Afrique des Grands lacs
Though the genocide of 1994 catapulted Rwanda onto the international stage, English-language historical accounts of the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa—which encompasses Burundi, eastern Congo, Rwanda, western Tanzania, and Uganda—are scarce. Drawing on colonial archives, oral tradition, archeological discoveries, anthropologic and linguistic studies, and his thirty years of scholarship, Jean-Pierre Chretien offers a major synthesis of the history of the region, one still plagued by extremely violent wars. This translation brings the work of a leading French historian to an English-speaking audience for the first time.
Chretien retraces the human settlement and the formation of kingdoms around the sources of the Nile, which were "discovered" by European explorers around 1860. He describes these kingdoms' complex social and political organization and analyzes how German, British, and Belgian colonizers not only transformed and exploited the existing power structures, but also projected their own racial categories onto them. Finally, he shows how the independent states of the postcolonial era, in particular Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda, have been trapped by their colonial and precolonial legacies, especially by the racial rewriting of the latter by the former.
Today, argues Chretien, the Great Lakes of Africa is a crucial region for historical research—not only because its history is fascinating but also because the tragedies of its present are very much a function of the political manipulations of its past.
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Introduction Writing History in Africa
In Indent Human Settlement
Power and Religion
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administration Afrique agricultural ancient areas Bacwezi Bahutu banana Bantu Batutsi became Belgian Bishikwabo border British Buha Buhaya Bukoba Bunyoro Burundi Burundian Bushi Buzinza called Catholic cattle keeping central chiefs Chretien Christian clan cleavage colonial Congo Congolese court culture Cwezi David Newbury drum dynasty East Africa eastern elites ethnic European example feudal genocide German Gisaka Grands Lacs groups Hamitic Hima Hutu kabaka Kagame Kagera Karagwe Kigali king kingdoms kingship Kinyarwanda Kiziba Kyamutwara l'histoire retrouvee Lake Albert Lake Kivu Lake Tanganyika Lake Victoria Lakes region land leaders lineage linguistic major military mission missionaries monarchy mwami Mwezi Mworoha myths Ndahura nineteenth century Nkore notably Ntare origin pastoral peasants percent Peuples et rois political population princely racial regime reign ritual role royal Ruanda-Urundi Ruhinda Rwanda Rwanda and Burundi rwandaise social society sorghum southern sovereign Swahili Tanzania territory tion traditions Tutsi Uganda Vansina Vidal western White Fathers