Get your free website from Spanglefish
This is a free Spanglefish 2 website.

27 Feb 1939 Suckling 1


ON 27th FEBRUARY,1939


    l.    The Land under Dispute (hereafter l.u.d.) is claimed
to be an integral part of Barotseland. There are five lines of argument in support of this claim.
(l) The King of Italy's Award
(2) Original possession of the lance by Barotse ancestors.
    (a) By Mwambwa and Mbuya
    (b) By Soke and Imasiku
    (c) By Tribal Occupation
          Mankoya (ii) Mambowe (iii) Mambumi (iv) Maliuwa
(3) Conquest
(4) Penetration
(5) British Concurrence.

    2.    The first argument is perhaps the hardest to answer
because it is based on what bears the character of a definite international settlement. But the Commission is not bound by past settlements, so comments and queries concerning the award of 1905 are not out of place.

    3.    It is a great pity that we have not got the Portuguese answer to the arguments raised on the British side. A first reading of the latter would seem to present an overwhelming case for the contention that Balovale country at least, and Lunda country to less extent, were part of the Barotse Dominion. But we know the King of Italy decided the claim could not be upheld. Possibly the Portuguese replies would have given the explanation of this, but as we have not got them it may be permissible to point out some flaws in the British claim.

    4.    Major Goold-Adams admits it is extraordinarily difficult to ascertain the exact relationship between the Balovale and the Barotse before 1830 (p.45). On the following page he quotes statements of present Barotse and even from these can only "suppose that the Balovale paid tribute to the Barotse until the time of the Makololo." On p.50 he has the assurance to say, "There is every



reason to believe the Balovale paid tribute and acknowledged the supremacy of the Barotse. Mr. Coryndon (p.103), though admiting that Goold-Adams' activity in collecting evidence was hindered by his not being resident among the people (and for this reason tries to correct some of Goold-Adams' evidence), simply asserts without the production of any evidence that before Sebitwane's time the Barotse held far more country and that among the "outside tribes" was Kakengi.

Colin Harding contents himself by asserting that "from time immemorial" the Balovale had been under the influence of the Barotse (p.110) and that "from time immemorial" the Balovale were tributary to the A-Lui (p.132). How can anything be proved, in the absence of documents etc., about time immemorial. Are not such unsupported assertions an indication of the unsubstantiality of the whole claim? And what confidence can be placed in Gibbons' later statement (based on what the others had written) that there "appears to be little doubt" that the Balovale have been subject to the Barotse for nearly a century? (p.139). He proceeds to try to argue from the presence of the Balukwakwa that a "status quo" had been maintained, and asserts without stating his evidence that "without doubt" tribute had been collected from 1865 and on two occasions by force (though we know there was only one such occasion, and it is not at all certain that it was a question of tribute at all then). He claims that the Kakengi title was not a Balovale one, and that he had no status in the tribe but was merely an agent appointed by the Barotse King. From the evidence of Mr. Schindler, Mr. Coryndon, Mr. Smith, Mr. Jalla and others, it is clear that in this he was entirely mistaken. Was he not also [mistaken] in a great deal more?

Mr. Louis Jalla speaks of the Barotse ruling "right up to the Balovale border" (p.154). He speaks of Ngombala's conquests (see History, p.11). These do not include the Lovale, but he says that Mulambwa conquered the Lovale, including Kakenge, and says that Nyakatolo became a vassal before 1890, but does not say when or how.

Mr. Adolph Jalla, writing independently, says that



neither the Balovale nor the Balunda were present at the great Concession "Pitso" and speaks of the Balunda as Lewanika's "allies". He says that Mulambwa had subdued the Balovale and made them pay tribute (without referring to any evidence), but that at the time of the Pitso most of the Lovale still refused to yield (p.163). He says that Shinde made submission in 1891/2 and that the Balovale were subdued by the Barotse in the first half of 1892. On his return to Lealui he corrected his statement, obviously from information given by the Barotse, and said that the Balovale had been conquered by Mboo (to which there is no reference whatever in his own history) but refused to pay tribute in the time of Mulambwa and were then subdued after a bloody war. How different is the impartial account in the "History" (p.15).

