complete. They do not tell us anything about the land system in pre-
colonial Buganda, despite the fact that land disputes provided some of the
most controversial questions at the beginning of the century, and even though
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 143
Kaggwa himself was keenly interested in acquiring land and was heavily involved
in the land disputes. His books are full of place names, but he invariably
mentions places without stating where they were, whereas he knew very well that
one name could apply to three or more different places. He does not avoid
the use of technical terms, especially when he is describing ritual customs;
consequently to a modern reader his Luganda is archaic. Sometimes, his
chronology and sequence of events is badly arranged, which tends to make the
translation of his works more difficult. One of the most serious defects is
in his method of introducing new information. The mere fact that he mentions
a custom for the first time (for example, that of executing household officers
at the tomb of a king) does not necessarily mean that the custom had not been
observed before. His lists of chiefs can be confusing, because he introduces
the name of the particular chief and then that name disappears from the lists
for several reigns without any explanation from him. For instance, Kimbugwe
(the bearer of the royal umbilical cord) is mentioned in the reign of Nakibinge,
but not in that of Suna. Sekibobo, the county chief of Kyagwe, is mentioned
in the reign of Kimera, but not again until the reign of Mawanda more than two
centuries later. Kaggwa was also inclined to misapply titles of chieftainships.
Thus although the chief of Bulemezi was not called Kangawo before the reign
of Mawanda, Kaggwa uses this title even as early as the reign of Kimera. It
is necessary to emphasize, however, that these are minor criticisms of Kaggwa.
As one reads the text it becomes clear that the information it contains provides
a useful starting point for further research in the political history of Buganda.
In one sense, it is correct to argue that because the influence of the
monarchy in Buganda permeated every part of the kingdom, one cannot se-
parate the court traditions from those of the people. But it is also clear from the
studies of Lewis Namier in English history,21 and from those of Kagame and
Vansina in Rwanda,22 that much valuable information can be gained by studying
local and family histories. Various papers of Sir Apolo Kaggwa and the drafts
of some of his books are deposited in Makerere University College Library.
Unfortunately, these papers are disappointing. They are too fragmentary
and not all the drafts of the books are available. It is thus difficult to form a
very clear idea of how Kaggwa collected his evidence. One thing seems clear.
Once the Baganda learnt to read and write, they saw the value of putting on
record their clan histories. But the real stimulus was provided by the political
and social changes caused by the establishment of colonial rule. One of these
was the introduction of a freehold land system. Because of the scramble for
land, and in order to enhance their claims to other offices, many clans and
families found it essential to put their genealogies in order. Thus the clans
which had disputed headships, such as the Oribi Antelope, the Lungfish and the
Grasshopper, were more inclined to write their histories than others. The
publication of Kaggwa's books acted also as a stimulus to historical writing.
Men wrote either to add to what he had said or to correct him. Others provided
entirely new information from fields which Kaggwa had not inquired into
in detail. There were many such writers, but at least two deserve to be mentioned
as the most important; these were Alifunsi Aliwali and Ggomotoka. Aliwali
was born in 1880, and he later acted as Bishop Gorju's collector of traditions.
Since 1911, when the White Fathers first published their newspaper,
Munno, Aliwali had been contributing historical articles in that paper, and he
still writes in Musizi. When I interviewed him in August and September, 1963,
he stated that Kyaggwe and Sesse were the only counties of Buganda he did not
visit when collecting traditions for Gorju.23 Ggomotoka, the former Sabalangira
144 UGANDA JOURNAL
(head of the princes) was a greater inquirer than any of his contemporaries.
As a prince he had easier access to the members of the royal family than other
writers including Kaggwa and this is shown by his information on King Kagulu.
By the time he died at the beginning of the 1940s, he had already drafted
the history of the Baganda royal family, which he called Makula.24 Today,
the drafts of Makula are kept by the present Sabalangira. Besides Aliwali
and Ggomotoka, there were many other writers who contributed a few articles
in the missionary newspapers, such as Ebifa of the C.M.S., and Munno of the
White Fathers. For the reign of Mutesa, there were works by other Baganda
historians which had also been written in Luganda, such as J. Miti's Short
history of Buganda; H. Mukasa's Simudda Nyuma and B. Zimbe's Buganda Ne
Kabaka.25 One should also mention the contribution of the social anthropolo-
gists, whose researches made Buganda one of the best documented areas in the
From the published works and private papers of Kaggwa and other Luganda
sources, it is possible to reconstruct a comprehensive study of the territorial
expansion of Buganda. Until 1964 the Kingdom of Buganda was divided into
twenty counties.26 As has been shown in the case of Butambala and Gomba the
most fruitful method of inquiry into the acquisition of new territory is to
find out when particular Butaka were established. A second fruitful method
is to study the history of the Bitongole. Some were founded for specific tasks,
others to commemorate certain events. The study of the Bitongole may require
investigation at the village level. In this way plenty of local information can be
obtained. But Bitongole were often transferred from one part of the country
to another and had their names changed. During the reign of Suna II, the most
important Kitongole was called the Ekiwambya. But when Mutesa succeeded
Suna, he transferred the Ekitongole Ekiwambya from Bulemezi to Kyaggwe
and renamed it the Ekikabya.
So far as royal history is concerned, Kaggwa can be accepted as reliable,
except only in his placing of Kimera and Mulondo. With regard to the pre-
Kintu period, many Baganda had begun writing about it as far back as 1907, and
they continued to do so until the 1920s. The literature which has so far been
written on the pre-Kintu period can be used for re-constructing the history
of this period, and can be compared with the traditions of the neighboring
states of Ankole, Bunyoro, Kiziba, Karagwe, Kooki, Busoga and Toro. These
traditions may be used to check those in Buganda.27
One of the prerequisites for traditional history is a time scale upon which
to set up a chronology. Where no other source of evidence is available, a
chronology can only be worked out from genealogies. Although Kaggwa did
not supply dates, except for some events during the nineteenth century, he
arranged the Basekabaka chronologically. From a chronological point of view
therefore, the real value of Kaggwa's books is that they are full of genealogical
details. Like other pre-literate peoples, the Baganda saw the past in
terms which one may call "dynastic time", and dated all events with a reference
to the royal or clan genealogy. But genealogies can be unreliable, especially
where they are manipulated to validate political claims.28 Unreliability, how-
ever, is more likely to occur in societies without centralized institutions.
Buganda had an advantage in that it had a centralized and long enduring
monarchy, the genealogy of which was not the monopoly of one clan or interest.
Any chronology in Buganda, should therefore be based on the royal genealogy.
It is also worth mentioning that no absolute dates can be fixed from genealo-
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 145
gical evidence. Any chronology has to be based on generations, and through
them one can establish relative dates for some important events such as reigns.
Secondly, any chronology worked out from genealogical lists depends very
much on the system of succession. So far as the Kiganda monarchy was con-
cerned, succession was hereditary, but there was not rule of primogeniture.
The heir to the throne was chosen from among the sons and brothers and
nephews of the late king. Thus a glance at the genealogical order of the Ki-
ganda king lists shows that from the reign of Mulondo to that of Semakokiro,
it was common practice for the succession to pass through two or three brothers
before moving to the next generation. A regular system whereby a son suc-
ceeded his father came into use only at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
(See Table 2.)
There exist today, four slightly different king lists, which were recorded
before Kaggwa wrote his books. The first was made by Speke. It was incomplete
and it consisted of only eight names, (see Table 1.). The second list was re-
corded thirteen years later by H. M. Stanley in 1875. This was followed by
two other lists made by the missionaries R. W. Felkin and C. T. Wilson. They
were similar to Stanley's though they would seem to have been independently
compiled. Then in 1901 appeared Kaggwa's Basekabaka with its authoritative
list, which has been used ever since by historians. It will be seen from Table 1
that the lists of Stanley, Felkin and Wilson differ from Kaggwa's. Kaggwa's
would seem the most acceptable because it was based on more extensive in-
quiry. It consists of thirty names from Kintu to Mutesa I. According to the
genealogical information provided by Kaggwa (see Table 2) it seems that this
information contains at least one mistake. Kaggwa records Suna I as a brother
of Mulondo and Jemba. But the evidence suggests that Suna was a son or a
nephew of either Mulondo or Jemba. If this is correct there would have been
nineteen generations instead of eighteen from Kimera to Mutasa I.
In determine the number of generations contained in the royal genealogy,
useful comparisons can be made with some of the clan and family genealogies
during the same, or part of the same, period. One of the clans which preserved
the genealogy of its ancestors for over a long period was the Oribi Antelope
(Table 3). The Ebika shows that this clan recorded seventeen successions
from the reign of Kimera to that of Kamanya. These successions are made up
of thirteen generations, that is six less than the royal family contains during
the same period. This large difference is explained by the extraordinary longevity
of two clan heads whose tenure of office covered between them eleven reigns.
Further the Siga of Kajugujwe, that is a sub-branch of the Mushroom clan,
has twelve successions from Kateregga to Mutesa I inclusive (Table 4). These
consists of eight generations, that is exactly the same number as the royal
family reckons during the same period. The third example is that of the de-
cendants of King Kagulu who was deposed during the eighteenth century.
Their genealogical list consists of seven successions from Kagulu to Cwa II
inclusive, (Table 5). These seven successions are made up of seven generations,
that is exactly the same number as the royal family has during the same period.
The genealogical list of the heads of the Ant (Kinyomo) clan, records thirteen
successions from Mutebi or Juko to Cwa II. The traditions of the clans, how-
ever, do not state the genealogical relationship of the successors. If it is assumed
that sons succeeded their fathers, there are ten generations; that is exactly the
same number reckoned by the royal family during the same period (Table 6).
The family of Bwakamba (Table 7) which claims to have emigrated to Buddu
146 UGANDA JOURNAL
during the reign of Mutebi or Juko, records twelve successions up to 1936.
If successions were from father to son, there were five generations from Mutebi
to Junju. That is the same number as the royal family reckons during the same
period. The final examples are derived from Gorju.29 According to him, the
genealogical list of the family of Nkuutu showed seven generations in the
1900s. Tradition claims that the first Nkuutu was appointed by Mawanda to be
the chief of the fleet. A comparison of the genealogy of Nkuutu and that of
the royal family, shows that the former reckons only one extra generation
during the same period. Bishop Gorju further calculated that the Hippo clan
reckoned seven generations from Nakibinge to Junju inclusive. That is three
generations less than the royal family. It is clear from these comparisons that
differences exist between the royal genealogy and those of the clans. One
should remember that some heads of clans lived much longer than the kings
who were continually exposed to the plots not only of rivals but also of groups
of chiefs. Nevertheless, in cases of divergency, one would prefer to rely on the
royal genealogy, because unlike the individual clans the preserving of its chro-
nicle was the responsibility of all clans.
It is also important to determine how a series of generations should be
reckoned because this depends on the system of succession. In Buganda where
the system was not based on primogeniture, a generation should be reckoned
from the birth of the first to the death of the last brother. This, as Professor
Oliver has pointed out, tends to make a rather long generation.30 A chronological
computation of the Kiganda dynasty should start with the reign of Kimera
because Kimera would appear to have been a real historical figure, a claim which
cannot be made with certainty for Kintu and Cwa I, his two supposed prede-
cessors. The second datum point should be 1884, the death date of Mutesa I.
Mutesa was the last Muganda king who lived like his predecessors, that is
before the introduction of modern medicine and the colonial administration.
During the first ten years or so writers on Buganda history thought it possible
to fix at least two absolute dates for the Kiganda dynasty. This evidence con-
sisted of at least two Kiganda and Kinyoro traditions. The first was the claim
made by the Banyoro that the two dynasties of Buganda and Bunyoro had
common origins and that their genealogies had a common starting point.3
But according to the evidence, the claimed association of King Kimera in
Buganda and the Babito in Bunyoro appears to be a patriotic fiction.32 This
view is enhanced by the fact that any chronological computation based on the
Kinyoro claim that Kimera was a contemporary of Rukidi, only brings the
disagreement into sharper focus. The supposed contemporary rules in the two
kingdoms, are thereby separated by nearly three generations which is rather
too large a discrepancy. This being so, it is not unreasonable to suppose that
Kimera antedated Rukidi in Bunyoro by perhaps one or two generations. It is
possible also that Kiggala, the third successor of Kimera in Buganda, to whom
tradition assigns an exceptionally long reign, was the real contemporary of
Rukidi, the first Mubito ruler of Bunyoro.
The second important tradition concerned the reign of Nakibinge in
Buganda. The tradition of Bunyoro and Buganda agree that there was a major
war between the two countries during the reign of Nakibinge. The Kinyoro
traditions identify the King of Bunyoro as Olimi I, and assert that after he had
defeated Nakibinge, he led another campaign to the southwest of modern
Uganda where he observed an eclipse at Biharwe. Where total eclipses can be
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 147
identified with particular kings, they provide a basis for calculating absolute
dates. Thus, the information on the reigns of Nakibinge and Olimi I has for a
long time been regarded as a vital clue to the dating of these two kings.33 The
following dates, 1464, 1492, 1506, 1520 and 1546 have been suggested as possible
dates for the eclipse at Biharwe, Unfortunately for purposes of dating some of
these eclipses were not total, but a more serious point is that Olimi cannot be
identified with any of them. This, and the evidence on Kimera, suggested that
the Banyoro genealogy is an unsatisfactory basis for calculating the chronology
of the Kiganda dynasty. On the Kiganda side, tradition mentions two reigns in
in which eclipses may have occurred. The first is the reign of Mulondo, the
successor of Nakibinge.34 But as in the case of Olimi, no single eclipse has so
far been identified with Mulondo. Further research may reveal that two
kings presumably saw the same eclipse. The second reign is that of Juko.
According to Oppolzer, the eclipse which tradition associates with Juko,
occurred on 30 March 1680.35 But the evidence provided by Dr. J. R. Gray
and Dr. Porter has thrown doubt on the accuracy of Oppolzer's calculations.
It would now appear that the eclipse of 1680 occurred about 100 miles to the
northwest of the modem county of Busiro, where Juko's capital then was.
Dr. Gray argues that for the people in Busiro, the eclipse must have been
"partial" and the degree of noticeability may have varied from impressive to
small.36 If 1680 can no longer be taken as a certain date for Juko's reign, this
would lead to two suggestions. In the first place, it seems necessary
that all the total eclipses should be tracked on more accurate maps
than Oppolzer's. Secondly, a number of absolute dates fixed not only for the
Kingdom of Buganda, but for the whole of the Interlacustrine region are
needed. By making comparisons between the different genealogies some ab-
solute dates may be established but before this is possible with any degree of
certainty the existing chronologies provide only relative dating.
This analysis of Kiganda traditions as recorded by Kaggwa leads to the
conclusion that enough evidence has been collected to demonstrate that Kaggwa
can be trusted in much of what he wrote. He had access to sources which have
been lost since, and he managed in the circumstances of the time to produce a
respectable and largely trustworthy account of his country's past. He recorded
honestly what he was told, except in a few cases where personal interests in-
fluenced him. His honesty may be judged from the fact that whenever he
received conflicting strands of traditions, he recorded the two or the three
versions without attempting to make any interpretations. Whenever he doubted
what he was told, he only made brief remarks, such as that the men of the olden
times did not understand such things. There are many ways in which his general
conclusion can be confirmed from foreign sources such as those of Bunyoro
and Busoga. The existence of other traditions collected and written by other
Baganda has made it possible to check him and again he has been found to be
largely reliable. Even where this information is not detailed, he throws hints
here and there which are useful to an inquirer. Everyone interested in Bu-
ganda's past, be he an historian or not, will remain in Kaggwa's debt. His
influence on Kiganda historiography has been tremendous, and it would be
unwise today to accept any information independent of his. His books were
available and the fact that Basekabaka has gone through four editions in the
last sixty years (1901, 1912, 1927, 1953), is evidence enough that the books have
been widely read. Even in cases where the informants may not have read his
books, one cannot be sure whether they have not been influenced by the people
who have themselves read the books. This includes the Banyoro historians such
148 UGANDA JOURNAL
as K. W. and Nyakatura. It was characteristic of Kaggwa that his interest as an
historian was not confined to his own country. The 1927 and subsequent edi-
tions of Basekabaka concluded with summaries of the histories of Ankole,
Bunyoro, Kooki and Toro. Herein lies Kaggwa's claim to the title of the father
of historical writing in Uganda.
JEMBA (10) MULONDO (9) -SUNA I (11)
SEKAMANYA (12) 1
1 KIMBUGWE (13)-1
KAYEMBA (17) MUTEBI (15) JUKO (16)
MUSANJE-KIKULWE (21) ---KAGULU (20) MAWANDA (22)
i-KYABAGGU (25) MWANGA I (23) NAMUGALA (24)
JUNJU (26) --- SEMAKOKIRO (27)
SUNA II (29)
MUTESA I (30) (Died 1884)
Lists of Kiganda Kings Compiled by Various Authors
By Stanley38 By R. W. Felkin39 By Felkin & 1
C. T. Wilson40
Kintu or Ham Kintu or Ham Ham or Kintu
Chwa Cwa Cwa (
Kamiera Kalemera Kalemela I
Kimera Kimera Kimela 1
Almans Rumansi Rumaansi I
Tembo Tembo Tembo I
Kiggara Kiggala Kiggala I
Wampamba Wampamba Wampamba I
Kaeema Kayima Kaima 1
Nakivingi Nakibinge Nachibinge J
Morondo Murondo Mrondo
Sekamanya Sekamanya Sekamanya
Jemba Jemba Jemba 1
Suna I Suna Suna I
Kimbugwe Kimbugwe Chimbugwe
Kateregga Kateregga Kateregga J
Ntewi Mutebi Mtebe ]
Juko Juko Juko
Kyemba Kayemba Kaemba I
Tiwandeke Tebandeke Tibandeke 1
Ndowra Ndawula Ndaula 1
Kaguru Kagulu Kagura
Kikuruwe Kikulwe Chikurwe
Ma'wnda Mawanda Mawaanda I
Nsangi Musanje Msanje I
Namugara Namugala Namgaba J
Chabagu Kyabaggu Chabaggu
Junju Junju Junju
Wasejje Wasajja Wasajja
Kamanya Kamanya Kamanya
Suna Suna Suna II
Mtesa Mutesa Mtesa
The genealogy of the Kiganda dynasty (According to Kaggwa)
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA
The Genealogy of the Heads of the Oribi Antelope Clan4'
Name of the Clan Head
2. Lubulwawajjinja .. son of 1.
3. Mawulube .. brother of 2.
4. Mawayira .. nephew of 3.
5. Mpomba .. son of 4.
6. Mujona .. brother of 5.
7. Semunyi .. nephew of 6.
8. Nansiri .. brother of 7.
9. Nankumba .. son of 8.
10. Nkulubatya .. son of 9.
11. Migadde .. son of 10.
12. Lubulwa .. son of 11.
13. Kulubya .. son of 12.
14. Senkubuge .. son of 13.
15. Katoto .. son of 14 Held the office jointly
Tugavune .. son of 15 because 15 was too old.
16. Nadduli .. Same generation as 15.
17. Kantinti .. son of Nanziri, brother of 16.
18. Kisekwa .. son of 16.
Name of Contemporary King
He held office from the
end of Kateregga's to
the end of Tebandeke's
From the reign of
Kagulu to the reign of
The Siga of Kajugujwe, a Sub-Branch of the Mushroom Clan42
1. Kajugujwe .. The first recorded head of the clan.
2. Mugwanya .. son of 1.
3. Zzimula .. brother of 2.
5. Kagombe .. son of 2. He lived during the reig of King Mawanda.
6. Kisalita .. brother of 5. He is said to have been a half brother of King Mawanda,
because their mother was the same. She was the wife of a man of the Mushroom Clan
before King Ndawula married her.
7. Zibukyimbwa .. son of 5.
8. Wattiti .. Son of Malibano who was himself the son of Mugwanya.
9. Mubiru .. son of 8. He held the office during part of Semakokiro's and Kamanya's
10. Zzimula II .. Held office during the reign of Kamanya and Suna II.
11. Musitwa .. son of 10. He was the father of Stanslaus Mugwanya, who was one of the
three Regents appointed by the British during the minority of King Cwa II, 1897-1914.
According to tradition Mugwanya was born towards the end of the 1840s. Musitwa
held the office from the reign of Suna and died at the beginning of the 1860s, that is, at the
time Speke came to Buganda.
12. Mberenge .. Held the office during the reign of Mutesa.
The Genealogy of King Kagulu43
1. Kagulu .. Overthrown by his fellow princes.
2. Sematimba .. Son of Kagulu. He died during the reign of King Kikulwe.
3. Kayemba Sekitamu .. He died during the reign of Namugala. Kayemba was a son of 2.
4. Lubugu .. He was a grandson of 3. He died during the reign of Junju.
5. Sekitamu II .. He was a brother of 4. He died during Kamanya's reign.
6. Kikindu .. He was a grandson of 5. He died during the reign of Cwa II.
7. Isaka Yali Aseka .. Seems to have held the office until the 1920s.
150 UGANDA JOURNAL
The Genealogy of the Family of Nakigoye, the Head of the Ant Clan44
1. Dege .. Claimed to have lived during the reign of Kyebambe I who was a contemporary
of King Juko.
2. Kabeeba .. son of 1.
10. Nakigoye II
12. Yozefu Lubandi .. Cwa II.
13. Isaka Tebasoboke .. 1936.
The Genealogy of the Family of Bwakamba, One of the Chiefs of Buddu45
1. Mulannami .. Said to have lived during the reign of Kyebambe II of Bunyoro who was
a contemporary of Kings Mutebi and Juuko.
2. Kumanya .. brother of 1.
3. Bwakamba .. son of 2.
7. Mukubya .. Lived at the time Junju conquered Buddu.
13. Wavomukazi .. Lived from the reign of Mutesa to 1926.
A Relative Chronology of the Baganda Kings
Professor Oliver states that where the system of succession is not primogentiture, the gene-
ration tends to be long, and that 27 years would be a reasonable average. "Figures calculated on
this basis", he argues, "should be regarded as liable to a margin of error of two years plus or
minus for every generation back from the present."46
Mulondo, Jemba & Suna I 1582-1609
Sekamanya & Kimbugwe 1609-1636
Kateregga Mutebi, Juko & Kayembal 663-1690
Tebandeke & Ndawula 1690-1717
Kagulu, Kikulwe & Mawanda 1717-1744
Mwanga, Namugala & Kyabaggu 1744-1771
Junju & Semakokiro 1771-1798
Suna II 1825-1852
Mutesa I (d. 1884) 1852-1879
Mwanga, Kiwewa & Kalema 1879-1906
Cwa II (1897-1939) 1906-1933
Mutesa II (1939) 1933-1960
KAGGWA AND THE HISTORY OF BUGANDA 151
1. From his own writings.
2. Throughout his life Kaggwa regarded this man as his benefactor and protector.
When some members of the Grasshopper clan attempted to de-clan him for his alleged
foreign origins, he called upon Basudde to testify that he was a Muganda and that he
knew his parents.
3. Zimbe, B. Buganda ne Kabaka, Kampala, 1939, pp. 72-73.
4. Kaggwa, Sir Apolo, Ebika bya Baganda, Kampala, 1912 edition, p. 125.
5. Ashe, R.P., Two Kings of Uganda, London 1890 pp. 21809.
6. The Ekitongole Ekyeggwanika, of which he had become the chief, was filled mainly by
the converts of the C.M.S., just as the Ekitongole Ekigowa and all the court pages were
Catholics, probably because their leaders were converts of the White Fathers.
7. The number one man among the Protestants was Nicodemus Sebwato, but his followers
regarded him as unsuitable to lead the country in such a crisis. See Buliggwanga, E.M.,
Ekitabo Kye Kika Kye Mamba, Kampala, 1916, pp. 122-126.
8. Ashe, R. P., Chronicles of .Uganda, London, 1894, Preface p. x.
9. An interesting note on the publication of Kaggwa's first book occurs in the Uganda
Notes January 1902, "The Katikiro's book is now on sale at five rupees per copy, a high
price, but necessary on account of the smallness of the edition (500). It has cost consider-
ably over 100 to print and land in Uganda. The Rev. E. Millar has had the book printed
for the Katikiro in England." (Uganda Notes, 3, January 1902, p. 4). In a later note it is
recordedthat the price was reduced "The Katikiro's smaller book The Fables of the Baganda
is now on sale, price four annas each. It is of course written in Luganda. The price of
the first book, Kings of Uganda, has been reduced to Rs. 3 to place it within reach of the
natives." (Uganda Notes, 3, April 1902, p. 26). This book of fables of Apolo Kaggwais not
mentioned among writings of Kaggwa for the purposes of this present article since it is
of little historical significance. In its earliest edition in 1902 the Ekitabo kye Ngero za
Baganda must have been a very small work since it cost so little, but by 1927 the edition
ran into 120 pages. (Eds.)
10. This is confirmed by W. A. Crabtree's review of the second edition of Basekabaka,
published by Luzac & Co., London, 1912, See Man, No. 27, 1914.
11. Roscoe, J., The Baganda, London, 1911, xix 547p.
12. Uganda J., 16 1952, p. 148.
13. The chapter on the reign of Cwa II appears in the 1927 and subsequent editions only.
It covers only the period of the minority, 1897-1914.
14. Ancestral land.
15. These clans had more in common with the Kinyoro clans than with those in Buganda.
16. Buliggwanga, E. M. op. cit.
17. Kangawo is the title of the county chief of Bulemezi. It was first established by King
Mawanda during the first half of the eighteenth.
18. Oliver, R., The traditional histories of Buganda, Bunyoro and Ankole, Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute, London, 85, 1955, pp. 111-17.
19. An inquiry into native land tenure of the Uganda Protectorate (1906-7), Rhodes House
Library, Oxford; Mss. Afr. 17.
20. She would seem to have been a Catholic.
21. Namier, L. B., Politics at the accession of George III, London, 1929.
22. Vansina, J., L'evolution du royaume Rwanda des origins a 1900, Brussells, 1960 and
Kagame, A., Les milices du Rwanda precolonial, Brussells, 1963.
23. But he inquired from many old inhabitants of Kyaggwe and Sesse who had settled in
Buddu; the former as a result of the religious wars and the latter as a result of the sleeping
sickness epidemic. Bishop J. L. Gorju's book, Entre le Victoria, l'Albert et l'Edward,
Rennes, 1920, 372 p., is a mine of information.
24. His other works include Magazi Ntakke and a Luganda grammar.
25. English translations of these are available in the Makerere University Library.
26. Since then the two counties of Bugangazzi and Buyaga have been transferred to the
Kingdom of Bunyoro.
27. This material is examined in greater detail in Kiwanuka, M. S. M., The traditional
history of the Buganda Kingdom: with special reference to the historical writings of Sir
Apolo Kaggwa: University of London, Ph.D. Thesis, 1965. (Unpublished).
28. Cunnison, I. History and genealogies in a conquest state, American Anthropologist,
59, 1957, pp. 20-21; see also Richards, A. I., Social mechanisms for transfer of political
rights in some African tribes, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 90, 1960, pp.
29. Gorju, J. L., op. cit, pp. 107-117. Mawanda reigned during the first half of the eighteenth
152 UGANDA JOURNAL
30. Oliver, R., Ancient capital sites in Ankole, Uganda J., 23, 1959, pp. 51-63.
31. K. W., Abakama Ba Bunyoro Kitara, Uganda J., 3, 1935; and Nyakatura, J., Abakama
ba Bunyoro Kitara, Canada, 1947.
32. See Kiwanuka, M. S. M., op. viy. for a fuller discussion of this point.
33. Haddon, E. B., Uganda J., 21, 1957, pp. 111-119; J. Sykes, The eclipse at Biharwe,
Uganda J., 23, 1959, pp. 44-50; Sir John Gray, The solar eclipse in Ankole in 1492,
Uganda J., 27, 1963, pp. 217-222.
34. Oral evidence from Gasuza (of about 70 years) of Kojja, Kyaggwe.
35. von Oppolzer, T. Cannon der Finisternisse (Vienna, 1887). English Translation by 0.
Gingerrich, (New York 1962).
36. Gray, J. R., Eclipse maps, J. African History, 6, 1965, pp. 251-262.
37. Speke, J. H., Journal of the discovery of the source of the Nile, London, 1863, p. 252.
38. Stanley, H. M., Through the dark continent Vol. I, London, 1878, pp. 344-381. On p. 381
Stanley supplies another slightly different list which was not supplied by Mutesa and it
consists of 35 names.
39. Felkin, R. W., Notice on the Waganda tribe of central Africa Proceedings of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh, 13, 1886, pp. 669-770.
40. Felkin, R. W. and Wilson C. T., Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan Vol. I, London, 1882,
p. 197. The Rev. C. T. Wilson was one of the first C.M.S. missionaries to come to
Buganda in 1877. Dr. Felkin belonged to the second party which arrived by the Nile
route at the beginning of 1879.
