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Local communities, politics and the management of the Kasubi tombs, Uganda

Kigongo, R; Reid, A; (2007) Local communities, politics and the management of the Kasubi tombs, Uganda. World Archaeology , 39 (3) pp. 371-384. 10.1080/00438240701563094.

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Abstract

The Kasubi tombs are the resting place of the previous four kings of Buganda. All four kings are buried within the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga, a unique structure which offers an unparalleled insight into the precolonial building traditions of Uganda. Being constructed almost entirely from various materials of botanical origin, there are considerable issues of preservation and conservation that have to be tackled at the site. Yet management of the site is by no means a straightforward process because of a number of issues. The original burial of Mutesa I in 1884 represented a shift in funerary practice related to the politics of the time and the interment of the subsequent three kings was a major change in practice, unseen in precolonial times. There is also currently significant factional fighting within Buganda over control of the tombs and the important rituals that continue to take place there. Meanwhile, national government wishes to use Kasubi as the showpiece of Uganda's heritage, as demonstrated by its recently acquired World Heritage status, but has no authority to oversee any form of management activity at the site. Kasubi is therefore not a mere symbol of precolonial achievement, but also of colonial transformation and ultimately of post-colonial accommodation.

Type: Article
Title: Local communities, politics and the management of the Kasubi tombs, Uganda
DOI: 10.1080/00438240701563094
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/11385
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