The Culture of Colonialism

The Culture of Colonialism

The Cultural Subjection of Ukaguru
T. O. Beidelman
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/27/2012
Format: Hardback 6 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-00215-0
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2013 Bethwell Ogot Book Prize finalist

What did it mean to be an African subject living in remote areas of Tanganyika at the end of the colonial era? For the Kaguru of Tanganyika, it meant daily confrontation with the black and white governmental officials tasked with bringing this rural people into the mainstream of colonial African life. T. O. Beidelman’s detailed narrative links this administrative world to the Kaguru’s wider social, cultural, and geographical milieu, and to the political history, ideas of indirect rule, and the white institutions that loomed just beyond their world. Beidelman unveils the colonial system's problems as it extended its authority into rural areas and shows how these problems persisted even after African independence.

Author Bio

T. O. Beidelman is Professor of Anthropology at New York University. He is author of Colonial Evangelism: A Socio-historical Study of an East African Mission at the Grassroots (IUP, 1982); The Moral Imagination in Kaguru Modes of Thought (IUP, 1986); and The Cool Knife: Metaphors of Gender, Sexuality, and Moral Education in Kaguru Initiation Ritual.


“Personal and engaged while trying to make sense of a contradictory and exclusionary world.”
 — Ivan Karp, Emory University

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Colonialism and Anthropology
Part 1. History
1. Kaguru and Colonial History: The Rise and Fall of Indirect Rule
Part 2. Colonial Life
2. Ukaguru 1957–58
3. The Kaguru Native Authority
4. Court Cases: Order and Disorder
5. Subversions and Diversions: 1957–58
6. The World Beyond: Kaguru Marginality in a Plural World, 1957–61
Part 3. How It Ended and Where It Went
Epilogue: Independence and After