Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christians of the Copperbelt

Here is a surprising find -- a recent book on the internet archive, in full: Christians of the Copperbelt. For the purposes of this blog, the bonus is that the book has an index including a list of names of people who were influential in the early church on the Copperbelt of Northern Rhodesia.

This account by John V. Taylor and Dorothea A. Lehmann was published in 1961 as part of the World Mission Study series. The book is based on an eight and a half month study undertaken in 1958 and particularly at Nchanga Mine in Chingola and in the township of Kansuswa near Mufulira. Although mainly about the Copperbelt, the authors also worked in rural areas elsewhere in the country, including Northern and Luapula Provinces. The authors say that the time they allowed for their work was too little and that suspicion of political motive hampered their success in interviewing local people. Nevertheless, there will be much of interest here to anyone with missionary roots, to help understand the story of the growth of the Christian church in Zambia, particularly at the time of the transition to independence, and to help understand the impacts of urbanisation. Also of interest is the study of Alice Lenshina's Lumpa Church before its bloody clash with UNIP just before independence in 1964.

One of the more interesting tables for me is this one showing where and when various missions were operating in the territory:
Missionary organisations in Northern Rhodesia

I tried to read this book on-line and failed, then made a Kindle version, but still failed... at least, trying to read it and
make notes on a tablet has not worked for me, so I am just going to skip the analysis and post the names in the index.

My frustration in trying to read on a tablet whilst making notes also led me to write some software to generate my own index of sorts. I am sure I have made some mistakes, but I think the software-generated index may still be useful, so I offer it (without page numbers, I haven't worked on that yet) here. The software-generated index contains OCR errors, which I have not tried to fix, as knowing what these errors are may actually help you to find a reference in the book you would otherwise miss. (I'd have posted the actual index here, but blogger can't cope with this amount of text, so it's at dropbox.)

I hope to return to that code one of these days and see how I might refine it. All it is trying to find is proper nouns, in fact. For example, here is a software-generated index by relevance, with the most frequently occurring words identified as proper nouns at the bottom of the list.

And here is the index (minus page numbers) given in the book itself, with some corrections for OCR errors and with a few cross references added:

Persons, churches, organisations and places in the index

Adamson, Mr
African Holy Spiritual Church
African Mineworkers' Union
African National Congress
African Reformed Church
AME Church
Anglican Church (see also UMCA)
Arnot, F.
Attwater, D.

Bana ba Mutima
Banda, J. 
Bedford, F.
Bell, Bishop G. K. A. 
Blood, A. G.
Booth, J.
Bradley, K. 
Brethren in Christ 
Broken Hill
Buell, R. L.
Bwana Mkubwa

Capricorn Africa Society 
Carson, Dr 
CCAR (Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia)
Childs, S. H. 
Chilembwe, J. 
Chintankwa, P.
Chisholm, Dr J. 
Christian Council of Northern Rhodesia
Christian Missions in Many Lands See Plymouth Brethren
Church Missionary Society
Church of Christ
Church of Scotland Mission 
Coillard, F.
Comrie, W.
Copperbelt Christian Service Council
Cripps, A. S.
Cross, A. J. 

Dalgleish, A. 
Daly, Mr 
Davis, J. Merle 
Deerr, W. 
Dewar, A. 
Doke, C. M. and Miss O. C. 
Doke, J. J.
Dougall, J. W. C.
Draper, W. 
Dube, J. L. 
Dupont, Pere J. 
Dutch Reformed Church

Ellis, W. 
Epstein, A. L.

Fisher, W., and family
Fison, J. E.
Forster, Sir John
Fort Jameson
Fort Rosebery
Franciscan Tertiaries
Fraser, Dr Agnes
Fraser, D. 
Fraser, George
Free Church of Scotland Mission

Gann, L. H. 
General Missionary Conference of Northern Rhodesia
Goodall N. 
Gore-Browne, Sir Stewart 
Graham-Harrison, Miss 
Griffiths, A. J. 
Griffiths, J.
Groves, C. P. 
Guillebaud, C. G.

