HEA1: THE HISTORY OF EAST AFRICA FROM ABOUT 1000 TO INDEPENDENCE

This unit is about the history of east Africa from about 1000 to independence.

INTRODUCTION;

East Africa means or comprise of three regions which is made up of the three countries namely; Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika (present day Tanzania). It is mainly divided into two divisions namely; the coastal and the interior.

There are historical and geographical differences as far as the history of East Africa is concerned. Geographically, There are groups of people who are the same in origin (Historically) but are found in different geographical locations. Some of them are;

Masai are found in both Kenya and Tanzania

Luyia found in Kenya and Uganda.

Luo found in Kenya and Uganda.

The Highland and Plain Nilotic found in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The interlacustrine Bantu are found in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

N.B:

There are also the West, Eastern, Central and Southern Bantu in different places of E. Africa.

THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE PEOPLE OF EAST AFRICA

There are three major races in East Africa namely; Bantu, Nilotes and Cushites.

THE BANTU

The Bantu are believed to have originated from various places. One theory states that the Bantu originated from Congo forest basin in the Katonga province.

According to Archeology, the evidence state that the Bantu originated from West Africa in the confluence of River Niger-Benue in the Present day Cameroon and parts of Nigeria.

The Bantu are quite related people with varying dialects of basically the same Bantu Language.

Despite this similarity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Bantu people understand themselves fully.

THE BRANCHES OF THE BANTU

THE INTERLACUSTINE /WESTERN BANTU

This Bantu settled around the Lake regions. They are believed to have to have come from West Africa and entered East Africa from the West. They set up large communities around lake regions.

This group includes the Banyarwanda, Banyankole, Baganda, Baluya in Kenya, Barundi, Bagishu, Basoga, and Batoro.

THE HIGHLAND AND COASTAL BANTU / EASTERN

These Bantu are believed to have taken the South Eastern movement into East Africa. They moved in a group and settled at the coast in a place called Shungwaya.

Due to attacks from hostile tribes like the Galla, they dispersed to other areas of the coast, Eastern Kenya and the immediate Highlands.

These include the Kikuyu, Kamba, Meru, Pare, Chagga,Hehe, Sanga and Shambaa.

THE WESTERN TANZANIAN BANTU

These entered East Africa from the Western side of Tanzania and remained on that side.

Some people say that this group took a South Western movement.

These people are also connected to a main stream of movement of the Bantu who settled in Central Africa and proceeded to East Africa.

These include the Sukuma, Nyamezi,Holoholo,Bungu,Sumbwa and Kimbu.

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN TANZANIAN BANTU

These people are believed to be more closely linked to Bantu movement of Central Africa.

They moved from Central Africa and choose to settle in the central and Southern parts of Tanzania.

They include the Pogoro, Gogo, Makonde, Yao and Mwera.

THE NILOTES

This is a broad group of related people with negroid origin like the Bantu but they speak totally a different language from the Bantu.

They are subdivided into three major sections. Almost all those who settle in E. Africa had their origin in the Eastern part of Sudan.

BRANCHES OF THE NILOTES

River –Lake Nilotes /Lwo /Luo

These people during their migration settled along River Valleys near Lakes or on Peninsular of water masses.

This settlement was influenced by their economic activities for example fishing.

These people include the Alur, Acholi, Labwor, Palwo and japhadhola.

The plain Nilotes

These groups of people preferred to settle in flat vast open areas.

Their settlement was influenced by their economic activity of pastoralism.

They include the Masai, Tukkuna, Langi, Iteso, Kumam and Karamajong.

The Highland Nilotes

These groups settled on highlands. They are mostly of the Kalenjini race. They include the Nandi, Sainy, Kony, Kipsigis, Bongkomek and Elgeyo

CUSHITES

These people have unspecified origin. But the Cushites who came to East Africa are are reffered to as the Southern Cushites.

Some historians claim that their origin might be Western Asia, Egypt, and Portugal.

The Cushites of East Africa are classified as the Eastern and Southern Cushites

The Eastern Cushites include the Galla and Somali

The Southern Cushites include the Ahawa and Batungi. They live in North Eastern Tanzania.

Describe the migration and settlement of the River Lake Nilotes into East Africa.

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