Decline, Collapse, and Regeneration of the State in 16th-Century Bunyoro (Uganda): A Diachronic Archaeological Perspective on Ritual and the Negotiation of Creative Power
Author(s): Peter Robertshaw
Historical research by David Schoenbrun has identified the arrival of a new ruling dynasty in the 16th century as a pivotal moment when instrumental power was decoupled from creative power in Bunyoro. Unlike previous rulers in Bunyoro, the new Bito kings were not healers and spirit-mediums. New state rituals developed both in new places and at pre-existing shrines, as is evident from historical and ethnographic sources. Archaeological investigations at known shrines and other sites, all of which were probably locales of ritual performance, situate these events of the 16th century within a longer-term (and AMS-dated) perspective that explores the complex interplay of ritual, healing, and drought in the development and decline of complex polities in the region. A major challenge, however, is the identification of ritual in this archaeological record, which is attempted here by invoking ideas of conceptual metaphors that link the materiality of the archaeology to belief systems. Future research should perhaps focus on the more recent past, specifically historic capital sites and regalia.
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Decline, Collapse, and Regeneration of the State in 16th-Century Bunyoro (Uganda): A Diachronic Archaeological Perspective on Ritual and the Negotiation of Creative Power. Peter Robertshaw. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429639)
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min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15398