Similarly uncertain and even contradictory statements with regard to the alleged appointment of Kakengi by Lewanika could be pointed out if time permitted, but -perhaps it will suffice to deal with the 1892 war, as of this we have other evidence of actual participants.

Presumably Mr. Schindler's evidence (p.149/52) is the most valuable. He says nothing of a previous Kakenge having been appointed by Lewanika, though he says tribute was sent through him to Lewanika. He says the war of '92 was due to Lewanika's desire for a chief to be appointed so that tribute might be continued, and that war parties were collected by all the Lovale chiefs but were severely defeated by the Barotse, who however did not go as far as Nyakatolo's. He says, however, that the fighting was in Kakenge's district and that no chief was appointed until some year later after repeated threats from Lewanika to come again. It is noteworthy in how many points this evidence differs from that of native witnesses given at the same time

Nyakatolo herself (whose evidence, of which Aitken says. 'Her statement is not as satisfactory as I could wish" - Aitken's covering letter - minimising as it does in a striking way the claims of the Barotse, was apparently not produced for the benefit of the King of Italy) says simply that (as witnesses in the present case have claimed) Chizanza-ngombe was killed and that Chinyama & Ndungu blamed



each other for the cause of the war and went down to Lewanika about it and it was then the question of the Kakenge succession was raised.

Unfortunately these papers were not available earlier in the case, but just before the Lovale left Mongu I sent word to Kucheka telling her that Nyakatolo had made the above statement. Kucheka's reply was that when she came with Chinyama & Ndungu, Lewanika asked about the succession, was told that no appointment had been made, and pointed out how advisable it was to get the matter settled promptly. When it is remembered. that the man who succeeded was the direct heir (nephew of the former Kakenge) this explanation seems reasonable. If Kalipa was attempting to make claims, it is not unlikely that Nyakatolo's party would be glad of the moral support of Lewanika for the natural heir, though the delay that ensued suggests that the moral support did not amount to much.

Even if Mr. Schindler's evidence, based though it must have been on native statements, could be accepted in toto rather than that of Nyakatolo (and of all the witnesses in the present case including the pro-Barotse), what can be made of all the conflicting statements of the other supporters of the British case?

(p.46)    Goold-Adams. In 1887 Kakengi died and unquestionably through influence of Lewanika a new Kakengi was installed. In 1891 this Kakengi (said by Mr. Schindler & Nyakatolo to be dead) did something (not specified) to annoy Lewanika, and the latter decided to depose him. Kakengi's principal town was burned and Kakengi compelled to flee. Kakengi was permitted to resume chieftainship, but in 1894 Lewanika deposed him and put the present Kakengi, son of Nyakatolo, his place. Yet thin same Kakengi is said (p.48) to have nearly murdered Coillard (note how different is Coillard's own account) and utterly refused to see Goold-Adams, even when asked to do so by the Portuguese officer. An impartial reading of the accounts given by Coillard and Harding of their visits to Kakengi and the obvious terror of the people travelling with them makes it perfectly clear that Kakengi was not under the control of the Barotse. Coillard's visit was before the arrival of the Portuguese. His people, amongst whom was Lewanika son-in-law and third minister of state, gave Kakengi the royal salute



It is said (p.50) that after the war of 1892 two Barotse Representatives were left (on p. 97 "Lewanika on retiring left" - so if he had actually gone to the war. himself) with Kakengi and that both were found there by Coillard and Goold-Adams, which simply is not true. Actually Goold-Adams (p.91) found the Barotse representatives in the southern part of the country "to keep Lewanika informed and to represent him." Is this story different from the claims of the witnesses in the present cased?

