Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Local Intellectuals: Lacito Okech and the Production of Knowledge in Colonial Acholiland

  • Patrick W. Otim

Abstract:

In 1953, Lacito Okech, a precolonial royal messenger, Christian convert, and colonial chief, became the first Acholi to write and publish a history of his people. The book was instantly popular, inspiring many other Acholi to write histories of their respective chiefdoms. However, although these works constitute the bulk of vernacular Acholi histories, scholars have not paid attention to them, partly because of language limitations and partly due to limited scholarly interest in the history of the region. This article uses Okech’s life and book to explore important questions about the production of local history in colonial Acholiland. In particular, it explores Okech’s adroit manipulation of his complex circumstances at the intersection of the roles of messenger, convert, and colonial employee, his dilemmas as a local historian, and the influence of his roles as an intermediary between the Acholi on the one hand and the Church Missionary Society and the colonial regime on the other on his writing of history.

En 1953, Lacito Okech, messager royal avant la colonisation, converti au christianisme et chef pendant la colonisation, devient le premier Acholi à écrire et à publier une histoire de son peuple. Le livre a été immédiatement populaire, inspirant beaucoup d’autres Acholi à écrire les histoires de leurs chefferies respectives. Cependant, bien que ces travaux constituent la plupart des histoires vernaculaires acholi, les chercheurs n’y ont pas prêté attention, en partie à cause de leurs limitations linguistiques mais aussi à cause de leur intérêt limité pour l’histoire de la région. Cet article utilise la vie et le livre d’Okech pour explorer des questions importantes sur la production de l’histoire locale dans l’Acholiland colonial. En particulier, il explore la manipulation habile d’Okech de sa situation complexe à l’intersection des rôles de messager, de converti, et d’employé colonial et analyse ses dilemmes en tant qu’historien local, et l’influence sur son écriture de l’histoire par ses rôles d’intermédiaire entre les Acholi d’une part et la Church Missionary Society et le régime colonial de l’autre.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Adimola, Andrew, “The Lamogi Rebellion, 1911–1912,” Uganda Journal 182 (1954).
Adimola, Andrew, The Development of Primary Education (Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau, 1962).
Amone, Charles, “Strangers Everywhere: Exclusion, Identity and the Future of Nubians in Northern Uganda,” Greener Journal of Social Sciences 38 (2013), 391398.
Anywar, Reuben Stephen, Acholi ki Ker Megi (Kampala: Eagle Press, 1954).
Anywar, Reuben Stephen, “The Life of Rwot Iburaim Awich,” Uganda Journal 121 (1948), 7281.
Apoko, Anna, “At Home in the Village: Growing up in Acholi,” in: , Lorene K.Fox, (ed.), East African Childhood (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1967), 4570.
Atkinson, Ronald. R., “A History of the Western Acholi of Uganda c.1675–1900: A Study in the Utilization and Analysis of Oral Data,” PhD dissertation, Northwestern University (Evanston IL, 1978).
Atkinson, Ronald. R., “The Evolution of Ethnicity among the Acholi of Uganda: The Precolonial Phase,” Ethnohistory 361 (1989), 1943.
Atkinson, Ronald. R., The Roots of Ethnicity: The Origins of the Acholi of Uganda before 1800 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994).
Behrend, Heike, Alice Lakwena and the Holy Spirits: War in Northern Uganda, 1985–97 (Oxford: James Currey, 1999).
Bere, Rennie M., “Awich: A Biographical Note and a Chapter of Acholi History,” Uganda Journal 102 (1946), 7678.
Bere, Rennie M., “Land and Chieftainship among the Acholi,” Uganda Journal 191 (1955), 4956.
Branch, Adam, Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Cisternino, Mario, Passion for Africa: Missionary and Imperial Papers on the Evangelisations of Uganda and Sudan (Kampala: Fountain, 2004).
Dwyer, John Orr, “The Acholi of Uganda: Adjustment to Imperialism,” PhD dissertation, Colombia University (New York, 1968).
Finnström, Sverker, Living with Bad Surroundings: War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2008).
Furley, O.W. and Watson, Tom, A History of Education in East Africa (New York: NOK, 1978).
Girling, Frank Knowles, The Acholi of Uganda (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1960).
Hansen, Holger B., Mission, Church, and State in a Colonial Setting: Uganda, 1890–1925 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984).
Hunt, Nancy Rose, A Colonial Lexicon of Birth Ritual, Medicalization, and Mobility in the Congo (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1999).
Kitching, Arthur L., “Work in the Nile Province,” Uganda Notes 61 (1905), 810.
Kresse, Kai, “Kenya: Twendapi? Re-reading Abdilatif Abdalla’s Pamphlet Fifty Years after Independence,” Africa 861 (2016), 132.
Levine, Roger S., A Living Man from Africa: Jan Tzatzoe, Xhosa Chief and Missionary, and the Making of Nineteenth-Century South Africa (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 2010).
Leys, Colin, Politicians and Policies: An Essay on Politics in Acholi, Uganda (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1967).
Lloyd, Arthur Bushnell, Uganda to Khartoum: Life and Adventure on the Upper Nile (New York: Dutton, 1906).
Marchetti, Mario, Too Long in the Dark: The Story of the Two Martyrs of Paimol and Their Relevance to Uganda Today (Gulu: Mission Press, 1999).
Odida, Petero, “Papers of Petero Odida” (Gulu: not institutionally deposited, n.d.).
Odongo, Onyango, “The Luo Philosophy” (Gulu, unpublished manuscript, 1979).
Okech, Lacito, Tekwaro ki Ker Lobo Acholi (Kampala: Eagle Press, 1953).
Onek, Lakana, “Kwo-na Ikare Macon [My life History]” Makerere University (Kampala, unpublished manuscript, 1978).
Otim, Patrick W., “Forgotten Voices of the Transition: Precolonial Intellectuals and the Colonial State in Northern Uganda, 1850–1950,” PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, 2016).
Pirouet, Margaret M.L., “The Expansion of the Church of Uganda from Buganda into Northern and Western Uganda between 1891 and 1914,” PhD dissertation, University of East Africa (Kampala, 1968).
Pirouet, Margaret M.L., Black Evangelists: The Spread of Christianity in Uganda, 1891–1914 (London: Collings, 1978).
Postlethwaite, John R.P., African Roses (London: H.F. & G. Witherby, 1937).
Postlethwaite, John R.P., I Look Back (London: T.V. Boardman, 1947).
Russell, John K., Men without God? A Study of the Impact of the Christian Message in the North of Uganda (London: The Highway Press, 1966).
Russell, John K., “Church Extension to the North,” in: Tom Tuma, A.D. and Mutibwa, Phares Mukasa (eds.), A Century of Christianity in Uganda, 1877–1977: A Historical Appraisal of the Development of the Uganda Church Over the Last One Hundred Years (Nairobi: Uzima Press, 1978), 5767.
Uma, Frank K., “The Acoli-Arab-Nubian Relation in the Nineteenth Century,” Bachelor’s graduating essay, Makerere University (Kampala, 1971).

Local Intellectuals: Lacito Okech and the Production of Knowledge in Colonial Acholiland

  • Patrick W. Otim

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed