Birmingham 1976 argues that the decline of the Luba kingdom followed that of

Birmingham 1976 argues that the decline of the luba

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with beads and ivory. Birmingham (1976) argues that the decline of the Luba kingdom followed that of the ivory trade. Their Yeke-Nyamwezi trading partners began to focus on copper, conquering production centers belonging to Mpande and Katanga. Swahili- Arab traders began to trade directly into the forest, cutting out the Luba. With ivory be- coming scarce and the price of slaves declining, the Luba were unable to purchase the guns needed to secure their power without exporting large numbers of internally cap- tured slaves. The kingdom disintegrated into warring factions and became dominated by its neighbors. Lozi . The pastoral Lozi (or Barotse) have occupied the Barotse floodplain of the Zam- bezi river since roughly 1600 (Gluckman, 1941), and have had a centralized king since at least as early as the start of the nineteenth century (Birmingham, 1976). There was con- siderable trade within Lozi territory in the specialized products of each region – bulrush millet and cassava meal, wood products and iron were brought in from the bush areas, and the Zambezi facilitated transport (Gluckman, 1941). He further suggests that Lozi domination of its surroundings was facilitated by the society’s internal cohesion, stem- ming from the inequality made possible by royal control of the most productive farming
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24 JAMES FENSKE mounds within the floodplain, as well as a need to protect cattle in outlying areas dur- ing the flood season. The result was that the Lozi traded with its neighbors as they did not trade among themselves. Further, the king and princess chief both collected tribute in the form of specialized production of the “tribes” under his command, including ca- noes, weapons, iron tools, meat, fish, fruit, salt, honey, maize and manioc (Birmingham, 1976). The Lozi were ruled between 1840 and 1864 by the Sotho-speaking Kololo who in- vaded from the south. The Lozi spurned Lovale traders before the emergence of the trade in slaves and ivory in southern Kololo around 1850. Before this, they had sent traders to the Lunda areas of the upper Zambezi, trading only indirectly with the Por- tuguese (Flint, 1970). Flint (1970) suggests that the major change was the rise of the ivory trade relative to the slave trade by 1853. He argues that the Kololo used Livingstone as a ‘prestigious outsider,’ helping them negotiate with the peoples through whose terri- tory the Lozi traded. By 1860, long distance trade had become of major importance to the Barotse. The Kololo obtained ivory either as tribute from the Barotse or by selling iron hoes to the Tonga, and then sold this ivory either to middlemen or directly to the coast. The Lozi also exported cattle and forest products in return for trade goods during this period (Gluckman, 1941). Trade gave the Kololo king an independent power base, strengthening him against other chiefs who depended on cattle raiding for revenue. He worked to establish a new set of ‘caravan chiefs’ (Flint, 1970). Flint (1970) suggests that the more trade-oriented Barotse of the floodplain came into conflict with the southern Kololo, whose raids on their neighbors disrupted trade, and
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  • Spring '17
  • JAMES FENSKE

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