On p.50 it is stated the Barotse fought Kakenge, but that, as noted above, he was allowed to resume the chieftainship. Gibbons claims (p.133) that Kakenge, having attempted to throw off allegiance, was killed in battle. With his eye on the main terms of the arbitration, Goold-Adams constantly refers to the war as in 1891 and Gibbons says it was "about 12 years ago" (i.e.1887), whereas we know it took place in 1892.

Great fun is made of the claim by those poverty-stricken folk that they only sent presents to Lewanika and that he sent presents in return. 'How absurd." says Major Goold-Adams. "How absurd," dutifully re-echoes Major Gibbons. But this is the explanations put forward by the Portuguese officer (p.136), by Kakengi himself (p.46), by Nyakatolo (statement), Nyakaumba (statement), and Nyakatembo (p.134) Mr. Schindler admits the so-called tribute was spoken of as exchange of presents, and Aitken admits the people did not readily admit having paid tribute (Aitken's papers). As regards the alleged poverty, Mwanamuke (26/10/1) stated that Kakengi's people had more cloth and gunpowder than the Barotse. And if the "tribute" was as insignificant as Gibbons would have us believe (p.134) could it be considered tribute at all? There were more "obvious reason" than Gibbons had thought of for not continuing the argument with the Portuguese officer (p.136).

Then although there is reference to relationship between Nyakatolo and Lewanika (minimised by calling her "a child of Lewanika"), even blood-relationship (p.117), no reference is made to her own statement that Lewanika was descended from the same stock.

A scrutiny of the evidence makes one feel the King of Italy could not but dismiss the claim that Balovale country was part



of Barotseland and leaves the impression that if only this claim had not been made the country might have been left to the British on the ground of occupation and the obvious desire of the people.

We do not know what Dr. Fisher's evidence would have been, but in view of the suppression of Nyakatolo's statement it is at least remarkable that there is none given from Dr. Fisher who was in England at the time.

Though it cannot be proved, is it unreasonable, in view of the contradictory and unsupported statements noted above, to suggest that the embassy from Kakengi under Kalipa was as likely as not nothing more than the occasion when Kalipa ran away from his own people when accused of witchcraft? Mr. MacPhie's informants said he was assisted. by some important people. Possibly he was accompanied by them.

The references to the Balunda are very noticeably much more vague than those to the Balovale. But, as before, unsupported assertions and mere probabilities (though how could there be even probability where there was no evidence in support?) take the place of historic facts. We may however be thankful for one admission that rather disposes of present-day claims. It is agreed (p.51) that the Lunda people settled between the Zambesi and the Kabompo, in fact occupied almost the whole country in the fork of the Zambezi and the Kabompo. It is then gratuitously asserted that on their first settlement there they became vassals of the Barotse. In the absence of evidence, this assertion is "proved" by argument, namely that they had to avoid wars and the easiest way to do so would be to propitiate the powerful southern neighbours. No evidence of the wars they had to avoid is given nor of the Barotse being at that time more powerful than the Lunda. Emphasis is laid on the existence of excellent water transport, making it easy for Lewanika to send armies to the assistance of Shindi. We know historically of only one army sent to assist Shindi, and that travelled by land. Shindi is stated to have said that he and his predecessor paid tribute to Lewanika. Much depends what was meant by tribute, and on the trustworthiness of the interpreter, who was Goold-Adams' personal boy and doubtless knew what his



master wanted. In any case, the predecessor was only our old friend Chikalakanyovo. Shindi is said to have refused (p.99) the Portuguese. To say that the refusal was contingent upon the sanction of Lewanika is open to question. The writer on the next page states that both Sepopa and Lewanika were born amongst the Balukwakwa, whereas Lewanika was born at the Nyengo and Sepopa was alive when the Makololo first entered Barotseland. (Hist. pp.18 & 35).

