A ground-breaking series that has redefined a region, the Eastern African Studies Series takes in a broad sweep of the continent from Ethiopia and the Red Sea to Mozambique. The EAS is both multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary. It includes studies of distinction that contribute to academic debates, general regional and country surveys, and multi-authored collections on key topics.

An outlet for first-time authors as well as a showcase for established scholars, EAS has presented major new works on Mau Mau, the nature of the colonial state, social history and social life, religion and politics, conflict and reconstruction, environmental history, and poverty and development.

All books in the series are available in paperback editions.

Being Maasai · Ethnicity and Identity In East Africa

Edited by Thomas Spear and Richard Waller

Everyone “knows” the Maasai as proud pastoralists who once dominated the Rift Valley from northern Kenya to central Tanzania. But many people who identity themselves as Maasai, or who speak Maa, are not pastoralist at all, but farmers and hunters. Over time many different people have “become” something else. And what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.


This groundbreaking book by two leading scholars offers a complete historical picture of women and their work in Uganda, tracing developments from precolonial times to the present and into the future. Setting women’s economic activities into a broader political, social, and cultural context, it provides the first general account of their experiences amid the changes that shaped the country.


Slavery in the Great Lakes Region of East Africa is a collection of ten studies by the most prominent historians of the region. Slavery was more important in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa than often has been assumed, and Africans from the interior played a more complex role than was previously recognized. The essays in this collection reveal the connections between the peoples of the region as well as their encounters with the conquering Europeans.


War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa · The Patterns and Meanings of State-Level Conflict in the 19th Century

By Richard Reid

War in Pre-Colonial Eastern Africa examines the nature and objectives of violence in the region in the nineteenth century. It is particularly concerned with highland Ethiopia and the Great Lakes. It will be of use to those interested in military history and to anyone involved in modern development and conflict resolution seeking to understand the deeper historical roots of African warfare.


Cultivating Success in Uganda · Kigezi Farmers and Colonial Policies

By Grace Carswell

Kigezi, a district in southwestern Uganda, is exceptional in many ways. In contrast to many other parts of the colonial world, this district did not adopt cash crops. Soil conservation practices were successfully adopted, and the region maintained a remarkably developed and individualized land market from the early colonial period. Grace Carswell presents a comprehensive study of livelihoods in Kigezi.


This study examines the complex history of slavery in East Africa, focusing on the area that came under German colonial rule. In contrast to the policy pursued at the time by other colonial powers in Africa, the German authorities did not legally abolish slavery in their colonial territories. However, despite government efforts to keep the institution of slavery alive, it significantly declined in Tanganyika in the period concerned.


Ethnic Federalism · The Ethiopian Experience in Comparative Perspective

Edited by David Turton

Since 1991, Ethiopia has gone further than any other country in using ethnicity as the fundamental organizing principle of a federal system of government. And yet this pioneering experiment in “ethnic federalism” has been largely ignored in the growing literature on democratization and ethnicity in Africa and on the accommodation of ethnic diversity in democratic states. Ethnic Federalism brings a much-needed comparative dimension to the discussion of this experiment in Ethiopia.


Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro · Population & Environment in Western Uganda 1860–1955

By Shane Doyle

One of the first studies of the political ecology of a major African kingdom, Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro focuses on the interplay between levels of environmental activity within a highly stratified society.


In Search of a Nation · Histories of Authority and Dissidence in Tanzania

Edited by Gregory H. Maddox and James L. Giblin

The double-sided nature of African nationalism—its capacity to inspire expressions of unity, and its tendency to narrow political debate—are explored by sixteen historians, focusing on the experience of Tanzania.


Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.


African Underclass · Urbanisation, Crime, and Colonial Order in Dar es Salaam

By Andrew Burton

African Underclass examines the social, political, and administrative repercussions of rapid urban growth in Dar es Salaam. The origins of an often coercive response to urbanization in postcolonial Tanzania are traced back to the colonial period. The British reacted to unanticipated urban growth by attempting to limit the process, though this failed to prevent a substantial increase in rates of urbanization.


Black Poachers, White Hunters · A Social History of Hunting in Colonial Kenya

By Edward I. Steinhart

Black Poachers, White Hunters traces the history of hunting in Kenya in the colonial era, describing the British attempt to impose the practices and values of nineteenth-century European aristocratic hunts followed, ultimately, by claims over African wildlife by conservationists.


A History of the Excluded · Making Family a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania

By James L. Giblin

The twentieth-century history of Njombe, the Southern Highlands district of Tanzania, can aptly be summed up as exclusion within incorporation. Njombe was marginalized even as it was incorporated into the colonial economy. Njombe’s people came to see themselves as excluded from agricultural markets, access to medical services, schooling—in short, from all opportunity to escape the impoverishing trap of migrant labor.


Islands of intensive agriculture are areas of local cultivation surrounded by low-density livestock herders or extensive cultivators. Along the line of the East Africa Rift Valley, and in the highlands on either side, communities of considerable historical depth have developed highly specialized agricultural regimes, employing such labor-intensive devices as furrow irrigation, hillside terracing, and stall-feeding of cattle.


Leaf of Allah · Khat & Agricultural Transformation in Harerge, Ethiopia, 1875–1991

By Ezekiel Gebissa

Khat is a quasi-legal psychoactive shrub, produced and marketed in the province of Harerge, Ethiopia, and widely consumed throughout Northeast Africa. In the late nineteenth century the main cash crop of Harerge was coffee. Leaf of Allah examines why farming families shifted from cultivating coffee and food crops to growing khat. Demographic, market, and political factors facilitated the emergence of khat as Harerge's leading agricultural commodity.