41. Kaggwa, Sir Apolo, Ebika Bya Baganda, 1912 edition, pp. 73-78.
42. See Munno 1937.
43. Ggomotoka, Munno, 1924.
44. Isaka Nakigoye, Munno, 1936.
45. See A. Aliwali, Munno 1914; Ggomotoka, Munno 1925 and 1927; K. Nsigo, Munno 1929.
46. Oliver, R., op. cit. 1959, p. 52. This table is based also upon this study of R. Oliver,
with number for generations as calculated by the present writer placed alongside those
47. According to Kaggwa, Tembo was a grandson of Kimera.
Acknowledgement: The author wishes to acknowledge with thanks the generosity of the
Uganda Government and the British Institute of History and Archaeology in East Africa in
awarding grants which made it possible to conduct the extensive field work in 1963 upon
which this article is based.
Uganda Journal 30, 2, (1966) 153-163
EXCAVATIONS AT MUBENDE HILL
By E. C. PLANNING
Mubende Hill, in Buwekula county in the west of Buganda situated almost
equidistant between Kampala and Fort Portal, is one of a group of hills of that
name which extends over a distance of nine miles. The highest point, rising to
an altitude of 5,142 feet above sea level rises gently from the comparatively flat
and partially wooded summit of the easternmost hill. This hill summit, 700 feet
above the surrounding plateau, is large enough and suitable for human habi-
tation. From here there are uninterrupted views, on the clearest days, of the
snow-capped peaks of Ruwenzori in the west and the northern escarpment of
Lake Albert's Congo shores in the north. Before being overrun and then occu-
pied by the Baganda early in the last century, Buwekula County had been part
of the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. Twenty miles to the north of Mubende Hill
is located the main group of royal tombs of the Abakama, the rulers of Bunyoro-
The legends of the Banyoro and Baganda tell of a ritual site having been on
Mubende Hill since the earliest rulers of Bunyoro-Kitara,1 whilst excavations
have revealed evidence of occupation over an area of twelve acres.2 The role of
this ritual centre on the hill has been an important one, and it was a settlement
long before the foundation of the present ancient dynasty of Bito rulers of
Bunyoro-Kitara.3 According to local tradition, before the advent of the Bac-
wezi ruling clan, the predecessors of the Bito line of kings, a Muhima sorceress
called Kamawenge came from Butiti (now in Toro) to settle on Kisozi, as Mu-
bende Hill was originally known. Subsequently, her two sons asserted themselves
in turn as local leaders. As a result the hill-top settlement grew into a centre of
some importance. Later, the place became a focal point for the Bacwezi and the
residence of their last and greatest leader, Ndaula-also called Ndahura.4
At a time when smallpox was rife, Bacwezi influence over the Hima pastoralists
collapsed, the clan's power waned and the new dynasty of Bito rulers came into
being. With the abandonment of Kisozi as the ruling centre, the hill came to be
known as Mubende, meaning "there is another one", not another person or
ruler but a complete change in the ruling power. No longer the seat of the ruling
power, the settlement on Mubende Hill reverted to its original status as the abode
of a sorceress; but with a difference. The memory of Ndaula, the Mucwezi
leader who had become deified as the god of smallpox, was perpetuated here, at
the site of his compound, through this woman. She assumed the name of the
wife of Ndaula, Nakaima, also referred to as Nyakahima,5 and every successive
priestess has been better known by this title rather than by her own name up to
the time of the demise of the last holder, Nyanjara, in 1907.
Local tradition also tells that soon after the change of rule, the seed of a tree
was planted close to the compound of the priestess in commemoration of Ndaula.
This, it is said, grew to be the Giant Forest Tree, called ndaula in Lunyoro, which
is better known nowadays as the Witch Tree.6 It towers some fifty feet above the
154 UGANDA JOURNAL
grove where the huts of the last priestess, Nyanjara, are said to have been.
As in Ankole, the Bunyoro dynasty absorbed the kingship customs of the
Bacwezi.7 It is not surprising, therefore, that the historic centre at Mubende Hil
came to be of great ritual importance to the Babito rulers of Bunyoro-Kitara.
Water from a well on the hill (Fig. 1) was used at the coronation ceremonies of
the earliest rulers.8 A newly installed ruler or Omukama also had to visit the
sacred centre whilst, in times of national importance, the ruler would first visit
the priestess and even drink water from the well.9
Throughout the centuries the Nakaima, always a Muhima from Ankole,
wielded considerable power and was recognized even beyond the borders of
Bunyoro-Kitara.10 Her greatest powers were said to be the prevention and cure of
smallpox. She was also consulted by both the highest and the lowest people
about fertility and general ills. When distributed by the priestess, the water from
the well was believed to have the power of healing smallpox. Sacrifices of cows
and sheep were common. On certain occasions the life of a youth was taken.
This would be done by attendants on the order of the Nakaima.
The centre thrived unmolested despite the occupation of Buwekula by the
Baganda which took place early in the nineteenth century during the reign of
Kabaka Kamanya. It is probable this is the 'temple' referred to by Roscoe in
his list of deified figures." "Ndaula,, the god of smallpox, had a female medium.
The temple of ndaula was built in the vicinity of the tombs to the southwest
of Bunyoro. The Baganda were accustomed to send offerings to the god to
propitiate him and to stay a scourge of smallpox in Buganda". Sir Apolo Kagwa
has also noted that "Ndaula Kawali had a temple on Mubende Hill in Buwe-
During the religious wars of 1888-89, the sacred centre was destroyed. At the
time, Nyanjara, the Nakaima, was away at another dwelling of hers at Bugogo
in Toro where she remained until the turbulence was over. Not only were
dwellings and spirit huts ransacked and burnt, but the tomb huts of past priest-
esses buried nearby were also damaged. Whilst certain belongings and regalia
were saved 13 much was lost, including, it has been said, the drums of the
priestess, a ceremonial elephant tusk and a drum called Rusama which had
previously been kept at the centre of worship at Masaka Hill, thirty miles south-
west of Mubende14. Yet the spirit of Ndaula persisted and with the end of hostili-
ties the Nakaima returned to her hill-top abode.
To the first Europeans visiting the area, this isolated group of hills was
naturally of no more interest than a geographical feature. Captain Sitwell,
passing in the shadows of the hill on his way to Fort Gerry (Portal) briefly
recorded in his diary on 14 May 1896, "Mt. Mubende is as placed on the map,
not as Pere Achte put it".15 High up on the wooded ridge the sacred centre
functioned quietly and unobtrusively. In 1899, Omukama Kabarega, ruler of
BunyoroKitara, not long before his capture and exile to the Seychelles, went to
Mubende Hill to offer sacrifices and gifts to the Nakaima. Amongst these gifts
was a particular spear with a package attached which he presented with in-
structions that the package must not be opened until he returned.
The route from Kampala to Fort Portal passed close to the hill. At the turn
of the century the White Fathers had built a mission at Kasenyi south of the
eastern limits of the range. In 1902 a collectorate was opened by the protectorate
government at Lwekula's (Kakumiro) near to the headquarters of the Luwekula,
the Muganda Chief responsible for the administration of the county of Buwe-
THE WITCH TREE
EXCAVATION AT MUBENDE 155
kula. This collectorate was set up to administer the area covered by the ssaza
of Buyaga, Bugangazzi and Buwekula, and to be known as Kakumiro District.
With this increasing intrusion into areas over which she had been used to have
direct control, the Nakaima retired to better seclusion at Bugogo. She died there
in 1907. Eventually her body was brought to Mubende and, breaking with
custom, was buried not on Mubende Hill itself but in the foothills, north of the
At this time the government decided to open a sanatorium on "Mubendi
Hill". From this emerged the idea of moving the collectorate from Kakumiro to
Mubende.17 In 1908 the Luwekula offered to build a house on the hill for Sir
Hesketh Bell, the Governor. A site was selected by the Luwekula adjacent to
where the compound of the priestess had been. The Reverend H. B. Lewin has not-
ed that at this time one of the seven spirit huts was still standing close to the Witch
Tree.'8 Government Lodge as it was known, was completed in January 1909
but was first used as a temporary collectorate until the completion of other
buildings.19 By 1911, in which year the name of the district was changed to
Mubendi District,all the houses required on the hill had been completed.
There was no true successor to Nyanjara. However, a Hima sorceress visited
the Witch Tree on occasions up to 1926. Though the active work of the medium
was now over, the importance of the centre epitomised by the giant and grotesque
tree hardly declined. In 1936 a girl from Ankole arrived at the tree accompanied
by male attendants. She was clad in full regalia and started screeching at the
tree at night.20 Offerings have continued to be placed amongst the exposed roots.
Frequently these are in the form of coins, generally one cent pieces. Up to the
present day Bahima still visit the grove and perhaps come from as far afield
As result of the digging of foundations for buildings started in 1908 and
the cutting of roads as the government station developed, a mass of man-made
material came to be disturbed. Potsherds have been thrown up by builders'
excavations and even nowadays litter flower beds and refuse dumps. Sherds also
lie scattered in the topsoil where erosion has been strongest. Animal bones and
sherds are always to be seen in the banks of a road cutting where it skirts the
wooded area which conceals the sacred grove.
Trial pits revealed occupation debris concentrated in the immediate vicinity
of the Witch Tree and extended over 12 acres (Fig. 1).
The main concentration of evidence lies within a wooded area to the south
of the house erected by the government during 1937-1938 on the site of Govern-
ment Lodge. Here, within a clearing in this wood, east of the road which skirts
the house, and partly concealed from view by forest and eucalyptus trees, stands
the Witch Tree. Its most striking features are the enormous buttresses which,
spreading from the thick trunk, form partitions and cavities around the bole
from where they disappear amidst an eruption of exposed roots, deep into the
earth. Here, over the centuries, it has evidently been the custom for pilgrims to
toss offerings, for buried in even the narrowest crannies of the tangled roots lie
potsherds, the skeletal remains of birds and animals, and cowrie shells with
perforated backs. One glass bead was also recovered. In addition coins have been
found in the top layers of humus and on the surface of the ground.
According to eye-witness accounts the huts of the ritual centre stood within
the grove at the beginning of the century. Witnesses have related that in addition
Alleged losOtion of
teevy ceUwintret ten
Figure I. MUBENDE HILL
EXCAVATION AT MUBENDE 157
to the dwelling of the priestess on the edge of the clearing there were huts for the
storage of drums and ceremonial spears as well as for the keepers of the regalia
and for numerous attendants. South of the grove, beyond the screen of trees
and close to a well, stood a hut for the accommodation of visitors. The outline
of what was identified by my informants as a well was clearly visible at the time
of these investigations.
Northeast of the tree the wooded area is slightly irregular and
further away are numerous overgrown mounds. Some are said to cover the
remains of past priestesses. After the wanton destruction of 1889, the tomb
huts were not re-erected. Giant sugar cane and certain species of barkcloth trees
grow in profusion near and around these mounds. In some instances the plants
clearly follow the line of a circle, as if deliberately planted in that way. Since
it is a Nyoro and Ganda custom to use stakes of these plants for the fences of
royal enclosures of all types, the presence of the cane and barkcloth trees sup-
ports the supposition that these mounds might be of some historical signifi-
cance. It is also said that burials of relatives and clan members of the Nakaima
took place within this area. Further east beyond the wood and concealed by
thick elephant grass lies a small quarry of laterite which has been in use for
obtaining road-building materials. In 1954 the adjacent slopes were planted with
trees by the Forestry Department. Evidence of occupation has been exposed by
both erosion and human activities and also revealed by surface indications
such as slight changes in relief, soil colour and vegetation.
The main excavations took place at three sites.
The ditch by the Witch Tree. There is an ancient ditch which, varying from 2
to 3 feet in depth and about 10 feet wide, forms an arc close to the northwest
base of the tree. Two excavations were carried out here. The first (trench 1),
in the slope of the ditch, 15 feet from the tree, revealed three large pots resting
upright in a red compact soil They stood close to one another, 21 feet below
ground level, beneath 2 feet of top soil and a 6 inch band of laterite. Two of these
vessels were over 2 feet high and each have a maximum circumference of 73J
inches. A finger-tip motif encircled the neck of each vessel. The third was a
globular pot 16 inches in height with a maximum circumference of 50 inches
decorated with a roulette design as well as smears of red paint. The vessels
contained numerous sherds from other pots, a few cowrie shells, fragments of
animal bone and seven small querns.21 Potsherds, bases of pots and a single
fragment of iron were recovered from the area between this excavation and the
outer visible roots of the tree.
A second excavation (trench 2) above the ditch at 30 feet from the tree
revealed a concentration of debris including potsherds, both large and small,
charred animal bones, bovine teeth, querns, quartz flakes, iron objects and some
ornaments from depths of 8 inches to 5 feet.
The quarry or murram pits site. This site consisted of a whole series of very
irregularly shaped shallow pits extending over an area of approximately 60 feet
by 30 feet, their depth, at the time of investigation, averaging 2 to 3 feet. All
the pits were concealed by an abundant covering of elephant grass 6 to 8 feet high.
The natural undisturbed sub-surface of the area was bright red laterite with an
irregular surface. Quantities of decorated sherds scattered around in these pits
first drew my attention to this site. After clearance and examination of the pits the
pieces of two beaker-like vessels with flat bases were found in one pit; subsequ-
ently these were assembled.22 Nearby, but on the ground surface, a human skull
and mandible were recovered.23
158 UGANDA JOURNAL
Marshall cleared one surface of the pit in which the beaker sherds had been
found in order to obtain a clean section and observe any stratification.24 Whilst
doing this, a soft patch was noticed at the foot of the face being cleared which a
further excavation proved to be a perfectly circular hole, 4 feet in diameter, cut
into the laterite surface, the lip of which slightly overhung. The pit was cleared of
loose unstratified brown earth with which it was filled and proved to be 3 feet in
depth at the centre, the sides sloping to make it almost hemispherical in section.
In the centre of the base a small circular deepening was discovered, 1 feet at
its maximum diameter and 6 inches in depth, making the total depth of the pit
from the laterite surface 31 feet and from existing ground level 64 feet. The fill of
the pit contained a number of large querns (the largest being 2 feet by 1 feet),
rubbers (all of quartzite), a few animal bones and a considerable quantity of
potsherds. There is the possibility that part of this excavated area may have been
a grave from which the skull had been thrown. In this case the beakers and pot-
sherds discovered around and in the quarry may have belonged to a quantity of
grave goods. There is no backing for this supposition since the fill of the ex-
cavated area had clearly been disturbed and refilled.
Hut site. A short distance to the east of the house and within the wood,
pitting for the disposal of refuse has evidently been in practice for many years.
When examined in 1953 the irregularity of the ground near these pits suggested
a rough circle. Test holes revealed the presence of a stone floor or stone founda-
tions. Marshall also examined this site.24 The earth which covered these stones
showed no clear stratification and was much broken by tree roots. The total
depth of deposit was 5 feet, and the stones rested on I to 1l feet of earth above
red laterite. Test holes were driven to 31 feet below the true surface, of which
the last 11 feet were red murram. Sherds were obtained from each level but the
lower part of the murram level appeared to be barren. Beads were found at
foundation level. A great variety of pottery was found on sections of this 'floor'
including funnels, cups, pot-stands, looped handles and the bases of small
Pottery. The pottery found on the site comprises a wealth of material from
the surface and road cuttings, including complete vessels and pots as well as
potsherds recovered from trial trenches. All this ware, mostly in a coarse grey-
black or red paste, often gritty with quartz grains and which is both decorated
and painted, has been found in association with cowrie shells, quartz crystals,
small querns, animal bones and iron objects.25 The rims and necks of this variety
of pottery have been decorated with finger nail impressions, incised patterns
and rouletted and punched diagonal designs. Some sherds have the flattened lips
of the rims nicked which gives the effect of a decorated 'pie-crust' (Fig. 2).
This indentation of the lip of rims has been found at a number of sites in the
neighbourhood and as far south as the settlement of Ntusi where it occurs in
A red haematite slip has been used to colour both the exteriors and interiors
of pots. This decoration occurs most frequently on outer rims and as a red slip,
sometimes burnished, on the inner surface. On large vessels finger impressions
have been applied in paint to the necks and outer rims. In some cases the colour
has deteriorated to a brown. On dark bases the paint appears blue or black.
In one instance a small bowl from the quarry site has, in addition to being deco-
rated with a roulette motif, been liberally daubed with red spots.
EXCAVATION AT MUBENDE 159
Figure 2. SHERD
Figure 3. LARGE SHERD
Figure 4. STONE CYLINDERS
160 UGANDA JOURNAL
A small portion of the rim of a vessel recovered from trench 2 close to the
tree, has two moulded bosses which have been applied side by side immediately
below the curved rim which is broad and undecorated but painted over with
red ochre.26 Apart from fumigators this is the only piece of pottery recovered
which appears to have any apparent ritual significance. Three related sherds,
from the Hut site, have the interior decorated with a roulette pattern. A similarly
decorated boss extends inwards as if to meet an internal boss or posses, so as to
provide a support within the interior of the vessel. Other specialised pottery from
the site including large jars, a globular pot and flat based beakers, has already
The site is also particularly noteworthy for the massive rims of pots, many
decorated with a roulette pattern (Fig. 3). In addition there are large pot-
stands or fumigators, small and large looped handles, lugs, cups and pots with
perforated bases like strainers; there are also jars with narrow necks up to six
inches long and semi-oval pots with a central hole at the base. Much of the
smaller specialised ware comes from the Hut site.
Stone objects. Apart from the querns found with the large vessels (trench 1),
a smooth red stone was found together with two iron knives and numerous
sherds close to a fourth vessel subsequently recovered from the vicinity of trench
1. This stone or pebble has been likened to the pebbles customarily used by
potters for smoothing their ware.
At the Hut site a large smooth piece of dolerite was found amongst the stone
foundations together with potsherds. Local helpers suggested that a stone of
this type may have had some magical significance.
Two small stone cylinders (Fig. 4) were also recovered from the assemblage
of stones at the Hut site.28 Their purpose is not known though it may well have
been decorative, as lip or ear plugs, or alternatively they could have been in-
tended for use as part of a necklet though they are not pierced.
Iron objects. Numerous iron objects were found at depth varying from 1 to
41 feet (Fig. 5). These included knives and small blades, needles, the shaft of a
spear, parts of rings (bangles) and some unidentified pieces. The majority of
these iron objects came from the Hut site and the area of the ditch. The Hut
site and stone floor yielded 5 knife blades, 1 spearhead (socketed), 1 awl?
(socketed), and an unidentified object with a cuspidate perforated tip. Trench
2 yielded 3 needles, I ring, 2 spikes and 2 unidentified pieces.
Beads. Most beads were found at the Hut site. A quantity were found at a depth
of 12 inches close to the stone floor, encased haphazardly in large balls of harden-
ed clay. One ball contained 70 beads, another 61 beads. All these beads are
glass and vary in colour.29
Another eight beads from distributed earth which had been thrown up
during an earlier excavation at the Hut site were small spherical beads of blue
glass, the colour varying from duck egg to royal blue. The average diameter is
5 to 8mm. One bead is a cylinder of opaque dark blue glass and the surface is
irridescent which suggests that the bead has been lying in the soil for a con-
Three other beads came from the vicinity of the Witch Tree. These were a
glass bead, a perforated mwafu seed and a large agate.30
Human remains. A charred human skull and lower jaw bone were retrieved
from the ground surface close to the quarry or murram pits. Evidently these
remains had been lying amongst the tall grass which grew to the edge of the
quarry. It was only after this grass had been burnt off during a dry period in
1953 that they were found. Although charred, the teeth in the lower mandible
EXCAVATION AT MUBENDE
5. IRON OBJECTS
162 UGANDA JOURNAL
were in a good state of preservation and appear to have been in good condition.
Dr. D. B. Allbrook, Professor of Anatomy at Makerere University College
reported that it is certain that Lhe individual was over 20 years of age, but was
probably not over 40, and that it is probably male.
Animal bones. Animal bones and teeth were found associated with all ex-
cavations in the close vicinity of the Witch Tree, but the majority came from the
fill of the ditch by the tree. Mr. Maclnnes, formerly of the Coryndon Museum,
Nairobi, identified four lower incisor teeth of a large bovine animal, probably a
cow. Other animals represented were goats, cows, antelopes, chickens and other
birds. At the lowest level of the second excavation above the ditch a complete
skull of a cow was found and from this same excavation three pieces of shaped
bone were recovered.
Excavations have shown the site to be unusually rich in pottery particularly
of the Bigo Culture, not only in quantity but also in the variety of wares. From
the abundance of material the site has certainly been occupied without a break
over a long period. The pottery finds support the oral tradition which speaks of
a ritual centre on Mubende Hill at least since the advent of the Bigo Culture until
the first decade of this century, a period of possibly 5-600 years.31 Similarities
in design, in decoration, the use of paint on jars, bowls, vessels, etc., are found
at such other sites as the fortifications of Bigo, Munsa and Kibengo, the ritual
centre of Masaka Hill and the settlements at Ntusi and Semwema Hill.32 The
rare use of stones as a foundation or rough floor as found at the partially ex-
cavated Hut site in 1953 has since been paralleled by the discovery of an assemb-
lage of stones at site II of the Kibengo fortification close to Lake Albert, 60
miles :o the northwest.33 Unlike the Masaka Hill centre which is protected by
raised earthworks34 there are no signs of any protection whatsoever at
the Mubende Hill centre. Perhaps the isolated position with a steep climb
of several hundred feet from the plateau below precluded the need for any form
of fortification or barrier, even during the time of Bacwezi occupation.
1. Nyakatura, J. W., Abakama ba Bunyoro-Kitara, Canada, 1947, and Kaggwa, Sir Apolo,
The customs of the Baganda, Columbia, U.P., (English translation), 1934.
2. Lanning, E. C., Some vessels and beakers from Mubende Hill, Uganda, Man, 53,
no. 283, 1953, pp. 181-182.
3. From discussions during 1953/1955 with:
Omw: Yakobo Byomere -formerly Mugema of Bunyoro (died
and the following elders living near Mubende Hill,
Omw: Alifonsi Aliwali -during boyhood was a page to
Kabaka Kalema; subsequently ser-
vant to Bishop Gorju.
Omw: Atansia Zake 1 -formerly attendants to Nyanjara,
Omw: Aberi Muwereza J the last Nakaima to hold office.
Omw: Saulo Lubowa --elder
Omw: Sepiriya Mutabwanya --Luwekula, 1895-1920 (died 1954)
4. Gorju, J., Entre le Victoria, l'Albert et l'Edouard, Rennes, 1920, pp. 46-50.
5. Nyakatura, J. W., op. cit.
6. Pterygota sp. nov. (Sterculiaceae) This tree was estimated by I. R. Dale in 1954 to be
from 350-400 years old. (Personal communication from I. R. Dale, Deputy Chief Con-
servator of Forests).
7. Oliver, R., The traditional histories of Buganda, Bunyoro, and Ankole, J. of the Royal
Anthropological Institute, 85, 1955. pp. 111-117.
EXCAVATION AT MUBENDE 163
8. K. W., The kings of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda J., 4, 1936, p. 75. and The procedure in
accession to the throne of a nominated king in the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda
J., 4, 1937, p. 292.
9. Ingham, K., The Amagasani of the Bakama of Bunyoro, Uganda J., 17, 1953, p. 143.
10. Planning, E. C., Grove of the priestess, East African Annual 1959-1960, pp. 98-103.
11. Roscoe, J., The northern Bantu, Cambridge, 1915, p. 91. The possibility of confusion over
the location of the 'temple' referred to by Roscoe cannot be overlooked. He might have
been speaking of another 'temple', since after the death of Omulangira Ndaula, a son of
Kabaka Suna, it is said the spirit of the deceased came to be revered as the spirit of small-
pox. This man, Ndaula, is said to have been interred at Kaboge near Senkoma in Buganda.
12. Kaggwa, Sir Apolo, op. cit.
13. Notes on the regalia of Mubende will appear in the next issue of the Uganda J.
14. Lanning, E. C., Masaka Hill; an ancient centre of worship, Uganda J., 18, 1954, p. 28.
15. In May 1894 Father Achte of the White Fathers opened a mission station at Bukumi,
23 miles north of Mubende Hill.
16. When seen in 1953 by the writer the grave was in the open and sealed by a cement cover.
17. Secretariat Minute Papers, Vol. 1, August 1900-April 1902, (Entebbe Archives).
18. In a note dated 6 Nov. 1930, filed at Mubende District HQs'. the Rev. H. B. Lewin,
CMS, recorded: "The grove was at one time a sacred place. The spirit of smallpox called
Ndaula lived there and was guarded by a priestess called Nakaima of the Basazima (snail)
clan; her wand of office called Nkinga was a bull's tail. studded with shells and beads and
it was when the Ndaula took possession of Nakaima her hands and face became covered
with smallpox marks, which remained for a whole day. The spirit lived in the middle of
the grove; seven huts were built for him; the largest remained until 1908. They contained
earthern pots, which were believed to be renewed monthly by Ndaula, and two brass
spears. Offerings were placed either in the huts or at the foot of the biggest tree which
was said to have been the first tree to grow on the hill, and have attracted Ndaula when he
was wandering through the world looking for a home."
19. Secretariat Minute Papers 464 of 1908; 292 and 298 of 1909. All the buildings required
for the station were completed by 1911 (S.M.P. 146 A of 1911).
20. Capt. E. M. Persse, M. C. (Personal communication, 1954).
21. These finds have been illustrated and described in greater detail, see Lanning, E. C.,
1953, op. cit and Posnansky, M., Pottery types from archaeological sites in East Africa,
J. of African History, 2, 1961, pp. 177-198.
22. Lanning, E. C., 1953, op. cit.
23. See below under "Finds, Human remains".
24. Marshall, K., Report on preliminary work at archaeological sites on Mubende Hill.
Geological Survey Dept. 1953. Unpublished.
25. Many of these finds mentioned in this report have been deposited with the Uganda
26. This unusual sherd is illustrated in Lanning, E. C., Protohistoric pottery in Uganda,
Proceedings of the Third Pan-African Congress on Prehistory, 1955, London, 1957, p. 314
27. Lanning, E. C., 1953, op. cit and 1957 op. cit., and Posnansky, M., 1961, op. cit.
28. British Museum, Af 31, Af 42.
29. These beads with other finds are deposited in the Uganda Museum and described in
Geological Survey of Uganda Laboratory Report 17, 502-17, 505 of 21 December 1955.
30. Wachsmann, K. P., Ancient earthworks in western Uganda, Uganda J., 18, 1954, p. 191.
31. Posnansky, M., 1961, op. cit.
32. Lanning, E. C., The Munsa earthworks, Uganda J., 19, 1955, p. 181-182.
33. Lanning, E. C., The earthworks at Kibengo, Mubende district, Uganda J., 24, 1960,
pp. 187-189 and 193-195.
34. Lanning E.C. 1954. op. cit.
Work was done spasmodically during the years 1952 to 1954 when, in addition to super-
visory help by Mrs. Lanning, I was fortunate to be aided by Mr. A. Tibulhoire and Mr. C.
Busulwa. Over short periods during visits to the site, I enjoyed the help and advice of Mr. K.
Marshall, then Government Archaeologist and benefited from his unpublished report of the area
I am also indebted to Dr. K. P. Wachsmann, then Curator of the Uganda Museum and Mr.
C. M. Sekintu, the present Curator. Work at the site was much facilitated by the continuous
encouragement and help given by the Reverend C. Beckwith, M.B.E. when Father Superior of
Kasenyi Mission, and by the interest and co-operation always shown by Omw: A. Birimumaso
throughout his term of office as Luwekula of Buwekula County. I am also indebted to Rose-
mary Powers for drawing Figs: 2, 3 and 5 and H. F. Gowers for drawing Fig. 4.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2, (1966) 165-173
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917
Edited by H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
At the outbreak of the 1914-18 War Kigezi was a remote region in which,
following the Anglo-German-Belgian Boundary Commisssion of 1911, a civil
administration had only recently been established. A helpful guide to the situa-
tion at this time will be found in chapters 17 to 19 of Dr. Roger Louis' Ruanda-
Urundi 1884-1919 (Oxford, 1963). The only defence force in the district was a
small number of Uganda Police. By contrast the Germans and Belgians to the
south maintained sizable units of European-led African troops.
Any thought the Germans may have entertained of mounting an invasion
of Uganda by way of Kigezi was soon dismissed as it became clear that the
major threat to German territory would come from the direction of the Uganda
Railway. But the able and energetic Resident of German Ruanda, Captain
Wintgens, did what he could to stir up revolt among the people on the British
side of the frontier. The Assistant District Commissioner in charge of Kigezi,
C. E. E. Sullivan, showed resource and courage in confronting this unrest with
the help of such police as were available. Timely support was forthcoming from
the Belgians. Administration was largely suspended, and for some time the
Belgians assumed responsibility for southern Kigezi, since it was important to
maintain this line of communication between British East Africa and the
Belgian authorities in the Congo.
In due course an Anglo-Belgian advance by way of Lutobo, Kamwezi and
Kigali (Ruanda) was planned, with Tabora as its objective. This force of Congo
troops and Uganda carriers started from Kamwezi on 25 April 1916.1 At the
same time the Uganda Police Service Battalion relieved the Belgians occupying
south Kigezi.2 Little is on record regarding the recurrent tribal attacks and coun-
ter-measures in Kigezi during these years, though Bessell's study of the
'Nyabingi' is relevant.3 He devotes no more than two paragraphs to the period
from the beginning of the war to mid-1917, and only the attack on Chahafi
early in 1915 is mentioned.