Gibbons speaks (p.141) of the great mass of the Lunda being under Kanongesha, who was devoted to Lewanika and admitted his suzerainty. He speaks of Kanongesha as being present in Lealui and doing homage to the king in 1899 (incidentally very much later than 1891). But as all this reference to Kanongesha lacks any supporting evidence, may not this be a case of mistaken identity on Gibbons' part? Only two pages previously he had written that Kakenge had no status in the Balovale tribe and states that the Makololo tried to subdue the Lukwakwa people but failed. Harding, only a year or so before Gibbons, found Shindi's authority acknowledged right up to the North-east of Nyakatolo. As already noticed, Mr. Jalla, after first describing the Balunda as the allies of Lewanika, says later that the Balunda were tributary to the Barotse long before 1890, but gives no proof for this assertion. The claim that Shindi made submission in 1891/2 is a case of special pleading. For one chief to ask. military aid from another does not constitute an act of submission. Mr. Jalla speaks of the photo of Shindi being taken in 1890, but this date should be 1894.

One cannot wonder that the King of Italy dismissed the claim that the Lunda country was part of Barotseland. As this part of the award, however, had no direct bearing on the l.u.d. one might have dispensed with all these comments, but for the fact that they are very important as showing how unsubstantial are many of the claims made by the Barotse and those who, on patriotic grounds, supported them.

There remains the fact that the King of Italy did however recognise the southern extremities of both the Lovale and the Lunda countries as being 'an integral part of Barotseland,



although only bordering on the "real area'. This is the land under dispute. Can the decision be reasonably called in question?

First of all it is important to notice that the distinction made between the "real area" of Barotse and the l.u.d. makes it almost certain that, at that time, no claim was put forward as to the original possession of the land. If the land had been occupied by the Barotse and their authority uninterruptedly maintained ever since (as has been claimed by witnesses in the present case), would not such a claim have had far more weight with the King of Italy than "some exercise of lordship"? That no such claim apparently was then made must surely tell heavily against its validity when brought forward now.

What grounds, then, had the king of Italy for admitting the lordship of Lewanika over the l.u.d.? Mr. Jalla has told the Commission that it was the evidence of himself and his brother which largely influenced the decision of the King (20/10/12). They were both non-British and therefore presumably disinterested, and they were both Italians and therefore possibly had greater influence with the King of Italy.

But remembering that the King had to base his decision: on what took place before 1891, was Mr. Jalla in a position to give reliable information? He arrived in Barotseland less than two years before (Sept. '89), and in 1891 went to Europe to get married. He returned after the war of 1892, and did not arrive in Lealui until 1894 (20/10/4). is it unreasonable to suppose that his evidence given in 1905 was very much coloured by the events which took place much later than 1891? He admitted in evidence that he did not visit the l.u.d. until 1918, so that most of his evidence must have been based on hearsay. It is unfortunate that the state of. Mr. Jalla's health prevented close cross-examination of the evidence given before the Commission. But conclusions can be drawn from that evidence as to what he said to the King of Italy, apart from his brief written statements.

From Mr.Jalla's first statement of "facts" it is clear that he considered the position of Shindi on the Lufwiji river in the



present Angola as obviously precluding a claim to the land further south (v.p.7). he had no means of knowing whether or not, in fact, Shindi had a second capital on the Makondo, nor how far his authority extended southwards. He makes no reference to the occupation of the country as found by Livingstone.

On the contrary, he states that the l.u.d. was occupied by the Lunda only after the war of 1892, and then only some refugees (20/10/7) or groups of refugees, thereby ignoring the much earlier statements of Livingstone and being in conflict with Mr. Coillard's evidence, who speaks of the country as being thickly populated by Lunda, with well-developed fields and plenty of food.

Mr. Jalla refers to no activity on the part of Lewanika in the l.u.d. before 1891. May it not be claimed that there is no evidence whatever of any exercise of lordship in that district before that date?

