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Uganda: The Lost Counties Dispute and The Evolution of Ethnic Identity Essay

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Early history-pre colonial
Uganda's strategic location along the central African Rift Valley, its condusive climate at an altitude of 1,200 meters and above, its reliable rainfall around Lake Victoria Basin made it attractive to African cultivators and herders as early as the fourth century BC. The cultivators who later cleared the forest were Bantu speaking people, whose slow but significant expansion gradually took over most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. They also reared goats, chickens, and cattle by 400 BC.Their skills on agriculture and use of iron-forging technology allowed them to clear the land and accommodate larger numbers of settlers.
As the Bantu-speaking agriculturists increased over the centuries, they formed a kind of government by clan chiefs. This kinship-arranged system was beneficial for coordinating work projects, settling internal disputes, and carrying out religious observances to clan deities. Nilotic pastoralists were mobile and ready to resort to arms in defence of their cattle or in raids to appropriate the cattle of others. But their political organization was minimal, based on kinship and decisions by kin-group elders.
From cultural contact and state formation, three types of states came up. The Hima which preserved a caste system in which the rulers and their pastoral relatives tried to maintain strict separation from the agricultural subjects, called Hutu.
The Bito state which was established in Bunyoro and for several centuries was the dominant political power in the region.
The third state to come up was Buganda, on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.
Colonial Era (1894-1920s)
Even though changes occurred during the colonial era in Uganda, certain characteristics of late-ninet...


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..., however, were already present at independence.
References;
Doyle, S.D. (2012), ‘Parish baptism registers, vital registration and fixing identities in Uganda ’, in K. Breckenridge and S. Szreter (eds.), Registration and Recognition: Documenting the Person in World History(Oxford University Press), pp.277-98.
Doyle , S.D. (2009), ‘Immigrants and indigenes: the Lost Counties dispute and the evolution of ethnic identity in colonial Buganda ’. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 3:2, pp.284-302
Doyle , S.D. (2008), ‘The child of death: personal names and parental attitudes towards mortality in Bunyoro, Western Uganda , 1900–2005’. The Journal of African History, 49 (1), pp.361-382
Doyle , S.D. (2006), 'From Kitara to the Lost Counties: Genealogy, land and legitimacy in the kingdom ofBunyoro, Western Uganda ', Social Identities, 12 (4), pp.457-470.





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