When working in the Entebbe Secretariat archives, Dr. Louis came upon a
lengthy report "The Kigezi Operations" which provides a detailed account of
of some of these incidents. He has kindly furnished a transcript of this report,
which is printed in the following pages.4 It deals for the most part with police
activities and was submitted by Lieut.-Col. Riddick, Commissioner of Police,
presumably not later than the latter half of 1917, since it does not refer to the
out-break of Ndochibiri's revolt at Nyakishenyi in August 1917.5
The activities described are:-
1914, September. (?) Operations against Changandusi, west of Lake Bunyonyi.
1914, October. Operations against Nyindo and his Batutsi following
near Kigezi Post.
166 UGANDA JOURNAL
1915, January. Attack on British post at Chahafi by Nyindo with German
1915, February-March. Expedition to disperse Katuleggi's interference with
communications near Lake Bunyonyi.
1915, March. Expedition to disperse hostile Bahororo around Kyogo,
southwest of Kamwezi.
1916, May. Surrender of Nyindo and Birahira.6
1917, January-March Operations against Ndochibiri near Boundary Pillar 9,
south of Lake Chahafi.
It may be noted that whereas this present account speaks of Nyindo7 as
leader of the clash at Chahafi in January 1915, Bessell, who seems nowhere to
mention Nyindo, cites Ndochibiri.8 Local historians might be able to establish
the facts and what, if any, relations existed between Nyindo and Ndochibiri.
There is here an interesting subject for further research, for which Bessell
writing nearly thirty years ago made a plea.
THE KIGEZI OPERATIONS
At the beginning of the war in 1914, the duty of keeping open communica-
tions between ourselves and the Belgians in the Congo fell on the Police stationed
in Kigezi. There were two routes, one via Nyalusanje, Kumba, Ngezi and the
Ruanda Plains to Rutchuru, the other was a long devious route via Ruzumbura,
round the north side of Mount Nkabwa to Rutchuru.
In the absence of a telegraph line all communications had to pass over
the first route, escorted by Police, and it is a matter for satisfaction that,
although escorts were frequently attacked by armed natives whilst carrying
mails, on no occasion was a mail lost. Police were also employed in guarding the
buildings at Kabale and the various food depots which were being formed in
the District. During this period the German East Africa border was in a state of
turmoil owing to the action of the Batutsi raiding parties, and on account of the
mountainous nature of the district, it was impossible with the small force
available to prevent their inroads.
On the declaration of war the Batutsi instigated by the Germans commenced
a series of predatory raids on the Anglo-Belgian Boundary between Lake Kivu
and the south of Kabale. At the same time there was a further outbreak of
anti-Europeanism on the part of the local Nyabingi (witches) inflaming the
natives of Kigezi with such cries as "We will get rid of the Europeans". One of
the principal witches was Changandusi who lived near the dense bamboo
forests on the west side of Lake Bunyonyi. To cope with this situation a force of
police under Mr. W. J. Reilly, Assistant Superintendent of Police, was des-
Patched from Mbarara to Kigezi.
It was decided as a preliminary measure to deal with Changandusi whose
followers were on the alert to prevent her capture by surprise. A force of Mba-
rara and Kigezi police under Mr. Reilly with Lieut. C. E. Sullivan, Assistant
District Commissioner in charge of Kigezi District, left camp at Kigezi and
arrived at the centre of the badiboo forest; an advance was made about 3 a.m.,
and following bypaths, it was possible to surround Changandusi's village without
giving the alarm.
At day-break an entry was made into her dwelling and the witch was
arrested. The alarm was at once given by the natives, and showers of arrows
were fired from the bush. Independent fire however scattered her followers,
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 167
and Changandusi was carried off, a strong rear-guard covering the passage
through the forest. Mr. Reilly took Changandusi to Mbarara for disposal
In October 1914, General Henry, the Belgian Commander, reached Rutchuru.
He undertook to desptach a small Belgian force to maintain the line of commu-
nication to Kigezi, and assist in escorting despatches. Shortly before the arrival
of the Belgian force, information was received that the rebel chief Nyindo,
with the Batutsi, contemplated making a large raid into British Ruanda, and
threatened the lives of those chiefs who had remained loyal to us.
Lieutenant Sullivan with the police immediately moved forward to the
Kigezi ridge behind which the loyal chiefs were brought in for protection.
On the morning of 10th October whilst Lieut. Sullivan was talking to some
natives pointing out that their attitude in following him from hill to hill, blowing
horns and shouting abuse, could be hardly expected from a friendly people,
and demanding an explanation for this act, an arrow was fired at him from
a hut close by. At the same time a Mututsi on a hill top shouted out, "This is
now German territory, and Nyindo will fight." This was the signal for blasts on
war horns, and some hundred of natives all rushed forward firing arrows; as
Lieut. Sullivan had only six police with him he withdrew keeping the attackers
at 200 yards distance, and shooting at anyone who came nearer. On reaching
the plain an ugly rush forward was made, and as the arrows were coming thick,
he fired two volleys, this enabled him to get away, though the Batwa hung about
on his flank shooting arrows.
While this was in progress large bodies of natives between 1,000 and 1,500
strong crossed from Mulera, German East Africa, and came close to Kigezi but,
on seeing the hill occupied, withdrew to Nyindo's boma. Lieut. Sullivan estima-
tes that he was attacked by at least 300 men.
On the 1 Ith at about 6 a.m. these raiders from German East Africa over
1,200 strong, advanced towards Kigezi in several columns and began setting
fire to Musakamba's village below Kigezi, about 1,500 yards from the camp,
where they killed three people and wounded others. These people were
under Nyindo's personal leadership. The war cry seemed to be Nyindo and the
Germans, against Musakamba and the English.
Lieut. Sullivan accompanied by Mr. Harmsworth and 20 police descended
the hill, first clearing the Kigezi plain of raiders who were all driven towards
the large plain near the boundary, where they set up considerable resistance.
The Batwa returning again and again to the attack, firing arrows from every
bit of cover; as large reinforcements came up to assist the attackers, Lieutenant
Sullivan ordered volleys at 200 yards after which they retired over the border.
Owing to instructions Lieut. Sullivan was unable to follow them. These raiders
had literally to be forced back, it took over three hours to drive them across
the frontier. The Batwa seem to have no respect for rifle fire, and are adept at
taking cover, crawling from mound to mound, wriggling like snakes, firing
arrows and crawling away again, hence they are difficult to hit. Luckily they
do not adopt rush tactics. One constable, Olochi Majan, was wounded, an arrow
piercing his leather shoulder strap and entering his chest. The arrow was fired
at a distance of over 120 yards, which will give some idea of what skilled bow-
men the Batwa are.
On their way back to camp they were attached by about 300 people of Nyindo
and Birahira of British Ruanda. These people were desperate and most persistent
in their attack. Had Lieut. Sullivan not been at Kigezi, our loyal natives would
have been slaughtered, all their food burnt and stock captured. The lesson
168 UGANDA JOURNAL
the Batutsi received had a wholesome effect on them.
Lieutenant Sullivan moved from Kigezi to Lake Chahafi, close to the Ger-
man frontier and took up a strong positition on a hill which commands a
narrow pass on the road from Lake Bulera to Kigezi. General Henry kindly
sent a Belgian Officer and 75 men to reinforce Lieut. Sullivan at Chahafi.
For some days reports had reached us of considerable activity in the German
Camp at Mulera south of Kigezi. Reconnoitring parties had been observed on
the hills overlooking our position at Chahafi which had been strongly fortified
by the Police and was occupied by Belgian troops and 25 Police under Lieutenant
On 30 December the presence was reported in the enemy camp of the rebel
Sultan Nyindo and a large number of Batutsi warriors, and it was reported
that the enemy intended to attack Chahafi. In the afternoon the arrival was
reported of Captain Wintgens, the local German Commander, and a doctor
from Kigali, so arrangements were made to prepare for an attack, the Belgians
being asked to send a column via Mount Sabinio to take the enemy in the rear.
On the morning of I January 1915 at about 5 a.m. our piquets reported the
approach of the enemy, and our force took up their positions in the trenches.
The bandas on the hill were set alight to make the enemy believe that the place
was vacated. The enemy opened independent fire at about 300 yards range and,
as no reply was made, they thought the hill vacated and advanced with their
flag borne in front. On reaching the dip at the foot they were met by a volley
that killed the German standard bearer and wounded certain others of the
advance party. This caused a hasty retirement and the enemy took cover behind
the lava boulders and opened a heavy fire which was not replied to.
At about 7 a.m. fire was opened by the enemy with two maxims that kept
up a continuous fire till about noon, when a bugle blew "cease fire". We now
sniped the men resting in the heat of the sun behind the lava and kept them on
At about 2 p.m. maxim gun fire was again opened by the enemy but we re-
served our fire. At about 4 p.m. an attempt was made by the enemy to advance
under cover of a very heavy maxim and rifle fire, but their troops lacked that
essential dash and after losing several men withdrew under cover of their maxims
The enemy probably received word of the advance of the Belgian column
and withdrew during the night. It was afterwards ascertained that their losses
were one German badly wounded and afterwards died, six native soldiers
killed and nine wounded. But far more important was the defeat of the enemy's
effort to restore the rebel chief Nyindo which would have caused political unrest
among the whole of Kigezi and Ankole, and would also have resulted in the
establishment of an enemy post in British Ruanda, and have completely cut off
all communications with the Belgians save by a long and devious route to the
south of Lake Edward.
Captain Couturieaux, the Belgian Officer in Command at Chahafi on this
occasion, was later awarded the 'Croix de Guerre' for this defence against an
enemy column far superior in numbers, and having forced it to retreat.
During February 1915, the hostile attitude of the natives on the German
border between Chahafi and the south of Kabale, many of whom were Batwa
pygmies under Chief Katuleggi, so threatened the passage of the military
convoys on the lines of communication and, by constantly raiding the villages
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 169
of the loyal natives whose women and cattle they captured, caused a state of
panic in that area, that the Officer Commanding the Kagera District decided to
send an expedition to deal effectively with these outlaws.
One body of these outlaws having seized all the canoes on Lake Bunyoni
took up a position on a large island which they used as a base for their operations.
The remainder lived temporarily in almost inaccessible mountains and forest
areas, stretching from the south of the Lake into the heart of the Batwa country
in German East Africa. To deal with those natives on the island it was essential
to recover the canoes, and for this purpose a large canoe was to be carried from
Lake Chahafi over the mountain road of Kigezi which rises to a height of over
7,000 feet, and thence by a path especially cut through the dense bamboo forest.
More than 100 porters were required to transfer this canoe.
On 28 February, an expedition under Major E. H. T. Lawrence consisting
of 150 Uganda Police Service Battalion left Ngarama for Kigezi. Sergeant-
Major S. F. Taylor who was at Chahafi had been instructed to bring a canoe
from Lake Chahafi and place it on Lake Bunyoni. He arrived with the canoe at
Lake Bunyoni on 9 March and in it crossed the lake. That night some police were
sent out in the canoe to search the islands for canoes., and succeeded in recover-
ing thirteen. On the 10th Lieut. Wagstaff, U.P.S.B., Sergeant-Major Taylor and
a detachment of police crossed the lake with orders to work down the west side
to a point where Katuleggi had made his headquarters on an island, destroying
all villages of the Batwa en route and capturing their cattle. Lieutenant Turpin,
U.P.S.B. and Lieutenant N. Moore, Intelligence Department, were ordered to
proceed down the east side of the lake to its extremity and then up the two
peninsulas: Lieut. Turpin taking one and Lieut. Moore the other. Major Law-
rence and Lieut. Sullivan took up a position at night on an island where touch
could be kept by means of a heliograph with the three columns operating. The
13 canoes were transferred to the island. On the morning of the 11th the progress
of the columns could be traced by the columns of smoke from the villages as
they were burnt. On the morning of the 12th Lieutenants Turpin and Moore
had arrived at the extremities of the peninsulas. All captured cattle were driven
to rendezvous where Major Lawrence joined Lieutenants Turpin and Moore.
The captured cattle, following a canoe, swam between two points, a distance of
over one mile.
In the meantime Lieutenant Wagstaff had arrived at Katuleggi's stronghold,
only to find that he had fled. Lieut. Wagstaff had seized a quantity of cattle
which were sent together with those captured by Lieutenants Turpin and Moore
to Kabale. This concluded the operations on Lake Bunyoni.
Lieutenants Turpin and Wagstaff were then sent to deal with the Bahororo
in Kyogo. These people had adopted a strong pro-German attitude since the
outbreak of war. While they kept quiet, this could be overlooked, but they had
recently given vent to open rebellion and armed violence.
In December 1914, the representative of the Government had been murdered
and messengers from the Assistant District Commissioner had been driven back
and had arrows fired at them, and the rebels had declined to allow anyone to
pass near their valley. They had on two occasions made attacks in large numbers
on the Agent's Boma and had not he and his followers been armed with guns
they would doubtless have been murdered.
On 19 March, Lieutenants Turpin and Wagstaff and a detachment of the
U.P.S.B. left Kabale to proceed to Kyogo. On the night of the 20th, the Agent,
Swedi Sabadu, joined them near Lutobo, having returned from the southeast
170 UGANDA JOURNAL
of the district where a local fight had taken place in which nine persons had been
On the 20th a reconnaissance of the Kyogo valley disclosed that the neigh-
bouring valley of Kahondo was also inhabited by the truculent Bahororo.
At dawn on the 22nd Lieut. Wagstaff with 20 men descended the Kyogo Valley
from the northern slope and while forcing a passage through a barricaded path
to capture a local headman, was attacked with spears and arrows, to which he
replied with two shots. This alarm soon spread down the valley and hundreds
of Bahororo armed with throwing spears and poisoned arrows were observed
pouring out of the valley towards the frontier exit, driving stock ahead of them.
At 3 a.m. that day Lieut. Turpin had arrived with 41 men and the Agent of the
Kyogo frontier. He despatched Sergeant Dusman and 20 men to the Kahondo
valley to drive off captured stock to Bukinda. A local headman Drawyi living on
the Kyogo frontier with his son Dwanyoso was surprised before dawn and cap-
tured with all his stock without a shot being fired. As soon however as we ad-
vanced to meet the Bahororo who were descending the valley with their stock, they
attacked first with arrows, then spears. The congestion in the frontier end of the
valley become greater every minute with the arrival of more armed Bahororo with
their stock, and when the situation became too dangerous on account of the num-
berof arrows and spears thrown by between 400 and 500 armed Bahororo Lieute-
nant Turpin opened fire on them, whereupon they replied with arrows and
took cover. All attempts by the Agent and his assistant to make themselves
heard by the Bahororo were met with loud jeers and shouts such
as, "fight them", and, there are only a few of them if they wish to fight
we are ready". Individual armed natives would dash out and attempt to
cut off small numbers of stock from the main herd which by this time had been
rounded up, and on several occasions, the Agent's herdsmen were put to
flight by them as the police advanced up the valley. Thereupon Lieutenant
Turpin ordered his men to clear the slope of all armed Bahororo
and while they were skirmishing another local headman named Luanjira
was captured. In the meantime Sergeant Dusman advancing up the Kahondo
valley with his 20 men also met with armed resistance from the Bagina natives
who lined both sides of the valley and resisted his advance by shooting arrows
until driven off by rifle fire. At midday on 22 March, Lieut. Turpin was joined
by Lieut. Wagstaff who had successfully accomplished his part of the operations,
which were now at an end.
The result of the operations on Lake Bunyoni and in Kyogo was the
capture of a large quantity of stock and the complete submission of the rebels,
who, with the exception of Katuleggi and a few malcontents who escaped into
German East Africa, settled down peaceably. 38 natives were killed, there were
no casualties among the police. The police column then returned to their head-
quarters at Ngarama (Isingiro County, Ankole).
In April 1916, the Belgians who had for some time been occupying British
territory, were relieved by the Uganda Police Service Battalion. Minor affairs
were constantly arising as a result of the hostile attitude of the Batutsi, but
eventually, when the Germans were forced to retire before the Belgian advance
they were convinced that the best policy was to give in, and on 27 May the rebel
Chiefs Nyindo and Birahira surrendered to the police.
The U.P.S.B. were ordered to move to Kagera Camp in June, thus leaving
but few police for the protection of the Kigezi district.
A certain native of German East Africa named Ndochibiri gave himself out
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 171
as a leader of the anti-European movement which assumed a semi-fanatical
aspect, accompanied by a sacred white sheep, which was followed by a large
number of natives who were forming themselves into a gang of outlaws, and
raided and looted cattle far and wide. Their depredations extended even into the
Belgian post of Rutchuru where one Sunday morning shots were fired into the
station by some of Ndochibiri's followers. On another occasion a large body of
these fanatics charged close up to Chahafi, though we fired on them heavily with
two maxims. Punitive measures were frequently taken against the natives but the
leader always managed to escape, hiding in inaccessible caves on the sides
of Mount Muhavura or the underground caverns of the Ruanda plains.
In April 1916, an incursion of looters under the leadership of Ndochibiri
was reported in Kigezi. Ndochibiri escaped and hid in the Kayonza forest
Again in the same month Batutsi raiders under Ndochibiri attacked a loyal
Mututsi Chief named Kagumakan, looting his property, driving off some 200
head of cattle and 300 goats, and retiring into Congo territory.
In June Ndochibiri attempted a raid near Ngezi but was driven off by loyal
The Provincial Commissioner, Western Province, (Mr. S. Browning)
reported that a considerable part of the inhabitants of Ruanda was still out of
control and likely to remain so, until Ndochibiri and his followers were finally
dealth with. It was decided in November, to send a police expedition to Kigezi to
deal with Ndochibiri, the Belgians agreeing to co-operate with the police on their
The only police available for this expedition were those of the U.P.S.B.
returning to Uganda from German East Africa for demobilization. It was
therefore decided that one Company should be detached for this purpose.
Lieut.-Colonel Riddick left Kampala for Mwanza on 22 December. On 12
January 1917, he embarked at Mwanza for Bukakata, there disembarking with
Mr. Dryden and the men of the Battalion who belonged to the Masaka, Mba-
rara, Kabale and Toro Units. They marched to Kabale, arriving there on the
30th. The force had been augmented by 25 special constables from Kabale and
Mbarara. At Kabale Mr. McDougall, Assistant District Commissioner, was
invited to join the expedition, and he was fortunately able to do so for, as Lieut.-
Colonel Riddick states in his report, "but for his knowledge of French, and his
capabilities in supplying porters, food, spear-men and his local knowledge, it
would have been difficult to carry on. Mr. McDougall acted as Intelligence Officer
and Interpreter throughout the expedition."
The first information was that Ndochibiri was in Belgian territory from
which there are five outlets across the English border. Lieut.-Colonel Riddick
then proceeded to Rutchuru, arriving there on 5th February. He left Inspector
Wagstaff, who had joined him, and most of the detachment on the frontier.
At Rutchuru, such information as was available, pointed to the fact that
Ndochibiri was harboured by Tembero, a chief hostile to the Belgian Govern-
ment, about two days journey away. We started off on 7 February together with
the Belgian chef-de-poste, one Lieutenant and 40 rank and file, arriving at
Tembero's at 4 p.m. on the 8th. We found the place abandoned evidently in a
hurry, with food, being left behind. We stayed at Tembero's three days, during
which the Belgians endeavoured to locate Ndochibiri, but all information turned
out to be inaccurate. Our Government Agent, Abdulla, brought in news on the
llth that Ndochibiri was near our Boundary Pillar No. 9, two days away.
Lieut.-Colonel Riddick arranged with the Belgians that they should block the
country into Mulera while he proceeded to surround the pillar No. 9. On
172 UGANDA JOURNAL
11 February after some very hard going the police camped in a banana swamp.
One sergeant and 25 men were sent at midnight with the Agent to surround
Ndochibiri's stronghold and surprise it at dawn. This they did but it was found
that Ndochibiri had bolted some days before, leaving quantities of food, all
of which was seized. The police arrived at the outskirts of Ndochibiri's on
the 14th. The next day they proceeded to his headquarters, but could get no
information. Lieut.-Colonel Riddick destroyed all Ndochibiri's huts on our
side of the boundary and left for Mulingi in our territory, having captured four
who had assisted Ndochibiri to raid; these were handed over to Mr. McDougall
for disposal. Lieut.-Colonel Riddick returned to Kigezi on the 26th.
On 3 March, Lieut.-Colonel Riddick received a letter from the Belgians
saying that they would cut off the retreat of Kanyaruanda, another rebel, if
possible. On 6 March, Lieut.-Colonel Riddick met Captain Weyemberg with
1 Lieutenant and 2 Companies on the border. Captain Weyemberg informed
Lieut.-Colonel Riddick that he had Kanyaruanda's son with him, and that it was
only a matter of time before Kanyaruanda, who was hiding in the forest, would
surrender. He asked Lieut.-Colonel Riddick to withdraw his men as their pre-
sence was preventing the surrender of Kanyaruanda. Lieut.-Colonel Riddick
returned to Kabale on 8 March.
Information was afterwards received that Kanyaruanda had been arrested
by the Belgians. Ndochibiri has not since been heard of in our territory.9
Some Brief Biographical Notes
COUTURIEAUX, Commandant A.C. J-B. (1886-1926). 1913 Congo Beige
Force Publique: 1926, 17 March died Pigna (Ituri).
DRYDEN, J. W. (c. 1883-1951). 1907 Uganda Police: 1928 retired as Superin-
tendent of Police: 1951, 2 October died.
HARMSWORTH, J. S., M.C. (c.1887-1962). 1913 Agricultural Department,
Uganda: 1914 Intelligence Department, Lieutenant Uganda Field Force
(later to Buganda Rifles): 1916, 18 February successful defence of Kachumbi
Fort, Buddu, against German attacks for which awarded M.C.: 1932 retired as
Plantation Manager, Uganda: 1962, 23 December died.
HENRY, E. J. M. (1862-1930). 1905 Inspector, Belgian Congo service: 1916-21
Governor-General: 1930, 27 December died Brussels. To be distinguished
from Commandant (later Lieut.-General) Josu6 Henry (1869-1957) who
arrested Charles Stokes in Congo Beige in 1895, was engaged against the
Congolese mutineers in 1897 (Uganda J. 17, 1963, p. 21) and who was asso-
ciated with Capt. M. F. Gage and Dr. A. D. Milne (Uganda Service) in their
steam-launch journey from Lado to Khartoum in 1899-1900.
LAWRENCE, Major E. H. T., O.B.E. (c.1878-1963). 5th Connaught Rangers.
1907 Uganda Police: 1914 appointed Major O/C Defence, Uganda: 1922
Commissioner of Police: 1930 retired: 1963, 11 April died Hove
McDOUGALL, J. H. G. (1889- ). 1911 Asst. District Commissioner
Uganda: 1921 to Tanganyika: 1931 Puisne Judge: 1935 retired from Tanga-
nyika: 1942-6 Chief Justice Gibraltar.
MOORE, N. ( ). 1911 Asst. District Commissioner Uganda: 1914
Intelligence Dept. Lieutenant Uganda Field Force: 1918 resigned from
Uganda Govt. Service,
KIGEZI OPERATIONS 1914-1917 173
REILLY, W. J. ( -1932). 1905 East Africa Police: 1911 Uganda Police:
1921 Tanganyika Police: 1926 retired as District Superintendent of Police:
1932, 7 July died,
RIDDICK, Lieut.-Col. C, ( -1962). 1894-1906 Police service in British
Guiana, Sierra Leone, Southern Nigeria: 1906 Deputy Inspector-General,
East Africa Police: 1908 Commissioner of Police, Uganda: 1922 retired:
1962, 26 May died.
SULLIVAN, C. E. E. (c.1883-1951). 1909 Asst. District Commissioner, Uganda:
1914 Intelligence Dept. Lieutenant Uganda Field Force: 1928 Provincial
Commissioner: 1930 retired: 1951, 28 December died Tangier.
TAYLOR, S. F. (1887-1951). 1913 Uganda Police: 1919 Assistant Finger Print
Officer, Kenya: 1931 retired: 1951, 29 November died.
TURPIN, C. A. (c.1881-1957). 1911 Uganda Police: 1916 in Karamoja (Uganda
J. 12, 1948, pp. 161-165): 1922 Superintendent of Police: 1930 to Kenya
Police: 1933 retired: 1957, 16 March died.
WAGSTAFF, C. S., I.S.O., (c.1884-1944). 1912 Uganda Police: 1932 Superin-
tendent of Police: 1937 retired: 1944, 16 May died.
WINTGENS, Capt. 1909 German Political Service in Ruanda: 1913 succeeded
Dr. Kandt as Resident of Ruanda: 1915, May, withdrew from Ruanda: one
of General von Lettow's most resourceful column commanders: 1917, 23 May,
stricken by typhus and surrendered to Belgians south of Tabora after ordering
his column to make for Kilimanjaro under Naumann (who was captured
1 October 1917).
1. This march is described by Ezera Kabali in Uganda J., 27, 1963, p. 223.
2. The personnel of the Uganda Police employed on military duty was organised as the Uganda
Police Service Battalion as from 1 August 1915. This was demobilized in January 1917
when members returned to their civil duties.
3. Bessell, M. J., Nyabingi, Uganda J., 6, 1938, pp. 73-86 especially p. 82.
4. Unfortunately the precise archival reference is not available.
5. Bessell, idem, p. 82.
6. Louis, R., Ruanda-Urundi 1884-1919, Oxford, 1963, p. 196, note 7.
7. Nyindo was the half-brother of Mwami Musinga of Ruanda and, subject to a honey
tribute, held sway in southern Kigezi. (See Philipps, J. E. T., The Nyabingi, Congo, 1928,
8. Bessell, op. cit, p. 82.
9. Ndochibiri was killed at the end of June 1919 when planning an attack on Kabale (See
Bessell, op. cit. p. 83).
174 UGANDA JOURNAL
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
Keith Brown is Forest Entomologist in the Department of Forests, Uganda
Government and an organiser of the Natural History Branch of the Uganda
Lewis Clark has worked in Karamoja as a geologist with the Geological Survey
and Mines Department of the Uganda Government.
Martin Doornbos is a social science research scholar from the Netherlands atta-
ched to the East African Institute of Social Research and currently working on
the political structure of Ankole and Kigezi.
Brian Fagan is director of the Bantu Origins Project of the British Institute of
History and Archaeology for East Africa, Nairobi.
Sydney Higgins has taught for nearly two years at Sir Samuel Baker School,
Gulu, during which time he has made a collection of Acholi craft work and
observed the customs of the Acholi including those ceremonies described in
James King is on the staff of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, but had
spent most of 1962 in Uganda doing research into the Nile transport system for
which he obtained a Ph.D. of Northwestern Univeristy.
Matia Kiwanuka is a graduate of Makerere University College and the School of
Oriental and African Studies of the University of London where he obtained his
Ph.D, from part of which thesis the essay presented here is derived. He is at
present a lecturer in history at Makerere.
Eric Lanning served in the Uganda Administration from 1948-1958, and spent
many years at Mubende. During these years he did extensive archaeological
work in western Uganda and has provided many articles and notes for the
Laurel Lofgren as a student of Berkeley, University of California, has worked with
the Bantu Origins Project of the British Institute of History and Archaeology
for East Africa.
T. P. O'Brien is the author of a standard reference work on the prehistory of
Uganda which he completed as a result of research visits to Uganda in the late
Peter Rigby is a lecturer in sociology of Makerere University College and an
authority on the Gogo of central Tanzania.
A. G. Shaper has worked for ten years at the Makerere Medical School and is an
authority on many aspects of medicine, though he is specialising on heart di-
seases, in respect of which he is currently the W.H.O. Research Professor in
J. Sykes was President of the Uganda Society in 1938-39 and is a former editor
of the Uganda Journal. From 1925-1939 he was Vice-Principal of Makerere
College and from 1939-1947 was Deputy Director of Education, and twice
during this period served as acting director.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 175-183
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS
By S. HIGGINS
The Acholi recognize two distinct types of birth, the normal birth and jok
anywala, the godly birth.
The Normal Birth
Among the Acholi there is no segregation before confinement, and a preg-
nant woman carries on with her normal household duties until this is prevented
by severe labour pains. If the woman is aware of when the baby is due, she and
her husband are unlikely to go on a long journey away from home if this can be
avoided; but very few special preparations are made for the birth, and there is no
fixed place for the delivery. Indeed special names are given to the children born
away from home.
At the onset of the pains before birth, the midwife, called lacola,1 is sent for.
She is normally an elderly woman with considerable experience. I could find no
evidence that she was necessarily, as Girling stated, the wife of the husband's
elder brother or the husband's senior wife. Should the lacola not be available,
one or two of the many women who gather around will assist at the birth, which
frequently takes place in the open-air. To deliver the child the expectant mother
squats with her buttocks on her heels and her thighs apart. If the birth is taking
place inside a hut, the mother may grasp the centre post. In either case a woman
supports her from behind. The lacola kneels in front of the woman in labour and,
if it is a straightforward birth, she receives the baby in her outstretched hands.
The new-born baby is then washed with cold water.
The lacola cuts the umbilical cord. The instrument used seems to depend
more on what is available than on clan ritual.2 I have heard of knives, spears,
arrows, bamboo, slices of sugarcane and sharpened stones being used. The
cord is likewise tied with whaL is available; such as banana fibre or the fibre from
various trees and roots. In modem times a piece of cotton or material is more
usual. The placenta may be buried in a variety of places; outside the home, under
the woman's granary, in the bush or by a river. The important thing is that it
should be put out of reach of anyone who might wish the baby harm, and who
could, by possessing it, exert an evil influence on the child.
