The development of increasingly efficient firearms and their contribution to Western imperialism are master themes of nineteenth-century historiography. Conversely, the survival of earlier tactical and weapons traditions has received much less scholarly attention, partly, no doubt, because of the Eurocentric and technologically deterministic nature of much contemporary military history. To be sure, continuity in military hardware on the peripheries of European imperial expansion can sometimes be explained away as the simple consequence of commercial isolation and general lack of economic opportunities. Yet wilful resistance to foreign military technology was also frequent and important. Such instances of technological conservatism – this chapter contends – are best interpreted in terms of the local cultural structures and social dynamics that underpinned them. The first section of the chapter discusses some salient episodes in the pre-colonial political history of the Jere Ngoni of present-day eastern Zambia. My aim is to isolate the key features of their relationship with firearms. It will be argued that, despite having repeatedly experienced the potential of the new weapons of destruction and having had ample opportunities purposes. An explanation for this seemingly aberrant behaviour is offered in the second part of the chapter, which focuses on Ngoni pre-colonial social institutions and notions of honour and masculinity as reflected in the ethnographic record.
They Disdain Firearms: The Relationship between Guns and the Ngoni of Eastern Zambia to the Early Twentieth Century / Macola, G. - (2013), pp. 101-128.
|Titolo:||They Disdain Firearms: The Relationship between Guns and the Ngoni of Eastern Zambia to the Early Twentieth Century|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Citazione:||They Disdain Firearms: The Relationship between Guns and the Ngoni of Eastern Zambia to the Early Twentieth Century / Macola, G. - (2013), pp. 101-128.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|