In this second edition of the origins of the Acholi of Uganda, Ronald R. Atikinson argues that although colonial rule and its aftermath have played a major role in shaping the particular manifestations of ethnicity in Africa, many socio-historical developments crucial to current expressions of ethnicity can be traced to a past long before the colonial period.
Atkinson develops his argument for exhaustive examination of the origins of the collective identity of the Acholi of present-day northern Uganda. His study makes clear that by the time of European conquest the essential foundations and the crucial parameters for the evolution of Acholi society and ethic consciousness had been long established.
In presenting his argument for extending the existing scholarship on ethnicity in Africa beyond its twenti
eeth century focus, Atkinson provides what is perhaps the most detailed reconstruction and analysis yet available of the origins and evolution of an African socio-political order.
Beyond its contributions to the study of African history, Origins of the Acholi provides a convincing argument for use of oral sources in the reconstruction and interpretation of the African past. In this edition, the author has included a new chapter (Afterwards: A Perspective on the last Thirty years) in which he makes a case for the continuing relevance of the historical events and socio-cultural dynamics that are at the core of this book. The book is relevant to students and scholars of anthropology, history, and African studies plus other readers who are keen to understand the complexion of ethnicity and the politics of identity in contemporary Africa.
Content; Introduction, Ethnicity in Perspective –The Available Sources and other Influences Shaping the present work –Social and Economic life in Acholi Before the late Seventeenth Century- The New Order and Its Foundations-The Emergence of the Earliest Acholi Chiefdoms-The East central zones: The New order spreads- The Southern Zones, The New Order Takes Hold- The South Eastern –The South Central Zone and Western Zone: The continuing extension of the New Order – the central and Northern Zones: The consolidation of the New Order at the Centre and its Furthest Extension North-Epilogue-Afterword: A perspective on the Last Thirty Years.