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Redmond, Patrick M. (1972) A political history of the Songea Ngoni from the mid-nineteenth century to the rise of the Tanganyika African National Union. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a study of autocratic rule among the Ngoni of Songea district, Tanzania. Two royal families and their associates, with some hundreds of followers, immigrated into Songea in the mid-nineteenth century and there built two large and powerful states over which they ruled until 1962. Though rank and privilege distinguished the immigrants from their East African adherents, the two accepted and followed a common life style for their mutual benefit. The leaders were factious Sind, within thirty years, had produced some major divisions within the states as members of the royal families and some of the more important military leaders moved towards isolated independence. The Germans entered at this point and, taking advantage of disunity, gained the submission of the Ngoni. The changes brought by submission led to a rebellion in 1905 which failed, due to various factors including political division. The leaders then adapted to colonial life and consolidated a new type of control. British takeover and the subsequent implementation of Indirect Rule facilitated the consolidation of autocratic contirol through its support of traditional leaders. This power began ebbing during the 1940s and 1950s under the impact of changes pushed by colonial administration, though only after Tanzanian independence is it removed completely and the rule of the royal faimilies brought to an end.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:25

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