Lineage and Society in Precolonial Uganda

Stephens, Rhiannon (2009) Lineage and Society in Precolonial Uganda. Journal of African History, 50 (2). pp. 203-221. ISSN 0021-8537

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This article examines the changing nature of patrilineality in east-central Uganda from the sixth century. While traditional anthropological models of lineality have been largely dismissed in recent scholarship, the problem remains that patrilineages and patriclans have played important roles in the lives of the Ganda, Gwere, Soga and their North Nyanza ancestors. By carefully examining changes and continuities in the form and content of patrilineality it becomes possible to understand it as historically contingent. In North Nyanza, patrilineal descent was the norm for inheritance and for household formation, but relationships formed through mothers were also crucial in the creation of new communities and in the legitimation of political power. This was not static: as communities negotiated their changing circumstances, so they adapted the form of their particular patrilineality to serve their needs.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Rhiannon Stephens
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 10:03
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2013 12:14
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