The King of Italy refers to the "actual subjection of the southern zone", and so presumably was told it was conquered. There is not a scrap of evidence concerning this, and Mr. Jalla admitted that the land had never been conquered (20/10/17). It has already been noticed that an appeal for help was not submission. Lewanika himself obtained help from Mambari (Hist. p.40), from a Mashi chief (Marshall Hole p.206), and even from an English trader (Gibbons, Vol.I, Ch.X), without imagining that any of these claimed he had submitted to them. Coillard claims that it was a threatening message from Khama (p.388) which saved Lewanika from revolution, and, at a later date, his own presence in the country (p.437).

Mr. Jalla stated as another "fact" that the Mambowe inhabited the country both sides of the Zambesi north of the Kabompo. Not one other witness has suggested that the Mambowe ever lived on the west bank, north of the Kabompo. When asked (p.7) how far north the Mambowe went, he said he did not know but that there were Mambowe villages as far as Chitokoloki. He could not speak about beyond Chitokoloki. In cross-examination (28/12/6) he explained he had only heard of the Mambowe being north of the Kabompo and based his statement on Mambowe paddlers being used by Chitokoloki, not knowing they



were collected from the Lukulu area. Then Mr. Jalla spoke of the Mambowe as being "Northern Barotse", thus supporting the very recent contention (with which the Ngambela agreed) that the Mambowe were the same tribe as the Barotse, whereas in his own history Mr. Jalla records how Mboo conquered the Mambowe and deposed their chief. Evidence will be given in its place to show that the Mambowe have always been looked upon and referred to as a distinct tribe, though now being largely assimilated by the Barotse.

That Shindi did not submit himself and enslave his country by asking Lewanika's help is proved by the pomp and ceremony with which he was received by Lewanika two years later, as narrated by Mr. Coillard and confirmed by Mr. Jalla himself. "He must be a powerful chief; he alone of all I have seen here made his entry into the capital almost as Lewanika's equal."  Coillard does speak of his admitting Lewanika's suzerainty. It is a. loose term and we do not know what he meant by it. We know that in the same sentence Coillard says that he had fled before the Portuguese, and as the one statement was inaccurate, it is possible the other was too. We know that Shindi later settled on the sites of his forefathers on the Lufwiji, very much nearer the Portuguese sphere of influence, so it does not look as if he feared them. In any case, whatever happened, it was not before 1891. When Shindi was visited by Coillard in 1895, he claimed in the presence of Lewanika's son-in-law and 3rd Minister that he had the right of life and death over his people.

It is obvious that the King of Italy imagined that Shindi had long been tributary to the Barotse (of which there is no evidence whatever) and that the "subjection" of 1892 was but the culmination of the growing influence of the Barotse over the Lunda; but this is pure surmise. It is significant that Mr. Coillard's book, published in 1897, was not called in evidence, nor, apparently, was Livingstone's record. To say that tribute fell into abeyance during the Makololo interregnum and that this accounts for Livingstone treating the Balovale and the Balunda as independent nations (Memo. pp. 50 & 90) is to ignore the full implications of all that Livingstone wrote about them, to which reference is made in the extracts from his book.



Extracts from Livingstone
p.221.    I resolved to go to the utmost limits of the Barotse country. Here I might have turned back, but hearing we were not far from the confluence of the river of Londe or Lunda... and the chiefs of that country being reported friendly...I pushed on.

p.242.    Hippo in the rivers of Lunda, where they are much in danger of being shot, even the hippo gains wit by experience.

p.249.    Presents from Sekeletu to the Balunda chiefs.

p.250.    Libonta is the last town of the Makololo...thereafter uninhabited country till we come to Lunde or Lunde.

p.263    Saw the stages on which the Balunda dry their meat, when they come down to hunt.

p.268.    The village of Manenko, the first female chief (see respect shown to her,

p.281/2/6)...two Balunda in their little canoe. their villages had been removed some distance from the river.

p.269.    Sekelenke did not come...the only instance in which I was shunned in this quarter. would have been impolitic to pass Manenko.

p. 272.    Village of Sheskondo or Lunkunyi...handsome present of manioc. Manifested no fear, always spoke frankly... extensive cultivation.

p. 273    Balunda have taught the crocodiles to keep away.
The chief and her husband were sitting on skins, placed in the middle of a circle, a little raised above the ordinary level and having a trench round it...the men were well-armed with bows, arrows, spears and broadswords.

p.279.    Description of Mamenko's determination to conduct the party to Shindi.

