Ghosts of Kanungu
Title Details

256 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

18 b/w. 9 line. Illustrations

Series: African Anthropology

Imprint: James Currey

Ghosts of Kanungu

Fertility, Secrecy & Exchange in the Great Lakes of East Africa

by Richard Vokes

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Shortlisted for the Herskovits Award, this book throws light on secrecy and violence in Uganda, Rwanda and the Great Lakes area of East Africa.
On 17 March 2000 several hundred members of a charismatic Christian sect, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (MRTC), burnt to death in the group's headquarters in the Southwest Ugandan village of Kanungu. Days later the Ugandan police discovered a series of mass graves containing over 400 bodies on various other properties belonging to the sect. Was this mass suicide or mass murder?
Based on eight years of historical andethnographic research, Ghosts of Kanungu provides a comprehensive and scholarly account of the MRTC and of the events leading up to the inferno. It argues that none of these events can be understood without reference to abroader social history of Southwestern Uganda during the twentieth century, in which anti-colonial movements, Catholic White Fathers missionaries, colonial relocation schemes, the breakdown of the Ugandan state, post-war reconstruction, the onset of HIV/AIDS, and the transformation of the regional Nyabingi fertility cult into a Marian church with worldwide connections, all played their part.

RICHARD VOKES is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia

Uganda: Fountain Publishers (PB)
Prologue: The End as a Beginning
Introduction
On Fertility & Misfortune
The Many Lives of the Nyabingi Spirit
Genesis: Building the Network
Numbers: Religion in the Time of AIDS
Chronicles: The History of an African-Initiated Church
Revelation: The Last Days of the MRTC
Epilogue
Appendix: Marian Literature Used by the MRTC
"A compelling account...amongst the outstanding Africanist ethnographies of recent years: a splendid combination of ethnographic investigation with the evaluation of texts and images, and a significant addition to the literature on African-initiated Churches." AFRICAN AFFAIRS
"A tour de force in historical ethnography and anthropological detective work... a deftly crafted account of gender relations, changes in household structure, exchange networks, cults of affliction, Roman Catholic history, the consequences of the AIDS epidemic, and the rise of New Christianity, all beautifully contextualized in the ethnography of the Ankole and Kiga people of southwestern Uganda. ... All of this makes the book useful and accessible to a wide constituency in Africa and beyond." ETHNOS

Paperback

9781847010728

October 2013

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781846157271

November 2009

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Title Details

256 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

18 b/w. 9 line. Illustrations

Series: African Anthropology

Imprint: James Currey