It is a very small book. It contains twelve letters written by Lukanga Mukara to his king Mukama. Lukanga was born a a small island in Lake Victoria. He is asked by his king to travel to Germany and report his findings. So Lukanga travelled to the interior of Germany and he wrote letters of his findings. All kinds of subject, like money, the way people dress, the drinking habits, travels, time-management, smoke-sticks are touched upon in these letters. Lukanga often compares his findings to his own culture and often he has to conclude that his own culture is superior. He is of the opinion that the Wasungu think of themselves as humans, but they are not.
The letters were published in 1912/1913, just over a hundred years ago. The letters were published in Germany, with the help of the German scholar, soldier and environmentalist Hans Paasche who had worked in the colony of Tanganyika.
But the letters are not what they seem to be. Hans Paasche is a real person and he met and talked with a very real Lukanga Mukara when they travelled together in East Africa. But the letters were not written by Lukanga, but by Paasche. Paasche made generous use of the conversations they had during the many days and nights they spent together. In a way these letters are doublesided. They show a view of Lukanga on his encounters with Germans and these letters show the views of Paasche on his own German society, but also on the societies he encountered in East Africa. His views on these African societies was generally positive. That was an exception in his days.
Hans Paasche – Die Forschungsreise des Afrikaners Lukanga Mukara ins innerste Deutschlands – Der Vortrupp 1912/1913
4 thoughts on “review DIE FORSCHUNGSREISE DES AFRIKANERS LUKANGA MUKARA INS INNERSTE DEUTSCHLANDS”
It is a great book, I translated it into Luganda as a translation student.
Thank you, Margareth. Has your translation been published?
Thanks for your comment. It is quite nice to read old books like that.
Interesting piece of history. Love these ‘snippets’.