Among many clans ihe lacola may not touch the ground with her hands
while Lhey still have the blood of the placenta on them, in the belief that if this is
done the mother will cease to be fertile. Having washed her hands and generally
tidied up, the lacola removes the mother and child into a house, which in the
case of a woman who has given birth for the first time, may have been specially
built for her. Payment for the lacola varies. In some cases she is not paid, but
the usual payment seems to be a sheep. The awara me lakwany wino (the food
or beer that is not completely prepared because of the child's birth)
belongs to the midwife3.
If the expectant mother has difficulty in producing the baby, the won yat, a
person who possesses herb medicines, is asked to give treatment. The medicine
176 UGANDA JOURNAL
given is usually the ground roots of some plant, such as lacer (Clerodendrum sp.),
mixed with water. The won yat kneels in front of the woman and gives her the
drink in a small calabash. She then slowly rubs the belly and back and says such
Ah, an amiyo yat mera en do.
Ah, I give you my medicine here, oh.
In latin ni, kadi in latin lee,
You child, even if you are in the form of an animal
Kati woko yot labongo ayela-mo.
Do come out quickly without any trouble.
A child who lives after his mother has been given medicine to induce the labour
is often called Oyat, if a boy, or Layat, if a girl.
If the trouble is serious the diviner, ajwaka, is consulted. She will
then give some treatment which may be the insertion of a stick of bamboo into
the vagina. A chicken may be held by the legs and fluttered around the expectant
mother's head, while a prayer is said. To please the jok4, the ajwaka may order
the woman to bury the umbilical cord of the baby in a specific place, If this is
done, the child is given a special name according to the place of the burial, as
in the following table:-
Boy's Name Girl's Name Place where the umbilical cord is buried
Olwedo Lalwedo under an olwedo tree (Lonchocarpus laxi-
Olam Lalam ,, olam tree (Ficus gnaphalocarpa)
Oryang Laryang ,, oryang tree (Dombeya quinquiseta)
Odwong Ladwong ,, odwong tree (Gardenia jovis-tonan-
Okutu Lakutu ,, okutu tree (Acacia holstii)
Opobo Lapobo ,, opobo tree (Grewia mollis)
Obwolo Labwolo ,, obwolo tree (Annona chrysophylla)
Odur Ladur Where the rubbish is kept
Once inside the house after the birth, the mother and child have to remain
there for three days if it is a boy, or four days if it is a girl. The mother is per-
mitted to leave only to usethetoilet or to bathe behind the house. The child
may be taken outside for washing. The reasons given for the observation of this
period of separation vary from clan to clan. Some clans believe that if a person
who has eaten salt touches the child during this time the baby will go blind.
Other clans believe that if the child's genitals are touched the baby will grow up
to be infertile. The result of the observance is that the relatives and neighbours
who would otherwise want to hold and nurse the child are kept away during the
first few days of the infant's life.
During this period the mother's food is cooked and brought to her by a
chosen person, who is normally a young female relative. The food must be
cooked without salt, and it is believed that if this is not done the baby's eyes will
be affected. The main food of the mother is a form of porridge. The mother
must not speak to anyone, except her husband, during the three or four days
after the birth.5 Only the person who prepares the food is allowed into the house
which is cut off from the rest of the huts. This is done by surrounding the house
by a strong fence, long poles or a symbolic barrier of rope.
The mother will also fulfil her clan's observances.6 Some women will no: look
at the sky because they fear that this will make the child impotent. A more
general practice is that alcoholic drink is not allowed into the hut. Indeed most
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS 177
Acholi mothers abstain from drinking alcohol while they are both carrying and
feeding their child. The reasons for not allowing alcohol in the hut vary. Some
believe that its presence would make the child die; others believe that the child
would grow up to be a drunkard,
The ceremonies that follow a normal birth vary considerably from clan to
clan and even village to village.7 Despite these differences two ceremonies seem to
be common throughout Acholi. They are the ending of the taboos that the wo-
man has observed since the birth and the naming of the child.
As the mother does not normally eat salt during her three or four day stay
in the hut, the ceremony of gwelo kado (touching with salt) is performed before
the mother leaves the hut, to mark the end of her separation from the clan.
The lakwer, an elderly woman who may be the lacola or the husband's mother or
the oldest inhabitant of the village, takes a bowl of olel (soup mixed with ground
simsim) to the mother of the baby. She takes a piece of millet bread, dips it into
the olel, which contains salt, and plays with it in front of the mother's face until
she drops it into the mother's open mouth. In some cases the mother spits out
the bread. This is done three times if the child is a boy and four times if a girl.
After this ceremony the new mother is allowed to eat with the other people.
On the third or fourth day the child is named. Inside the hut are the
mother and child and some close relatives. To the door come a group of people,
including relatives of the new father and mother, led by the elderly woman who
conducted the ceremony of gwelo kado. She carries an odero (a winnowing-
tray made out of basket-work) in one hand, while in the other she holds an ogwec
(a knobbed stick used for stirring ground simsim into cooked food) and an
oloto kwon (a ladle used for stirring millet bread). With the food stirrers she
knocks on the door and as she does so she suggests a name for the child. There
is no exact formula to decide which name is chosen. Normally the mother's
choice is the name the child carries. The name she selects may tell something
about the actual circumstances of the birth or about the state of the family at
the time of the birth.
Boy's Name Girl's Name Meaning
Olum Alum Born in the grass, lum.
Otim Atim Born in the bush, tim.
Odwar Adwar Born during a hunt, dwar.
Owot Awot Born during a journey, wot.
Okumu Akumu Born before the mother has menstruated.8
Okot Akot Bubbles in the afterbirth.
Otoo Atoo Many brothers and sisters have died.
Odongo Adongo Born after the father's death.
Okec(h) Akec(h) Born during a famine, kec.
Banya Abanya Dowry or luk money not promptly paid.
Obal Abalo Man who wasted his wealth, balo, on an idle
Okel(l)o Akel(l)o First born after twins.
Odong Adong Second born after twins.
Bongomin Without brothers.
Olok Alok Mother is talkative.
Ocira Acira I have endured bad treatment.
Odoki Adok Mother threatened to go back to her parents.
Oryem Aryemo They wanted to drive away the mother.
178 UGANDA JOURNAL
Olanya Alanyo Mother feels abandoned by her husband.
Ongom Angom After previous children have died.
Ocan Acan Misfortunte.
Although the name given by the mother is the one the child normally adopts,
the wishes of relatives can be taken into consideration, and it is quite usual for a
child to have as many as four names. It is not the custom for a child to be given
the same name as his father if he is alive, but subsequendy if the father dies
the mother may wish her eledest son to adopt his deceased father's name.
Children may be named after their paternal grandparents. The accepted name
is known as either nying ma maa ocake kwede, the name first given by the mother,
or nying ma giyokko ki doggola, the name with which the door was knocked.10
After the birth ceremonies are completed the wife takes up her household
duties. If it is her first child she ceases to wear her unmarried girl's belt, cip-
langee, and wears the wife's cip-cenot' She will be known by the name of her
eldest child, such as Min Olam, the mother of Olam. It is at this point that the
woman becomes fully accepted into her husband's clan.
This ends the ritual after a birth, except that in some clans the husband will
not eat food cooked by the new mother for several months after the birth.
It is a more common practice for the mother to refrain from having sexual
intercourse until she has ceased to breast-feed the child.
A. C. A. Wright in his account of the ceremony of Kwer Min Lanyoro,
performed by the Patiko Kaka Kal after the birth of a child, states, "A point,
which is rather interesting, is that none of this sympathetic magic that is employ-
ed in Kwer Min Lanyoro appears to have any connection with the ordinary
Acholi objects of worship like Jok, or Abila (God, Spirits or Ancestors)."12
The ceremonies connected with the normal birth are not addresses to the jok.
Instead the ceremonies have a social significance for they mark the acceptance
of the new-born child and the mother into the clan of the father. The jok is
called upon only if the birth is difficult or if, as in the case of the godly birth,
there is something unusual about the baby when it is born.
Jok Anywala (Godly Birth)
There are three types of jok anywala.Twins are the commonest and they are
given the following names:-
First Born Second Born
Two boys Opiyo Ocen
One boy, one girl Opiyo Acen
One girl, one boy Apiyo Ocen
Two girls Apiyo Acen
A second type of godly birth consists of children who have minor physical
deformities, such as those born with teeth, with a hare-lip, with short arms or
with partial paralysis. Such a deformity is considered to be a sign from the jok
that the child is his gift. The names Ojok (for a boy) and Ajok (for a girl) are
given to these children.13 The third type includes all the unusual deformities.
Some of these are given special names, such as Ijara (male) or Lajara (female)
for a child born with six or more toes or fingers on one foot or hand. Other
deformities include hermaphrodites, children born with no toes or fingers,
with limbs missing, with very large heads or with severe paralysis. In the past if
the mother was convinced that the deformities of her child were so great that it
would be unable to live a useful life, she took it on her back to the river and
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS 179
dropped it into the water pretending that this was done accidentally.14 Custom
decreed that she must search for the child. As soon as she touched it she would
take it from the water. If the child was dead, it would be buried; if it was still
alive it would be allowed to live.
In the past, therefore, many of the deformed jok anywala were either des-
stroyed or died of natural causes in infancy. Today it is possible for some of the
lesser deformities to be cured, but the belief persists even among many
educated Acholi that it is wrong to interfere with the will of the jok. The idea of
regarding deformed children and twins as manifestations of the jok has pro-
tected such children. They are not abused or despised, because such an action
would invoke the wrajh of the jok. When someone laughs at a cripple he is told,
Wek nyerro Wilobo, Stop laughing at (the works) of Wilobo."
Various ceremonies are conducted after twins have been born. These cere-
monies are religious ones addressed to the jok, and like all such ceremonies
are becoming quite rare in Acholi. The first one described may be used, with
suitable alterations, after any godly birth.
The First Ceremony-Bolo Jok16 takes place around the ab ila,the family spirit
shrine,17 which usually-stands under or near an olwedo and an okango tree.
After the twins have been born, the umbilical cords are put into a baked-clay
bowl (laum) which has a plate-shaped cover. On the morning of the ceremony the
laum is placed by the abila, together with the other objects that are going to be
The people who are present, including the mother and the twins, have pieces
of bomo (a creeping plant) tied round their wrists, waists and sometimes their
necks. When all is prepared the mother sits with her back to the abila with her
legs outstretched on a skin. The first born of the twins sits on her legs nearest to
her while the second born sits on her knees. The other people stand in line, arrang-
ed according to their age, in front of the mother and facing the abila. Should
there be a large number taking part they may almost encircle the abila; though
this is unlikely because the ceremony is usually restricted to the immediate family
of the father of the twins.
The oldest person present takes some cooked peas (laputa), a piece of millet
bread (kwon bel magic) and a few seeds (peke) and throws them gently at the
abila. While this is being done he chants words similar to the the following:-
Wamito latin omak oceke maber,
We pray you to let the children suck milk well,
Kum dano ducu obed ma yot,
We ask you to let us be in good health,
Wamito cam o ceki, lee oto, nyodo onen ....
Let our crops grow well, let us kill animals, have more children.
After he has finished, each person in the line gently tosses food at the abila,
at the same time asking the jok for some special thing he or she wants to receive.
Next the leader of the ceremony picks up the kirubu (a pot with two mouths),
which contains beer, and sips from one opening of the kirubu and then the other.
He then spits the beer onto the abila, and pours some of the beer into a small
calabash which he places by the abila. The other people sip and spit the beer.
When this has been completed, the leader of the ceremony takes hold of a white
cock and allows it to shake its wings violently over the mother and i.wins.
As he does this he repeats a phrase of the original prayer, such as Wamito latin
omak oceke maber. This action is repeated in turn by all those taking part.
Any of the cock's feathers that fly out are stuck in the ground beneath the abila
or the okango tree. Next a white hen is caught and is used in the same way as the
180 UGANDA JOURNAL
cock. Each person takes a turn and prays. The laputa and peke are then eaten.
One by one the people dip their hands in a calabash of water which they sprinkle
over the mother and children. They also anoint the necks and belly of the mother
and twins with moo yaa (the oil from the yaa tree, Butyrospermum parkii)
and powdered ashes.
With this, the morning's ceremony is over. The white cock and hen are killed
with a spear, and the neck of a goat is cut with a knife. The meat of these ani-
mals is put into the pots around the abila and the fires are lit. In the evening the
meat that has been cooking most of the day is eaten. Small pieces of the meat
are placed around the abila as an offering to thejok. After this the mother and
twins take up their positions in front of the abila and the others dance in a circle
around them and the abila led by the oldest man who beats with a stick upon a
small calabash floating in water in a larger calabash. Songs, such as the following
may be sung:-
Min bangi, ye min (Opiyo, Ocen, Apiyo, Acen) nen dero bel.
Mother of twins, mother of (Opiyo, Ocen, Apiyo, Acen) show your millet
Min bangi, buto ataro.
Mother of twins, lie down on your back.
Min bangi, ginen dero bel.
Mother of twins, show your millet granary.
When the dancing stops, the mother with the twins still on her lap is lifted
up in the skin on which she has been sitting and is carried into the hut. As this if
being done another song is sung:-
Bangi ye, eh, eh, eh ya.
Twins ye, eh, eh, eh, ya.
Rut ye, Ocen ki kwed Opiyo.
Twins ye, Ocen and Opiyo.
Uh, uh, uh, lulmaro, rut ye.
Uh, uh, uh, beloved, do, twins ye.
Eh, eh, eh, ya.
After the people have entered the room and the mother is seated on the floor
still on the skin, the other women present go through the motions of making
love to the father of the twins. As they do so they make ribald jokes, suggesting
that they too would like to be the mother of twins. After this light-hearted
interlude the people go outside to drink and dance.
Later there is a second ceremony, Ngwelo Jok.20There is no special time for
the performance of this ceremony. Because a large number of people is involved,
Ngwelo Jok is usually arranged for a date when most people will be able to
attend. Families who find it difficult to meet the expense involved may delay
the ceremony for many months. The arrangement of the abila and the part of
this ceremony that takes place around it are similar to the second part of the
first ceremony, but the preparatory stages for Ngwelo Jok are very different
and much more elaborate. On the day of the ceremony the father of the twins
kills a ram which is then cut up and cooked for the evening feast.21 Around the
waists and ankles of the twins are tied strings of beads made of small pieces of
koo (bamboo, Oxythenanthera abyssinica),or toro (a grass with stiff stems.).
A canga (a string of small disks cut from ostrich eggs) is put around the twins'
necks. The mother and the twins have their hair cut for the first time since
the birth of the babies. They are then anointed with pala (red ochre.) The mother
wears a new ceno, made from the fibre of the oryang tree (Acacia holstii).
ACHOLI BIRTH CUSTOMS 181
From the time of the twins' birth till the performance of the second ceremony,
the family of the mother has not been allowed to carry or even touch the twins,
and the mother has been forbidden to eat food that has been cooked with salt.
Both these prohibitions are ended at this time in the following way. In the morn-
ing of the second ceremony the mother goes with the twins and her husband's
mother, or another married woman from the village, to the home of her parents.
When they arrive, all the family assemble in front of the home of the twins'
maternal grandmother. Olel (soup mixed with ground simsim) is brought which
has been cooked with salt. To this is added salt which the twins' mother has
brought with her. Thus the salt of the two families is mixed together in the
olel. The woman who came with the mother takes a piece of millet bread in each
hand, dips them in the olel, and teases the twins' mother with them before drop-
ping them into the mother's open mouth. This is done three times if the twins are
boys; and four times if they are girls, or one of them is a girl. The teasing with
the millet bred is repeated, and then the woman picks up the twins and hands
them to the mother's family, who are then allowed to carry the children for the
first time. After this the people settle down and eat together.
Afterwards the family of the twins' mother go with her to her husband's
home, taking with them a female sheep. The party stops outside the com-
pound. The family of the husband have put a winnowing-tray filled with seeds
under, or onto, the abila. The mother's family try to take the seeds so that
they will be blessed with good crops; but the father's family, who do not want to
lose their fertility try to prevent the seeds being stolen. Sometimes the mother's
family will pretend to steal the twins. When the friendly rivalry has concluded
the two families assemble before the abila in the same way as for the bolo jok.
They then settle down to eat the ram that was killed much earlier that day, and
drink the beer that has been brewed by both families. In the evening the twins'
mother sits with the twins on her lap in front of the abila in the same way as for
the second part of the first ceremony, and after singing and dancing she is
carried into the house. The two families continue drinking and dancing until
late into the night. The bones of the animals that have been eaten are kept away
from the village dogs. The day after the ceremony these bones are taken far away
into the bush and thrown away.
It is expected that those who come to the ceremony should bring presents,
which are normally ornaments made from iron, wood or shells, such as canga
and atego (a ring or armlet made out of metal). The sheep that was brought by
the wife's family is not eaten, but is allowed to reproduce. Later the brother of
the wife will come and take away all the lambs that it has had, apart from one
male and one female.
1. This is the name I found used throughout most of Acholi. It is listed by J. P. Crazzolara,
A study of the Acholi language, Oxford, 2nd Impression (Revised) 1955, p. 204 F. K.
Girling uses lakwer in The Acholi of Uganda, London, 1960, p. 22. Lakwer is the name
given to the person who conducts the ceremonies after a normal birth. Although this
may be the same woman who has acted as the lacola, it is more likely that the lakwer
and the lacola will be different people. A. C. A. Wright uses dayo (lit. grandmother) for
midwife in, Some notes on Acholi religious ceremonies, Uganda J., 3, 1936, pp.
175-202. As the lacola has to be an experienced woman she is usually a grandmother.
This presumably is why Wright used dayo.
2. A. C. A. Wright, ibid, states that the Patiko Kaka Kal use a sliver of bamboo called toro
to cut the umbilical cord of a boy, and ra to cut that of a girl. It may be that in the past
clans kept to the same instruments to cut the umbilical cord, but I could find no evidence
of this happening now.
182 UGANDA JOURNAL
3. Crazzolara J. P., op. cit., p. 185.
4. For an account of the jok see Okot p'Bitek, The concept of jok among the Acholi and
Lango, Uganda J., 27, 1963, pp. 15-29.
5. In some clans the girl who prepares the food is forbidden to speak to anyone except the
parents of the child.
6. For other clan observances see E. T. N. Grove, Customs of the Acholi, Sudan Notes and
Records, 2, 1919, p. 157.
7. A. C. A. Wright gives an account of the ceremony performed by the Patiko Kaka Kal,
op. cit. Because of the considerable differences observed in the ceremonies following the
birth of a normal child I have given only a brief outline of the ceremonies.
8. In this case a large sum of money is collected by the relatives of the girl from the husband.
It is not returnable in the event of a divorce. See J. P. Crazzolara, op. cit., p. 178.
9. This name is usually given by the grandparents.
10. Girling F. K., op. cit., p. 23.
11. Girling F. K., op. cit., p. 24.
12. Wright, A. C. A., op. cit., p. 193.
13. Should for some reason one of these children not be given the name Ojok or Ajok and
some disaster strikes the parents or the child, the ajwaka will normally order the child to
be given the name Ojok or Ajok so that the jok will know that the parents acknowledge
his gift. In such cases the child and mother will have to re-enact the ceremonies that take
place after a child is born. They will stay together in a hut for the necessary three or four
days and at the end of this period the ceremony of naming the child will take place.
14. The mother pretends that the drowning of the child is accidental so that this will be
believed by the child, who will then not return in the form of jok to trouble the family.
15. Crazzolara J. P., op. cit., p. 417. For an explanation of Wilobo see Okot p'Bitek, Acholi
concept of fate, Uganda J., 29,1965, pp. 85-93.
16. Bolo means throwing, and the ceremony is so named because during it food is gently
thrown at the abila.
17. For an account of the abila see Rev. Fr. A. Malandra, The ancestral shrine of the Acholi,
Uganda J., 7, 1937, pp. 27-43. As some families may not have an abila when twins are
born it will be necessary then to build a new spirit shrine. This will mean an additional
ceremony for dedicating the new abila.
18. These are the kirubu (a pot with more than one mouth) which has a creeping plant (bomo)
tied round its necks and which contains kongo angaci (a beer that has not been filtered);
a calabash containing kwon bel mangic (cold millet bread); nying nyim (simsim seeds)
nying bel (millet grains) okwer (the seeds of a wild cucumber) and ngor (wild pea seeds);
a second calabash containing laputa (cooked peas without salt); an odero (a winnowing-
tray) in which an ogwec (a knobbed stick) and an oloto kwon (a ladle) have been placed;
and an opoko (a small calabash). Groups of stones are also arranged around the abila
so that fires can be lit to cook the meat.
19. Dero bel (millet granary) is frequently used by the Acholi to refer to the anus. This is
because the food from the granary eventually passes through the anus. The point of the
song is that the Acholi believe that as the mother has given birth to two children she
*must be empty inside and will need a lot to eat. This song is not a reference to the woman's
fertility, because the twins are the gifts of the jok, and to praise the woman for her fertili-
ty would anger the jok.
20. Literally to take hold of, to kill. During this ceremony a ram is killed.
21. Later when the skin has been dried, it is cut in two from the neck to the tail. Bark is cut
from the oryang tree and is sown inside the two halves of the ram's skin. Thus are made
two carriers, called obeno, which the mother will use, one at a time, for carrying the twins
on her back. Great care is taken to ensure that the obeno made for each of the twins is
identical, because the Acholi believe that favouring one of the twins will cause the death
of the other.
Uagnda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 183-189
STUDIES IN HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA
By A. G. SHAPER
In a country in which so much illness is caused by malaria and other para-
sitic diseases, where tuberculosis is highly endemic and in which malnutrition
in children is still a formidable problem, one might well ask why a considerable
amount of attention should be paid by so many medical investigators to pro-
blems of heart disease. We are repeatedly told in general terms that "Africans
don't get heart disease" so that it seems reasonable to enquire why time and
money should be devoted to studying heart diseases here and why the World
Health Organisation, normally a fairly responsible body, should set up a re-
search and training centre for cardiovascular diseases in a place like Kampala.
The answers are reasonably straightforward and in giving them I will present a
bird's-eye view of the situation regarding heart disease in Uganda. What I have
to say is derived from work carried out over the past two decades by a large
number of workers at the Makerere Medical School and Mulago Hospital.
Heart disease is a common problem at Mulago Hospital and accounts
for some 10 per cent of admissions to the general medical wards. The pattern
of heart diseases varies considerably from that seen in more developed countries.
There are some conditions which are frequently seen here but occur rarely in
Europe and America, whereas some of the commonest problems of Europe
and America are hardly seen here at all.
Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are common enough problems
in Europe and rheumatic heart disease is also widespread throughout the
African continent. A small proportion of people who get sore throats due to an
organism called the streptococcus, develop rheumatic fever with swollen painful
joints, sweating and fever. The heart can be affected by this process and a
small proportion of those who get rheumatic fever get irreversible damage to
the valves of their hearts. This is called rheumatic heart disease. This is a
condition which predominantly affects the lower income groups and those
living in crowded social conditions. It is a commonly seen disorder in Mulago
Hospital and some few suitable cases are even offered the benefits of heart
surgery in an attempt to improve their condition. The disease here differs a
little from that seen in Europe in that its chronic established form is seen
almost ten years earlier than it is in Europe and it is probably a more rapidly
fatal condition than it is elsewhere.
Another form of heart disease and one which is hardly ever seen outside
the tropical areas of the world is endomyocardial fibrosis (E.M.F.). This is a
disease in which the surface lining of the heart chambers, particularly the
muscular ventricles, becomes covered with a thick fibrous scar which may
extend into the muscle of the heart. This process can obliterate the normal
chambers of the heart and is a progressive disease which affects young adults in
184 UGANDA JOURNAL
Having mentioned these two disorders, rheumatic heart disease and endo-
myocardial fibrosis, let me point to an interesting phenomenon regarding them.
Rheumatic heart disease occurs predominantly in Baganda subjects; while
people originating from Ruanda, Ankole and Kigezi are affected far less fre-
quently than expected, even though these latter subjects belong to the socio-
economic group in whom we would expect to find the highest incidence of
rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Endomyocardial fibrosis, on the
other hand, is a disease almost entirely restricted to subjects originating from
Ruanda, Ankole and Kigezi and it is quite exceptional to encounter this disorder
in a Muganda. When one plots on a map of Buganda, the homes of the patients
with rheumatic heart disease and E.M.F. we find that this tendency for E.M.F.
to affect the Ruandans and rheumatic heart disease to affect the Baganda, can
be seen even at a county level, so that this difference cannot be ascribed to
differences in where people live, in the broad sense, but may of course depend
in part on how they live.
Our present hypothesis and one which clearly will require a great deal of
further study, is that endomyocardial fibrosis may be a peculiar reaction to
streptococcal infection in the Ruandans, while the Baganda with streptococcal
infection tend to develop the classical rheumatic heart disease. Studies in
progress in this field may well throw light on several of the mysteries which
still surround the whole story of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.
For certain reasons it has been suggested that a diet of bananas (matoke)
might be an important factor in producing endomyocardial fibrosis. While a
great deal of work has been carried out in animals and in human subjects in an
attempt to incriminate bananas, there is at present no convincing evidence that a
staple diet of bananas will lead to the development of any form of heart disease
I want now to consider another heart complaint, High Blood Pressure or
Hypertension. Any person from the English-speaking countries of the world
is aware of the concept of blood pressure and there must be very few of us who
have not heard friends or relatives complain of their blood pressure. Sometimes
they have been told it is too high and often they have been told it is too low.
Thousands of genteel ladies all over the world have nursed their concept of
'low blood pressure' well on into their eighties and nineties. While there is a
great deal of argument in the scientific world as to what is normal in terms of
blood pressure, there comes a time when the level of the blood pressure has
been raised for sufficiently long for it to affect the heart and we then say that
the person has hypertensive heart disease. In a national heart survey in U.S.A
in 1961-2 this was the commonest form of heart disease in the apparently
healthy population, occurring in about 10 per cent of men and women. It is
interesting to note that in no East African language is there a term for blood
pressure and no real way of expressing the concept. However among cardi-
ovascular disorders it is the commonest cause for admission to Mulago Hospital,
comprising 37 per cent of all cardiovascular disorders and two-thirds of these
subjects have chronic disease of the kidneys. We are not always completely
sure of the nature of the kidney disease which produces such severe high blood
pressure in relatively young people (mostly under 40 years of age) but probably
in half of the cases it is due to infection in the urinary tract. In theory this kind
of problem is ultimately preventable, for urinary infections can be readily
recognized by examining the urine and looking for the offending organisms.
HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA 185
In practice, however, urinary infections are often associated with very few
severe symptoms and so the patients may only be seen in the very late stages
when the condition cannot be reversed.
There is a concept that high blood pressure is a disease of civilisation, found
only in earnest business-men wondering where their next million is coming
from. In studies carried out in the nomadic cattle and camel herding tribesmen
of Northern Kenya (the Samburu and Rendille), we have shown that the
blood pressure need not rise with increasing age, as is the case in western
countries and which is accepted as the normal pattern of blood pressure be-
haviour. In these lean active people the blood pressure remains the same at all
ages through to the eighties, and in many hundreds of men examined we have
only found one person with high blood pressure, a government-paid chief
with obesity, diabetes, a very large herd of cattle and three wives. On the other
hand, in the community living at Kasangati some 20 miles from Kampala,
blood pressure levels follow the English and American patterns remarkably
closely and symptomless high blood pressure is a very common finding in the
older age groups with an incidence similar to that seen in London or New
The natural history of high blood pressure in Uganda is quite unknown and
there is a tremendous field for research into the causes of high blood pressure,
its effects on different peoples and the incidence of the various complications
of high blood pressure such as heart failure, kidney disease and strokes.
From a disease which occurs as frequently in Uganda as in western countries
let us turn to a disorder which is worthy of study by reason of its virtual ab-
sence; namely Coronary Heart Disease, coronary thrombosis, or "heart attacks".
In doing so I will define some of the terms and concepts I am going to use.
The heart is a muscular pump, which forces blood into the aorta and the
other main arteries, so that it circulates to all parts of the body and back again.
To do this, with 70 strokes per minute producing a gallon each minute, 60
gallons per hour, 1500 gallons per day, day in and day out for three score
years and ten, the heart muscle needs a constant supply of energy and nourish-
ment. This it gets from the oxygen and other nutrients carried in the blood,
not from the blood being pumped through its chambers, but from blood which
is specially channelled to it through its own network of arteries, the coronary
arteries. Two main coronary arteries arise from the aorta and then branch and
re-branch over the surface of the heart reaching down into the depths of the
muscular substance of the heart. These are the life-lines to the heart and since
the heart is forever contracting, it is little wonder then that these vessels some-
times show signs of wear and tear. Perhaps the real wonder is that in many
people they may show so little damage in a long lifetime.
