The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 2

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 2

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 2

The Diaries of Lord Lugard - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The diary has now reached the date upon which Lugard arrived at the capital of Buganda and confronted the Kabaka and the courtiers and officers who surrounded him. In the Introduction to Volume I, in the introductory notes to chapters, and in the diary itself, there have been a number of scattered references to Buganda but the story has now reached a point at which a somewhat fuller account of the kingdom must be given.

Firstly it may be useful to remind readers of a point already noted in Vol. I, p. 25. The word 'Uganda' as it was used by Lugard and the Europeans of his day was the Swahili form of the Bantu 'Buganda'. It referred only to the kingdom which is known by the latter term today, although the ignorance of most Europeans of the political divisions that existed in the area of the Equatorial Lakes of Central Africa meant that there was considerable confusion about the area covered by this term. Lugard, however, was able to distinguish between the several tribal areas which make up the present Uganda Protectorate, and though, using the Swahili prefix, he usually called them Uganda, Usoga, Unyoro, the form which is commonly used today--Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro--is adhered to in all notes. 'Uganda' is kept for any references to the whole area covered by the modern protectorate.

The salient point about the kingdom of Buganda is that, in its centralized monarchy and in its highly organized administration, it was unique in eastern Africa. Indeed, in some of its features it was unique in Africa. Anthropologists and historians have been piecing together a record which now shows, however incompletely, both the peculiar character of this society and the reasons for this character.

First among these reasons was its favourable natural situation. The visitor to eastern Africa who comes by air will gain a vivid impression, after passing the more open, dry and less populous areas of the southern Sudan and of northern Uganda, of the brilliant green and extensive cultivation of the land that borders the great blue sheet of Lake Victoria. It is this country, lying north-west and west of the Lake, which is the present home of the Baganda. This region of forest and swamp seems to have been settled later than the areas to the west, now Ankole and Bunyoro, which, though drier and less fertile, are more easy to enter and dominate. In about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a series of migrations, as yet only very incompletely understood, took place in which originally pastoral people of Hamitic origin, generally . . .

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