Van Velsen, J.. The establishment of the administration in Tongaland

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Title: The establishment of the administration in Tongaland

Published in: Historians in Tropical Africa; proceedings

Published By: Historians in Tropical Africa; proceedings Salisbury: University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1962. 177-195 p.

By line: by J. van Velsen

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

Culture: Lakeshore Tonga (FR07)

Subjects: Ethos (181); Ingroup antagonisms (578); Form and rules of government (642); External relations (648); Pressure politics (664); Political movements (668);

Abstract: This is a history of the development of British administration in Nyasaland from indirect rule to a district administrative system. Van Velsen shows how this was a two-way process. Indirect rule failed because the Tonga were never a chiefdom that the British could influence from the top down. Rather Tonga chiefs or leaders were ‘primus inter pares,’ with limited powers. Tonga chiefs challenged the original system of paramount chiefs and the British acquiesced by forming a chief council. The council grew in size and power, gaining control of the courts. The Tonga believed the new system very effective, however, the British thought otherwise and disbanded it in 1948, replacing it with a district administration system of appointed chiefs.

Document Number: 4

Document ID: fr07-004

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 195)

Field Date: 1951-1956

Evaluation: Ethnographer-4,5

Analyst: Ian Skoggard; 1999

Coverage Date: 1881-1955

Coverage Place: Nkhata Bay District, Northern Province, Malawi

LCSH: Ethnology--Malawi

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