Under Bunyoro control the territory produced iron goods and salt for sale

Under bunyoro control the territory produced iron

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Under Bunyoro control, the territory produced iron goods and salt for sale within the interlacustrine region (Ingham, 1975). This shaped the revenues of subordinate states; the Babito chief of Kisaka introduced agents to collect tax from both salt producers and traders, a portion of which was sent to Bunyoro (Ingham, 1975). Trade was a source of revenue to the state, both through tribute collection and direct control. Taylor (1962) states that the king, chiefs and lords of Toro maintained control over land, cattle, lakes, salt lakes, medicinal springs, canoe services, and “certain commodities having exchange or prestige value,” such as tusks and lion skins. They collected many of these same goods as tribute, as well as labor and military service, and reallocated them to relatives, chiefs, officials and others. He further suggests that the “distribution of goods and services” was mainly through kinship and feudal systems, though barter was also present.
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22 JAMES FENSKE Ingham (1975) describes the Toro region as one of relative prosperity. The Toro kings sold slaves, ivory and cows to Arab traders in return for guns and cloth (Taylor, 1962). Independent Toro was also an exporter of salt; Good (1972) notes that, until 1923, the okukama or Mukama (king) of Toro held personal ownership over the trade in salt from Lake Katwe and other lake deposits near Kasenyi. This was sold for regional consump- tion in Bunyoro, ocassionally as far east as Lake Victoria, in Rwanda and Tanzania, and into the Congo perhaps fifty miles beyond the present border (Good, 1972). This was, however, an example of a state expanding to take advantage of a tradable resource. Lake Katwe was in Busongora, which had also seceded from Bunyoro, and which was an early conquest by independent Toro (Good, 1972). Bunyoro recaptured the territory during the 1880s. Suku . The Suku are a petty state in the Congolese savanna, part of the Central African “matrilineal belt.” They appear to have become independent from the Lunda empire during the early nineteenth century by moving into vacant land east of the Kwango val- ley (Kopytoff, 1965). This was precipitated by the collapse of Lunda rule over the region as a whole (Kopytoff, 1964). Kopytoff (1965) writes that Suku participation in the rubber trades of the nineteenth century and Second World War was “marginal,” and that these periods were “the only ones when the Suku had any cash crops to sell. At present, the region is both too poor and too far from the centers to export a commercially feasible product of any kind.” Similarly, the Suku lacked a developed system of market places and itinerant trade was “not at all developed” (Kopytoff, 1967). The Suku did, however, participate as middlemen in the long-distance trade between the raffia and palm-oil producers north and east of them and southern groups who traded directly with the Por- tuguese (Kopytoff, 1967). They also purchased raw raffia for weaving into cloth, which was exported to the southeast along with palm oil in return for shell money and Eu- ropean goods, some of which were exported (Kopytoff, 1967). The Suku were known for their wealth in shell money. The Suku
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  • Spring '17
  • JAMES FENSKE

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