The pathologist who examines the heart in someone who has had a "heart
attack" finds abnormal amounts of damage in the coronary arteries in a some-
what patchy manner-atheroma-which leads not only to a hardening of these
vessels, but more important to a narrowing and irregularity of the internal
diameter very much like a drain pipe which is encrusted with fat or dirt (athero-
sclerosis). These patches of atheroma may ulcerate and there may be bleeding
from the surface and this bleeding can lead to a clot being formed which may
cause further narrowing of the artery or even blockage. If blockage occurs
-thrombosis-then there is a sudden stoppage of blood flow to some part of
the heart muscle and the heart muscle dies. The heart may stop altogether and
186 UGANDA JOURNAL
the person dies, or recovery may gradually occur and the damage is healed,
leaving a scar in the heart. This we call a "heart attack" or coronary thrombosis
or myocardial infarction. With only a narrowing of the artery, the blood supply
to the heart muscle may be sufficient when the person is at rest, but when he
exercises, even walking up stairs, the heart muscle requires more oxygen and
nutrients than can be supplied by the diminished blood flow and this results in a
severe pain in the heart muscle which we call angina.
Cardiovascular diseases compete with cancer as the leading causes of
death among the adult populations of developed countries, Coronary heart
disease and high blood pressure are the most important cardiovascular diseases
even at relatively young ages. In 1958, in U.S.A., U.K., Canada, Australia, 37
per cent of all male deaths aged 50-54 years were due to coronary heart disease
while in Japan the figure was 7 per cent, in Formosa 1 per cent. In Uganda the
figures are not readily available but coronary heart disease is virtually un-
known in the African community. In the Asian community, any male over the
age of 40 years has a 40 per cent chance of dying of coronary heart disease.
The available figures suggest that the highly developed and industrialized
nations are experiencing a persisting "epidemic" of coronary heart disease
associated with a high mortality, particularly among males in the most pro-
ductive period of life.
Research into the causes and development of coronary heart disease is
being pursued in many countries and very considerable funds are sometimes
available for such research. Nevertheless the progress in the understanding
of this disease is slow and uncertain. The striking variations between the in-
cidence in different countries, and in the same country but between different
groups, suggests that comparative studies either on a regional basis or on an
international basis may be useful and it is felt that this disease needs to be
investigated in people living in different ecological situations and presenting
natural experimental conditions. From this point of view Uganda has a rare
opportunity in that it has at least two distinct populations from a coronary
heart disease point of view and probably many intermediate-type groups
Not long ago coronary heart disease was held to be a phenomenon of
aging and survival was thought to depend largely on inherited factors within
the coronary arteries i.e. different racial groups were thought to have different
patterns of coronary arteries on a hereditary basis. There was much in favour
of this view as there was a familial incidence, it was a disease common in people
derived principally from Anglo-Saxon stock and it was a frequent complication
of other hereditary disorders such as diabetes mellitus. A great deal of attention
was also paid to body-build and it was claimed that short stocky individuals
were more susceptible than long, thin ones in a given community. However,
members of a family or of a given population group are usually subjected to
similar environmental influence and body-build may be influenced in part by
factors other than the genetic make-up. So, although susceptibility to coronary
heart disease may in part be genetically determined, attention has been focused
on the contribution made by factors in the environment and of these the modern
sophisticated diet of western nations is at present the most suspect.
During the 1939-1945 war there was a sharp fall in the death rate from
coronary heart disease in many European countries and also a fall in the in-
cidence of severe atherosclerosis. While this was accompanied by a fall in the
consumption of butter, milk, cheese and eggs, there were of course other
environmental changes taking place as well. In England the disease was found
HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA 187
to be nearly twice as common in the professional and executive classes as in the
labouring classes and prosperity appeared to be the background to these social
class differences. Studies were then initiated in many racial and national groups
in areas with wide differences in the prevalence of coronary heart disease and it
was shown that in areas where the percentage calories consumed as fat was
about 40%, severe atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease was common,
and the blood cholesterol rose sharply with age. In groups eating little fat,
severe atherosclerosis was rare, coronary heart disease virtually unknown,
blood cholesterol levels were much lower and there was no rise in blood
cholesterol with age. At birth African, European and Asian babies in Kampala
have the same blood cholesterol levels despite marked differences in their
mothers' blood cholesterol levels but by the age of ten years striking differences
are already evident and this applied not only between races but between income
classes within each racial group. Clearly these trends cannot be explained on
genetic grounds. Also the incidence of severe atherosclerosis is different in the
same race living under different environmental conditions e.g. Japanese in
Japan, Hawaii and California, and early and recent immigrant Yemenite Jews
In all the studies carried out, the susceptibility to severe atherosclerosis
and coronary heart disease appears to be determined largely by environmental
factors and of the many studied, only one has remained constantly significant
throughout i.e. dietary fat intake, and the triangular relationship between diet,
serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease seems to be a strong one.
Not all fats behave in the same way and it was soon shown that animal fats
such as butter, lard and eggs led to a rapid rise in blood cholesterol whereas
vegetable oils such as corn oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and safflower
oil lowered them. If these oils are hardened (hydrogenated) they lose their
ability to lower blood cholesterol. Also, many tropical oils such as coconut
oil and palm oil behave like animal fats while marine oils, unless hardened,
lower blood cholesterol.
If a high fat diet in the environment of a modern society predisposes to coro-
nary heart disease, it would obviously be of great interest to study people who
have a high intake of fat but who are physically very active, to see if they develop
coronary heart disease. The low blood pressure levels in the nomadic tribesmen
of Northern Kenya, the Samburu and the Rendille, have already been referred to.
These two groups are physically very active and live almost entirely on milk,
meat and blood. Despite this diet, their levels of blood cholesterol are low and
they do not appear to suffer from coronary heart disease. A possible explan-
ation for this finding is the combination of physical activity, and a marked
seasonal variation in food supply, for although there are brief periods of plenty,
these nomads usually live at subsistence level.
There are many theories which attempt to explain how the blood cholesterol
(a) Filtration theory: Fat becomes encrusted and infiltrates into the arterial
wall and produces a fibrous (scar) tissue reaction. The principal constituent
of the atheroma placque is cholesterol.
(b) Blood clotting theory: It is suggested that the first damage to the
artery wall consists of a thin layer of blood clot (fibrin) which soon becomes
part of the wall and this irregular patch increases in size by further blood clots
on the surface and so on until the fully developed picture of atherosclerosis
188 UGANDA JOURNAL
develops. There is an enzyme system in the body which is responsible for the
breakdown of fibrin and it is thought that this process-fibrinolysis-is a
normal occurrence with fibrin constantly being laid down and dissolved.
No matter what theory is propounded two main phenomena seem to exist.
Firstly a long continued process which leads to damage to the arteries and
secondly a more acute process which leads to blockage of these damaged
arteries or may even lead to blockage in relatively undamaged vessels. The
first of these is almost certainly associated in some way with a long continued
excess of dietary fat with its influence on the blood cholesterol system. This
process may proceed from infancy onwards. The second of these, the more
acute process, may be just another, but more severe, aspect of the first pheno-
menon i.e. high fat diets, or it may be associated with any of the many so-
called risk factors i.e. those factors which increase the chances of coronary
heart disease in those communities prone to the disease.
These risk factors may be analysed as follows :-
Age: Some deaths occur at less than 35 years of age but the mortality
increases appreciably with age, being almost five times as high in the 45-54 age
group as in the 35-44 age group.
Sex: Below the menopausal age, females suffer very little from coronary
heart disease and even in the 50-54 year old age group in U.S.A. and U.K.
the percentage of all deaths due to coronary heart disease is 15 per cent in the
females as opposed to 57 per cent in the males. It is only after the age of 60
years that sex differences in the susceptibility to coronary heart disease tend
to disappear and blood cholesterol levels rise to male levels. Clearly the female
hormones, which fall in level when the ovaries cease functioning at the meno-
pause, have some effect on atherosclerosis.
Blood pressure: Atherosclerosis is definitely accelerated and aggravated by a
high blood pressure; the higher the blood pressure the greater the risk of
developing coronary heart disease.
Overweight: Obesity is associated with a slightly higher incidence of coro-
nary heart disease possibly because people who are fat often have high blood
cholesterol levels and a high blood pressure.
Smoking: There is an increased risk of coronary heart disease in excessive
Emotional Stress: This is difficult to define and although we strongly suspect
that psychogenic stress is potentially important in coronary heart disease, its
precise role is uncertain.
Physical Activity: Sedentary occupations certainly constitute a hazard in
communities prone to atherosclerosis.
Diabetes Mellitus: There is a greatly increased tendency to coronary heart
disease in people with this condition.
The position of coronary heart disease in Uganda may be summarised thus:-
(a) The African community have a low fat intake, low serum cholesterol
levels, a high degree of physical activity and a low incidence of coronary heart
disease. They also tend to smoke very little.
(b) The Asian community have a high fat intake, high serum cholesterol
levels, sedentary occupations and a high incidence of coronary heart disease.
There is a greater tendency to moderate or heavy cigarette smoking.
(c) The European community in Uganda also have a high fat intake,
high serum cholesterol levels and occupations varying from sedentary to very
HEART DISEASE IN UGANDA 189
active. As most are of expatriate status, they tend to leave Uganda well before
the age of maximum incidence of coronary heart disease and one must assume
that they go "home" to have their heart attacks.
All groups suffer from obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.
Our studies are based on the hypothesis that the effects of high blood pressure,
obesity, smoking, emotional stress, diabetes or a sedentary life will not pro-
duce coronary heart disease unless there is a background of a high fat diet
which is also high in calories in relation to energy requirements.
Pathologists are able to study the blood vessels of the body (aorta, coronary,
cerebral etc.) of subjects dying in Kampala and can compare them with similar
material from America and Europe in groups ranging from birth to old age.
In the laboratory we can study the many ways in which the blood can be affected
by diet, physical activity and all the risk factors mentioned above. In particular,
we have shown that there is a striking difference between middle-aged African
and Asian men in their ability to break down their blood clots. When the blood
clots obtained from African men are observed in the laboratory they tend to
break down under the influence of enzymes (i.e. fibrinolysis) in about five
hours while in the Asian men the same process takes about 25 hours. This is a
striking phenomenon and may well help to explain the striking difference in
vascular disease seen in these two communities.
In conclusion, it is clear that heart disease is a problem in Uganda and
that it is a problem worthy of a certain expenditure in time and money. Work
in this field is not just of importance to Kampala or even to East Africa, it
might be important in a more international sense providing basic information
on such vital problems as high blood pressure, rheumatic heart disease and
atherosclerosis and its complications. Work in this field does not have the same
emotional impact as studies on malnourished children, but I would like to
think that it is of equal importance in the long run.
The Annual Report of the Uganda Society for 1965 was prepared for its
Annual General Meeting in April 1966. The membership of the Uganda Society
rose in 1965 to 669 members, from 623 the previous year. This nevertheless is
considerably below the peak of 833 in 1956. Nearly half of the members reside
outside Uganda. In the hopes of increasing its total membership, and in particular
of extending its membership within Uganda an attractive brochure has been
prepared. During 1965 the library underwent a considerable re-organisation and
was expanded by the incorporation of the library of the Uganda Museum.
In addition to producing two issues of the Uganda Journal a new edition of
Dr. Greenwood's Fishes of Uganda has also been published. The Uganda Society
has also been active in organising meetings and excursions: many of the latter
under the auspicies of the Natural History Branch of the Society. The excur-
sions have proved popular, but attendance at lectures, though showing consi-
derable fluctuations, has on the whole been disappointing. The programme
for 1965 is set out overleaf.
Photographs of the new Uganda Society room in the Uganda Museum
face page 209
Programue of the Uganda Society 1965
"Railways and development in East Africa"-Dr. A. O'Connor.
"Zambia rediscovered: the how, why and when of archaeological
research"-Mr. J. H. Chaplin.
"Barrows, beaches and booming rocks-a preliminary report of the
Makerere University College Scientific and Cultural Survey of Lolui
Island"-Dr. M. Posnansky, Mr. P. H. Temple, Mr. G. Jackson,
Mr. J. H. Chaplin, Miss L. Anderson.
Four ethnographical films were introduced by Mr. D. Moore:
"Barkcloth making in Angola", "Pot making in Somalia and Moro-
cco", "Tribes of the Southern Sudan" and "The Bahima of Ankole".
Excursion to places of historical interest in Jinja led by Dr. M.
"Archaeology in Zambia, past, present and future"-Dr. Brian Fagan
"Public policy in independent Uganda"-Professor C. T. Leys.
Joint meeting of the East African Academy (Uganda Branch) and
the Uganda Society.
31st Annual General Meeting followed by a film "Uganda, Cradle
of the Nile".
"Library development"-Mr. A. J. Loveday.
Film show: "Explorer's Nile" & "Elephants have right of way"-
Mr. W. Cowen.
Natural History field excursion to three islands in Lake Victoria.
"Living Fossils-alive or dead!" Dr. W. W. Bishop.
"Memories of early days in Uganda"-Mr. D. G. Tomblings.
"Kabarega"-Mr. A. R. Dunbar.
"Pearls, Crayfish and Crocs: the need for a revolution in the fishing
industry"-Mr. S. N. Semakula.
Natural History field excursion to Bulingugwe Island.
"What Uganda's forests have to offer the naturalist"-Mr. K. W.
"Age set systems in some East African peoples"-Dr. P. H. Gulliver.
"The forest: good or evil?"-Dr. Colin Turnbull.
"Thoughts on Asians in East Africa and South Africa"-Dr. Hilda
Natural History field day at Maligitu Forest Station in the Mabira
"Agriculture and the economic development of Uganda"-Mr. Y.
"The peripatetic parabola, or how to make tape recordings of bird
and animal noises"-Mr. M. A. Prentice.
"The work of the Commission for the Preservation of Natural &
Historic Monuments & Relics, Zambia, during the past 12 months"-
Mr. D. W. Phillipson.
"Lake Tanganyika: a zoological wonder"-Professor L. C. Beadle.
"Engaruka, lost city of Tanzania?"-Mr. H. Sassoon. (In conjunction
with African Studies Programme, Makerere).
"Hunting and cultivating Orchids in Uganda"-Mr. C. L. A. Leakey.
"Breeding behaviour among Weaver Birds"-Mr. J. Hall.
Afternoon visit to Kajansi Fish Farm.
Tea and an informal meeting with members of the Seminar on the
Techniques of Collecting and Recording Local History. The meeting
was addressed by Father J. P. Crazzolara.
The Society in conjunction with the British Council also arranged a series of lectures
for the post School-Certificate pupils of schools and training colleges in and near Kampala.
These lectures were given in the National Theatre on the general theme "Uganda looks ahead".
The programme was as follows:-
15th February. "Town planning"-Mr. A. F. Luba.
22nd February. "Economic trends in present-day Uganda"-Mr. J. W. B. Waddimba.
1st March. "The future of music in Uganda"-Mr. S. Mbabi-Katana.
8th March. "Current trends in Ugandan art"-Mr. G. Maloba.
15th March. "The future of education in Uganda"-Mr. W. Senteza Kajubi.
22nd March. "Architecture in developing Africa"-Mr. T. Watson, A.R.I.B.A.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 191-200
THE DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XI
Edited by SIR JOHN GRAY
(These extracts from Die Tagebucher von Dr. Emrnin Pascha, edited by
Dr. Franz Stuhlmann, vols. i, ii, iii, iv and vi, (Braunschweig: Westermann,
1916-1927), have been translated and provided with introductory notes and
comments by Sir John Gray. They have been 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. Extracts I to X have appeared in successive issues of The
Uganda Journal commencing with Extracts I in Uganda J. 25, (1961) no. I
until Uganda J. 29, (1965) no. 2. EDS.)
XI THE GATHERING STORM IN EQUATORIA
27 May to 20 August 1888
These extracts cover the period from Stanley's return to the Congo to collect
his main body and rear-guard to the time when Emin and Mounteney-Jephson
returned from their journey into northern parts of the Equatorial Province to
Dufile, where they found that many of the troops were on the brink of active
rebellion against Emin's authority. During those three months Emin and Jephson
had been engaged in explaining to the people in the northern parts the Khedive's
orders for the evacuation of the Province and the arrangements which were to be
made for the return to Egypt of those who so wished.
The Khedive's instructions to Emin and Stanley's proclamation to Emin's
soldiers have already been set out in full in Appendixes B and C to Extracts X
(Uganda J. 29, 1965, pp. 212-3.)
In editing Vol. IV of the Tagebucher Stuhlmann has abstained from comment
on the contents of Emin's diary, but has referred readers for purposes of com-
parison to the published accounts of contemporary events in the works of
Schweitzer, Casati, Vita Hassan and Mounteney-Jephson. It is proposed in the
present translation of Stuhlmann's work to adopt, as far as possible, the same
course as that adopted by Stuhtmann.
The works in question are:-
(a) Schweitzer, Georg (as translated into English by R. W. Felkin,
Emin Pasha, 1898 chapter XXIII, pp. 285-7). As the number of pages devoted
to this period indicates, the references to the events of these three months are
very scrappy. No reference is made therein to any passages from Emin's Diary.
192 UGANDA JOURNAL
(b) Casati, Gaetano, Ten Years in Equatoria, (English translation by Mrs.
J. Randolph Clay, Vol. 2, 1891, chapters IX and X.) Ithas to be remembered
that the author and Emin eventually quarrelled, and that the author was out to
justify and to extol his own conduct. His statements must accordingly be
accepted with some measure of caution.
(c) Vita Hassan, Die Wahrheit uber Emin Pascha, vol. 2, 1893, pp. 140-53.
The author's references to this period are very meagre.
(d) Mounteney-Jephson, A. J., Emin Pasha and the Rebellion at the Equator,
1890, chapters II to VI. The author has to a large extent relied upon the contents
of his contemporary diary, which is shortly to be published in extenso by the
Hakluyt Society as edited by Mrs Dorothy Middleton. Like Emin himself and
Samuel Pepys of much earlier days, he did not always write daily in his diary,
but brought it up to date after intervals of several days. From time to time there
are gaps in it, but, taken by and large, it is an invaluable commentary on Emin's
diary. Here, I must acknowledge my gratitude to Mrs Middleton for supplying
me with certain passages in the diary which do not appear in Jephson's book.
It will be noted that Stuhlmann says that certain leaves are missing from Emin's
diary. In some instances the explanation may well be that these leaves have
become loose and fallen out of the book, but surrounding evidence tends to
show that the leaf covering the period from 30 May to 3 June 1888 has been
intentionally removed. The contents of this missing leaf and the reasons for its
removal are dealt with in the Appendix. I make no attempt to solve the enigma
as to why Emin gave orders for Kibiro to be bombarded at the end of May
1888. If he had given that order very shortly after Casati had been rescued, the
reasons would have been intelligible. It was, however, given some three and a half
months after that event and for me there is "not to know the reason why".
That "Some one had blundered" is most certainly true and that some one, as
he later realized, was Emin himself. Some critics would be disposed to call
Emin's order by a harder name than blunder. Perhaps one ought to say, as did a
French writer when commenting on Napoleon's order for the execution of the
Due d'Enghien, "it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder" with far reaching
ill consequences to many people.
Extracts from Emin's Diaries
May 27, 1888, Sunday (Emin and Jephson set off from Nsabe with the
Khedive and Nyanza for Mswa. Khedive towed a lifeboat left by Stanley, and the
Nyanza two other boats. Stopped for the night at Magungu to take in fuel).
May 28, Monday (Mabruki, one of Stanley's Zanzibari porters, who had
been left behind after being badly gored by a buffalo, died during the night.
Vessels reached Mswa at 10.49 a.m.).
May 29, Tuesday (Rain all day).
(After the entry for 29 May Stuhlmann inserts the following note:-
"One leaf is missing here from the diary containing the notes from 30 May
to 3 June. During those days the punitive expedition against Kibiro took place,
which came back with much booty." See Jephson, p. 36, Vita Hassan, ii.
Casati, ii, pp. 164-5. Further particulars of this expedition are given in the
June 3 (Emin arrived at Tunguru "with a gloomy countenance" (Casati,
ii, p. 167), accompanied by Jephson).
June 5, Tuesday (Emin gives a long account of complaints made to Stanley
against himself by Adjutant-Major Abdul Wahab Effendi and a clerk named
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XI 193
Ahmed Effendi Mahmud. Stanley had told, them to make their complaints
to the Khedive on their return to Egypt. They had then made trouble at Mswa
spreading false reports about Emin and Stanley. Emin learnt of their activities
on his return to Mswa. The clerk was sent down in chains on the steamer to
Dufile to be detained there till Stanley's return. The Adjutant-Major and two
other officers, who had joined in their conspiracy, were reduced in rank and
placed under house arrest).
June 6, Wednesday. Today, I have had a most unfriendly dispute with Casati
in the presence of Vita. He came early in the morning (to suggest the unwisdom
of Emin's severity). I somewhat lost my temper, and recalled that less than two
months ago he had said to me in my own house "I was like an imbecile to agree
to the mission concerning Kabarega", and when I heard his irritating voice
I said, "This is enough and I do not need a schoolmaster". After hearing me
say this, the gentlemen withdrew. I am sorry I was not more patient, but with all
my troubles since mv arrival, Casati should have waited for a better opportunity
to try to persuade me.
June 8, Friday (Jephson is down with fever).
June 9, Saturday Casati has shut himself up in his house and stays there, an
angry Achilles. I am pained to see him thus after our very long and friendly
June 11, Monday. Today is the feast of Bairam at the end of the month of
fasting. Today Suleiman Aga has arrived here safely (from collecting grain tax
etc. in the district) after having been attacked on the way by the people of Areja,
his bloodbrother! He was twice attacked in strength. Areja himself has just
stood by. If Suleiman Aga had not been watchful, probably not a soldier would
have come back alive. In any event it is quite clear that Boki, who is now in
prison here with Songa, has been the go-between betwixt Kabarega and the
local chiefs and also that he was fully informed of the conspiracy against Sulei-
man Aga, but kept silent in order to get his property put in a safe place. Boki's
people have with him taken an active share in the attack on Suleiman Aga.
I will now set up in Boki's place his son, named Okello, and place a military
post near him.
June 12, Tuesday. In the afternoon there came a hasty letter from Kodi
Aga at Wadelai. The Madi who mostly live on an island about three hours'
distance from the station, have attacked it at night without any reason. They
set fire to an outlying house of Amara and burnt one of his wives whom they
found there and have wounded several of his people, but were driven off by the
soldiers. Kodi Aga is setting out to punish them.
Towards evening Jephson had a long talk with Suleiman. I myself kept out of
the way. (Jephson op. cit. p. 45 says Suleiman Aga told him "Where our Pasha
goes, my soldiers and I follow". He put his hands together so as to form a circle
and said, indicating his hands, "These are my soldiers, and the Pasha goes in the
middle. That is the way we will travel, by whatever road the Pasha wishes").
June 13, Wednesday (Much sickness in the station). "I specially thank Mr.
Mackay (of C.M.S.) for medicines as well as other supplies".
June 15 (sic.), Thursday. When Kodi Aga left here on June 7, I sent with him
two women from Kibiro, whom Boki had ferried over. They were bearers of a
letter to Kabarega, the contents of which were as follows:-
"Up till now I have waited for an explanation of your treatment of Casati,
but have not received it. If within fourteen days nobody comes here from you,
look out for us".
Today eight days have now passed, but I think no answer will come.
194 UGANDA JOURNAL
(The letter may or may not have reached Kabarega. In any event there is no
record of any reply thereto having been received).
June 15, Friday. All my people are ill. Also Jephson.
June 17, Sunday. Post from Wadelai. Kodi Aga has driven away the Madi,
who attacked the station and confiscated their herds. A chief, who lived about
two hours from Wadelai, has gone to the mutineers on Nurvira Mountain.
That is a bad sign.
June 19, Tuesday. Today Jephson went out hunting. I am now waiting for
the steamer to go to Wadelai, where I will stop several days and then go to
June 20, Wednesday. Post from Wadelai-Dufile. Two soldiers were upset and
drowned in their boat in the river when attacked by a hippopotamus which
destroyed the boat. Naturally both their guns were lost, I am sorry about the
soldiers. One of them was my only travelling escort on my first journey to
Buganda. From Dufile the news is that all the chiefs there following the advice
of the mutinous Egyptian officers have refused to obey orders and do not come
to the station. I have replied that I myself will come there.
June 22, Friday. Today Jephson mustered all my people and caused to be
read to them my translation into Arabic of the Viceroy's and Nubar Pasha's
orders and Stanley's proclamation. But Binsa, Junker's former servant, acted
as interpreter and proved incompetent. I therefore had to intervene and explain
again what was meant. Then many of the crowd declared that "where the Pasha
goes, there will we also go". In order to make this clear, in agreement with
Jephson, I ordered the people to think over the matter this evening and early
tomorrow morning officers, under-officers, civilian servants etc. should go direct
to Mr. Jephson and inform as to what their decision was. In this way any
shadow of influence would be excluded. I do not think the people who have so
readily agreed to the project of going to Egypt will turn away from it. It will
again be said "We follow the Pasha".
June 23, Saturday. All the wood has been cut and all goes well. We will go
early on Monday from here. Jephson has today received the people and heard
their answer. He tells me they all declare they will follow me. As he himself
remarks, I have not yet given my decision and may possibly turn away from the
project of going to Egypt, they will likewise go with me. A little later six under-
officers came to me to tell me that as for themselves I may in all events rely upon
June 25, Monday to June 27, Wednesday. (Emin and Jephson proceeded
overland from Tunguru to Wadelai, sending their loads etc. by the Khedive to
the latter destination. They reached Wadelai on 27 June1. The journey is des-
cribed in Jephson's book pp.53-9.)
June 27, Wednesday. In the course of the evening there came a post from
Dufile by land. Hamed Aga, Major of the First Battalion writes to me on 26
June saying that according to my order he is on the way here with Captain
Feraj Aga Adjok and Lieutenant Abd-el-Bein Aga. But was Abd-el-Bein Aga
a captain also? What does this new phase mean? I have at once written to
Dufile that the Nyanza should bring them here.
June 28, Thursday to July 1, Sunday inclusive. (On 29 June a letter came from
Dufile with the information that Hamed Aga escorting the above named officers
and the priest Sheik Murjan, "another teacher of rebellion," reached Dufile
on 26 June).
July 7. Early today the Nyanza arrived here bringing Hamed Aga, Feraj
Aga2, Abd-el-Bein Aga, Sheik Murjan and two under-officers from Rejaf.
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XI 195
They came to call on me but I received them very coldly. Later on I spoke to
them in a not very flattering manner. They made, as I expected, all sorts of
excuses. They were ignorant and had been led astray by others. They wanted me
to be their father and they hoped that I would not reject them. I cut all this short
and told them I would not give them a handshake. They had been invited here to
listen to Jephson and for no other purpose. Asked if I would come to Rejaf,
I said that I would not. They said they would come to hear me at Kiri.
I know quite well that severity is of no use with these people and that in the
end I must show mercy to them. They have been led astray and are not rebels.
I have promised the people that I will not desert them. I will not do so, but they
must leave me alone and let me make my own stipulations.
The people have paid a visit to Mr. Jephson and have shown themselves to
be very contrite with respect to what has recently occurred. Naturally they are
urging some of the local people to clear them from all guilt. Naturally all this
talk is worth nothing. I have decided not to be troubled by their stupidity,
but simply to get hold of their instigators.
Today, July 9, I1 had a long conversation with Major Hamed Aga of Rejaf.
In the course thereof he assured me, as I fully expected, that he will in all cir-
eumstances stand by me. Furthermore, he does not want to go to Egypt, where
he has no place of abode, and he thinks the greater part of the officers and people
will likewise object to going to Egypt. He asks me to leave him where he is, as
I once earlier promised him. I cannot answer this request until I have been to
Rejaf and Mr. Jephson has spoken to the people. Then I will unfold my plans
and I hope all the people will be on my side.
July 10. (No entry in the diary)3.
July 11. Mr. Jephson today read the order of the Viceroy etc. The people
discussed the matter amongst themselves and said they would bring their reply
July 12. The officers, under-officers and remainder of the people have been
today to Mr. Jephson and, as he tells me, have unanimously voted that they will
always go wheresoever I go. This proceeding is not very pleasant for me. If
the whole plan for the future falls on my shoulders, and if I then decide to go to
Kavirondo and stay there, all the Egyptians and a number of others will exclaim
that it is treachery.
July 14. (Steamer left Wadelai 6.a.m. and reached Dufile 1.10 p.m.). Mr.
Jephson is pleased with the station and garden, and all the more so because it
yields a lot of fruit. Nevertheless, he does not eat prickly figs (stachelfeigen)
and finds them nauseating4.
July 16, Monday to July 22, Sunday (inclusive). The Major of the 1st
Battalion has assured me that he will at once send his family from Rejaf to
Wadelai and will come himself and I believe him. Also Feraj Aga, Baker's
man, similarly assures me and appears ashamed of himself. But I do not trust
him, because I am afraid that, having reached Rejaf he will be influenced by
July 17. (Emin and Jephson set out northwards for Rejaf. Proceeding by
way of Labore and Mugi they arrived at Kiri on 20 July).
