The Baganda: An Account of their Native Customs and Beliefs

Overview

Missionary and amateur anthropologist John Roscoe (1861–1932) published this account of the Baganda tribe of Buganda in 1911, to preserve a record of a sophisticated people before their cultural traditions were undermined as their territory became part of the British Protectorate of Uganda. He had spent twenty-five years in Africa, during which he interviewed the people in their own languages about their customs and religious beliefs. The Baganda is a straightforward survey of a traditionally organised way of ...

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The Baganda; an account of their native customs and beliefs

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Overview

Missionary and amateur anthropologist John Roscoe (1861–1932) published this account of the Baganda tribe of Buganda in 1911, to preserve a record of a sophisticated people before their cultural traditions were undermined as their territory became part of the British Protectorate of Uganda. He had spent twenty-five years in Africa, during which he interviewed the people in their own languages about their customs and religious beliefs. The Baganda is a straightforward survey of a traditionally organised way of life. Birth, upbringing, marriage, death and burial, clans, kings, government, warfare, and other topics are treated in careful detail. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the longest chapter is on religion, but Roscoe makes non-judgmental observations on customs which did not fit with western morality. More recent anthropological research has amplified Roscoe's findings, but has found little to correct, and this remains a standard work on a culture about to undergo a massive transformation.

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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. General survey of the country, life and customs; 2. Birth, infancy and puberty; 3. Marriage; 4. Sickness, death, and burial; 5. Relationships; 6. The clans and their tomes; 7. The king; 8. Government; 9. Religion; 10. Warfare; 11. Industries; 12. The keeping of cows and other domestic animals; 13. Agriculture and food; 14. Hunting; 15. Markets and currency; 16. Wells; 17. Folklore; Anthropometric tables; Explanatory notes to plans; Index.

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