Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2013
Tooro, a small kingdom in Western Uganda, was founded three times: the first time was around 1830, when Kaboyo, a son of King Nyamutukura of Bunyoro-Kitara (c.1786-1835) decided to establish his own independent kingdom. After having been reintegrated into Bunyoro again around 1876 (Nyakatura 1999:124), Tooro was founded a second time by Captain F.D. Lugard in 1891. After 1967, all the kingdoms of Uganda were abolished, and in 1993 they were finally allowed to be re-established, not as political but as cultural institutions.
In the following, I will give a rather brief and very selective outline of the history1 of the Tooro kingdom and its three foundations. I will mention only those aspects that have been neglected in previous publications as well as those needed to establish the argument of this book. I will come back to the history of Tooro in the third part of the book when exploring the encounters and interactions between local people and Christian missionaries at the end of the 19th century.
THE FIRST FOUNDATION
Before 1830, Tooro was part of the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, one of the largest and most powerful of all kingdoms in the lake region of central Africa. The kingdom was divided into two social and economic classes, the peasant Bairu who worked their own small lands, growing millet, sorghum, matoke, beans and other vegetables, and the pastoral Bahuma, living in widely scattered cattle kraals often far away from any cultivated area.