July 25. Mail from Dufile where the Nyanza has arrived from Wadelai and
the Lake. A letter from Suleiman Aga gives the following information. Kabarega
has collected over five hundred men armed with guns and also a lot of Lango to
attack Tunguru and to destroy it. In order to surmount the difficulty of boat
transport he has divided his army into two parties. Over five hundred have been
sent to the south to cut off Mr. Stanley's people and the rest have gone to Nur-
196 UGANDA JOURNAL
viva mountain to attack, under Belule's leadership, our station at Pabbo. As
soon as he got this information, he took the Nyanza and crossed over to the
east, where he attacked and destroyed Rokara and Amara's towns and took
several prisoners, from whom he heard that the Baganda are at the River Kafu
and are going to advance on Kibirio, which they want to settle. If this is true,
Kabarega naturally cannot send any people to attack Pabbo.
July 29. (Emin received a letter from Hamed Aga at Rejaf. It is set out in full
in the Tagebucher p. 145 and there is an English translation in Jephson, p. 106.
It was to the effect that there was a plot to seize Emin on his arrival at Rejaf
and convey him to Gondokoro and thence to Khartum where they believed that
the Egyptian government still existed).
July 31. (Emin and Jephson decided to return southwards, and left Kiri at
5.30 a.m. They reached Labore on 12 August. Pages 150 and 151 covering the
period 5-12 August are missing from the Tagebucher).
August 13. (Insubordination of Labore garrison).
August 14. (Emin and Jephson moved to Khor Ayu).
August 17. At 9.30 p.m. an interpreter came from Dufile with an unofficial
letter from Hawash Effendi. It says "At midday today quite suddenly Captain
Fadl-el-Mula Aga and Ahmed Aga Dinkawi and also Lieutenant Abdulla
Aga arrived here, and without coming to see me, went at once to the soldiers'
quarters, mustered them and gave them their instructions, and then they treated
me badly. Please come as quickly as possible, and if you come, be patient with
This is the worst thing which could have happened and from now onwards
I am practically a prisoner.
I have at once written to Selim Aga in Labore and ordered him to come here
and to accompany me to Dufile. I must leave my things behind, if there are no
porters to be found here.
August 18. Selim Aga has not come. It is raining like a flood. At 7 a.m.
another note in Hawash Effendi's handwriting. He no longer has any doubt.
"What is happening here is astounding. Please do not be angry. At any price
keep on good terms with Surur Aga and the other officers and come at once here
with them. If you come here, be patient. The officers from Pabbo have set free all
the prisoners and ordered us to remain in our houses. Come quickly yourself
leaving your things behind. The porters, whom I wanted to send, have now been
sent back to their villages and we are all imprisoned".
With difficulty I have collected sixteen porters. At 11 a.m. Selim Aga came and
at once declared himself ready to go with me to Dufile. His delay is explained
by the fact that the bearer of the letter which I sent to him early yesterday was
delayed by the rain. It is too late now to set out and we must wait till the morn-
ing. Surur Aga, to whom I have written, has not arrived this evening. It has
been a curious first day of the feast (sc. of Id al-Hajj).
August 20. (Emin and Jephson re-entered Dufile, where they were detained
The attack on Kibiro
Emin with the Khedive had rescued Casati from Bunyoro on 16 January 1888 (see Extracts
IX, Uganda J., 29, 1965, p. 77). Casati(vol. ii, p. 146) informs us that on 12 February Emin asked
him by letter "to go to Mswa to hold a consultation with him about the intended attack on the
salt-pits of Kibiro, in order to destroy the source of wealth of that country; but the fever from
which I was suffering compelled me to decline the invitation............ On 18 March, yielding
to Emin's urgent request, I went to Mswa. He still adhered to the project of attacking Kibiro.
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS XI 197
However I succeeded in persuading him, if not to give it up, at least to postpone the execution.
I vividly remembered the hospitality and protection bestowed upon me by the chief, Kagoro,
and the thought of the evil that might befall him grieved me."
In his book Jephson tells us at pp. 35-6 that "On arriving at Mswa, (sc. 28 May) Emin told
me he intended organising an attack on Kibiro in Bunyoro, where the people had looted Casati's
house, tied him up, and expelled him from the country by Kabarega's orders. Emin thought
that, if this was allowed to pass without punishment, it would prove only the commencement
of a long series of attacks on his people by Kabarega".
According to Casati, (Vol. ii, 164), the steamers set out for this purpose on 30 May at night
and arrived at Kibiro before dawn next day, when the troops landed, massacred the inhabitants
and set fire to the place. After that they made similar depredations along the lake shore as far
Unfortunately, there is a gap in Jephson's diary after 28 May, when he ran out of paper, and
5 June, when he obtained writing materials from Emin. I am indebted to Mrs. Middleton for
the following particulars entered by Jephson on this latter date. They read as follows:
"Some two or three days ago Emin Pasha sent his soldiers in the two steamers to make a
raid and burn Kibiro, the place in Kabarega's country from which Capt. Casati had been ex-
pelled. This was as a sort of punishment for his treatment of Casati ...... The steamers started
off in the middle of the night and reached Kibiro before daybreak the next day. During the day
we could see clouds of smoke rising from the other side of the Lake in the direction in which
Kibiro lay. Yesterday the steamers returned. They brought some hundreds of packages of salt,
600 goats, innumerable chickens, and some 30 women and children besides a quantity of other
things. They had met with great resistance from the people and had killed a large number and
captured a gun of English make. There was so much salt that they could not load up the steam-
ers with it and were obliged to burn a great amount. This will be a great blow to Kabarega
for this salt which they took, being there in such large quantities, shows it was the supply for
the rainy season, which had not yet been broached. Natives will give anything for salt and this
will be a severe punishment and loss to Kabarega who will not be able to trade in salt for many
months. Some of the soldiers brought me some rather pretty neck ornaments and a very
handsome shield shaped like a crusader's with a spike in the middle".
Casati (loc. cit.) writes with strong disapproval of the whole affair. As he and Emin were
latterly not on good terms, his evidence must naturally be received with some measure of cau-
tion. As Casati realized that he may have owed his life to the intervention at an opportune
moment of Kagoro, the chief of Kibiro, he naturally did not want him to suffer for the treat-
ment which he himself had received at the hands of the Banyoro. He goes into harrowing
details about the attack on Kibiro and the adjacent lake shore, but concludes his account by
saying that Emin told the commander of the expedition that "I do not thank you for the zeal
you have displayed and the cruelty you have committed".
Whatever may have been the instructions issued by Emin to the leaders of the expedition,
they clearly exceeded them. All the same, responsibility for the attack on Kibiro must rest fairly
and squarely on Emin's shoulders. Under the date 14 June he records in his diary that three
days after the return of the expedition to Mswa he had sent a message to Kabarega by two of the
women captured at Kibiro demanding in fourteen days' time any explanations of his treatment
On this evidence it would appear that Emin had perpetrated a form of Jeddart justice accor-
ding to which it was commonly said that the practice was to hang a man first and to try him
afterwards. In this particular case it was a rather worse form of justice in as much as the
people of Kibiro were not the culprits, but the innocent servants of Kabarega, the man whom
Emin deemed to be the prime culprit.
The first question is "Who cut the relevant page out of Emin's diary?" It might have been
Emin's nephew and biographer Georg Schweitzer or it might have been Emin himself. In
the absence of any evidence tending to incriminate the nephew one feels that it must have been
Emin himself, who, as Casati says, was ashamed at what had been done by those whom he had
entrusted with orders regarding the punitive expedition. He fully realized the inconsistency of
his conduct on 6 June with the orders issued by him on 30 May and must have decided to con-
sign the entries between 30 May and 4 June to oblivion.
According to Casati (loc. cit). Kagoro, the chief of Kibiro, had been summoned a few days
before to Kabarega on business and so escaped the massacre on 31 May,
Under the date 4 June Emin merely sets out the state of the weather. He makes no mention
of the return of the expedition from Kibiro.
198 UGANDA JOURNAL
1. "Emin rode a donkey and I an Abyssinian mule, which was lent to me by the apothecary,
Vita Hassan... Emin, whilst riding, took observations every few minutes with a pris-
matic compass. He was anxious to lay down the road between Tunguru and Wadelai,
and so completed a survey of all the roads connecting his stations" (Jephson, pp. 53-4).
"Just before we started, Boki's favourite wife came and presented herself before the
Pasha and begged him to release her husband who was in prison at Tunguru.... In
anwer to her request Emin promised that her husband should be released. He was much
too soft hearted to be able to withstand the prayers of a weeping woman" (Jephson,
pp. 55-6). There is no mention of this incident in Emin's diary. Jephson, p. 59, tells us
that near Wadelai, they found the chief Wadelai "waiting for us in front of one of the
villages with some of the chiefs. He was an enormously fat old man, with a good-natured
face, dressed in a long dirty robe like a night gown; I have never before seen a native so
fat. Ordinarily in their own countries they are thin".
On Emin and Jephson's arrival at Wadelai, "Signor Marco, a Greek merchant, who had
formerly come into the Province to trade, but was now an enforced resident, as all the
roads to the coast were closed, came to see us. He looked after the Pasha's house and
transacted his private business for him whilst he was away. He now came in to make his
report, and brought Emin's little girl Farida with him. Some years before the Pasha had
married an Abyssinian lady, and by this marriage there were two children, a boy and a
girl. The boy died soon after he was born, and his mother died shortly after Farida's
birth of some internal complaint". (Jephson, p. 61).
2. Feraj Aga Adjok had been one of Baker's "Forty Thieves". He had deserted at an early
stage of Baker's expedition before it had reached Gondokoro, but had been recaptured,
whereupon Baker ordered him to be shot. He says "I had never intended to shoot the
man. I had merely arranged an impressive scene as a coup de theatre that I trusted might
benefit the morale of the men". Accordingly in front of the firing party he remitted the
punishment and ordered the culprit to be flogged and kept in irons. Baker adds that
"it was satisfactory to me that this young man who was pardoned and punished as
described, became one of the best and most thoroughly trustworthy soldiers of my body-
guard; and having at length been raised to the rank of corporal, he was at the close of the
expedition promoted to that of sergeant" (Ismailia (1895 Edition), pp. 39-40).
On his arrival at Wadelai Jephson up braided Feraj, asking him what would Sir Samuel
and Lady Baker say when he told them that Feraj had joined the mutineers in rebellion
against his Governor. "The tears started from his eyes, and he wrung his hands with a
gesture of shame and regret. This was evidently his vulnerable point, for he seemed quite
overcome at the thought of the Bakers hearing that he had joined the rebellion. He told
me that he joined the mutiny and put his hand to the insulting letters which had been
sent to the Governor.... because he had weakly allowed himself to be led on by the
others, and had not sufficient moral courage to refuse to join them. He made profuse
promises of amendment for the future, and implored me not to tell Baker Pasha what
he had done." (Jephson, pp. 70-1).
3. Nothing is entered in Emin's diary on 10 July. Mrs Middleton has very kindly supplied
me with the following entry in Jephson's diary on that date:
"The Pasha has been very seedy all day and has been now for a good many days. It is
his heart. He is, as he says, utterly worn out with the work and anxiety of thirteen years
in the country, particularly the last five years since he has been abandoned and left to his
own resources. He is very low about himself and says he has but few years more to live
unless he can have rest in a cooler climate. I have been into the storehouses to see the
ivory. There are some tons of magnificent tusks. It will be a great pity to be obliged to
leave them, and this is only a small portion of the ivory in the country".
4. On p. 82 of Jephson's book there is a plan of the station.
DIARIES OF EMIN PASHA-EXTRACTS X
CORRIGENDA AND ADDENDA TO EXTRACTS X
The editors apologise for the confusion which has arisen in Appendix A
of Extracts X, Uganda J. 29, 1965 p. 202. In order to clarify the situation it will
help to reprint that portion of the original text which has caused the most
trouble. The entry for April 23 1888 should conclude in the following manner:-
At eight o'clock a messenger has come from Mswa with another letter.:
"Instead of Stanley another Englishman has arrived here with some soldiers and
Dr. Junker's former servant, Binza. The stranger is called Jephson. Stanley himself
with his soldiers are at Angali's, the brother of Mpigwa. He is waiting for the
steamer to come and transport him and his soldiers and stores. We are all waiting
for you. Enclosed is an English letter for you."
And now for the English letter. (This letter is incorporated in the diary. For its contents
see Appendix A (1) ).
The entry for April 24 1888 should then follow on immediately from the pre-
April 24, Tuesday. Nobody has slept and today is full of rejoicing. I have sent an officer by
land to Mswa (with a letter for Mr. Jephson). (This letter is set out in Appendix A (2)).
The entry for April 26 should have as its penultimate line:-
(Here follows a letter from Jephson to Emin. This letter is is set out in Appendix A (3)).
Then on page 209 the entry for May 22 should finish with a reference to
Note 7, and on page 212 a reference to Note 9 should be inserted at the end of
letter Appendix A (5).
Finally, as already noted in Uganda J. 30, 1966, p. 80 Letters 6. 7. 8 and 9
of Appendix A were omitted from page 212. These letters form part of the
correspondence between Emin and members of the Stanley expedition. Letters
7 and 9 are incorporated in the diary, letters 6 and 8 are from Stanley's In
Emin to Stanley. 5 a.m. 25 May 1888, Nsabe Camp. (In Darkest Africa, i. 407-8)
I should not need to tell you how distressed I have been when I hear of the misfortune
happened by the desertion of our Madi people. I at once sent out different searching parties
but I am sorry to state that up to noon their efforts were of no avail, although Shukri Aga and
his party, who went yesterday to Kahanama have not returned.
By a mere chance it happened that, when Dr. Parke came, a boat from Mswa station had
arrived bringing me intelligence of the arrival there of 120 porters from Dufile. I therefore
started immediately the Khedive steamer to bring them here, and expect her back this very
night, when, at her arrival, I shall start the whole gang, accompanied by a detachment of my
Allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your splendid discovery of a snow clad
mountain. We will take it as a good omen for further directions on our road to Victoria. I
propose to go out today or tomorrow just to have a look at this giant.
In expectance of two words of you this morning I venture to offer you my best wishes for
the future. I always shall remember with pride and joy the few days I was permitted to consort
Stanley to Emin. 25 May 1888, Badzwa Village.
The Doctor and party arrived here about 11 a.m. bringing to me your very kind note and
latest gifts of eggs and vegetables. It is quite providential the arrival of so many carriers at
Mswa, and as you have been so kind as to send for them I will await their arrival here but I
200 UGANDA JOURNAL
hope you will send them bound in hide ropes, putting them in gangs of four or five or six
according to the number of men of your detachment. They shall remain bound, while we are in
the vicinity of the Lake and neighboring hills.
Kavalli passed by me last evening with 400 armed men and this morning 40 more of his
following, bound for your camp according to your request.
I send 10 of my men to accompany your people. They will better aid your escort by night.
The arms of your Madis should be made into bundles and brought along with them. When freed
from bond, their weapons will be restored to them.
Dr. Parke says that he could not see the snow Mountain this morning as it is rather hazy
S.S.W. On laying down the direction of the new discovery, I find it to be a little West of Gordon
Bennett Mt. and about 50 geographical miles distant from us. Considering its enormous al-
titude I wonder Baker did not discover it. The reason we did not see it on our first journey may
be due to our being near the W. plateau wall. As we were yesterday at least 6 geographical
miles north of our camp in December we attained a longer view behind the W. Plateau wall and
consequently the great Mass loomed into view. Mason ought to have seen it from the Lake and
you also in your journeys south. But as it is at such a great distance a peculiar clearness of the
atmosphere is necessary. Yesterday the Unyoro-Plateau wall appeared singularly indistinct,
and to the S. West it was very clear. On your journey north by steamer, examine S. Westerly
and S.S. West and get your men to help you. Let them cast their eyes far over the S. West knolls
on the plateau, between Ajif and the west plateau and they may very probably help you. There
are three great patches of snow near the summit of the Central and higher Mass.
Many, many thanks once more for all your goodness. We will do our very best for you and
yours, and meantime God be with you.
Emin to Stanley. 2.30 a.m. 26 May 1888, Nsabe Camp. (In Darkest Africa, i, 408).
Your very welcome and most interesting note of yesterday has reached me at the hands of
your men. The steamer has come in this very instant, but she brought only eighty two carriers,
the rest having run away on the road between Tunguru and Mswa. I send therefore these few
men, accompanied by twenty five soldiers and an officer, hoping they may be of some use to
you. Their arms have been collected. I handed them over to the officer from whom you will
kindly receive them. We heard yesterday that your runaways had worked their way to Muganga
telling the people they were sent by me.
The ten men you kindly sent here accompanying the carriers as well as Kavalli and his men.
Having caught yesterday a spy of Rwabudongo in Katonzi's camp I told this latter he would
better retire and he acted on this advice. I have acquainted Kavali with my reasons for not
interfering just now with Rwabudongo and have asked him to return to you. He readily assented
and starts now with the courier. He entreats me further to beg you to send some of your men
to take hold of his brother Kadongo, who stays, says he, with the Babito somewhere near to
I shall try hard to get a glimpse of the new snow mountain as well from here as from some
other points I propose to visit. It is wonderful to think how, wherever you go, you distance
(sic) your predecessors by your discoveries.
And now, as this, for some time at least, is probably the last word I will be able to address
you, let me another time thank you for the generous exertions you have made, and you are
to make for us. Let me another time thank you for the kindness and forbearance you have
shown me in our mutual relations. If I cannot find adequate words to express what moves me
in this instant, you will forgive me. I (have) lived too long in Africa for not becoming some-
God speed you on your course and bless your work!
Stanley to Emin, 8 a.m. 26 May, 1888, Badza Village.
Your soldiers have reached me with 82 natives. They will start for your camp about an
hour hence, and at 3 p.m. we will begin the ascent of the plateau slope and hope to reach the
summit about sunset.
Kavalli and I propose to settle the business of Kadongo tomorrow morning before day-
break, and on the 28th I set out for Gavira and on the 1st of June we shall probably be across
the Ituri River. You may rest assured that the strictest guard will be kept over these wild na-
tives until we shall have put such a distance of forest between us and the Nyanza that escape
will be hopeless except to the most incorrigible.
Now a last good-bye to you and Mr. Jephson for some months. We shall press on with
the hope that all is well with all our friends at the fort and with the rear column.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1965) 201-206
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ON THE NILE-CHOBI CONFLUENCE
By B. M. FAGAN AND L. LOFGREN
On October 12 and 13 1965, the members of the Bantu Studies Project
visited a group of archaeological sites in the Murchison Falls National Park,
Uganda (Fig. 1). These sites, which were first noted by Mr. George Jackson of
Makerere in 1963, are located on the north bank of the Victoria Nile on either
side of the confluence of the Chobi River with the Nile, about ten miles down-
stream from the Karuma Falls. While our time in the area was unfortunately
limited-only two of the three sites reported by Jackson were visited-we
believe that the area merits systematic archaeological investigation, which, owing
to the rate at which soil erosion is cutting back the river bank, should be under-
taken in the near future. Abundant Middle Stone Age, Late Stone Age, and Iron
Age artifacts in a geologically stratified sequence were present on both sites.
At least the Late Stone Age and the Iron Age materials are in primary archaeo-
Jackson's first site (A) extends downstream from the Nile-Chobi confluence
for about I mile. The second (B) lies between the confluence and the site of the
new safari hotel, about J mile upstream. Both sites were about 50 ft. above the
present river level, on the top of a steeply sloping bluff. The area is one of wood-
land savanna which supports abundant wildlife.
Since there was not time for a detailed survey of the area, the material collec-
ted will not be distinguished as to the site from which it came. Site A had the
remains of an Iron Age village with patches of comminuted mud hut floors,
concentrations of iron slag, and much broken pottery in the rapidly eroding
topsoil. Also on the top of the bluff, here was a very dense and extensive Late
Stone Age scatter. While the relation between the Iron Age settlement and the
Late Stone Age deposit was not entirely clear, it appeared that the Late Stone
Age materials came from a layer of ferricrete gravels, which had been exposed
and somewhat disturbed by subsequent soil erosion, immediately below the top-
soil. Below this were a fine gravel bed and a partial ferricrete seal above a gravel
containing Middle Stone Age flakes and tools. This gravel was exposed in the
side of the bluff. Site B was substantially the same as site A, but slightly less rich
in Late Stone Age and Iron Age material.
Middle Stone Age
With the exception of a bifacial chalcedony point, all of the Middle Stone
Age artifacts are made from large quartz river pebbles (Fig. 2a). Most common
are large flakes, and pebbles from which one or two large flakes have been re-
moved on one edge. These pebble tools show varying degrees of utilization as
picks, choppers, or bashing stones. Other Middle Stone Age artifacts include
polyhedrals, one of which was severely battered and subsequently split, and large
cores. Several ofthe cores are disc shape d, about 2.5 inches in diameter, and might
AAC. the sit
.. ... main ro
Figure 3 BORED STONES
ARCHAEOLOGY OF NILE-CHOBI CONFLUENCE 203
belong either to the Middle or the Late Stone Age. Since artifacts were picked
up on the surface and in gullies, it was not always possible to tell from which
layer they derived. No excavation was undertaken. A number of Sangoan im-
plements were also found. These include three picks, of 3.5, 4.5 and 6 inches
maximum length, a push plane, and an ovate hand axe with an S-twist edge
(Figs. 2b, 2c, 2d). In contrast to the later industries, most of the Middle Stone
Age artifacts are slightly rolled and water polished. Another industry, which
might be either Middle Stone Age or earlier, was represented by large oval or
nearly circular flakes. These were found in the same gravel bed with the Middle
Stone Age artifacts, but were very heavily rolled and polished.
Late Stone Age
Particularly at site A the quantity of Late Stone Age material was impressive.
For about a quarter of a square mile or more the ground was almost paved with
quartz chips, flakes, and cores. In places there appeared to be concentrations
of debitage as if floors were represented. Most of the Late Stone Age artifacts
were made from small quartz river pebbles. Tool types included roughly notched
flakes, core scrapers, straight and convex side scrapers or flakes, afew lamd
dcaillds, and one crescent. There were also a number of oval quartz pebbles
about 2.5 inches long, battered on both ends, that had been used as pestles or small
hammer stones. The small number of finished tools, about one per cent of the
total Late Stone Age collection, their poor quality, and the large number of
exhausted cores, over one-third of the collection, suggest that the area was a
Late Stone Age factory site. Quartz gravel is abundant in the river bed. Of
great interest are the bored stones found on the sites. Along with the querns
and grinding slabs, which probably belong to the Iron Age, these are almost the
only non-quartz stone artifacts found in the area. The six bored stones include
three complete discs and three fragments. The largest has an external diameter of
3 inches, the smallest is less than 2 inches. (Fig. 3a). One of the broken discs was
ground and polished after it was broken (Fig. 3b). The bored stones from Chobi
are of a similar type to others reported from Uganda.' Since very few of the
Late Stone Age artifacts show any signs of water polishing or other disturbance,
it is possible that excavation in the area will uncover undisturbed living floors.
The Iron Age is represented by the remains of one, or more likely several,
large village sites. Besides the roughly circular patches of comminuted daga and
the concentrations of iron slag which have already been mentioned, a wide
variety of objects testifies to the prosperity of this Iron Age settlement. Objects
collected include thirteen iron rings and bracelets, a hoe, a hatchet blade, one
spear point, one spear butt, three arrowheads, a knife blade, miscellaneous iron
fragments, and a tuyere. Numerous grinding slabs and rubbing and pounding
stones, one with a pecked dimple suggest that the local economy depended on
vegetable foods as well as on the abundant fish and wild game. Another curious
object is a ground quartz cylinder, 1.5 inches long, tapered at one end, which might
have been a lip or ear plug. A single cowrie shell gives evidence of long distance
trade. Two hand-cast lead bullets may be contemporaneous with the settlement
Much of the pottery was found in or near the house remains; and there were
many concentrations of sherds representing whole or nearly whole vessels.
Jackson found a burial partially exposed by erosion at his site "C", which we were
unable to visit. The great variety of styles of decoration and types of vessels
Figure 2. MIDDLE STONE AGE ARTIFACTS
a Bifacial chalcedony point c Sangoan pick
b Sangoan pick d Ovate hand axe
ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE NILE-CHOBI CONFLUENCE
Figure 4 POTTERY
206 UGANDA JOURNAL
is noteworthy; and the presence of one or two unusually fine pieces suggests that
not all of the pottery may have been locally made. However, a complete des-
cription of the pottery must wait until the sites are more thoroughly studied.
No sherds of large vessels were found; and none of the reconstructable vessesl
were more than about 6 inches high. Vessel types include hemispherical bowls with
plain or slightly everted rims, globular bowls, bowls with flat bases and straight
sides, and globular pocs with heavy everted rims. Decoration includes rouletting
with several different kinds and patterns of roulettes, comb-incision, comb-
stamping, grooving, finger and stick impressed dots, pinching, and applied
decoration (Fig. 4a, b, c, d). There were also two types of decoration which have
not been identified. One type, found mainly on the very heavy pot rims, is a
regular covering of small, close set round or oval bosses (Fig. 4e, f). The other is
a repeating pattern of interlocking concentric circles. Both may have been made
with a carved, patterned roller (Fig. 4f, g).
Three other sherds merit special mention because, if viewed in isolation, they
would almost certainly be identified as Dimple-based ware sherds. In fact, one
of the three was collected by Jackson and had been provisionally so identified.
This is part of the rim of a hemispherical bowl with a multiple bevelled edge and
a band of fine cross hatching below the rim (Fig. 4h). Another is part of a glo-
bular bowl with two parallel grooved lines below the rim and a covering pattern
of comb incised zig-zags (Fig. 4i). The third is part of a globular bowl with at
least five parallel grooved lines below the rim (Fig. 4j). However, there was
nothing other than the decoration to distinguish these three from the many
rouletted and other more recent sherds found at the sites. Furthermore, all the
available evidence, including the abundant iron artifacts, the cowrie shell, and
the well preserved nature of the village site despite its exposure to wind and rain,
suggests that the village was abandoned in comparatively recent times. There
was no midden deposit or other evidence of an extremely long Iron Age habi-
tation of the site.
The apparent persistence of Dimple-based like pottery in association with
much recent types and the profusion of types of decoration, some of which are
quite unusual, at these sites raises some interesting questions concerning the
Iron Age pottery and cultures of northern Uganda. It is hoped that further
work on the archaeology and ethnography of the area will help to answer these
We are grateful to Dr. Merrick Posnansky for informing us of the sites and
for making Mr. Jackson's collections available to us; Mr. F. X. Katete, Director
of Uganda National Parks, gave us valuable assistance in connection with our
visit to the Murchson Falls Park. The research described in this article was sup-
ported by the Astor Foundation and the British Institute of History and Archae-
ology in East Africa.
1. Posnansky, M. and Sekibengo, J. W. Ground stone axes and bored stones
in Uganda. Uganda J. 23, 1959, pp. 179-181.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 207
THE LEVALLOISIAN FLAKE INDUSTRY OF NSONGEZI
By T. P. O'BRIEN
May I congratulate Dr. Cole' for having solved a problem which has
plagued us for many years; I had for long suspected that the so-called 'transi-
tion' from Acheulean to Sangoan in the "N" horizon of Wayland and van
Riet Lowe was the result of cultural mixing following erosion at the
Nsongezi end of the Orichinga valley. However, in 1935, I had the good
fortune to do most of my work further up the Orichinga valley, where the
sequence was much clearer than at Nsongezi. After Dr. Solomon joined me,
we found that some of the post-M Horizon deposits had been more or less
completely eroded before the Sangoan-bearing N Horizon was formed.
There is, however, one statement in Dr. Cole's paper with which I am not in
accord; this is his suggestion (p. 156) that I had called a certain flake industry
in the pre-N Horizon cross-bedded sands Levalloisian, apparently simply
because it was a flake industry. In fact, I gave these artifacts this name for the
good reason that they largely conformed typologically to what was regarded in
those days (up to the 1950's) as a specific 'Levalloisian' culture whose hallmarks
were the so-called tortoise cores and flakes with prepared striking platforms.
I made it clear in my Prehistory of Uganda Protectorate, 1939 (pp.60 and 170-73),
that the pre-N Horizon cross-bedded sands contained artifacts of just this parti-
cular type; it was precisely because of the presence of this characteristic industry
in this and several later beds that we realized that this part of the "terrace" must
be Upper, and not Middle Pleistocene in age, as Wayland apparently believed
at that time. It also meant, so far as I was concerned, that the Sangoan of the
N Horizon at least belonged to the Upper and not the Middle Palaeolithic of
East Africa, in spite of its considerable crudity ibidd, p. 171).
In the 1950's the French worker, F. Bordes, showed that the Levalloisian
really began as a flaking technique employed by certain Acheulean groups in
various places. Bordes subsequently proved that there were several post-
Acheulean flake industries, including the Mousterian, which employed the
Levallois technique; the same is true of the Levant and, I believe, many parts of
The point is, that though the Levalloisian may have started as an Acheulean
flaking technique, it was a technique that eventually formed the most character-
istic feature of many flake industries--call them 'Levalloisian', or 'Mousterian',
or 'Middle Stone Age', or what you will. Today, my own term for them would be
Levalloisoid, but in 1939 one could hardly have done otherwise than refer to the
flake industry in the pre-N cross-bedded sands as Levalloisian.
1. Cole, G. H. Recent archaeological work in Southern Uganda, Uganda J., 29, 1965, pp.
208 UGANDA JOURNAL
GROUND STONE AXE, LOITOME, KARAMOJA
By L. CLARK
In 1964, during the geological survey of the Kenya quarter degree sheet
North A-36/E-IV-SW, a ground stone axe was found near Loitome hill.
