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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Bakooki in Buganda: identity and assimilation on the peripheries of a Ugandan kingdom
Author:Stonehouse, Aidan
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:ethnic identity
social integration
centre and periphery
Buganda polity
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17531055.2012.696904
Abstract:The traditional conception of the Ugandan Kingdom of Buganda as a highly centralized entity has often masked the histories of peripheral communities within the polity. Moreover, where the politics, culture and identity of Buganda's peripheries has been considered, it has tended to be analysed through the sole example of the Kingdom of Bunyoro's 'Lost Counties'. This article seeks to redress this lacuna in Buganda historiography through a discussion of identity alteration in the southwestern Buganda county of Kooki. It argues that Kooki was politically and culturally distinct from Buganda before its incorporation within the kingdom in 1896 and, consequently, that the assimilation of an indigenous population into Ganda cultural norms within the colonial period represents ethnic change. Furthermore, it posits that the processes of identity alteration by which 'Bakooki' became 'Baganda' differed from those which have been documented within the 'Lost Counties'. In the latter, forced ethnic assimilation was apparent through the suppression of Nyoro customs, names, and language. In Kooki, by contrast, the imposition of ethnic hegemony was undermined by a centre-periphery relationship in which the status and importance of the Kooki territory declined post-1900. This lack of a central Ganda concern for assimilation resulted in a momentum for identity change originating from within the peripheral community itself. The article further explores how these different historical processes of ethnic association may offer insights into the contrast between the vociferously Ganda populations of Kooki and the continued irredentism of certain communities of the former 'Lost Counties' in the present day. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]