The meanings of heritage practices, spaces and sites in the Busoga kingdom, ‘Uganda’ in the twenty first century
This study investigates how the heritage of Busoga has been (re)presented in the local as well as in the national domain. Busoga is a territory and kingdom in east-central Uganda. It is one of the kingdoms that were found in Uganda at independence and entered a federal arrangement with the new nation-state presenting a series of challenges around the question of traditional power vis a vis political power; national versus local heritage; contemporary versus ‘traditional’ and heritage poised against the throes of social and economic change. The argument presented here is that the heritage of Busoga as presented has been invented and created during the colonial and post-colonial times. Over time Busoga as a community and with it, a form of heritage posed as tradition, took shape. After the restoration of the kingdoms in 1993, through a constitutional enactment that reversed the 1967 order that had abolished kingdoms and established a republican and unitary order, kingdoms re-appeared as having been rooted in a timeless tradition assuming ‘naturality’ which but was a re-representation of invented traditions. Spaces, sites and palaces and a narrative thread developed and the institution of Kyabazingaship(kingship) became the central point around which the kingdom revolved. I argue through this study that the post-colonial state, like its colonial counterpart has played a crucial role in the invention of this heritage.