P.286.    Everyone who comes to salute either Manenko or ourselves rubs the upper part of the arm and chest with ashes.

p.287.    Shindi's authority. "It is our custom." Paramount Chief of all the Balunda.

2.289.    The town of Kabompo or Shindi, embowered in banana and other tropical trees; the streets straight (a complete contrast to those of the Bechuana). Here we first saw native huts with square walls...the fences or walls of courts are wonderfully straight... cultivation...crowd of natives fully armed.

p.291.    Place of audience was about a hundred yards square. Shinti sat on a sort of throne covered with a leopard's skin... Different sections of the tribe came forward, the headmen of each making obeisance with ashes.

p.292.    Behind Shinti sat about a hundred women, all clothed in their best. This was the first time I had seen females present in a public assembly.

p.293.    When nine speakers had concluded their orations, Shinti stood up and so did all the people. He had maintained true African dignity all the while. About a thousand people were present and three hundred soldiers.

p. 294.    Kolimbota thought that we ought to conform to their wishes in everything. We were led into the courts of Shinti, the



walls of which were woven rods, all very neat and high. Shindi soon appeared...of frank and open countenance. Had intended approaching him yesterday but seeing the formidable preparations and all his own men keeping at least forty yards off from him, I yielded to the solicitations of my men and remained by the tree.

p.295.    His country well adapted for cattle...We found (on return) he had got three. One was more like a prize heifer for fatness than any we had seen in Africa...the fertility of the black soil...the very best soil.

p.296.    Highly pleased with present from Sekeletu and wished to send back a present to Sekeletu.

Particularly struck with punctiliousness of manners shown by the Balunda. The inferiors, on meeting their superiors in the street, at once drop to their knees and rub dust on their arms and chest, continuing the salutation until the great ones have passed Sambanza knelt down in this manner until the son of Shindi had passed

The woman who occupies the office of drawer of water for Shindi and her little ball...Shindi and his council.

p.301    Had now left Sekeletu far behind and must henceforth look to Shindi alone for aid and that it would always be most cheerfully rendered.

p.302.    Eight of Shindi's men to carry loads...A range of hills thickly populated by Shindi's people who work the iron-ore.

p.304    Liberality. More etiquette than any tribes further south. Very punctilious in their manners to each other.

p.305.    Dress...nondescript...not immodest. Presented me with large quantities of food, on mandate of Shindi, without expecting any equivalent.

p.312.    Wonderful soil of the Lunda country and pasturage.

p.314    Mozinkwa's cultivation and hospitality. "The finest negro family I ever saw." Frank friendship and liberality.

p.316.    Maize and manioc given from pure generosity. Country so fertile, in no want of food, but generosity remarkable.

p.383.    Lovale refugees, Shindi and Katema refuse to give them up (ct. Imasiku p.263).

p.483.    Welcome and liberality of Shindi.
Troubles with Imasiku in spite of Imasiku's kindness to him.

p.489.    The friendly Balunda.

The King of Italy was led to believe that the Balukwakwa occupied part of the l.u.d.. Another of Mr. Jalla's "facts" was that the Lukwakwa had been inhabited by the Barotse long before the Makololo invasion (20/10/4), but when cross-examined on this point (28/12/10) he said it had been occupied by Imasiku at the time of the Makololo invasion and that there was no evidence as to who was living