Hailey, Lord 
Harris, C. 
Hawkins, D. 
Hewitt, G. 
Hine, Bishop J. E.

Icely, B. 

Jehovah's Witnesses
Jesuit Fathers 
Johnston, Sir Harry 
Jones, Picton 
Jourdain, Fr 
'Jesus Fanoily'

Kafulafuta, 16, 34
Kalene Hill
Kamungu, L.
Kamwana, E.
Kasenga, B.
Katilungu, L.
Kaunda, K.

Laws, Dr R.
Lenshina, Alice
Lewanika, King
Lewanika, G.
Lewin, J.
Lisulo, G.
Livingstone, David
London Missionary Society 
Lumpa Church

MacLennan, Mr
MacPherson, F.
Marwick, M. G.
Mason, Philip
May, Bishop A.
Methodist Missions (see also AME Church)
Mines African Staffs' Association 
Mitchell, J. C.
Mitchell, Sir Phillip
Moffat, Sir John
Moffat, Mr and Mrs Malcolm
Moffat, Mr
Morris, Colin
Moore, R. J. B.
Mott, John R.
Murray, A.
Mushindo, P.
Mwanalesa (Mwana lesa)
Mweru, Lake

New Apostolic Church 
Nielsen, E. 
Nightingale, Mr 
Nkimibula, H. 
Ntara, S. 
Nutter, H. C. 
Nyasa Industrial Mission

Oliver R.

Paris Evangelical Mission
Parr, M. 
Peng, Wang Shih 
Philips, Mr
Price, T. - see Shepperson G.
Plymouth Brethren 
Prain, Sir Ronald
Purves, A. D.

Quick, G.

Rain, S. 
Rhodes, Cecil 
Richards, Dr A. I. 
Richmond, A. H. 
Roman Catholic Church (see also Jesuit Fathers and White Fathers)
Ross, Mr and Mrs

Salisbury, Lord
Salvation Army 
Scott, Dr A.
Seventh Day Adventists 
Sharpe, A.
Shepperson, G., and Price, T. 
Smith, Edwin
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
Soulsby, J. G. 
South Africa General Mission 
South African Baptist Mission
South African Presbyterian Church
Spillett, H. W.
Sundkler, B. C. M. 
Syrier, Mrs M. B.

Taylor, Bishop Selby
Thompson, C. H.
Thompson, J.
Thompson, Wardlow

UCCAR (United Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia)
UMCA (Universities' Mission to Central Africa)
UMCB (United Missions in the Copperbelt)
USCL (United Society for Christian Literature)

Van der Post, L.
van Doom, C. L.
Vlek, T. C. B.

Watchtower Society - See Jehovah's Witnesses
Watt, J. A. R.
Welensky, Sir Roy
White Fathers (see also Ilondola)
Wilberforce Institute 
Wilson, G. and M.
Wood, Miss E. A.
Woodruff, H. W.
Wright, S.

Yamba, D.
Young, C.
Young, W. P.

Zambia Congress



Adultery, mystical danger of
Chiefs, ritual position of
Childhood, rural, urban
Church attendance  collections, co-operation, finance, statistics, political participation by
Concession treaties
Copper deposits
Discarding death (ukupose mfzoa)
Education fear of
Family structure
Industrial advancement of Africans
Industrial disturbances
Land alienation
Marriage, inter-tribal, rural, urban
Marriage laws
Medicine (muti)
Middle class
Ministry, indigenous, training
Multi-racial clubs
Ng'anga (doctor)
Ngulu (spirits)
Nostalgia for rural life
Nyasalanders, as leaders
Prophet movements
Responsibility of Africans in the Church
Responsible government
Segregation, in society, in the Church
Sunday schools
Tribal elders
Tribal representatives
Tribes, matrilineal, patrilineal,religious affiliation of
University of Salisbury
Value judgments
Welfare societies
White collar workers
White man's religion
Women's organizations

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Loosing the chains of injustice in 1906

Many visitors to Zambia would be surprised to hear that slave raids (carried out mainly by Arabs and people of mixed African and Portuguese parentage) extended this far into the interior of Africa, that slavery was practiced locally, and to discover that it is a mere hundred years since slavery was more or less extinguished. The history of slavery is complex, with many heroes and villains, and with many systems prevailing in different areas, and it is therefore dangerous to generalise. Here is just one small piece of that story.

In western Zambia extending east to Batoka (at the Victoria Falls) was the territory known as Barotseland, the home of the Lozi people, famous today for the amazing and colourful ceremony of Kuomboka. The Lozi were a powerful tribe who held sway over the region and who therefore had to be reckoned with by the British South Africa Company as they made their forays into the territory. The paramount chief, known as the Litunga, or 'guardian of the earth', was responsible for the law governing his people. So it was to the Litunga at the time, Lewanika, that Cecil Rhodes went to sign the first treaty north of the Zambezi River. This brought the region under British influence in 1890. This influence, combined with that of missionaries such as Frederick Arnot and Coillard, persuaded Lewanika that the system of slavery practiced by his people was wrong. In the beginning the treatment of slaves, whose lives were completely in the hands of their owners, was improved, but in 1894 Lewanika declared that all who were of Barotse descent could not be slaves and a system of ransoming slaves was determined.

The Barotse people would not give up their slaves easily, however. According to Gelfand [1]

"No Barotse submitted himself to what he regarded as the indignity of manual labour. All his work was done by his slaves and the slaves could be forfeited for very little reason. A slave's wife and children were also the property of his master and could be sold. The slave could not participate in his master's pleasures and, if he killed an animal, the meat belonged to the master. He was not allowed to eat certain fishes and dared not touch honey."

The slaves, who were raided from Batoka and elswhere, and who were paid as tribute to the Lozi by vassal tribes, expected the British to liberate them, but the British governor Coryndon feared a revolution and so merely ruled (in 1897) that slave raiding and tribute should end. Raiding was much reduced through the introduction of a local police depot at Kalomo in 1899. When a hut tax was introduced in 1903, it was another blow against domestic slavery, as slaves were also liable to be taxed and this would have to be paid by their owners. Alongside this, the British administration paid Lewanika compensation for his lost tributes, 10% of the tax they collected, or about £1,200.

At this point, Lewanika himself recognised the evils of domestic slavery and when Worthington, the secretary for native affairs, visited in 1906, the hut tax was extended to the Barotse valley by agreement. Slave marriages were now recognised (a familiar story to anyone who has read the history of slavery in other regions) and slaves could buy their freedom for £2.

Here is a photo of a proclamation from 1906, I believe recording Lewanika's support for the abolition of slavery in Barotseland. This picture was taken in May 1970 by my father, Revd Pierre Dil, when we visited Mongu. (My father met the then Litunga to discuss setting up of a nutrition project in the region, but this did not come to pass. Unfortunately the old slides have not lasted well.)

This text, dated July 16, 1906 quotes Isaiah Chapter 58 (v 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14). Lewanika is at the bottom left and Edward the VII is on the right. One translation of the verses (KJV) reads

“Is not this the kind of fast I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

One could read into this quotation that Lewanika is also telling his people that they will not be destitute, that God will reward them for freeing their slaves.

The beginning of the proclamation refers to Lewanika as Morena, meaning 'ruler'.  I'm hoping someone will be able to explain the rest of the text.

Of course, the story does not end there. Gelfand reports that In 1913 there were twenty five convictions recorded amongst the Barotse for the buying and selling of slaves, but Lewanika's support for the aboliton of slavery meant that, at least for this part of the world, slavery had nearly been eradicated.

Barotseland was incorporated into the new nation of Zambia just prior to independence in 1964 by agreement of the Litunga and Kenneth Kaunda.

Here you can also see the royal barge, and the Litunga in 1970 (Mwanawina Lewanika III), outside his palace in Mongu.

 Here are my brother and I at the airport in Mongu in 1970.

[1] Gelfand "Northern Rhodesia in the days of the Charter", 1961