John Roscoe (1861 - 1932) was a civil engineer and missionary to East Africa who conducted anthropological data collection of the Africans he encountered on mission. In 1884 he travelled to what became the Uganda Protectorate and lived there among several African tribes until 1909.
Twenty-Five Years In East Africa by John Roscoe (1921) is an account of the author's life as a missionary in Tanganyika before it became German East Africa and among the Baganda, the tribe or nation which has given its name to Uganda. The book includes how he suppressed a form of human sacrifice practised by the natives of Tanganyika. He left the country when the Germans took possession of it and he and his wife fell into the hands of Arabs, who opposed the German invasion. They only narrowly escaped being put to death by their captors, when a ransom payment only arrived an hour before the time of their execution. Free eBook
The Baganda: An Account Of Their Native Customs And Beliefs by John Roscoe (1911) is based on notes Roscoe compiled, over an 18 year period and tells the story of the Baganda people before British colonial influence became entrenched. It includes chapters on birth and childhood, marriage, sickness and burial, family relationships, clans and totems, the king, government, religion, warfare, industries, animals, agriculture and food, hunting, the economy, water wells and folklore. Free eBook
The Northern Bantu: An Account Of Some Central African Tribes Of The Uganda Protectorate by John Roscoe (1915) includes observations of the lives of the Banyoro, Banyankole, Bakene, Bagesu, Basoga, Baseso and Kavirondo peoples of Uganda. Free eBook
The Soul Of Central Africa: A General Account Of The Mackie Ethnological Expedition by John Roscoe (1922). After spending 25 years as a missionary in Africa, Roscoe was asked to lead an ethnographic expedition back into the heart of the continent. Under the auspices of the Royal Society and financed by Sir Peter Mackie, Roscoe returned to Central Africa and wrote down the customs and lore of numerous tribes of the region, making a vivid record of their culture before their erosion due to Western settlement and influence. Greater awareness of native cultures enabled the European powers ruling Africa to more thoroughly understand the peoples under their governance. Free eBook