Kings and Clans: Ijwi Island and the Lake Kivu Rift, 1780-1840

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1991 - History - 371 pages
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By reconstructing the history of kings and clans in the Kivu Rift Valley (on the border of today's Rwanda and Zaire) at a time of critical social change, David Newbury enlarges our understanding of social process and the growth of state power in Africa. In the early nineteenth century, many factors contributed to the creation of new social relations  in the Lake Kivu region--ecological change, population movement, the expansion of the Rwandan state from the east, the rise of new political units to the west, and the movement of many population groups and their ritual forms through the area.  Newbury looks in particular at the role of clans in the establishment of a new kingdom on Ijwi Island in Lake Kivu.
     Drawing on detailed ethnographic observations of the social and ritual organizations of Ijwi society, an extensive  body of oral data, and evidence from written sources, Newbury shows that the clans of Ijwi were not static formations, nor did the establishment of a royal family on the island emerge from military conquest and internal social breakdown.  Instead, clan identities changed over time, and these changes actually facilitated the creation of kingship on Ijwi.  Through a detailed examination of succession struggles, of local factors influencing the outcome of such struggles, and of specific clan participation in public rituals that legitimize royalty, Newbury's study illustrates the importance of clan identities in both the creation of state power and its reproduction over time.
  

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Contents

Ijwi Island Today
21
List of Maps Figures and Tables Maps 1 Ijwi Island and neighboring areas
22
Lake Kivu Rift Valley topography
24
Ijwi Island mountain culture
25
An Overview of Kivu Culture c 1750
43
Kivu Rift societies
45
Archeological sites in the Kivu Rift area
61
The Process of Social Transformation on Ijwi Island
65
The Antecedents of Basibula Royalty
145
The states southwest of Lake Kivu
148
The Basibula domain
154
The south end of Lake Kivu
155
The Banyakabwa 104
160
The Social Alliances of the Basibula on Ijwi
166
Baloho marriage ties with Basibula
173
External Alliances and the Establishment of Royalty on Ijwi
178

Rwanda and the Rift
81
Regions of Rwanda
83
Rwanda army placement in the mideighteenth century
88
Ties across the Lake
99
Banyakabwa settlements
103
Eastern villages on Ijwi
112
Creating Ritual Status
126
Baziralo communities on Ijwi
127
The Muganuro Ceremony
200
The Kings of Rwanda 84
225
Conclusion
227
Clan Statistics on Ijwi
249
Glossary of Place Names
325
Bibliography
351
Index
367
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

David Newbury is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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