A history of the Luyana of Kalabo to 1906
Sumbwa, George Nyambe
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Like every other kind of historical research, the subject matter of this study cannot be considered exhausted. Both for the limitations to historical research and writing in general, and more so for the period involved (pre-colonial), it could not have been possible for everything pertaining to Luyana history at this time to be fully unearthed and documented here. This is not to say that the work is inadequate.For, it contains a fair amount of new data, as well as fresh interpretations to Luyana history in particular and that of Buloai (Western Province) in general. In the main, the following issues have been discussed: First, the identity of the people in question. Existing Bulozi history uses the term Luyana to denote the iniling group in Bulozi prior to the coming of the Kololo. The word is used interchangeably with the word Luyi which refers to the same people. Consequently, the Luyana of Kalabo are precluded from this definition, and are referred to only by their individual names: Makoma, Nyengo, Mwenyi, Imilangu and Liuwa. In contrast to this view, my study makes a distinction between the names Luyi and Luyana. (See Appendix B, 1). It then reserves use of the former name to the ruling group, while applying the latter to the above mentioned peoples, as well as the other Luyi offshoots such as the Kwangwa and Kwandi.Second, this study discusses the question of the origins of the Luyana peoples, including the manner of their migration into the Luyana region. Here again, there is a marked contrast between the prevailing views and ray findings.Whereas existing literature considers the Luyana as being non-Luyi, and to have come to Bulozi earlier than them, my thesis is that most Luyana broke from the Luyi and the recognized Luyi offshoots viz: the Kwangwa, Kwandi and Mbowe.Their coming to Luyanaland is shown as a gradual process, in which different clansmen came to the area either as hunters or as refugees. And for historical reasons, these clans eventually merged into the major peoples now existing.Third, we have a discussion on the economy and government of the Luyana peoples. Both are discussed under various periods.An early period, when Luyana affairs were administered by their clan heads (makulututu), a period when there were independent chieftaincies in Nyengo and Makoma prior to the incorporation of these areas into the Central Luyi Administration, and the period of Luyi rule in the region. A number of interesting factors emerge from these discussions. The scientific mind of the early Luyana as exemplified by their preparation of crystalline salt, and Luyana inclusion into the Luyi'Administration through the lifunga system, are notable examples.Interesting too is the issue of Luyana militarism. Whereas existing literature says practically nothing regarding Luyana warfare, apart from stating their being conquered by the Luyi, my study shows that some Luyana played significant roles in some wars that were fought in Bulozi. Ngombala's conquest of the independent chieftaincies in Luyanaland for example, was achieved through the corroboration of some Luyana men. Finally, this study deals with the crucial issue of the advent of colonialism. The Luyana were under the Luyi then, and Lewanika's treaties with the British resulted in Luyana 'country' falling under the British sphere of influence. Unfortunately for the people, some of their kinsmen came under the Portuguese, who had been advancing from their trading posts in present day Angola.An Administrative station (Lukona) was established in 1906, to effect British rule in Luyanaland. The date marks the terminal point for this study.It is sincerely hoped that what the work contains will interest scholars, to the extent that some of them may conduct further research in the region.