Van Velsen, J.. Notes on the history of the Lakeside Tonga of Nyasaland

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Title: Notes on the history of the Lakeside Tonga of Nyasaland

Published in: African studies -- Vol. 18, no. 3

Published By: African studies -- Vol. 18, no. 3 Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1959. 105-117 p.: map

By line: by J. van Velsen

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2001. Computer File

Culture: Lakeshore Tonga (FR07)

Subjects: Traditional history (173); Historical reconstruction (174); History (175); External trade (439); Ingroup antagonisms (578); Community heads (622); External relations (648); Warfare (726);

Abstract: Van Velsen writes about Lakeside Tonga history and the difficulty in interpreting oral history, because he argues it is always highly selective in order to support current social structure and power relations. He constructs five periods: I) the ‘dim past,’ ii) the penetration of slave and ivory trading groups, iii) the Ngoni invasion, iv) the waning of Ngoni power and waxing of British power, v) period of British administration. He only discusses periods two through four in this paper. According to van Velsen the Tonga are a heterogeneous group of four separate tribes that coalesced under conditions of trade and war.

Document Number: 3

Document ID: fr07-003

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: 1951-1956

Evaluation: Ethnographer-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard ;1999

Coverage Date: 1780-1881

Coverage Place: Nkhata Bay District, Northern Province, Malawi

LCSH: Ethnology--Malawi


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