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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:King for a Day: How Ganda Chiefs Ended a Civil War in 1893
Author:Hanson, HollyISNI
Periodical:Uganda Journal (ISSN 0041-574X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
Subjects:Buganda polity
Ganda (Uganda)
civil wars
traditional rulers
traditional polities
History, Archaeology
Ganda (African people)
Conflict management
Abstract:This paper explores the end of a civil war. In 1893, rulers of the Buganda kingdom reimposed order in a time of seemingly unending violence by reallocating land in a way that incorporated the apparent sources of the violence into the conceptual map of the kingdom. The most powerful chiefs in Buganda used Frederick Lugard, Captain of the Imperial British East Africa Company, to do this for them. They made him 'king for a day', because only a king could rearrange the land of the kingdom in this fundamental way, and in the profound chaos of the time, no Ganda person was available to do it. Lugard does not appear in history texts as the puppet mouthpiece of a group of African chiefs, who temporarily ceded him power but then took it back again. Yet historical sources, including the writings of the contemporary Ganda chroniclers Apollo Kaggwa, James Miti and Batolomayo Zimbe, as well as documents of the Imperial British East Africa Company, reveal that the Ganda chiefs wielded more power, and Lugard wielded less, than the commonly accepted story. The vision of Lugard as the brash, forceful imperial entrepreneur who ended Buganda's civil war and shaped the evolving Uganda polity requires revision. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]