History Form One Notes
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Release date: 2023-01-14
SOURCES AND IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY
Meaning of history
History is the study of man and his activities in different times.
These activities enable man to obtain his basic needs. Man’s basic needs are food, clothes, and shelter.
History is the record of human activities, which enable man to survival and attain essential needs from the environment.
IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING HISTORY
- It helps to understand how African societies were formed, how they developed and the factors that influenced this development.
- It helps us to understand and appreciate the efforts made and strategies used by African people to regain their independence
- It helps to understand conflict resolution and effective participation in social, economic and political development of Africa.
- It helps us to develop an understanding of the relationships between African’s development problems and foreign intrusion
- It develops our patriotism, as students know their heroes and traitors.
- It enlightens people about the advantages of certain economic practices.
- It helps to understand the level of development at different stages of human development
- It helps us to learn about technological transformations, for example from stone ages to Iron Age.
- It helps to understand the relationship that existed between humans and the environment.
- It helps to understand the past, present to plan the future.
SOURCES OF HISTORY
Sources of history refers to the ways that can be used to get historical information.
Sources of history/historical knowledge sources:
- Oral tradition
- Historical sites
- Written records/documents
- Audio- visual record, e.g. Cassettes, Cd’s, and TV programs etc.
- ORAL TRADITION
Oral tradition refers to the passing information by word of mouth through talking and listening.
Oral tradition passes historical information into two ways:
- culture practices
- Narration of past events.
FUNCTION OF ORAL TRADITION
- It preserves historical information of society
- I t collects and pass historical information between generations in the society.
- It helps researchers in data collection.
ADVANTAGES OF ORAL TRADITION
- It preserves and reveal historical information which are not recorded
- Both illiterate and literate people can obtain historical information.
- Within oral tradition, there are warning and teachings.
- Is the easiest and cheapest method of obtaining information
- It is live source since it involves physical interaction.
DISADVANTAGES OF ORAL TRADITION
- It needs much attention and power of memory
- False information can be given by storyteller.
- Narration of historical events are centered to those people of status i.e. Kings, Queens, Chief. White talking little about common society.
- There is a language problem when narrator uses vernacular language.
- It is difficult to distinguish what is real and what is imaginary information.
- Translation is very difficult because some languages are no longer in existence.
- HISTORICAL SITES
Historical sites are special places whereby the past human remains can be found and shown to the public. They comprise man’s physical development, tools that were made and used from time to time.
Examples of historical sites:
In Tanzania: Isimila, Olduvai George, Kondoa Irangi, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, Kilwa, Mafia, Engaruka, Kagera etc
In Uganda: Nsongezi, Biggo, Ntubi, Rusinga Island, Magosi and Ishago.
In Kenya: Lake Rudolf (Turkana), Lake Naivasha, Njoro, Olongesailie, Lake Magadi, Lamu, and Mombasa
FUNCTIONS OF HISTORICAL SITES
- Preserves historical information for the coming generations.
- They are useful sources of information and to reconstruct history.
- They are the symbols of social, cultural heritage to the society concern past human tools, rock, paints etc.
- Visitors can view and touch articles at historical sites.
ADVANTAGES OF HISTORICAL SITES
- They help for practical historical learning e.g., through observation of tools, rock, paints.
- Used to reveal past settlement patterns, levels of technology, economic development and political organization reached by the past societies.
- Acts as centers of tourism.
- They help in transforming theoretical teaching of history to practical historical learning.
- It acts as the resource centers to researchers.
- It provides employment opportunities e.g., guiders
DISADVANTAGES/LIMITATION OF HISTORICAL SITES
- It brings confusion to interpret the remains found in historical sites
- Difficult for many people to visit them because many of historical sites are found on remote areas hence difficult to reach them.
- A historical site usually a protected area, one cannot take of it for further research
- Some sites are very old and need to be treated with great care.
Archaeology refers to the scientific study of past human remain. It is the study of material remains of man’s past through scientific methods.
The one specializes in archeology is called ARCHAEOLOGIST.
Archaeology involves excavations (digging) of the remains of man’s past.
The famous archaeologist in East Africa was Dr. Louis Leaky with his wife Mary Leakey.
Archaeology involves the use of carbon 14 dating to determine plants and animal remains.
FUNCTIONS OF ARCHAEOLOGY
- Gives important information about man through different stages.
- It is a useful method of helpful soil covered historical remains.
- It arouses curiosity of searching past man historical information.
- Archeological remains provide evidence of materials during a certain period of history
- Archeological method is used to date materials from the past. This gives a sense of time to historical events.
- It complements other sources of history. Example if oral tradition stated that, a certain area was sacred, to find archeological remains in the ground that would help to validate these claims.
- Archaeologist can determine past relation between groups of people, example trade, war, or migration.
ADVANTAGES OF ARCHAEOLOGY
- It helps people to know when and how people lived in a certain place.
- Archeology is a source of varied information because of the variety information because of artefacts that can be found
- It helps us to know and reveal the technology, agricultural and commercial activities of the past man.
- Through excavation, we get knowledge of artifacts e.g., Pottery, building etc.
- Archeology can give details of the material culture of a society, example the types of ornaments people wore or money they used.
- We can complement other sources of information through archaeology e.g., oral tradition.
- We can know the past relationship between different people such as trading activities, migration, marriage, birth, death, and political relation.
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