American on Purpose*
A recent introduction in to the study of genealogy, has led me to the understanding that there is very little I know about my family tree beyond the limited knowledge of my grandparents background. As far back as my family’s oral narration can take me, the history of my ancestors began in Lwimbanshila Village, Chinsali on my maternal side and Chipowe Village, Kasama on my paternal side, both in the Northern Province of Zambia. While under British rule, Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia. The lineage, from which I come, makes me a part of the Bemba tribe; who are a matrilineal society. The Bemba belong to a large group of peoples mainly in the Northern, Luapula and Copperbelt Provinces of Zambia who trace their origins to the Luba and Lunda states of the upper Congo basin, in what became Katanga Province in southern Congo-Kinshasa (DRC). My maternal grandmother and my paternal grandfather both came from a line of sub chiefs and belonged to the royal clan, “the people of the crocodile,” (Bena Ng’andu). As such, they were themselves subjects of the paramount Bemba Chief Chitimukulu.