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Kingship and state [electronic resource] : the Buganda dynasty /
Christopher Wrigley.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
description
xv, 293 p. : map ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521473705 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.
isbn
0521473705 (hbk.)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8365825
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 275-287) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-12-01:
Wrigley's splendid book reopens familiar debates on the nature of oral traditions and their use as historical sources. Wrigley reinterprets early Buganda history, but he also provides alternative understandings by explaining these traditions at many levels simultaneously. Rather than seeing these narratives as historical tales whose actors became portrayed as "gods," Wrigley argues that they are very old genesis myths onto which were grafted political observations: they are both historical and mythical in complex interaction. Wrigley's most radical notion, however, is that East African ontologies are shared with western Europe: "All these cultures have a common ancestry in the neolithic context that was at least as much African as Asian." In addition to its analytic brilliance, Wrigley's study is a compendium of wonderful stories that deal with both kings and kingship, with both people and humanity. In short, this book shows why states never cease to fascinate; in addition to power, they create their own myths and in the end rely "not on an original event, but on an original fiction." Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. Newbury University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Christopher Wrigley's brilliantly original and provocative work of research and synthesis may inspire renewed attention by other scholars to major issues of precolonial lake region history at a time when archaeology is revealing much new information." John A. Rowe, International Journal of African Historical Studies
"In addition to its analytic brilliance, Wrigley's study is a compendium of wonderful stories that deal with both kings and kingship, with both people and humanity. In short, this book shows why states never cease to fascinate..." Choice
"Kingship and State is a highly readable and engrossing history; it is also an outstanding exemplar of data from different disciplines woven together. It is essential reading for those interested in African History, and it is going to remain so for a long time." Christopher Ehret, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"...[Wrigley's] book, which is provocative on almost every page, rightly challenges historians and anthropologists to move beyond mundane temporal issues to consider how Africans dealt with the deepest questions of moral and political philosophy." American Historical Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1996
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This wide-ranging and original study of Buganda, one of Africa's most famous kingdoms, reveals ancient traces of sacred kingship, and throws light on the development of the recent state.
Description for Bookstore
The precolonial kingdom of Buganda has long attracted scholarly interest, though historians have had to rely on oral traditions. These sources provide rich materials on Buganda in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but in this 1996 book Christopher Wrigley endeavours to show that the stories which appear to relate to earlier periods are largely mythology.
Description for Library
In a study of Africa's political and religious past, Christopher Wrigley uses local traditions and comparative mythology to explore an ancient system of myth and ritual in the precolonial kingdom of Bugunda, the nucleus of modern Uganda. The study includes critical assessment of oral traditions, and places Buganda in a wider regional context. The book is an elegant, wide-ranging and original study of one of Africa's most famous kingdoms.
Description for Library
In a study of Africa’s political and religious past, Christopher Wrigley uses local traditions and comparative mythology to explore an ancient system of myth and ritual in the precolonial kingdom of Bugunda, the nucleus of modern Uganda. The study includes critical assessment of oral traditions, and places Buganda in a wider regional context. The book is an elegant, wide-ranging and original study of one of Africa’s most famous kingdoms.
Main Description
In a study of Africa's political and religious past, Christopher Wrigley uses local traditions and comparative mythology to explore an ancient system of myth and ritual in the precolonial kingdom of Buganda, the nucleus of modern Uganda. The study includes critical assessment of oral traditions and places Buganda in a wider regional context. The book is an elegant, wide-ranging and original study of one of Africa's most famous kingdoms.
Main Description
The precolonial kingdom of Buganda, nucleus of the present Uganda state, has long attracted scholarly interest. Since written records are lacking entirely until 1862, historians have had to rely on oral traditions that were recorded from the end of the nineteenth century. These sources provide rich materials on Buganda in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but in this 1996 book Christopher Wrigley endeavours to show that the stories which appear to relate to earlier periods are largely mythology. He argues that this does not reduce their value since they are of interest in their own mythical right, revealing ancient traces of sacred kingship, and also throwing oblique light on the development of the recent state. He has written an elegant and wide-ranging study of one of Africa's most famous kingdoms.
Main Description
The precolonial kingdom of Buganda, nucleus of the present Uganda state, has long attracted scholarly interest. Since written records are lacking entirely until l862, historians have had to rely on oral traditions that were recorded from the end of the nineteenth century. These sources provide rich materials on Buganda in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but Christopher Wrigley endeavours to show that the stories which appear to relate to earlier periods are largely mythology. He argues that this does not reduce their value since they are of interest in their own mythical right, revealing ancient traces of sacred kingship, and also throwing oblique light on the development of the recent state. He has written an elegant, wide-ranging and original study of one of Africa's most famous kingdoms.
Table of Contents
Preamble
The story and its making
Introduction to myth
Introduction to Buganda
The remoter past
Genesis
The cycle of the kings
Fragments of history
Foreign affairs
The making of the state
Reflections
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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