Mair, Lucy Philip, 1901-. An African people in the twentieth century

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I The Problem Of Native Policy

The Sociological Problem

European Contact—religious



The Problem Of Adjustment

Chapter Ii Buganda And Its People

Geographical Situation And Extent Of Contact

The Baganda Village

The People—appearance And Dress

Routine Of Village Life


Three Different Villages

Chapter Iii An Ordinary Life

I. Birth And Childhood

Social Groupings—

(a) The Individual Family

(b) The Household

(c) The Clan

Individual Life—

(a) Pregnancy

(b) Birth

(c) The Birth Of Twins

(d) Infancy

(e) Naming

(f) Guardianship Of Children

(g) Education

(h) Blood-brotherhood

(i) Adolescence

Chapter Iv An Ordinary Life

2. Marriage

Rules Of Exogamy


The Bride-price

Preparations For The Marriage

The Marriage Ceremonial

Modern Marriages

Marriage As Linking Two Families

Organization Of The Household

Matrimonial Dissensions


Divorce And Bride-price In Modern Conditions

Polygamy And Christianity

Chapter V Economic Organization

Inventory Of Objects Produced

The Calendar Of Work

Processes Of Production

(a) Agriculture

(b) Barkcloth-making

(c) Housebuilding

(d) Hunting

(e) Economic Magic

Division Of Labour

Co-operative Activities




Gifts And Services

(a) Services To Chiefs

(b) Customary Gifts

Accumulation Of Wealth And Credit


Modern Conditions

Chapter Vi Land Tenure

Rights And Duties Of Peasants

Authority Of Chiefs

Clan Lands

Changes Under European Influence

Chapter Vii Political Organization

The Political Hierarchy

The Kingship

Chiefs And Their Subjects

Judicial Functions

Organization Of Tribal Activities—warfare


Public Works

(a) Building

(b) Roads

The Modern System

Chapter Viii Death And Succession

Causes Of Death

Death And Burial

The Period Of Mourning

The Conclusion Of Mourning

Rules Of Succession

The Installation Of The Heir

Status Of The Heir

Dissolution Of The Household

Chapter Ix Religion And Magic

Ancestor-spirits (mizimu)

Divinities (lubale)

Special Provinces Of Lubale

Objects Associated With Lubale


Initiation Of Prophets

Peculiar Characteristics Of Baganda Religion

The Prophet As Magician

Place Of Magic In Baganda Life


Sorcery As A Legal Redress

Other Supernatural Sanctions

Christianity In Relation To These Beliefs

Appendix Note On Contemporary Performances Of Prophets

Chapter X Conclusion

The Economic System

Economic Individualism



Native Administration

Value Of Indirect Rule

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: An African people in the twentieth century

Published By: London: Routledge & Sons, 1934. xvi, 299 p., plates: map

By line: By L. P. Mair

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1998. Computer File

Culture: Ganda (FK07)

Subjects: Acculturation and culture contact (177); (24); Real property (423); Community heads (622); Clans (614); Residence (591); General character of religion (771); Difficult and unusual births (845);

Abstract: The Ganda are a Christianized African people living on the northern and western shores of Lake Victoria. This book, a doctoral thesis at the University of London, is the result of an intensive field study. Its objective is to describe native life as European influences modified it, and to estimate the degree of success or failure with which the newly introduced elements were assimilated and the reasons for this success or failure. In this respect, British colonial policy and foreign missionary activities are subjected to careful scrutiny. In the description of native life, the author tried, as far as possible, to reconstruct elements which had been modified or overwhelmed by European contacts thereby showing more distinctly the course of acculturation. The following topics are discussed at length in this book: physical environment, life cycle, marriage and kinship institutions, economic and political organizations, religious and magical practices, and of particular interest, ceremonies attending the birth of twins and the performances of the prophets.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: fk07-001

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of London Includes bibliographical references (p. 289) and index The KIKA which had been designated as 'clan' by the author is indexed for 614 (sib)

Field Date: 1931-1932

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Robert Lee ; 1959

Coverage Date: 1931-1932

Coverage Place: Uganda

LCSH: Ganda (African people)


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