The axe was found lying on the hard red soil surface one mile south of Loitome
about four yards west of the main Loyoro-Moroto security track (34 30' 37"
East, 3 00' 29" North).
The axe is 7.2 cms. long, 3.7 cms. wide and 2.1 cms. thick (Figure 1). The
ground part of the axe is smooth and regular in shape, but the blade which has
been crudely flaked, is irregular. Dr. M. Posnansky (personal communication)
suggests that the axe is part of a larger ground axe which has been broken and
the end reflaked. The present shattered appearance of the specimen is due to a
blow by an enthusiastic geological assistant. The specimen is composed of a
fine grained dark green basic volcanic rock, possibly a tuff but probably a lava.
It has a thin skin of iron staining over a pale green patina about 0.5 mm. thick.
The stone axe was found only five miles north of the Magosi site where nu-
merous stone implements have been found' including a ground stone axe.2
The ground stone axe was found in the upper two feet of the excavation at
Magosi, in layers containing a typical Wilton industry. The absolute age of the
Wilton horizon obtained by C.14 dating is 4100 B.C. The Magosi sites occur as
shelters under overhangs in a rocky inselberg. The Loitome specimen was found
close to a similar inselberg. The Loitome inselberg may repay examination by an
1. Wayland, E. J., and C. Burkitt, The Magosian culture of Uganda. J. Royal Anthropological
Institute, 62, 1932, pp. 369-390.
2. Posnansky, M. and Cole, G. H., Recent excavations at Magosi, Uganda; A preliminary
report, Man., 63, no. 133, 1963, pp. 104-106.
Neolithic Polished Axe Loitome
AN INTERESTING GYNANDROMORPH
By K. W. BROWN
This specimen of Tagoropsis songeana Strand, taken at night at Nakawa in
April, 1965, is a good example of a bilateral gynandromorph, the left side show-
ing male characteristics and the right being predominantly female. The tip of the
left forewing is less falcate than in most males of this species but otherwise both
wings on this side are typically male, being light yellow with rather indistinct
brownish markings. Both the right wings are darker yellow, with more and
heavier dark brown markings, and are slightly smaller; these are all female
characteristics but the upperside of the forewing and the underside of both
wings also include small patches of the pale yellow male coloration. The body
is predominantly male with the darker female colour being restricted to small
patches on the right side of the abdomen and thorax.
Although this is the first gynandrous Emperor Moth that I have personally
collected they probably occur quite often; within the last year I have heard of
gynandromorphs of Lobobunaea phaedusa and Epiphora albida, both originating
from Uganda, and undoubtedly many go unnoticed.
The Uganda Society's Premises
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 209-210
STANLEY'S BLOOD-BROTHERHOOD IN ANKOLE
By M. DOORNBOS
The interesting account of "H. M. Stanley's Journey through Ankole in
1889" by the Ntare School History Society in Vol 29, part 2 of the Uganda
Journal has touched again on the old question whether the blood-brotherhood
which Stanley made in Ankole with Prince Buchunku was binding or not. No
doubt the procedure which was followed differed from the traditional way,
as has been aptly described by the Ntare School Hisotry Society. But it does not
follow that the pact was therefore not binding, as it has been argued earlier by
There are various interpretations of the motives for following another pro-
cedure. On the matter of drinking the other's blood, the Ntare School History
Society writes, "The customary method was deliberately disregarded by Bu-
chunku to avoid swallowing a stranger's blood."2 In spite of the fact that any-
one with whom one enters into a blood-brother relationship and who nece-
ssarily is not from one's own clan, must by definition be a 'stranger'. Stanley
himself, however, is also quoted as expressing his joy that no blood had to be
drunk. F. Lukyn-Williams writes: "It is noticeable that no blood was drunk.
Stanley expressed pleasure that 'the ceremony was thus relieved of the repulsive-
ness which accompanies it'.3
What is more important, Lukyn-Williams has argued that Stanley's blood-
brotherhood was not a valid one, and this would in large part be so because
he did not drink the other's blood:
"There is no doubt........that the ceremony was not binding and that the
Banyankole never looked on it as binding........ (The) Banyankole distrusted
a man who never completed the ceremony and would not have been surprised to
see him return later to devastate their country."4
It would seem that too much has been read into the omission of the drinking
of blood. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Banyankole suspected Stan-
ley's motives. Apart from this, however, Lukyn-Williams' statement has been
based on the more general argument that what is not conducted in accordance
with prescribed formal rules is consequently legally void. This poses the old
jurisprudential question as to whether it is form or spirit which establishes the
validity of an act. Though often it is 'form' that wins, in this case it is undoubted-
ly the 'spirit' that has prevailed to make Stanley and Buchunku's blood-brother-
hood a valid one. An interesting piece of evidence that the Banyankole did indeed
regard the blood-brotherhood as binding has come from no one less than
Prince Buchunku himself.
In 1902, thirteen years after the blood-brotherhood was made, Buchunku,
who was then a saza chief of Nabuseke and who meanwhile had become a
signatory of the Ankole Agreement of 1901, asked the missionary J. J. Willis to
write a letter for him to Stanley. He addressed Stanley as his 'friend' and said
"I made friends with you long ago......" It would be interesting to know what
210 UGANDA JOURNAL
word Buchunku used in Runyankore before it was translated by Willis into
'friend'. It seems most likely, however, that the Runyankore equivalents for
'blood-brother' and 'made blood-brotherhood' got substituted by 'friend' and
'made friends' in Willis' translation. It is unreasonable to suppose that Buchunku
made a subtle distinction between 'blood-brother' and 'friend' in order to avoid
confirmation that a pact had been concluded between them. In any case it is
probable that no such exact transposition from Runyankore into English was
possible in 1902. Furthermore Buchunku made reference to one of the main
customary obligations evolving from blood-brotherhood, i.e. helping one's
blood-brother in case he needs anything: "If you shall be wanting anything,
send to me, and I will send it to you." We therefore seem to be on safe ground in
concluding that at least Buchunku considered the pact to be binding. And if
Buchunku did, what grounds could be left to assume that other Banyankole did
not see it that way?
It will be of interest to quote in full the relevant paragraph in Willis' diary,
the more so because he makes a revealing side-remark at Stanley's proficiency
in Runyankore. It is to be hoped that some day the Runyankore version of
Buchunku's letter may still be found among Stanley's papers.
The Rt. Rev. J. J. Willis' Journal:5
"Mbarara, Ankole, Oct. 24, 1902.
........ A few days ago I had to write a letter, in Lunyankole (with translation)
to Sir H. M. Stanley. A Chief here, "Bucunku" made "blood brotherhood"
with him, years ago, when he passed through Ankole (See "In Darkest Africa":
I think he calls Bucunku "Vichunku"). (It is a remarkable fact that people in
authority somehow never manage to hear any name right-probably because
they never learn the language of the people in these parts). The translation of the
letter may interest you.
'To my friend, Bwana Stanley, I am still alive: I am not yet dead.
I made friends with you long ago, when I was a boy. Now I am a wasaza and
I am a grown man. Our King, Kahaya, is my relation. He gave me cows, land
and many things. If you shall be wanting anything, send to me, and I shall
send it to you. I rejoice very much in my heart to write you this letter. Now
I am reading the Gospel, and many of our men. And our King Kahaya, and
many men, are reading to be baptized. God is wonderful, to bring me to this
(time) and you to this (time), that we have not died-to know one another,
you to be still alive, and I. And God is wonderful to make His word reach to
us, and to make us know the name of Jesus Christ, May God keep you all
your life. Goodbye. I am, Bucunku."
1. F. Lukyn-Williams, Blood-brotherhood in Ankole, Uganda J., 2, 1934.
2. Ntare School History Society, H. M. Stanley's journey through Ankole in 1889, Uganda J.,
29, 1965, p. 191.
3. Lukyn-Williams, p. 40.
4. Lukyn-Williams, pp. 40-41.
5. Unpublished; a photocopy of this diary is in the Makerere University College Library.
All brackets in the quotation are from Willis, presumably for editing purposes.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2 (1966) 211-218
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920
By B. W. LANGLANDS
The preceding numbers of the Uganda Journal have included notes on changes
in the distribution of maize and bananas in Uganda in the latter part of the
nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth century.' These few notes
are intended to throw further light upon the spread of cassava in Uganda in
that same period. The outline of the history of cassava in Uganda is presented
by W. 0. Jones in Manioc in Africa. In this book it is recognized that cassava was
probably introduced into west Africa by the Portuguese in the seventeenth cen-
tury; but that its introduction to the East African coast must have been later
and that it did not penetrate into the interior of East Africa until after 1800. 2
Jones poses the possibility that cassava may not have entered Uganda or Tanzania
from the forested area of the Congo basin because of the presence of open land
occupied by Hima herdsmen on a wide front from Tanzania to Lake Albert, 3
though he later accepted the possibility that cassava may have reached Lake
Tanganyika from the west. 4
Jones stated that when Speke travelled through Uganda in 1862 he "speci-
fically remarks upon its absence along the northwest shore of Lake Victoria
and does not mention it between Bagamoyo and Lake Victoria". s5 In the list
of plants collected by Capt. Grant and presented as an appendix to Speke's
Journal, Manihot utlissima, was recorded thus, 'Mahogo', the staple food of
Zanzibar people, where some kinds can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, roasted or in
flower; not met with between the Equator and 150N., 4018'S., etc"6 Jones then
accepted the view of Nye and Jameson7 that cassava was almost certainly
introduced into Uganda by Arab traders sometime after Speke's visit in 1862
and before 1875; for when Stanley visited in that year cassava was already being
grown in gardens and was supplied to him by Kabaka Mutesa.8 Apart from a
few scattered references to cassava Stanley included it in a long list of crops
grown in Buganda "among the chief vegetable productions are the papaw,
banana, plantain, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetable marrows, manioc and toma-
toes. Of grains, there are to be found in the neighbourhood of the capital wheat,
rice, maize, sesamum, millets and vetches.". 9
The expansion of cassava into western and central Uganda was assumed by
Nye and Jameson to have taken place from Buganda; "Its first spread was pro-
bably into Bunyoro and Busoga, but it seems to have reached Teso and Lango
only with the advent of European administration. Its introduction in West
Nile has been very recent, and there it has proved useful in preventing minor
famines and food shortages since 1931. In Lango the crop is not popular, and
it forms part of the native diet only round the sores of Lake Kioga". to As Jones
reported, the spread of cassava into north Uganda was largely encouraged as an
anti-famine and anti-locust measure and in some places the planting of a legal
minimum of land under cassava was enforced. By the 1950s cassava had become
a major food staple in the western parts of Uganda where from 30-36 % of
212 UGANDA JOURNAL
the cultivated land was under cassava. This focus of cassava cultivation in Toro,
Bunyoro and the West Nile in 1958 was further examined by McMaster, 1
who recognized also a second area of importance in the interior plateau area
surrounding Lake Kyoga. As a part explanation of the popularity of cassava in
western Uganda, Jones offered the suggestion that it was possible it was attrib-
utable to proximity of the area to a part of the Congo where cassava production
was already well established. 12
A detailed examination of the literature of this period does not reveal any
significant disagreement with the history of cassava as presented in this summary
but these notes may add a few worthwhile points to help fill some of the gaps.
It has already been seen that cassava was probably absent in Buganda in
1862, but that it was certainly present by 1875. When the first Protestant mission-
aries arrived in 1877, they reported also on the presence of cassava as a food
supplementing the staples of bananas and sweet potatoes. Wilson clearly stated
that cassava was a crop grown by the local people for their own consumption,
and followed this statement with the information that "Besides these native
fruits and vegetables, the Arab traders from Zanzibar grow wheat and rice;
onions, tomatoes, guavas, pomegranates and papaws have also been introduced
by them and are gradually spreading through the country; while from Egypt
have come radishes and the Hibiscus esculenta (Arabic baumian)." 13 If it is
correct to believe that the cassava was introduced by Arabs shortly before 1875,
it would seem to have become well-established in a short time. It would also
appear unusual that its introduction by the Arabs had been so soon forgotten
and that it should no longer be grown specifically in the vicinity of the Arab
settlement at Natete, even though it must have been in demand as a food for the
caravans. However, if cassava was not specifically associated with the Arab
settlement in 1877; it did become associated with the Protestant settlement;
for Wilson also recorded that "I sowed a quantity of wheat and onions, which
both did very well, and planted cassava and sugar cane; and later on, when the
rains began, I cleared a piece of swamp at the bottom of my garden and sowed it
with rice, which throve astonishingly".14
It is also of interest that later that same year, in December 1877, Emin Pasha
entered Buganda from the north, and for a point north of Rubaga gave a descrip-
tion of the crops being cultivated which included bananas, sweet potatoes,
tobacco, groundnuts, maize and sorghum, but which made no mention of
cassava.15 Presumably by then the spread of cassava had not gone far in a north-
ward direction from the area of the capital.
There were few other references to cassava in Buganda in the nineteenth cen-
tury which shed any light upon its distribution. Lugard in 1891 regarded cassava,
together with bananas and sweet potatoes as the staple food of Buganda, and
found it less important as he approached Bunyoro on a journey through Singo.16
Cassava was listed among the crops grown in Buganda in 1893 by Decle17.
In 1894 Moffat also considered that in Buganda "the staple is bananas with a
little manioc and sweet potatoes".18 In the same year Ansorge reported that cassa-
va flour could be bought in the Sudanese market in Kampala.19
Nevertheless, in spite of these positive records of cassava in Buganda, other
writers such as Johnston and Roscoe omitted any mention of cassava in their
descriptions of agriculture in Buganda, Although cassava was undoubtedly
present in Buganda in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, it was probably
of little importance.
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920 213
It has already been seen that Nye and Jameson supposed that cassava soon
spread to Bunyoro from Buganda; but that in 1891 there was, according to
Lugard, less cassava in Bunyoro than in Buganda. On his route from the north
in 1877 which went through much of north Bunyoro Emin Pasha recorded a list
of crops which did not include cassava but he did note that in Bunyoro, "manioc
is eaten only in the south,"20 and that "manioc, (Manihot utilissima) is only
to be found in the south of the country and has been introduced from the other
side of the Equator."21 By south Bunyoro, Emin could have meant the area to
the south of the Kafu river in what later became a part of Buganda, or he could
have meant the area around Mparo (Hoima) as distinct from the north Bunyoro
of the Nile vicinity. The statement that the cassava had come from the south of the
Equator could imply an independent introduction to Bunyoro by Arabs, or
it could imply an introduction from Buganda. In either case it is unusual that
Emin was not more specific; however, a subsequent reference in Emin to be
quoted later substantiates the origin from Buganda.
Ten years later, in 1887, Casati reported on the agricultural produce of
Bunyoro and included cassava with bananas, maize and eleusine.22 In 1904
Cunningham produced a similar list of crops grown in Bunyoro and likewise
included cassava,23 but generally the references to cassava in Bunyoro in these
years were few.
In some other areas of western Uganda, cassava had already been introduced
by the late 1880s; for both Stanley and Casati mentioned it on their journey
through Ankole in 1889 on the Emin Pasha relief expedition. Stanley referred
to it at Mabona in the Oruchinga valley of south Ankole near to the Kagera
valley; "the settlement of Mavona produced abundantly quite a variety of garden
produce, such as peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, manioc, cucumbers, banigalls,
bananas, and plantain".24 Casati provided a more general comment upon agri-
culture in Ankole "narrow gorges, rocks, difficult paths, mountain pastures,
want of water and trees, give a wild aspect to the country, which, only in the
farthest slopes and in the valleys is brightened by the cultivation of Indian millet,
sweet potatoes, peas, manioc and banana groves".25 Early in the twentieth
century manioc was reported by Delm6-Radcliffe as a standard crop of Buddu,
Ngarama and Rwampara and that by Rwampara in southwest Ankole "the
plants chiefly cultivated were sweet potatoes, manioc, a small grain called tala-
bun, or wimbi, and castor oil".26
The extent to which cassava had become established in south Ankole by
1889 and 1904 seems surprising since the contacts between Ankole and the out-
side world before 1889 had been slight, though some Arabs would have passed
through on their way from Karagwe to Bunyoro. The seemingly greater con-
centration in Rwampara by 1900 leads one to wonder whether the crop had been
introduced from somewhere other than Buganda.
Nye and Jameson have placed the introduction of cassava from Buganda to
Busoga as a late nineteenth century event. In fact there are very few references
to cassava in Busoga in the early literature for the district. There were signi-
ficantly few comments, if any, from the travellers accounts of the 1890s, and only
Cunningham for 1904 gave it any status at all: "Busoga is a country of great ferti-
lity. In addition to the vast area under banana cultivation, the inhabitants grow
214 UGANDA JOURNAL
millet, Indian corn, cassava root, sugar cane, groundnuts, beans, sweet potatoes
semsem and 'numbu.' "27
The absence of cassava from north Uganda as observed by Speke, was
confirmed in the writing of later travellers. Baker made no reference to cassava
in either of his accounts for north Uganda and Emin Pasha specifically commented
upon its absence in 1883. Thus speaking of the Iddio group of the Azande people
who had come north to the south Sudan from position in the west-southwest
he stated "the plants which they brought from their own country form even now
their staple crops, two of them, the colocasia and manioc, give to Nyam Nyam
villages a very characteristic appearance. Throughout this region these two plants
are only extensively cultivated in Uganda and by the Zande tribes, and if speci-
mens are met with in other places, it is as a rule, easy to say where they come
from".28 Similarly Stigand in the 1910s mentioned the absence of cassava in the
area of the Lado enclave, in what later became the West Nile district and adjacent
parts of the southern Sudan; "manioc is not found, except where it has been
introduced from the Congo by the Belgians and amongst the Makaraka who
brought with them when they immigrated".29
This information from Emin Pasha and Stigand lends support to the view that
cassava has only recently been introduced into north Uganda. It also lends
support to the view that if cassava approached the proximity of Uganda from
the west, its actual penetration before 1920 must have been very slight. The only
early reference to cassava in north Uganda in this period was from Count Du
Bourg de Bozas who crossed north Acholi from Turkana and Tororo to Madi
and Nimule in 1902. He described north Acholi in the following way "les
Choulli sont pasteurs et surtout cultivateurs........ Ces indigenes cultivent
sorgho, mais, dagoussa, millet, patates douce, arachides, pistaches, sesame,
manioc, courges, le Musa incete et des bananes".30
From these observations it is evident that cassava had an extremely limited
distribution in 1900. Johnston made no mention of cassava in Uganda in his
Uganda Protectorate, even though the agricultural interests of most of the
tribes was examined.31 Likewise the less reliable observations of Roscoe for the
various peoples he studied made no mention of cassava in the 1920s. Other
early anthropological studies gave no information on cassava; such as Driberg's
The Lango of 192332 or Edel's study onthe Kiga in the early 1930s.33 Other
anthropologists writing in the 1950s or 1960s recognized that cassava was only
introduced into the areas under study in the twentieth century. Such references
include those of Taylor in respect of the Toro, Amba, Konjo, and Banyankole.34
Others see the significant increase of cassava as being a phenomenon of the mid-
twentieth century; as amongst the Amba, following damage to the staple food of
bananas by banana weevil in the early 1940s35, or amongst the Lugbara after the
famine of 1942-43 when the government enforced cassava cultivation.36 In other
anthropological studies such as those on the Alur, Acholi and Iteso, where there
is little attempt to date the expansion, there is no reason to believe that it was a
crop of any long standing in the area.37 In very few modern accounts is there
any attempt to date the introduction of the crop precisely. The only such example
is that of Father Tarantino's that the government introduced cassava into
Lango in 1911. 38 Clearly there is plenty of scope for a study of the spread of
cassava in Uganda since the 1920s. The records of the district offices and district
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920 215
agricultural offices should prove fruitful sources of information. An example of
such a study from the records of the District Commissioner's office of the West
Nile is presented as an appendix to these notes.
From the references presented in this account the history of the distribution
of cassava in Uganda is very different from that of maize even though both have
been introduced only fairly recently. The nineteenth century distribution of
cassava had been very limited, and with very few exceptions the main expansion
has taken place since 1920. Even though this spread has been very recent, in
many parts of Uganda it has been sufficient for cassava to become the staple
food of the people, and over much of the rest of the country an important
Notes on the Expansion of Cassava in the West Nile district 1920-1950.
The following notes are derived from an examination of the archives of the District Commi-
ssioner's Office, Arua, West Nile. Although the records were not studied solely for the purpose
of agricultural change, they give a good indication of the sort of historical information which
can be obtained from a district office. No doubt additional information could have been acqui-
red also from the District Agricultural Office, though such offices are more prone to periodic
removal of records than is the D.C.'s office. The District Commissioner's records consulted
include the monthly reports 1914-1916 which were submitted to the Provincial Commissioner,
Northern Province, in the period immediately following the establishment of the West Nile
District in 1914. Later the reports of the D.C. became quarterly then annual. Annual reports
for the West Nile exist in the Arua Office for all years except 1915-1922 which were destroyed
by termites. In addition each county had what was known as the "County Book", in which
touring officers recorded notes on the state of each county and the work that needed doing in it.
These contain occasional references to the condition of agriculture, the state of famine reserves,
the need for the planting of more food and cash crops. For most counties the County Books
made out in the early 1920s contain descriptions of the main agricultural interest of each county.
Much of this agricultural material has to be extracted from a welter of administrative and poll
tax information so that it is not easy to obtain from them a clear picture of the agricultural
changes taking place.
The earliest mention of cassava in the West Nile found in the district records was that in
1919 at Panyigoro five villages from the banks of the Albert Nile in the south had been removed
from the east bank to the west bank of the river for sleeping sickness control purposes but that
these villagers "returned to old muhogo plots, because muhogo does not do so well in the west."
(Jonam County Book 31 October 1919 p. 71). In the early 1920s the total acreage was very low
and its distribution extremely limited, for the annual reports for 1922 and 1923 recorded that
only 50 acres were then under cassava and yielded only 500 hundredweights, for which there
was no local sale and no standard market price for the commodity. In 1924 and 1925 the total
acreage under cassava was increased to 100 acres and the yield rose to 800 hundredweights.
Annual reports thereafter do not give any figures.
The first area in which cassava was encouraged was amongst the lowland Alur, particularly
in Jonam county where already by 1919, as seen, there was some interest in the crop. The
annual report for 1923 recorded that early in the year there "was the usual shortage at Panya-
mur and Mutir due to soil poorness and the laziness of the Alur. Muhogo encouraged here".
Even by 1925, however, the "Alur did not take kindly to muhogo." (Annual Report for 1925).
The planting of cassava in lowland Jonam was encouraged vigorously during the visit of the
Provincial Commissioner for Northern Province, who noted that although the Jonam were
beginning to plant it, cassava only occupied a negligible acreage (Jonam County Book,
October 1925).The frequency of famines in the Allui area of Jonam led to an especial encourage-
ment there (Jonam County Book 13 May 1925) and the Packwach area was also an early one at
which cassava was established (Jonam County Book 7 October 1925). The acreage in 1926
was increased at each of these two places and in the villages all along the Nile (Jonam Cou-
nty Book September 1926). The granaries (gugus) of the Jonam were all small compared with
those of the upland Alur so that it was impossible to build up a reserve of wimbi, eleusine
millet. The food supply of the staple was further worsened in both 1925 and 1926 by the wimbi
being eaten by insects. The cassava area increased in the later 1920s so that by 1928 it was a
regular item for sale in the Packwach market (Jonam County Book February 1928) and fish and
muhogo had become the standard diet at Wadelai by 1934 (Jonam County Book 18 February
216 UGANDA JOURNAL
In the middle and upland area of Alur country the introduction of cassava seems to have
been later, and slower in becoming accepted. The Midiri (Padyeri) County book recorded the
information that the District Commissioner had encouraged muhogo planting in 1920 and 1927
The Italians at Midiri mission had made a success of it (Midiri County Book 9 September
1926) and the following year the D.C. ordered that the people must be made to plant muhogo
(Midiri County Book, 27 July 1927). In the Okolo area of Alur county cassava was not men-
tioned in a list of crops grown in 1922, but in 1927 there was at least one large muhogo plot
(Okoro County Book 29 October 1927) though there was generally little mention of cassava
until the early to middle 1930s.
In the Madi area of West Nile, e.g. excluding those parts of Madi county which now fall
within Madi district) the story was similar. An experimental plot "was doing fairly well"
in Madi-Aiyvu in 1923 (Madi-Aiyvu County Book 1923) but still by 1933 the muhogo planting
was "apathetic" (Madi Okolo County Book 1933).
The establishment of cassava in the Lugbara areas was certainly later than in Alur and
possibly later than in Madi areas. The descriptions of agriculture in the Maracha County Book
for 1922, the Omugo County Book for 1923, the Offude County Book 1923, and the Adumi
County Book in 1923, made no reference to cassava. Some cuttings were promised for
Omugo in 1923. Some had been planted in 1927 in Maracha and everyone was told to plant it
that same year since what was not eaten could be sold (Marach County Book 11 May 1927
and 13 November 1927). Muhogo was planted in 1928 in Logiri which may be taken as the
first there (Logiri County Book 9 July, 1928) and in 1929 it was grown in Adumi, (Adumi Coun-
ty Book 1929). The Terego and Omugo areas of the middle zone of Lugbara country seem to
have had very little, if any, cassava before 1931. What was obviously an early attempt to grow
cassava in Terego failed because of lack of rain (Terego County Book 11 June 1931) and cut-
tings for the beginning of cassava cultivation in Omugo were still in short supply (Omugo Coun-
ty Book September 1931 after an entry for 13 June 1931 indicated that there was no cassava
An important impetus in the spread of cassava and sweet potatoes came in the early 1930s
when a series of drought years gave famine conditions and when the food shortage was gravely
affected by locust invasions. It is evident that some of the early years of the 1920s had been years
of poor harvest in certain places and a policy of building up enormous communal reserves
wimbi, simsim and other cereals had been put into effect. Many famine reserve stocks were
still being maintained on a communal basis until the mid-1950s. Food in 1929 and 1930 had been
generally plentiful but already concern was expressed at the prospect of a locust invasion
from Kenya for the Lugbara were even then being encouraged "to plant muhogo and sweet
potatoes as being less liable than bulo to locusts". (Logwari Central Book, February and March
1929 p. 33). The anticipated locust invasion began in 1931 and this coincided with a failure of
the wimbi crop from drought (Annual Report 1931). The famine and locust troubles continued
into 1932 when they were especially severe in the lowlands and Aringa (Annual Report 1923),
In 1933 further damage occurred from locusts and also from hail storms.
These conditions set off a widespread campaign for the cultivation of more cassava. In
1936 every taxpayer in West Nile was made to plant a one acre plot of Bitajumba muhogo,
(Bitumist cassava) and in fact the acreage under cassava in 1937 increased considerably.
(Annual Reports 1936 and 1937 and Logwari Central Book, December 1936 p. 56). In 1938
an "enormous increase in sweet potatoes, also an increase in muhogo" was reported. This
policy of increasing cassava cultivation was mentioned in various county books for all the
Lugbara, Alur and Madi counties. Only in Omugo did there seem to be any difficulty in carrying
the policy into effect. For in Omugo in 1937 arrangements were made to prosecute any taxpayer
who did not plant his statutory acre and to prosecute also the chiefs whose people defaulted
(Omugo County Book 17 June 1937) and even in 1938 the amount of cassava was still in-
adequate (Omugo County Book 14 February and 14 April 1938).
Another major famine affected part of the West Nile in 1942 and was especially severe
over the whole district in 1943. A further application of the policy of increasing cassava cul-
tivation occurred and the acreage actually planted each year went up from 52,434 acres in 1942
and 59,416 in 1943 to 77,000 acres in 1944. The planting continued at a high rate from 1946-48
with 169, 815 acres being planted in those three years, which was equivalent to three acres for
every poll taxpayer (Annual Report 1948). Although it is probable that the area by the Albert
Nile lowlands had more than the average for the district, cassava by the mid-1940s had been
spread effectively throughout the district, except only the highest parts of the extreme south and
northwest. The establishment of cassava in Lugbara was not solely the product of efforts of the
1943 famine as suggested by Middleton, since an earlier phase of encouragement had taken
place in the early 1930s and the beginning of the spread can be traced back to the late 1920s.
Nevertheless by the middle 1940s most of the West Nile had become an area in which cassava
and sweet potatoes had displaced millet (eleusine, wimbi, bulo) as the staple foodstuff.
CASSAVA IN UGANDA 1860-1920
1. Langlands, B. W. Maize in Uganda, Uganda J., 29 1965, pp. 215-221; and The Banana
in Uganda, 1860-1920, UgandaJ., 30, 1966, pp. 39-62.
2. Jones, W. 0., Manioc in Africa, Stanford, California, Stanford U.P., 1959, p. 80.
Although Jones uses the word manioc, cassava is more commonly used in East Africa,
hence unless the word appears in a quotation, cassava has been used in this paper. The
usage in travellers' reports varies between these two words. Also the Swahili word muhogo
is used even in Uganda, and is used very largely in the analysis presented here on the
West Nile district.
