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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Life on the Manor in Gisaka
Author:Gravel, Pierre B.
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Rwanda
social life
Abstract:This article purports to describe certain specific aspects of life on a small 'manor' in eastern Rwanda, and to show how remarkably similar they are to the same aspects of life on a baronial manor of medieval continental Europe. This is the extent of the comparison. No definition of feudalism is intended and none is included. As late as 1960, in the hinterland of Gisaka (Rwanda), community life was strangely reminiscent of what is known of life in the early continental European manor. The Rwandese manor was largely self-sufficient. The relationships of the peasant to the lord of the manor were of a privileged nature. Competition for chiefly (or lordly) favours was keen. The necessity to court the chief had caused courtship to be institutionalized. The successful courtesans, usually of the nobility, attended the chief directly and were often part of the administrative staff of the manor. The practice of commendation was usual; homage was paid with the identical gesture as in Europe, and the functional equivalent of the 'don annuel' appeared in the form of kubaka inkike ('to repair the enclosure') Bibliography.