there before Imasiku. The only other evidence given concerning them to the King of Italy is that of Goold-Adams, who says they lived east of the Balunda and that Lewanika was born amongst them and that the Balukwakwa were "naturally part of the Barotse kingdom." Harding says the name was given them by the Makololo, because the latter attempted to subdue them (of which there is no evidence), but fell into an ambuscade (thus confusing stockade with ambuscade) and failed. He states that both Sipopa and Lewanika were born on the Lukwakwa. This has already been shown to be untrue. From these meagre and misleading  details, the King of Italy decided that the Balukwakwa were ethnologically Barotse and that therefore the country they occupied was part of Barotseland. On similar grounds it might be said that the province of Quebec belongs to France because ethnologically the majority of its inhabitants are French. Nothing seems to have been told the King of the sanctuary given Imasiku by Shindi, as described by Livingstone, nor of the efforts that had been made by Lewanika to destroy the stronghold (note it is not described as a country) spoken of by Mr. Jalla, which he picturesquely calls "a nest of rebels".

What rights of lordship did Lewanika exercise in the Lovale part of the land under dispute before 1891? Mr. Jalla stated that the Lovale were not conquered before the war of 1892 (28/12/17). He was under the impression that the fighting took place within the area under dispute (20/10/10), but in this he stands alone. All other witnesses agree that the fighting occurred on the Lumbala River. It is admitted that Barotse Representatives were not sent up until 1892 or after, and most of their descendants today, in order to bolster up the theory of original possession of the l.u.d., deny that there were any Lovale there before 1892; but this is contradicted by Livingstone and others, as will be shown. But how could such a contention be made at all if prior to 1892 Lewanika had been exercising lordship over the Lovale in the district?

There are references to Chinyama (or Lyazambi), Nyakameji (or Kucheka) and Ndungu. It is easy to say they were "most emphatically subjects of Barotse", but what proof is there of subjection? There was intercourse and possibly tokens of respect, but it is



claimed  that the Lovale explanation is as credible, if not more so, than that of the Barotse.

There is the claim of relationship. With the superiority gained by the greater importance obtained by the respect and support of the British people, the Barotse now treat any such claim with the contempt they think it deserves. But it is clear that Mr. Aitken's witnesses claimed such relationship, though it did not suit his case (nor Lewanika's) to admit it. But we have their own vocabulary to prove the fact that Malunda was the original name of the Barotse or of a tribe of the same origin as themselves. We have at least a reference to it in their own history and in the well-known phrase "Kalui mwambwa Kalunda mwambwa", which, however much explained away now and even denied by present-day witnesses, must indicate a close relationship between the two. In the early Government records of the Balovale District (N/B.p.100) the joint emigration of the Lunda, Lovale and Barotse people from the Congo is referred to. Stirke wrote that the majority of the people denied coming from the south but averred that the "Barotse came south from the Congo and found the Lunda and Lovale living in their country. The Lunda and Lovale confirm this statement." In the present day, many of the common people in Barotseland fully agree with the common origin of the tribes, although it does not suit the powers that be to admit it.

If the evidence of relationship is considered sufficient to make such relationship probable, many of the actions used to try to prove subjection fall into their right place as the intercourse of one member of the family with another - even though it may have been the younger to the elder. But the fact that this relationship is ignored or even denied makes all the less convincing the denial that blood-friendship existed between Chinyama Chikelete and Imbua, and between Kucheka and Lewanika. This, like the claim of relationship, was treated with derision. It was said that the Barotse language had no word for blood-friendship and that no Barotse, let alone a chief, would make blood-friendship with members of other tribes. But again their own vocabulary gave the lie to these contentions, and their own history told of Lewanika making blood-



friendship with a Mashi chief. Mr. Coillard (p.612) and Dr. Livingstone both tell of blood-friendship being made between Barotse and Lovale end Lunda, and Livingstone speaks of the blood-friendship as a very powerful means of keeping the peace (p.488). If these passages had not been found, is it not certain the Barotse contention would have been that the story of blood-friendship was false, because no such thing was known amongst them; but as this argument was no longer admissable, their Counsel had to fall back upon unlikeliness and improbabilities, which however will not stand up to investigation.