3. Ibid. p. 83.
4. Ibid. p. 84.
5. Ibid. p. 84. For this reference Jones gives p. 586 of the New York edition of J. H.
Speke's Journal of the discovery of the source of the Nile, 1864. The present writer is unable
to trace this particular reference but see below, note 6.
6. Grant, J. A. in Speke, J. H. Journal of the discovery of the source of the Nile, 1863,
Appendix G., p. 647.
7. Nye, G. W. and Jameson, J. D. in J. D. Tothill (Editor) Agriculture in Uganda, 1940,
p. 134-45. See Jones, op. cit., pp. 84 and 226.
8. Stanley, H. M. Through the dark continent, Vol. 1, 1878, pp. 207 (south Lake Victoria),
383 and 402. The quotation from p. 383 has been given in full in Uganda J., 30, 1966,
9. Ibid. p. 402. Stanley had mentioned the presence of coffee in addition to this list on the
10. Nye, G. W. and Jameson, J. D. op. cit., p. 135.
11. McMaster, D. N., A subsistence crop geography of Uganda, Bude, 1962, p. 67.
12. Jones, W. 0., ip. cit., p. 228.
13. Wilson, C. T. in Wilson C. T. and Felkin R. W. Uganda and the Egyptian Sudan, Vol. 1,
1882, p. 159. The reference to cassava is given in full in Uganda J., 29, 1965, p. 217.
This list of crops grown by the Arabs was repeated in an address which Wilson gave to the
Royal Geographical Society, "wheat and rice both of good quality are grown by the
settlers from Zanzibar, while the papai, pomegranates and guavas have been introduced
by the Arabs and bear abundantly". C. T. Wilson, Uganda and the Victoria Lake,
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, 2, 1880, p. 354.
14. Wilson, C. T., ibid. 1882, p. 107.
15. Schweinfurth, G., (Editor) Emin Pasha in Central Africa, 1888, p. 34. The quotation is
given in full in Uganda J., 29, 1965, p. 217.
16. Lugard, F. D., The rise of our East African empire, Vol. 11, 1893, p. 132.
17. Decle, L., Three years in savage Africa, 1898, p. 450. See Uganda J., 29, 1965, p. 217.
18. Moffat R. V. Private correspondence. Makerere University College, Manuscript
Collection, Letter no. 62, January, 1894.
19. Ansorge, W. J., Under the African sun, 1899, p. 95.
20. Schweinfurth, G., op. cit., p. 75. For a partial list of crops grown in Bunyoro as
reported by Emin Pasha see Uganda J., 30, 1966, p. 52.
21. Schweinfurth, G., Ibid, p. 80.
22. Casati, G., Ten years in Equatoria, Vol. II, 1891, pp. 38-39, quoted in Uganda J., 30,
1965, p. 218.
23. Cunningham, F. J. Uganda and its peoples, 1905, p. 28, as quoted in Uganda J., 30, p. 53.
24. Stanley, H. M., In darkest Africa, Vol. II, 1890, p. 352.
25. Casati, G., op. cit., p. 272.
26. Delm6-Radcliffe, C. Surveys and studies in Uganda, Geographical J. 26, 1905, p. 626,
quoted in full in Uganda J., 29, 1965, p. 218.
27. Cunningham, F. J. op. cit., p. 110. In point of fact Cunningham included cassava in a list
of crops in Busoga on p. 110, but omitted it from a similar list on p. 120.
28. Schweinfurth, G. op. cit., p. 376. By 'Uganda', Emin would have meant 'Buganda'.
29. Stigand, C. H., Equatoria, the Lado enclave, 1923, p. 31. Makaraka is included in Azande.
30. Du Bourg de Bozas, Vicomte R. D'Addis Abbaba au Nil par le lac Rodolphe, La
Geographie, Paris, 7, 1903, p. 103. This reference to maize and bananas in north Acholi is
also relevant to the earlier examination on these crops in previous numbers of the
Uganda Journal. I am grateful to Mr. H. B. Thomas for drawing my attention to this
little-known traveller. The main book of du Bourg de Bozas, Mission scientifique du
Bourg de Bozas de la Mer Rouge a l'Atlantique a travers l'Afrique tropical (Oct. 1900-
Mai 1903), Paris, 1906, is not available in Uganda.
31. Johnston, H. H., The Uganda Protectorate, Vol, II, 1902. In this connection it is worth
noting that many of these descriptions included references to the cultivation of maize,
218 UGANDA JOURNAL
which were omitted in the Uganda Journal note on maize, 29, 1965, since they were not
referred to in the index to Johnston's book. In the lists of crops grown by the Konjo
(p. 575), Nyoro (p. 586), Iru (p. 607) and Ganda (p. 671) maize was included,
32. Driberg, J. H., The Lango, 1923.
33. Edel, M. M., The Chiga of western Uganda, 1957.
34. Taylor, B. K., The western lacustrine Bantu, 1962, see for Toro, p. 58, Amba, p. 83,
Konjo, p. 93 and Ankole p. 104.
35. Middleton, J., The Lugbara of Uganda, 1965, p. 7.
36. Lawrance, J. C. D., The Iteso, 1957. Lawrance for instance states that cassava was not
amongst the crops that the Iteso brought with them on their migration to their present
37. Tarantino, A., Notes on the Lango, Uganda J., 13, 1949, p. 149. Referred to in Jones,
and quoted in full in Uganda J., 30, 1966, pp. 55-56.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2, (1966) 219-223.
AN HISTORICAL NOTE ON NILE TRANSPORT
By J. W. KING
A significant development in the history of Uganda was the introduction of
water, rail, and road transport services centred on the navigable stretches of the
Nile and Lakes Kioga and Albert. In operation between Jinja and Nimule, these
services became an interconnected system which hastened the social and
economic growth of central and northern Uganda.
Prior to 1900, there was relatively little traffic in the area of the Nile and its
lakes' in Uganda. The use of canoes on water and human porterage over land
satisfied most trading needs. In 1876, Egyptian desires for territorial expansion
led to the introduction of the first non-African vessels. These were launched on
the Albert Nile at Dufile (slightly upstream from Nimule) by Colonel C. G.
Gordon, who was in the service of the Khedive. One of Gordon's vessels was a
steel sailing ship, the Dufile, and the other was a 38-ton steamer, the Nyanza.
An Italian assistant to Gordon, Romolo Gessi, sailed the Dufile on the first
European circumnavigation of Lake Albert in April, 1876. Three months later,
Gordon took the steamer Nyanza for her maiden voyage up the Albert Nile and
on to the mouth of the Victoria Nile at Magungu.
Gordon's successor, Emin Pasha, attempted to assert Egypt's control of the
Lake Albert portion of Equatoria by having a large steamer, the Khedive,
carried overland by 4,800 porters2 from Gondokoro to Dufile. The Khedive
had a length of 85 feet, a weight of 108 tons, and a 20 horse-power engine.
Emin launched the Khedive in March, 1879, at Dufile, and later a second steel
sailing ship, the Magungo, was added to the fleet. Still another vessel, the
Advance, was introduced on Lake Albert by H. M. Stanley in 1888. A simple steel
boat, the Advance was abandoned by Stanley when he marched with Emin to
Bagamoyo. All five of these early vessels were lost or destroyed by the year 1891
as a result of anarchy in Equatoria.3
In 1894, a steel rowing boat, the James Martin, was carried from Kampala to
Kibero on Lake Albert, ostensibly to assist in the British campaign against
King Kabarega of Bunyoro. It was followed by a steamer, the ten-passenger
Kenia,4 which had been launched on Lake Victoria in 1896. Only thirty-six feet
in length, the Kenia was dismantled and carried in pieces to Lake Albert in 1898.
Sailed to Dufile, it was dismantled again and put into service at Rejaf on the
Bahr el Jebel for the purpose of steaming north to help forestall French claims
to the southern Sudan. However, Dervish strength in the Sudan prevented the
Kenia from proceeding downstream and it was returned to the Albert Nile in
1900. The Kenia served administrative and cargo needs in the Lake Albert flotilla
Much less was known about Lake Kioga than Lake Albert in 1900. Macdon-
ald's canoe expedition in 1898 had yielded some information, and in 1901
Sir Harry Johnston advocated that "a steam launch.... be placed on the Nile
at Kakoge."6 Johnston's successor, Sir Hesketh Bell, transferred a fifty-five
220 UGANDA JOURNAL
foot steamer from Lake Victoria to Kakoge in 1906. This was the Victoria and
its exploratory success, coupled with the economic potential of the Lake Kioga
borderlands, led Bell to order a much larger steamer, the Speke. The Speke,
launched in 1910, was a wood-burning, paddle-wheel steamer with a horsepower
rating of 175 and cargo capacity of fifty tons. It was joined on Lake Kioga
in 1912 by the Grant, a vessel of similar size. In 1913, a more powerful
sternwheeler was added to the growing flotilla; this was the Stanley. The
Stanley had a cargo capacity of 100 tons and was able to push several lighters
with a combined maximum cargo approximating 1,500 tons. In 1917, the Grant
sank but was replaced by a second Grant in 1925. This vessel was the most
powerful on Lake Kioga. Its length was 134 feet and it had a horsepower of 350.
It could easily propel 1,500 tons of cargo in lighters at a speed of seven knots.
All three boats, the Speke, Stanley, and Grant, were converted to diesel engines
in the late 1930's and continued to operate until the closure of Lake Kioga
services in 1962.
Along with the development of water transport on Lake Kioga came the
sixty-one mile Busoga Railway, which was opened in 1912. The Railway was,
for several years, the main link from the system on the Nile and its lakes to the
port of Jinja on Lake Victoria, from whence goods were dispatched to, and re-
ceived from, the railhead at Kisumu. In 1928, the system diverted its traffic from
the port of Jinja when a branch of the railway from Mombasa reached the
junction point of Mbulamuti on the Busoga Railway. This provided Namasagali,
the head of navigation on Lake Kioga, with a direct rail connection of 777
miles to the East African coast.
Sir Hesketh Bell was also concerned about surface transport between Lake
Albert and Lake Victoria. In 1906, he advanced proposals which would close the
transport gap between Mombasa and Cairo and also serve Lake Albert. One
of Bell's scheme (Fig. IA) was to build a railway from Lake Victoria to the south-
ern end of Lake Albert. From this point the steamer Kenia would embark
traffic for a 250-mile voyage to Nimule. At Nimule, a second railway was to
have been laid around the rapids of the Bahr el Jebel to Rejaf,
Bell's other plans was to build three stretches of railway (Fig. IB) and to
introduce vessels on Lake Kioga and the Victoria Nile. As noted above, Bell
achieved two parts of the latter plan: the Busoga Railway and the Lake Kioga
flotilla. However, no other railways were ever built as he proposed, and instead
road transport was developed. In 1908, construction of a road was begun from
Masindi Port to Masindi Town, reaching the latter in 1911. Two years later,
the road was 66 miles in length, having been extended to the top of the rift
escarpment above the port of Butiaba, which lay nine miles further on. For a
few years, goods were carried by porters and pushed in carts before the road was
completed down the escarpment in 1919. As early as 1912, a single motor van
operated along the route, and in 1914, two vans transported 556 tons of cargo.7
On Lake Albert, increasing trade and government work required a vessel
larger than the Kenia, which could tow only fifteen tons. To meet these needs,
another vessel, the Samuel Baker was ordered and assembled at Butiaba in
1909 and 1910. The Samuel Baker was 124 feet in length, could tow 200 tons
in lighters, and had its own cargo capacity of fifty tons, It was the "workhorse"
of the Lake Albert flotilla, particularly after the sinking of the Kenia in 1922.
Five years later, the Lugard was launched at Butiaba. The Lugard, with a shallow
draft of only two feet three inches, was designed for operation on the Albert
Nile from Pakwach to Nimule. Its horsepower of 250 enabled it to push about
s A B
Victor/ 'Nile l*ctorio We
100 TO 0 100
t **..KISUMU LI TO KISUMU
_ **. ,Miles
Lake Wctoria Lake Victor/a
NILE TRANSPORT PROPOSALS OF BELL, 1906
222 UGANDA JOURNAL
1,000 tons of cargo in lighters. Pakwach became a transfer point for lighters
between the Samuel Baker, operating on the lake, and the Lugard, on the Nile.
By the late 1920's, the Samuel Baker was too small a vessel to cope with
the volume of traffic routed from Butiaba to Kasenyi and destined for the
Kilo-Moto gold fields in the Congo. A successor was launched in 1930: the
twin-screw Robert Coryndon. The Robert Coryndon, with a horsepower rating
of 800 was easily the largest and most powerful vessel on either Lake Albert or
Kioga. It resembled a "small ocean-liner," for it was built with a sharp bow and
deep draft to weather the rough seas that often occur on the open lake, The
Robert Coryndon had a speed of twelve knots, could accommodate over 500
passengers, and besides its own cargo capacity of 225 tons was able to pull a
string of lighters.
The last major vessel to join a flotilla on either lake was the side-paddle-
steamer Lugard II, which replaced the earlier Lugard in the Albert Nile service
in 1948. The Lugard II had a horsepower of 350 and could push several fully
In addition to the above-mentioned steamers, each lake service in 1960
had numerous other assets operated by the East African Railways and Harbours.
There were twenty-six lighters in the Lake Kioga flotilla plus the facilities of
nine major ports. Namasagali served as lake headquarters and had extensive
repair and maintenance facilities. The Lake Albert flotilla consisted of the Robert
Coryndon, Lugard II, four motor launches, and eleven lighters, which served
over twelve ports, of which Butiaba was the most important. The link between
the two lakes, the Masindi Road Service, listed as assets in 1960 twelve lorries,
twelve trailers, eight buses, three automobiles, plus large workshops at
Masindi Town and the 44-bed Masindi Hotel. Altogether, the replacement value8
of the assets of the two flotillas and the road service around 1960 was estimated
at 2,370,513, while employees of the system numbered 1,200.
Each lake had watercraft which were not under the management of the
EAR&H. On Lake Kioga in 1960, thirty-five powered vessels, mainly ferries,
were concerned with local traffic besides two to four thousand fishing vessels.
Lake Albert and the Albert Nile had numerous fishing boats, a few motor boats,
ferries on the Nile, and tourist vessels in the Murchison Falls Park.
The transport system described above had an important impact on the econ-
omic development of Uganda. One yardstick is the acreage planted to cotton
in the districts of Bunyoro, Teso, Lango, Acholi, and West Nile served mainly
by these routes. Acreage increased from zero in 1900 to approximately 700,000
in 1962. Although cotton lint and seed was the major cash product in the area
during this period, the system brought about economic growth in many other
ways and assisted in the social and political integration of Uganda.
Closure of the system occurred in 1962 and was due primarily to four major
factors: (1) the lake floods of 1962-4, (2) the aging nature of the vessels, (3)
competition for cargo and passengers from privately operated road services, and
(4) the construction of the northern branch of the railway from Soroti to Pa-
kwach, which traversed much of the area previously served by water transport.
Because of the relatively small distances that are navigable on the Nile in
Uganda and on Lakes Kioga and Albert, it seems unlikely, that water transport
will ever again play as significant a role in Uganda's development as it did
between the early 1900's and 1962.
POLITICAL CHANGE IN BUSOGA
1. Discussion of Lake Victoria is omitted here. See The trade of Lake Victoria by V. C. R.
Ford, Kampala, East African Institute of Social Research, No. 3, 1955.
2. The figure of 4,800 is based upon a letter written by Emin. See J. M. Gray, Acholi history,
1860-1901-III, Uganda J. 16, 1962, p. 143.
3. The hulk of the Nyanza lies near Rhino Camp and that of the Khedive may be seen near the
coast about fifteen miles north of Kasenyi. See H. B. Thomas, A relic of S. S. Khedive,
Uganda J. 14, 1950, p. 104.
4. Also known as Kenia No. 2. and as the Nellie.
5. Entebbe Secretariat Archives, S. M. P. 6737.
6. Great Britain, Report by His Majesty's Special Commissioner on the Protectorate of Uganda,
(Cd. 671.), (HMSO, July, 1901), p. 19. Kakoge was a few miles upstream from Namasagali.
7. Annual Report of the Transport Department, 1914-15, Entebbe Secretariat Archives,
S. M. P. 862.
8. The "replacement value" was approximately three to four times as great as the actual
POLITICAL CHANGE IN BUSOGA
By P. RIGBY
Professor Fallers' study of politics in Busoga, Bantu Bureaucracy (1956),
has recently been re-printed by the University of Chicago Press.1 The author
does not tell us in the preface to this edition whether any changes, major or
minor, have been made. But apart from the short new preface, a change in
sub-title, and a minute reduction in format, the present volume is a straight-
forward re-print of the 1956 edition. A review of Bantu Bureaucracy has already
appeared in the Uganda Journal;but owing to the egregious inadequacy of that
review,2 it is worth taking advantage of the appearance of this edition to say
something more about this major study of a Ugandan society.
Fallers' analysis of structure and processes of change in the political system
of Busoga had a considerable impact in 1956, and it was well received by sociolo-
gists and political scientists. Dr. Mair, for example, while being critical on several
points, stated frankly that "This is by far the best book that has come from the
East African Institute.... "3. Since then it has become a standard work on a
most interesting example of the the kingdoms of the 'interlacustrine' area of
East Africa. This re-print is therefore very welcome, making the book once again
more widely available especially as there is also a paperback version.
I do not propose to review Professor Fallers' book here, but to make a brief
assessment of its impact upon our knowledge of African Kingdoms and the
theoretical points and controversies it has helped to raise. To do this fully would
required considerably more space than that available; but a few of the more
central questions may be discussed in outline.
The author approaches his material through a fairly elaborate theoretical
framework, derived from Weber, Parsons, Levy, and Merton. This framework
is consistently employed throughout the whole analysis, giving it an overall unity
in spite of its complexity. But it also gives rise to one of the most frequently
expressed criticisms of the book; that it lacks ethnographic 'body'. It is Fallers
speaking to us about the dilemmas of Soga politics, not the Basoga themselves.
This criticism impinges upon one of Professor Fallers main theoretical postulates
derived from Fortes4 that the organization of people into political groups based
upon unilineal descent is incompatible with a strong state organization
224 UGANDA JOURNAL
(p. 227 et passim). This arises out of the conflicting principles of recruitment
and status allocation in lineage groups and in the state, based in traditional
Busoga upon a chain of'patron client' relationships; despite the fact that in
both authority relations are personal ('particularistic') rather than impersonal
('universalistic'). The incompatibility creates conflict, seen as 'strain' in inter-
personal and 'intrapersonal' situations (i.e. role conflict), and 'instability' in
the institutional sphere.
It has been asked whether these incompatibilities are mainly 'logical',
derived from Fallers' structural/functional approach, rather than empirical
and seen as such by Basoga themselves.5 More evidence of what the Basoga
themselves think and do about this would have strengthened Fallers' otherwise
stimulating argument. However, the postulate itself has stimulated comment,
criticism, and further research of considerable proportions. It certainly helped
Professor Fallers himself, and his collaborators6 in disentangling the com-
plexities of structure and historical change in the neighboring kingdom of
Among the many other excellent insights in Fallers' study of Busoga,
perhaps the most actively taken up for comparative purposes was his hypothesis
on the bureaucratizationn' of African polities. Pursuing the classical taxonomic
distinction made by Fortes and Evans-Pritchard7 between 'centralized states'
and 'non-centralized', 'stateless', acephalouss' societies, Fallers advances the
hypothesis that the former 'type' of society absorbs bureaucratic norms and
institutions more easily (and presumably also more quickly) than the latter.
The traditional Busoga polities would be classified among the 'states' (pp. 238-
242 et passim.
This kind of hypothesis is always interesting, for it offers one type of view-
point from which an approach may be made to contemporary problems of
political change, first under the impact of colonial administrations and now
under independent African governments. Fallers' hypothesis was taken up and
contrary evidence adduced from studies of political change in polities in Zambia
and elsewhere.8 A noticeable quantity of new insights and ideas for further
research came out of this controversy. Perhaps the most important result of
both hypothesis and antithesis was that others have been led to point out some
fundamental weaknesses, both theoretical and empirical, in this approach. This
opened the way for re-assessment and other theories.
One of the theoretical weaknesses was in the typological categories upon
which the comparative bureaucratizationn' theory was based, They have been
shown to be inadequate, and even to obsucre some central issues.9 Also in-
adequate was the use of such 'functional' concepts as 'ease' (or 'rate') of inte-
gration and absorption of new values and institutions, which cannot be measured.
On the empirical level the hypothesis and its subsequent re-formulations-
demanded many assumptions. 'Internal' factors such as wars, famines, and epide-
mics were not taken into account as affecting the 'ease' of acceptance. Nor were
differences in the motivations and practices of the colonial administrations
considered, in the comparative evidence presented. Uganda was certainly a
special case in many ways, when compared with other African colonies, Fallers
was working with the Weberian 'ideal type' of bureaucracy in his model of the
impact of external administration on Busoga; Apthorpe considered the pro-
blem10 and characterized as bureaucratic the aim "......to foster local
administration at the expense of local politics""'1. This was much narrower
than, and very different from, Fallers' concept (cf.p.18).
POLITICAL CHANGE IN BUSOGA 225
Many writers have attempted to come to grips with all these theoretical and
empirical difficulties. None would have been able to do so if they had ignored
Fallers' book. The study of 'traditional' political systems and social change has
now attracted political scientists and is no longer confined to social anthropo-
logists, as Fallers points out in his 1965 preface (p.v). With the independence
of most East, West, and Central African countries, the kinds of pressures upon
traditional polities also changed. The value of Professor Fallers' analysis re-
mains, even if he does point out (p.vi):
". A study of present-day Busoga would not only concern itself as this
one does, with the politics of administration, for bureaucracy has not, of
course, disappeared with independence, but it would also necessarily be
much more concerned with the interplay between bureaucracy and popular
1. Fallers, L. A., Bantu bureaucracy: a century of political evolution among the Basoga of
Uganda, 2nd edition, with preface, Chicago, University Press, 1965, xix+283 p. First
published 1956 for East African Institute of Social Research, Heffer, Cambridge.
2. Cox, T. F. R., Uganda J., 22, 1958, pp. 88-89. If this criticism appears unjust, I quote a
passage. Talking of the traditional Soga society, the reviewer states (in criticism of
Fallers) "in fact, as is clear from past records including dispatches to the Foreign Office,
the Basoga of those days were primitive, lazy and apathetic, harried by Baganda raiders,
and their only positive characteristic which struck those who came into contact with them
was their skill at thieving from caravans which passed through their country." (p. 88).
3. Mair, L., Review of Bantu bureaucracy, in Africa, 27, 1957, pp. 197-198.
4. Fortes, M., The structure of unilineal descent groups, American Anthropologist, 55,
1953, pp. 17-41.
5. Mair, L., op.cit., p. 198 and Bennett, J. W., Review of Bantu bureaucracy, American
Anthropologist, 29, 1957, p.1105.
6. Fallers, L. A., (Ed.) The king's men, London, Oxford University Press for East African
Institute of Social Research, 1964, chapters 2-4.
7. Fortes, M., and Evans-Pritchard, E. E., (Eds.) African political systems, London,
Oxford University Press, 1940.
8. Apthorpe, R. J., (ed.) From tribal rule to modern government, Proceedings of the 13th
conference of the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute, Lusaka, 1959, (Roneoed); The intro-
duction of Bureaucracy into African politics, J. of African Administration, 12, 1960,
pp. 125-134; and Political change, centralization and role differentiation, Civilisations,
10, 1960, pp. 217-223.
9. Middleton, J. and Tait, D., (Eds.) Tribes without rulers, London, Routledge and Kegan
Paul, 1958; Smith, M. G., On segmentary lineage systems, J. Royal Anthropological
Institute, 86, 1956, pp. 39-80; Easton, D., Political anthropology, in Biennial Review of
Anthropology, edited by B. J. Siegal, Stanford, University Press, 1959; Le Vine, R.,
The internalization of political values in stateless societies, Human Organization, 19,
1960, pp. 51-58; Lloyd, P. C., The political structure of African kingdoms, in Political
systems and the distribution of power, edited by M. Banton, London, Tavistock, 1965;
Beattie, J., Other cultures, London, Cohen and West, 1964; Southall, A. W., Alur society,
Cambridge, Heffer, 1956 and A critique of the typology of states and political systems,
in Political systems and the distribution ofpower, edited by M. Banton, London, Tavistock
10. Apthorpe, R. J., 1960, op.cit, J. of African Administration, p. 132 and Civilisations
11. Apthorpe, R. J., 1960, op.cit, J. of African Administration, p. 131.
An appeal from the Conservator of Antiquities, Tanzania- H. SASSOON
The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is hoping to establish
a small museum at Bweranyange, the former capital of the Kings of Karagwe,
which is some 20 miles southwest of Bugene in West Lake Region. Bweranyange
was visited by Speke in 1861 and by Stanley in 1875, and both writers have left
descriptions of the impressive collection of spears, drums and other objects which
they saw at Rumanyika's court. More recently, R. de Z. Hall published an
account of the relics in the 1938 volume of Tanganyika Notes and Records.
A comparison of these three accounts with the collection as it now exists
shows that a very large number of objects have vanished over the years. It is
believed that some of the missing items may have found their way into museums
or private collections. If any of your readers know the whereabouts of objects
which may have come from the Bweranyange collection, I would very much
appreciate it if they would write to me: The Conservator of Antiquites, Ministry
of National Culture and Youth: Antiquities Division, P.O. Box 2280, Dar es-
Archaeology on the Sese Islands
Mr. A. S. Thomas, a former Agricultural Officer, and authority on the vege-
tation of the Sese Islands has written to draw attention to an obvious error in the
note on archaeology on the Sese Islands Uganda J., 30, 1966. The statement at
the bottom of page 83 that rim sherds were found 5 miles north of Kalagala,
should read "about 5 miles west of Kalagala." Mr. Thomas also points out
that the comment upon the vegetation of the Sese Islands which appeared on
page 81 is open to question. "The soils on the ridges of the islands are often thin
over ironstone and yet are covered with farms and forests, the soils of grasslands
on the slopes are usually very deep but are not forested. It is soil poverty and not
depth of soil which prevented the forest from growing." In substantiation of this
statement he refers to his article, The vegetation of the Sese Islands, an illustra-
tion of edaphic factors in tropical ecology, J. of Ecology, 29, 1941, pp. 330-353.
The Uganda Society records with regret the deaths of two of its distinguished
Past Presidents, Mr. J. D. Jameson, O.B.E. and Mr. E. J. Wayland, c.B.E. The
Uganda Journal Volume 31 no.1, 1967, will publish obituaries to these two ser-
vants of the society. The contribution of Mr. E. J. Wayland, an Honorary
Vice-President, to the promotion of scientific knowledge of Uganda has been
of a very high order and the first part of the next number of the journal will be
devoted to an assessment and appreciation of his work.
Uganda Journal, 30, 2, (1966) 227-228
A FURTHER NOTE ON THE EDUCATION OF AFRICAN MUSLIMS
By J. SYKES
There are certain matters in Felice Carter's article in the Uganda J. 29,
1965, which invite further comment.
The general picture of the apathy and lack of self-help displayed by African
Muslims in Uganda in the first half of the twentieth century is only too true, but
numerous statements in the article require correction or modification.
There is, first, the history of the Teacher Training Centre at Kasawo about
which the writer seems greatly confused, and especially in the statements on
p. 197 that its "standard was raised to train for the full Primary Course in 1939";
and that it "was taken over by the Government in 1944".
The correct history of the Centre, which can be traced in the Annual Reports
of the Education Department, is as follows:-
1. It was started in January 1935 as a Grade C Training Centre under Mr.
Ahmad Sekanyo "to provide Mohammedan Teachers for Mohammedan
Schools", and, as is stated on p. 197, it was financed by the Buganda Native
Government. (Report 1935, para. 162). It occupied the house of the headmaster
of the former Government Model School.
2. The first course was completed in December 1936, and a new course
begun in 1937. (Report 1936, para. 142).
3. This second course was completed in 1938, and it was decided that in
1939 the Centre would become a Government Training School for Mohammedan
Teachers, no longer restricted to Baganda, but to include candidates from the
other Provinces. (Report 1938, para. 128).
4. During 1938 the standards of Teacher Training were raised, and a new
nomenclature introduced, the rudimentary Grade C course being superseded
by the more professional Vernacular Teacher Training Course. (Report 1938,
para. 124). Accordingly in Table D of Appendix XIV of the 1938 Report (p. 92)
Kasawo is listed among the "Normal Schools for Vernacular and Grade C
5. In the 1939 Report (para. 62) it is mentioned as a Government Vernacular
Teacher Training Centre for Mohammedan Teachers and in Appendix I (p. 17)
the annual cost to Government per student is shown as 291sh. 79cts.
6. From 1939 to 1950 it carried on as a Government Vernacular Teacher
Training Centre, but at no great expense. The cost to Government in 1944 was
322. (Report 1944, para. 42).
7. In 1950 it was reorganised under a European Officer (Mr. T. Gleave),
who was for a time resident, to train both Primary and Vernacular Teachers.
(Report 1950, p. 11).
8. In 1951 its cost to Government was 478. (Report 1951, para. 103).
This would be exclusive of personal emoluments.
9. In 1953, the year from which acceptance of new students for training as
Vernacular Teachers came to an end, it was still performing the same functions