Chronology of the Kings and Queen mothers of Bong-Manso: A revolution of the evidence
The main reference point for the chronology of the Bemba is their paramount chieftainship, Chitimukulu. A comparison of written records of traditions with the results of fieldwork in 1964–5 shows that it is impossible to determine the antiquity of this title with any precision, or to demonstrate any very clear connection with Luba or western Lunda history. There is however a strong probability that the Chitimukuluship was created some time in the seventeenth century, and it is certainly older than the eastern Lunda kingdom of Kazembe. There is no continuous genealogy of Chitimukulus before the end of the eighteenth century, but from this period it is possible to construct an approximate chronology of their reigns on the basis both of genealogy and of comparison between Bemba, Lunda and Portuguese sources. The first firm dates are supplied by Livingstone, in 1867 and 1872, and Giraud, in 1883. The chronology of Chitimukulu is compared, in two tables, with the chronology of other Bemba chieftainships and certain other chiefly dynasties in north-eastern Zambia and south-western Tanzania.