It is claimed that relationship is established by a reasonable amount of evidence and that blood-friendship is proved to have been by no means impossible. What of the contention that the so-called tribute was the exchange of presents or the only then-known means of inter-tribal trade.

We have noticed how this claim too was treated with derision by the supporters of the Barotse. But there is evidence of a similar exchange of presents between Lewanika and Moremi (Coillard, p.219), Lobengula (Arnot, p.97) and Khama (Coillard, pp.102, 388). Livingstone speaks of cloth being asked for by Imasiku as "A COMMON WAY OF MAINTAINING INTERCOURSE" (p.278), of the exchange of presents between Sekeletu and Shindi (p.296) and of blood-friendship leading to exchange of most valuable presents (p.488). We have seen how this explanation was given from the first by the Balovale. Shindi is said to have spoken of tribute, but so does any Ka-Lunda who brings a present to anybody of importance, though all the time expecting equivalent return. Livingstone urged such exchange and rejoiced to see steps being taken for carrying it out (p.486). It has been admitted that the Lovale had easier access to cloth and gunpowder (Mwanamuke). Goold-Adams speaks of their trade with the Bihe having been carried on for 40 or 50 years (p.48). Shindi told Livingstone he had travelled far (apparently towards the coast) in his younger days. Siengele spoke of Lunda people visiting the Mambunda country. There seems to have been a constant coming and going, so that there was a big path from Kakengi to Lealui in normal times. There is nothing surprising in Mr. Arnot's finding people from Kakengi at Lealui in 1882,



nor in what they talked about. People from the court of Philip of Spain at the Court of Elizabeth or from Louis of Prance at that of Charles II did not mean that either Spain or France was subject to England.

While the chiefs were living on friendly terms, there was nothing to hinder hunting parties from one tribe entering the area of another, though doubtless some acknowledgement of the local chief was made. Arnot (p.101) speaks of Bechuana hunters from far off Kurumau in Barotseland. Livingstone speaks of Lovale hippo hunters south of the Lungwevungu mouth. There is no doubt that most of the Barotse hunting parties went up the Kabompo to the Manyinga, rather than overland. The only exclusive right that we hear of from unbiassed sources in the early days is Mr. Arnot's statement about the hippo in Lake Dilolo (Memo. p.147). This claim is so isolated that it is not unreasonable to suggest there may be some other explanation. Just as, even in these days, Barotse chiefs have employed Lunda hunters, it is possible that Kangombe employed Mambowe hunters for the hippo on Lake Dilolo and used Lewanika's name to prevent the passing white man from hunting in his own preserve.

Arnot speaks of the Lunda (p.319) forests which provided the Barotse with canoes, but he speaks of them as being sold by the Lunda forest men, not given as tribute. Venning speaks of boat making amongst the Lunda and of Barotse indunas going up for them, but he is careful to record that both the boats and the produce taken down were sold, not given as tribute (N/B.p.74).

In those difficult days it is likely enough that private trade between members of different tribes was greatly hindered and that nearly all the trade was in the hands of the chiefs. Travellers know how frequently in a village no one will produce any meal or fowls for sale until the headman or local chief has himself dealt with the visitor. We know all traders, including the Mambari, had to deal with Lewanika and information is given in the Memorandum (pp.83 & 216) of how he tended to claim exclusive right of trade in any article that seemed marketable, so it was inevitable that inter-tribal trade should be almost exclusively in the hands of the chiefs and would have the



appearance of exchange between chiefs. This would account for the statement that all the Lovale goods passed through Kakengi and that the return cattle were sent to Kakengi. In the neighbourhood of a chief, individual Lunda would not be allowed to sell boats; but the chief could collect boats when he heard there was a market for them and send them to be sold, afterwards reimbursing those who made them. Nor must it be forgotten that the chiefs themselves could claim tribute from their own people and would then be in a position to dispose of as they pleased of what was brought to them as tribute.



Click for Map
sitemap | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement