Three years before the events of 9/11, Osama bin Laden sent al Qaeda suicide bombers on a coordinated attack to destroy the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. That day, August 7, 1998, more than two hundred people were killed and thousands were wounded. Responding immediately, the FBI launched the largest international investigation in its history. Within months, suspects were arrested in six countries. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York indicted twenty-two individuals, including the elusive bin Laden. In February 2001 a landmark trial of four of the accused was held in Manhattan in the shadow of the World Trade Center. Al Qaeda Declares War: The African Embassy Bombings and America’s Search for Justice explores the step-by-step procedures the United States employed in analyzing these attacks, identifying the suspects, tracking down and apprehending them, building a case, and prosecuting them. It is this case that established the legal basis for hunting down bin Laden, and the trial makes for a gripping courtroom drama, in which the robust principles of American justice confront the fanaticism of true believers. Tod Hoffman argues forcefully that the process after the 1998 incident stands in marked contrast to the illegal detention, torture, and abrogation of rights that followed 9/11. Indeed, reverberations from the African embassy bombings continue in the ongoing hunt for perpetrators still at large, and in targeted killings by drones. Al Qaeda Declares War dramatically recounts the terror and bloodshed of that day in Africa and shows that America’s search for justice afterward offers important lessons for today.
In 1972, a young graduate student named Shirley Strum traveled to Kenya to study a troop of olive baboons (Papio anubis) nicknamed the Pumphouse Gang. Like our own ancestors, baboons had adapted to life on the African savannah, and Strum hoped that by observing baboon behavior, she could learn something about how early humans might have lived. Soon the baboons had won her heart as well as her mind, and Strum has been working with them ever since.
Vividly written and filled with fascinating insights, Almost Human chronicles the first fifteen years of Strum's fieldwork with the Pumphouse Gang. From the first paragraph, the reader is drawn along with Strum into the world of the baboons, learning about the tragedies and triumphs of their daily lives—and the lives of the scientists studying them. This edition includes a new introduction and epilogue that place Strum's research in the context of the current global conservation crisis and tell us what has happened to the Pumphouse Gang since the book was first published.
Elephants have fascinated humans for millennia. Aristotle wrote of them with awe; Hannibal used them in warfare; and John Donne called the elephant “Nature’s greatest masterpiece. . . . The only harmless great thing.” Their ivory has been sought after and treasured in most cultures, and they have delighted zoo and circus audiences worldwide for centuries. But it wasn’t until the second half of the twentieth century that people started to take an interest in elephants in the wild, and some of the most important studies of these intelligent giants have been conducted at Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
The Amboseli Elephants is the long-awaited summation of what’s been learned from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP)—the longest continuously running elephant research project in the world. Cynthia J. Moss and Harvey Croze, the founders of the AERP, and Phyllis C. Lee, who has been closely involved with the project since 1982, compile more than three decades of uninterrupted study of over 2,500 individual elephants, from newborn calves to adult bulls to old matriarchs in their 60s. Chapters explore such topics as elephant ecosystems, genetics, communication, social behavior, and reproduction, as well as exciting new developments from the study of elephant minds and cognition. The book closes with a view to the future, making important arguments for the ethical treatment of elephants and suggestions to aid in their conservation.
The most comprehensive account of elephants in their natural environment to date, The Amboseli Elephants will be an invaluable resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone interested in the lives and loves of these extraordinary creatures.
Baboon Mothers and Infants
Jeanne Altmann University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress QL737.P93A39 2001 | Dewey Decimal 599.865
When it was originally released in 1980, Jeanne Altmann's book transformed the study of maternal primate relationships by focusing on motherhood and infancy within a complex ecological and sociological context. Available again with a new foreword by the author, Baboon Mothers and Infants is a classic book that has been, in its own right, a mother to a generation of influential research and will no doubt provide further inspiration.
Everyone “knows” the Maasai as proud pastoralists who once dominated the Rift Valley from northern Kenya to central Tanzania.
But many people who identity themselves as Maasai, or who speak Maa, are not pastoralist at all, but farmers and hunters. Over time many different people have “become” something else. And what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.
This collection by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and linguists examines how Maasai identity has been created, evoked, contested, and transformed from the time of their earliest settlement in Kenya to the present, as well as raising questions about the nature of ethnicity generally.
These days, development inspires scant trust in the West. For critics who condemn centralized efforts to plan African societies as latter day imperialism, such plans too closely reflect their roots in colonial rule and neoliberal economics. But proponents of this pessimistic view often ignore how significant this concept has become for Africans themselves. In Bewitching Development, James Howard Smith presents a close ethnographic account of how people in the Taita Hills of Kenya have appropriated and made sense of development thought and practice, focusing on the complex ways that development connects with changing understandings of witchcraft.
Similar to magic, development’s promise of a better world elicits both hope and suspicion from Wataita. Smith shows that the unforeseen changes wrought by development—greater wealth for some, dashed hopes for many more—foster moral debates that Taita people express in occult terms. By carefully chronicling the beliefs and actions of this diverse community—from frustrated youths to nostalgic seniors, duplicitous preachers to thought-provoking witch doctors—BewitchingDevelopment vividly depicts the social life of formerly foreign ideas and practices in postcolonial Africa.
For centuries, Kenya’s game-laden plains and forests were the rewarding hunting grounds of her native African population. Black Poachers, White Hunters traces the history of hunting there in the colonial era, describing the British attempt to impose the practices and values of nineteenth-century European aristocratic hunts. This both created and enforced an image of African inferiority and subordination. Ultimately conservationists came to claim sovereignty over African wildlife, completing the transformation of indigenous hunters into criminal poachers and seeking to eliminate them altogether from the “sportsman’s paradise” of Kenya.ABOUT THE AUTHOR---Edward I. Steinhart is an associate professor of history at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.
A story with the power to change how people view the last years of colonialism in East Africa, The Boy Is Gone portrays the struggle for Kenyan independence in the words of a freedom fighter whose life spanned the twentieth century's most dramatic transformations. Born into an impoverished farm family in the Meru Highlands, Japhlet Thambu grew up wearing goatskins and lived to stand before his community dressed for business in a pressed suit, crisp tie, and freshly polished shoes. For most of the last four decades, however, he dressed for work in the primary school classroom and on his lush tea farm.
The General, as he came to be called from his leadership of the Mau Mau uprising sixty years ago, narrates his life story in conversation with Laura Lee Huttenbach, a young American who met him while backpacking in Kenya in 2006. A gifted storyteller with a keen appreciation for language and a sense of responsibility as a repository of his people's history, the General talks of his childhood in the voice of a young boy, his fight against the British in the voice of a soldier, and his long life in the voice of shrewd elder. While his life experiences are his alone, his story adds immeasurably to the long history of decolonization as it played out across Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
After four decades of British rule in colonial Kenya, a previously unknown ethnic name—“Luyia”—appeared on the official census in 1948. The emergence of the Luyia represents a clear case of ethnic “invention.” At the same time, current restrictive theories privileging ethnic homogeneity fail to explain this defiantly diverse ethnic project, which now comprises the second-largest ethnic group in Kenya.
In Cartography and the Political Imagination, which encompasses social history, geography, and political science, Julie MacArthur unpacks Luyia origins. In so doing, she calls for a shift to understanding geographic imagination and mapping not only as means of enforcing imperial power and constraining colonized populations, but as tools for articulating new political communities and dissent. Through cartography, Luyia ethnic patriots crafted an identity for themselves characterized by plurality, mobility, and cosmopolitan belonging.
While other historians have focused on the official maps of imperial surveyors, MacArthur scrutinizes the ways African communities adopted and adapted mapping strategies to their own ongoing creative projects. This book marks an important reassessment of current theories of ethnogenesis, investigates the geographic imaginations of African communities, and challenges contemporary readings of community and conflict in Africa.
An in-depth look at the ecology, history, and politics of land use among the Turkana pastoral people in Northern Kenya
Based on sixteen years of fieldwork among the pastoral Turkana people, McCabe examines how individuals use the land and make decisions about mobility, livestock, and the use of natural resources in an environment characterized by aridity, unpredictability, insecurity, and violence. The Turkana are one of the world's most mobile peoples, but understanding why and how they move is a complex task influenced by politics, violence, historical relations among ethnic groups, and the government, as well as by the arid land they call home.
As one of the original members of the South Turkana Ecosystem Project, McCabe draws on a wealth of ecological data in his analysis. His long-standing relationship with four Turkana families personalize his insights and conclusions, inviting readers into the lives of these individuals, their families, and the way they cope with their environment and political events in daily life.
J. Terrence McCabe is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder.
The Combing of History
David William Cohen University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress D16.C55 1994 | Dewey Decimal 901
How is historical knowledge produced? And how do silence and forgetting figure in the knowledge we call history? Taking us through time and across the globe, David William Cohen's exploration of these questions exposes the circumstantial nature of history. His investigation uncovers the conventions and paradigms that govern historical knowledge and historical texts and reveals the economic, social, and political forces at play in the production of history.
Drawing from a wide range of examples, including African legal proceedings, German and American museum exhibits, Native American commemorations, public and academic debates, and scholarly research, David William Cohen explores the "walls and passageways" between academic and non-academic productions of history.
"This history is . . . the first fully-fleshed story of African Nairobi in all of its complexity which foregrounds African experiences. Given the overwhelming white dominance in the written sources, it is a remarkable achievement."—Claire Robertson, International Journal of African Historical Studies
"White's book . . . takes a unique approach to a largely unexplored aspect of African History. It enhances our understanding of African social history, political economy, and gender studies. It is a book that deserves to be widely read."—Elizabeth Schmidt, American Historical Review
This history of the political economy of Kenya is the first full length study of the development of the colonial state in Africa.
Professor Berman argues that the colonial state was shaped by the contradictions between maintaining effective political control with limited coercive force and ensuring the profitable articulation of metropolitan and settler capitalism with African societies.
This dialectic of domination resulted in both the uneven transformation of indigenous societies and in the reconstruction of administrative control in the inter-war period.
The study traces the evolution of the colonial state from its skeletal beginnings in the 1890s to the complex bureaucracy of the post-1945 era which managed the growing integration of the colony with international capital. These contradictions led to the political crisis of the Mau Mau emergency in 1952 and to the undermining of the colonial state.
The book is based on extensive primary sources including numerous interviews with Kenyan and British participants. The analysis moves from the micro-level of the relationship of the District Commissioners and the African population to the macro-level of the state and the political economy of colonialism.
Professor Berman uses the case of Kenya to make a sophisticated contribution to the theory of the state and to the understanding of the dynamics of the development of modern African political and economic institutions.
This is a sharply observed assessment of the history of the last half century by a distinguished group of historians of Kenya. At the same time the book is a courageous reflection in the dilemmas of African nationhood.
Professor B. A. Ogot says:
“The main purpose of the book is to show that decolonization does not only mean the transfer of alien power to sovereign nationhood; it must also entail the liberation of the worlds of spirit and culture, as well as economics and politics.
“The book also raises a more fundamental question, that is: How much independence is available to any state, national economy or culture in today’s world? It asks how far are Africa’s miseries linked to the colonial past and to the process of decolonization?
“In particular the book raises the basic question of how far Kenya is avoidably neo-colonial? And what does neo-colonial dependence mean? The book answers these questions by discussing the dynamic between the politics of decolonization, the social history of class formation and the economics of dependence. The book ends with a provocative epilogue discussing the transformation of the post-colonial state from a single-party to a multi-party system.”
Perhaps no figure embodied the ambiguities, colonial fears, and collective imaginations of Kenya’s decolonization era more than Dedan Kimathi, the self-proclaimed field marshal of the rebel forces that took to the forests to fight colonial rule in the 1950s. Kimathi personified many of the contradictions that the Mau Mau rebellion represented: rebel statesman, literate peasant, modern traditionalist. His capture and trial in 1956, and subsequent execution, for many marked the end of the rebellion and turned Kimathi into a patriotic martyr.
Dedan Kimathi on Trial unearths a piece of the colonial archive long thought lost, hidden, or destroyed. Its discovery and landmark publication unsettles an already contentious history and prompts fresh examinations of its reverberations in the present.
Here, the entire trial transcript is available for the first time. This critical edition also includes provocative contributions from leading Mau Mau scholars reflecting on the meaning of the rich documents offered here and the figure of Kimathi in a much wider field of historical and contemporary concerns. These include the nature of colonial justice; the moral arguments over rebellion, nationalism, and the end of empire; and the complexities of memory and memorialization in contemporary Kenya.
Contributors: David Anderson, Simon Gikandi, Nicholas Githuku, Lotte Hughes, and John Lonsdale. Introductory note by Willy Mutunga.
In this theoretically rich exploration of ethnic and religious tensions, Janet McIntosh demonstrates how the relationship between two ethnic groups in the bustling Kenyan town of Malindi is reflected in and shaped by the different ways the two groups relate to Islam. While Swahili and Giriama peoples are historically interdependent, today Giriama find themselves literally and metaphorically on the margins, peering in at a Swahili life of greater social and economic privilege. Giriama are frustrated to find their ethnic identity disparaged and their versions of Islam sometimes rejected by Swahili.
The Edge of Islam explores themes as wide-ranging as spirit possession, divination, healing rituals, madness, symbolic pollution, ideologies of money, linguistic code-switching, and syncretism and its alternatives. McIntosh shows how the differing versions of Islam practiced by Swahili and Giriama, and their differing understandings of personhood, have figured in the growing divisions between the two groups. Her ethnographic analysis helps to explain why Giriama view Islam, a supposedly universal religion, as belonging more deeply to certain ethnic groups than to others; why Giriama use Islam in their rituals despite the fact that so many do not consider the religion their own; and how Giriama appropriations of Islam subtly reinforce a distance between the religion and themselves. The Edge of Islam advances understanding of ethnic essentialism, religious plurality, spirit possession, local conceptions of personhood, and the many meanings of “Islam” across cultures.
Cynthia Moss has studied the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for over twenty-seven years. Her long-term research has revealed much of what we now know about these complex and intelligent animals. Here she chronicles the lives of the members of the T families led by matriarchs Teresia, Slit Ear, Torn Ear, Tania, and Tuskless. With a new afterword catching up on the families and covering current conservation issues, Moss's story will continue to fascinate animal lovers.
"One is soon swept away by this 'Babar' for adults. By the end, one even begins to feel an aversion for people. One wants to curse human civilization and cry out, 'Now God stand up for the elephants!'"—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"Moss speaks to the general reader, with charm as well as scientific authority. . . . [An] elegantly written and ingeniously structured account." —Raymond Sokolov, Wall Street Journal
"Moss tells the story in a style so conversational . . . that I felt like a privileged visitor riding beside her in her rickety Land-Rover as she showed me around the park." —Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, New York Times Book Review
"A prose-poem celebrating a species from which we could learn some moral as well as zoological lessons." —Chicago Tribune
Ethno-erotic Economies explores a fascinating case of tourism focused on sex and culture in coastal Kenya, where young men deploy stereotypes of African warriors to help them establish transactional sexual relationships with European women. In bars and on beaches, young men deliberately cultivate their images as sexually potent African men to attract women, sometimes for a night, in other cases for long-term relationships.
George Paul Meiu uses his deep familiarity with the communities these men come from to explore the long-term effects of markets of ethnic culture and sexuality on a wide range of aspects of life in rural Kenya, including kinship, ritual, gender, intimate affection, and conceptions of aging. What happens to these communities when young men return with such surprising wealth? And how do they use it to improve their social standing locally? By answering these questions, Ethno-erotic Economies offers a complex look at how intimacy and ethnicity come together to shape the pathways of global and local trade in the postcolonial world.
Many observers of Kenya’s complicated history see causes for concern, from the use of public office for private gain to a constitutional structure historically lopsided towards the executive branch. Yet efforts from critics and academics to diagnose the country’s problems do not often consider what these fiscal and political issues mean to ordinary Kenyans. How do Kenyans express their own political understanding, make sense of governance, and articulate what they expect from their leaders?
In For Money and Elders, Robert W. Blunt addresses these questions by turning to the political, economic, and religious signs in circulation in Kenya today. He examines how Kenyans attempt to make sense of political instability caused by the uncertainty of authority behind everything from currency to title deeds. When the symbolic order of a society is up for grabs, he shows, violence may seem like an expedient way to enforce the authority of signs. Drawing on fertile concepts of sovereignty, elderhood, counterfeiting, acephaly, and more, Blunt explores phenomena as diverse as the destabilization of ritual “oaths,” public anxieties about Satanism with the advent of democratic reform, and mistrust of official signs. The result is a fascinating glimpse into Kenya’s past and present and a penetrating reflection on meanings of violence in African politics.
On the night of Saturday, July 13, 1991, a mob of male students at the St. Kizito Mixed Secondary School in Meru, Kenya, attacked their female classmates in a dormitory. Nineteen schoolgirls were killed in the melee and more than 70 were raped or gang raped.
The explanations in the press for the attack included a rebellion by male students over administrative mismanagement, academic stress, cultural norms for the Meru ethnic group, and victim characteristics (as assumed in rape myths). Rape had been tolerated at the school, according to press accounts.
Dr. Steeves studied all stories published in three Nairobi daily newspapers and a weekly Kenyan newsmagazine for the year following the crime. She also examined a sampling of international reports. Her qualitative analysis sought to identify “framing patterns” supportive of patriarchal or of feminist ideologies of rape, and the ways in which those patterns have been affected by news values and traditions. Gender Violence and the Press shows how media discourse may allow space for feminist interests within the dominant patriarchal ideology. In this instance, the appearance of resistant views was significant in making alternative meanings available and in supporting women’s growing anti-violence activism.
Cheney and Seyfarth enter the minds of vervet monkeys and other primates to explore the nature of primate intelligence and the evolution of cognition.
"This reviewer had to be restrained from stopping people in the street to urge them to read it: They would learn something of the way science is done, something about how monkeys see their world, and something about themselves, the mental models they inhabit."—Roger Lewin, Washington Post Book World
"A fascinating intellectual odyssey and a superb summary of where science stands."—Geoffrey Cowley, Newsweek
"A once-in-the-history-of-science enterprise."—Duane M. Rumbaugh, Quarterly Review of Biology
In 2007 a disputed election in Kenya erupted into a two-month political crisis that led to the deaths of more than a thousand people and the displacement of almost seven hundred thousand. Much of the violence fell along ethnic lines, the principal perpetrators of which were the Kalenjin, who lashed out at other communities in the Rift Valley. What makes this episode remarkable compared to many other instances of ethnic violence is that the Kalenjin community is a recent construct: the group has only existed since the mid-twentieth century. Drawing on rich archival research and vivid oral testimony, I Say to You is a timely analysis of the creation, development, political relevance, and popular appeal of the Kalenjin identity as well as its violent potential.
Uncovering the Kalenjin’s roots, Gabrielle Lynch examines the ways in which ethnic groups are socially constructed and renegotiated over time. She demonstrates how historical narratives of collective achievement, migration, injustice, and persecution constantly evolve. As a consequence, ethnic identities help politicians mobilize support and help ordinary people lay claim to space, power, and wealth. This kind of ethnic politics, Lynch reveals, encourages a sense of ethnic difference and competition, which can spiral into violent confrontation and retribution.
"Kilimanjaro slowly takes shape as the night sounds die, its glaciated peak tinged pink in the early light. A solitary wildebeest stares motionless as if mesmerized by the towering mass; a small caravan of giraffe drifts across the plain in solitary file, necks undulating to the slow rhythm of their gangling stride. There is an inexplicable deja vu about the African savannas, as if some subliminal memory is tweaked by the birthplace of our hominid lineage." --from In the Dust of Kilimanjaro
In the Dust of Kilimanjaro is the extraordinary story of one man's struggle to protect Kenya's wildlife. World-renowned conservationist David Western -- who grew up in Africa and whose life is intertwined with the lives of its animals and indigenous peoples -- presents a history of African wildlife conservation and an intimate glimpse into his life as a global spokesperson and one of Kenya's most prominent citizens.
Beginning with his childhood adventures hunting in rural Tanganyika (now Tanzania), Western describes how and why the African continent came to hold such power over him. In lyrical prose, he recounts the years of solitary fieldwork in and around Amboseli National Park that led to his gradual awakening to what was happening to the animals and people there. His immersion in the culture and ecology of the region made him realize that without an integrated approach to conservation, one that involved people as well as animals, Kenya's most magnificent creatures would be lost forever.
His accounts of his friendships with the Maasai add a personal dimension to the book that gives the reader new appreciation for the centuries-old links between Africa's wildlife and people. Continued coexistence rather than segregation, he argues, offers the best hope for the world's wildlife. Western describes how his unique understanding of the potentially devastating problems in the region helped him pioneer a new approach to global wildlife conservation that balances the needs of people and wildlife without excluding one or the other.
More than an exceptional autobiography, In the Dust of Kilimanjaro is a riveting look at local and global efforts to preserve species and protect ecosystems. It is the definitive story of wildlife conservation in Africa with a strong and timely message about co-existence between humans and animals.
Indians in Kenya
Sana Aiyar Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DT433.545.E27A39 2015 | Dewey Decimal 305.891406762
Sana Aiyar chronicles the strategies by which Indians sought a political voice in Kenya, from the beginning of colonial rule to independence. She examines how the strands of Indians’ diasporic identity influenced Kenya’s leadership—from partnering with Europeans to colonize East Africa, to collaborating with Africans to battle racial inequality.
Kenya was where the term “informal sector” was first used in 1971. During the 1980s the term “jua kali” — in Swahili “hot sun” — came to be used of the informal sector artisans, such as carworkers and metalworkers, who were working under the hot sun because of a lack of premises. Gradually it came to refer to anybody in self-employment. And in 1988 the government set up the Jua Kali Development Programme.
In this remarkable book Kenneth King brings the subject alive through the photographs and life histories of jua kali people. He has also revisited, twenty years later, many of the artisans whom he interviewed exhaustively in the period from 1972 to 1974 and about whom he wrote in The African Artisan, one of the first full-length studies to be published on the informal sector.
For donors, NGOs, and national governments, the book offers many relevant examples, and some cautions, about what has been achieved by ordinary Kenyans, mostly without government support. It will prove equally valuable for students and teachers of development policy, technology policy, and education and training policies not least because of its superb bibliography of over 700 entries related to small enterprise development.
Kenya's Changing Landscape
Raymond M. Turner University of Arizona Press, 1998 Library of Congress QK402.K4T87 1998 | Dewey Decimal 581.7096762
Botanist Homer L. Shantz took photographs of the Kenyan landscape in the early 1920s as part of his effort to document the natural plant cover of Africa. He returned there with B. L. Turner in the late 1950s to repeat the photographs. In 1990, Raymond Turner traveled to Kenya under the auspices of the National Geographic Society in order to match the photographs made by Shantz and B.L. Turner and to show the changes that have occurred over the decades since Shantz's initial journey. Turner's comparative photos and research into the botanical record dramatically reflect the encroachment of woody plants in arid areas and the increasing human impact in more humid locales. Turner's discussions of the photographs and the conclusions he draws provide an important reference for ecologists, geographers, botanists, and other researchers attempting similar studies. By documenting vegetation change in a region broadly similar climatically to North America's subtropical deserts and grasslands but different in its wildlife and its human culture, the book shows that the endpoints of landscape status are similar despite the vastly different histories of these two regions of the world.
Kuria Cattle Raiders is about cattle raiding as practiced--both historically and in the present day--by the agro-pastoralist Kuria people, whose population straddles the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Based on field research conducted in the Tarime District lowlands of northern Tanzania, the book documents and analyzes an extraordinary transformation in the nature of Kuria cattle raiding that has occurred over the course of the past century. While in years past the raiding of other tribes and other Kuria clans was done for prestige and bridewealth cattle, today the practice is carried out by heavily armed multiclan and multiethnic gangs that are highly organized and cash market-oriented. This change, Michael Fleisher argues, is due to the penetration and evolution of the colonial economy into the region and the administrative policies of the post-colonial Tanzanian state.
The reciprocal raiding of cattle by pastoralists has a long and venerable history in East Africa, but there has been, until now, no book-length treatment of the practice, and, more importantly, no detailed case study of the newer, "modern" form of cattle raiding described here. In addition, the phenomenon of Kuria cattle raiding conveys significant implications for our understanding of informal economies and globalization processes.
Kuria Cattle Raiders engages issues of theoretical as well as practical significance for anthropologists, sociologists, criminologists, cultural ecologists, economic development agencies, and all those concerned with the pressing issues of globalization and rapid social and cultural change.
Michael L. Fleisher, a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Rangeland Resources, Utah State University, is currently engaged in a study of conflict among pastoralists in southern Ethiopia as part of a research project jointly administered by the University of Kentucky, Utah State University, and Cornell University under a grant from U.S.A.I.D.
Why do female genital cutting practices persist? How does circumcision affect the rights of girls in a culture where initiation forms the lynchpin of the ritual cycle at the core of defining gender, identity, and social and political status? In Making the Mark, Miroslava Prazak follows the practice of female circumcision through the lives and activities of community members in a rural Kenyan farming society as they decide whether or not to participate in the tradition.
In an ethnography twenty years in the making, Prazak weaves multiple Kuria perspectives—those of girls, boys, family members, circumcisers, political and religious leaders—into a riveting account. Though many books have been published on the topic of genital cutting, this is one of the few ethnographies to give voice to evolving perspectives of practitioners, especially through a period of intense anticutting campaigning on the part of international NGOs, local activists, and donor organizations. Prazak also examines the cultural challenges that complicate the human-rights anti-FGM stance.
Set in the rolling hills of southwestern Kenya, Making the Mark examines the influences that shape and change female genital cutting over time, presenting a rich mosaic of the voices contributing to the debate over this life-altering ritual.
Drive the streets of Nairobi, and you are sure to see many matatus—colorful minibuses that transport huge numbers of people around the city. Once ramshackle affairs held together with duct tape and wire, matatus today are name-brand vehicles maxed out with aftermarket detailing. They can be stately black or extravagantly colored, sporting names, slogans, or entire tableaus, with airbrushed portraits of everyone from Kanye West to Barack Obama. In this richly interdisciplinary book, Kenda Mutongi explores the history of the matatu from the 1960s to the present.
As Mutongi shows, matatus offer a window onto the socioeconomic and political conditions of late-twentieth-century Africa. In their diversity of idiosyncratic designs, they reflect multiple and divergent aspects of Kenyan life—including, for example, rapid urbanization, organized crime, entrepreneurship, social insecurity, the transition to democracy, and popular culture—at once embodying Kenya’s staggering social problems as well as the bright promises of its future. Offering a shining model of interdisciplinary analysis, Mutongi mixes historical, ethnographic, literary, linguistic, and economic approaches to tell the story of the matatu and explore the entrepreneurial aesthetics of the postcolonial world.
“This is the oral evidence of the Kikuyu villagers with whom Greet Kershaw lived as an aid worker during the Mau Mau ‘Emergency’ in the 1950s, and which is now totally irrecoverable in any form save in her own field notes.
“Professor Kershaw has uncovered long local histories of social tension which could have been revealed by no other means than patient enquiry, of both her neighbour’s memory and government archives…
“Nobody, whether Kikuyu participant, Kenyan or European scholar, has provided such startlingly authoritative ethnographic insights into the values, fears and expectations of Kikuyu society and thus of the motivation of Kikuyu action…
“Her data suggests, as other scholars have also accepted, that there never was a single such movement and that none of its members, even those who supposed themselves to be its leaders, ever saw it whole, not because they did not have a political aim, but because that agenda was contested within different political circles over which they had no control and of which they may scarcely have had any knowledge.
And why is this finding important? It is because others, including almost all the movement’s enemies, did see Mau Mau whole in order to try to comprehend it, a first step towards defeating it.”
The book breaks new ground in following the story of the participants of the rural movement during the decade after the defeat of the Mau Mau. New archival sources and interviews provide exciting material on the mechanics of the sociology of decolonization and on the containment of rural radicalism in Kenya. For the first time an account of decolonization in Kenya based on primary sources is offered to the reader.
The Mau Mau was militarily crushed in the mid-fifties, but the struggle for land rights was only contained in the post independence era of Kenya. Kikuyu squatters on European estates who formed the backbone of this movement are the main subject of this book.
Furedi's account considers how the radicalization of rural protest in the so-called White Highlands led to the Mau Mau explosion and how it was sustained during the subsequent fifteen years.
The book establishes a focus for discussion of these critical events through exploring the relationship between rural resistance and decolonization. The author argues that the main issue facing post-colonial policies in Kenya was to resolve the problems raised by the Mau Mau revolt.
Written from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a special emphasis on historical and political sociology, this book is aimed at students of African politics and political sociologists interested in rural revolution and revolt.
In 1963 David P. Sandgren went to Kenya to teach in a small, rural school for boys, where he remained for the next four years. These were heady times for Kenyans, as the nation gained its independence, approved a new constitution, and held its first elections. In the school where Sandgren taught, the sons of Gikuyu farmers rose to the challenges of this post colonial era and, in time, entered Kenyan society as adults, joining Kenya’s first generation of post colonial elites.
In Mau Mau’s Children, Sandgren has reconnects with these former students. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews, he provides readers with a collective biography of the lives of Kenya’s first postcolonial elite, stretching from their 1940s childhood to the peak of their careers in the 1990s. Through these interviews, Mau Mau’s Children shows the trauma of growing up during the Mau Mau Rebellion, the nature of nationalism in Kenya, the new generational conflicts arising, and the significance of education and Gikuyu ethnicity on his students' path to success.
Kenya has produced the greatest concentration of world-class runners, and fellow athletes have long been intrigued by their remarkable success. Toby Tanser has devoted much of his professional career living and training among Kenyan runners in order to better understand the unique status of East African athletes. In More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way, the author builds upon the success of his acclaimed Train Hard, Win Easy, the first book to provide insights into the Kenyan "magic" that so many runners and coaches had sought. Instead of special foods or secret techniques, Tanser found that Kenyan runners simply trained incredibly hard, much harder than anyone had realized. By adapting their training regime—which includes three workouts a day—and following their example, runners, whether novices or champions, are able to improve both their performance and enjoyment in running. For those training for a marathon or any other distance race, this book is both practical and inspirational.
Divided into four parts, the book begins with a description of running in Kenya, the landscape, the physical conditions, and the people; the second part concentrates on details of Kenyan training camps, training methods, and their typical training diet; the third profiles individual runners and coaches from the past and present, with each explaining their approach to running so that readers can gain further insight into their methods. The book ends with a discussion on how the reader can adapt Kenyan training practices for their own running requirements. More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way is essential reading for runners of all levels and experience.
In education, journalism, legislative politics, social justice, health, law, and other arenas, Muslim women across Kenya are emerging as leaders in local, national, and international contexts, advancing reforms through their activism. Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya draws on extensive interviews with six such women, revealing how their religious and moral beliefs shape reform movements that bridge ethnic divides and foster alliances in service of creating a just, multicultural, multiethnic, and multireligious democratic citizenship.
Mwalim Azara Mudira opened a school of theology for Muslim women. Nazlin Omar Rajput of The Nur magazine was a pioneer in reporting on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim community. Amina Abubakar, host of a women's radio show, has publicly addressed the sensitive subject of sexual crimes against Muslim women. Two women who are members of parliament are creating new socioeconomic and political opportunities for girls and women, within a framework that still embraces traditional values of marriage and motherhood.
Examining the interplay of gender, agency, and autonomy, Ousseina D. Alidou shows how these Muslim women have effected change in the home, the school, the mosque, the media, and more—and she illuminates their determination as actors to challenge the oppressive influences of male-dominated power structures. In looking at differences as opportunities rather than obstacles, these women reflect a new sensibility among Muslim women and an effort to redefine the meaning of women's citizenship within their own community of faith and within the nation.
Muslims in Kenyan Politics explores the changing relationship between Muslims and the state in Kenya from precolonial times to the present, culminating in the radicalization of a section of the Muslim population in recent decades. The politicization of Islam in Kenya is deeply connected with the sense of marginalization that shapes Muslims’ understanding of Kenyan politics and government policies.
Kenya’s Muslim population comprises ethnic Arabs, Indians, and black Africans, and its status has varied historically. Under British rule, an imposed racial hierarchy affected Muslims particularly, thwarting the development of a united political voice. Drawing on a broad range of interviews and historical research, Ndzovu presents a nuanced picture of political associations during the postcolonial period and explores the role of Kenyan Muslims as political actors.
Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused considerable global attention on the history of Kenya generally and the history of the Luo community particularly. From politicos populating the blogosphere and bookshelves in the U.S and Kenya, to tourists traipsing through Obama’s ancestral home, a variety of groups have mobilized new readings of Kenya’s past in service of their own ends.
Through narratives placing Obama into a simplified, sweeping narrative of anticolonial barbarism and postcolonial “tribal” violence, the story of the United States president’s nuanced relationship to Kenya has been lost amid stereotypical portrayals of Africa. At the same time, Kenyan state officials have aimed to weave Obama into the contested narrative of Kenyan nationhood.
Matthew Carotenuto and Katherine Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past. Ideal for classroom use and directed at a general readership interested in global affairs, Obama and Kenya offers an important counterpoint to the many popular but inaccurate texts about Kenya’s history and Obama’s place in it as well as focused, thematic analyses of contemporary debates about ethnic politics, “tribal” identities, postcolonial governance, and U.S. African relations.
The title of Susan Hirsch's study of disputes involving Swahili Muslims in coastal Kenya reflects the image of gender relations most commonly associated with Islamic law. Men need only "pronounce" divorce to resolve marital conflicts, while embattled and embittered wives must persevere by silently enduring marital hardships. But Hirsch's observations of Islamic courts uncover how Muslim women actively use legal processes to transform their domestic lives, achieving victories on some fronts but reinforcing their image as subordinate to men through the speech they produce in court.
Pronouncing and Persevering focuses closely on the language used in disputes, particularly how men and women narrate their claims and how their speech shapes and is shaped by gender hierarchy in postcolonial Swahili society. Based on field research and court testimony, Hirsch's book debunks the conventional view that women are powerless under Islamic law and challenges the dichotomies through which Islam and gender relations are currently understood.
In February 1990 assailants murdered Kenya's distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Ouko. The horror of the attack, the images of his mutilated and burned corpse, the evidence of a notorious cover-up, and the revelations of the pressures, conflicts, and fears he faced in his last weeks have engaged Kenya's publics for years. The Risks of Knowledge minutely examines the multiple and unfinished investigations into the crime.
Among the probes was an extensive 1990 inquiry organized by a New Scotland Yard team invited to Kenya by the government, as well as an open public commission of inquiry appointed by President Daniel arap Moi. The commission ran for seventeen months in 1990-91 before the president shut it down. International and Kenyan unrest over Ouko's brutal death brought increasing attention to corruption and violence associated with the Moi government, leading in late 1991 to multiparty politics and in December 2002 to the elections that ended the Moi era.
This powerfully argued book raises important issues about the production of knowledge and the politics of memory that will interest a large interdisciplinary audience.
In Seeing Like a Citizen, Kara Moskowitz approaches Kenya’s late colonial and early postcolonial eras as a single period of political, economic, and social transition. In focusing on rural Kenyans—the vast majority of the populace and the main targets of development interventions—as they actively sought access to aid, she offers new insights into the texture of political life in decolonizing Kenya and the early postcolonial world.
Using multisited archival sources and oral histories focused on the western Rift Valley, Seeing Like a Citizen makes three fundamental contributions to our understanding of African and Kenyan history. First, it challenges the widely accepted idea of the gatekeeper state, revealing that state control remained limited and that the postcolonial state was an internally varied and often dissonant institution. Second, it transforms our understanding of postcolonial citizenship, showing that its balance of rights and duties was neither claimed nor imposed, but negotiated and differentiated. Third, it reorients Kenyan historiography away from central Kenya and elite postcolonial politics. The result is a powerful investigation of experiences of independence, of the meaning and form of development, and of how global political practices were composed and recomposed on the ground in local settings.
This is a study of the genesis, evolution, adaptation and subordination of the Kikuyu squatter labourers, who comprised the majority of resident labourers on settler plantations and estates in the Rift Valley Province of the White Highlands. The story of the squatter presence in the White Highlands is essentially the story of the conflicts and contradictions that existed between two agrarian systems, the settler plantation economy and the squatter peasant option. Initially, the latter developed into a viable but much resented sub-system which operated within and, to some extent, in competition with settler agriculture. This study is largely concerned with the dynamics of the squatter presence in the White Highlands and with the initiative, self-assertion and resilience with which they faced their subordinate position as labourers. In their response to the machinations of the colonial system, the squatters were neither passive nor malleable but, on the contrary, actively resisted coercion and subordination as they struggled to carve out a living for themselves and their families….
It is a firm conviction of this study that Kikuyu squatters played a crucial role in the initial build-up of the events that led to the outbreak of the Mau Mau war.
To some, Christianity and hip hop seem antithetical. Not so in Kenya. There, the music of Julius Owino, aka Juliani, blends faith and beats into a potent hip hop gospel aimed at a youth culture hungry for answers spiritual, material, and otherwise. Mwenda Ntarangwi explores the Kenyan hip hop scene through the lens of Juliani's life and career. A born-again Christian, Juliani produces work highlighting the tensions between hip hop's forceful self-expression and a pious approach to public life, even while contesting the basic presumptions of both. In The Street Is My Pulpit , Ntarangwi forges an uncommon collaboration with his subject that offers insights into Juliani's art and goals even as Ntarangwi explores his own religious experience and subjective identity as an ethnographer. What emerges is an original contribution to the scholarship on hip hop's global impact and a passionate study of the music's role in shaping new ways of being Christian in Africa.
Winner, 2018 Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the American Historical Association
Finalist for the 2018 Bethwell A. Ogot Prize from the African Studies Association
In twentieth-century Kenya, age and gender were powerful cultural and political forces that animated household and generational relationships. They also shaped East Africans’ contact with and influence on emergent colonial and global ideas about age and masculinity. Kenyan men and boys came of age achieving their manhood through changing rites of passage and access to new outlets such as town life, crime, anticolonial violence, and nationalism. And as they did, the colonial government appropriated masculinity and maturity as means of statecraft and control.
In An Uncertain Age, Paul Ocobock positions age and gender at the heart of everyday life and state building in Kenya. He excavates in unprecedented ways how the evolving concept of “youth” motivated and energized colonial power and the movements against it, exploring the masculinities boys and young men debated and performed as they crisscrossed the colony in search of wages or took the Mau Mau oath. Yet he also considers how British officials’ own ideas about masculinity shaped not only young African men’s ideas about manhood but the very nature of colonial rule.
An Uncertain Age joins a growing number of histories that have begun to break down monolithic male identities to push the historiographies of Kenya and empire into new territory.
This long-awaited book is a considerable revision in the understanding of the history of colonial Kenya and, more widely, colonialism in Africa. There is a substantial amount of new work and this is interlocked with shared areas of concern that the authors have been exploring since 1976.
The authors investigate major themes. These include the conquest origins and subsequent development of the colonial state, the contradictory social forces that articulated African societies to European capitalism, and the creation of new political communities and changing meanings of ethnicity in Africa, in the context of social differentiation and class formation. There is substantial new work on the problems of Mau Mau and of wealth, poverty and civic virtue in Kikuyu political thought.
The authors make a fresh contribution to a deeper historical understanding of the development of contemporary Kenyan society and, in particular, of the British and Kukuyu origins of Mau Mau and the emergency of the 1950s.
They also highlight some of the shortcomings of ideas about development, explore the limitations of narrowly structuralist Marxist theory of the state, and reflect on the role of history in the future of Africa.
Book Two on Violence and Ethnicity gives new insights into popular consciousness, into revolutionary change and into the subtle realities of ethnicity; it will be of particular value to readers of Ngugi.
Though often associated with foreigners and refugees, many Somalis have lived in Kenya for generations, in many cases since long before the founding of the country. Despite their long residency, foreign and state officials and Kenyan citizens often perceive the Somali population to be a dangerous and alien presence in the country, and charges of civil and human rights abuses have mounted against them in recent years.
In We Do Not Have Borders, Keren Weitzberg examines the historical factors that led to this state of affairs. In the process, she challenges many of the most fundamental analytical categories, such as “tribe,” “race,” and “nation,” that have traditionally shaped African historiography. Her interest in the ways in which Somali representations of the past and the present inform one another places her research at the intersection of the disciplines of history, political science, and anthropology.
Given tragic events in Kenya and the controversy surrounding al-Shabaab, We Do Not Have Borders has enormous historical and contemporary significance, and provides unique inroads into debates over globalization, African sovereignty, the resurgence of religion, and the multiple meanings of being African.
A host of international organizations promotes the belief that education will empower Kenya's Maasai girls. Yet the ideas that animate their campaigns often arise from presumptions that reduce the girls themselves to helpless victims of gender-related forms of oppression. Heather Switzer's interviews with over one hundred Kenyan Maasai schoolgirls challenge the widespread view of education as a silver bullet solution to global poverty. In their own voices, the girls offer incisive insights into their commitments, aspirations, and desires. Switzer weaves this ethnographic material into an astute analysis of historical literature, education and development documents, and theoretical literature. Massai schoolgirls express a particular knowledge about themselves and provocative hopes for their futures. Yet, as Switzer shows, new opportunities force them to face, and navigate, new vulnerabilities and insecurities within a society that is itself in flux.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are ubiquitous in the Global South. Often international in origin, many attempt to assist local efforts to improve the lives of people often living in or near poverty. Yet their external origins often cloud their ability to impact health or quality of life, regardless of whether volunteers are local or foreign.
By focusing on one particular type of NGO—those organized to help prevent the spread and transmission of HIV in Kenya—Megan Hershey interrogates the ways these organizations achieve (or fail to achieve) their planned outcomes. Along the way, she examines the slippery slope that is often used to define “success” based on meeting donor-set goals versus locally identified needs. She also explores the complex network of bureaucratic requirements at both the national and local levels that affect the delicate relationships NGOs have with the state. Drawing on extensive, original quantitative and qualitative research, Whose Agency serves as a much-needed case study for understanding the strengths and shortcomings of participatory development and community engagement.
Growing up in the Maragoli community in Kenya, Kenda Mutongi encountered a perplexing contradiction. While the young teachers at her village school railed against colonialism, many of her elders, including her widowed mother, praised their former British masters. In this moving book, Mutongi explores how both the challenges and contradictions of colonial rule and the frustrations and failures of independence shaped the lives of Maragoli widows and their complex relations with each other, their families, and the larger community.
Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, rates of widowhood have been remarkably high in Kenya. Yet despite their numbers, widows and their families exist at the margins of society, and their lives act as a barometer for the harsh realities of rural Kenya. Mutongi here argues that widows survive by publicly airing their social, economic, and political problems, their “worries of the heart.” Initially aimed at the men in their community, and then their colonial rulers, this strategy changed after independence as widows increasingly invoked the language of citizenship to demand their rights from the new leaders of Kenya—leaders whose failure to meet the needs of ordinary citizens has led to deep disenchantment and altered Kenyans’ view of their colonial past. An innovative blend of ethnography and historical research, Worries of the Heart is a poignant narrative rich with insights into postcolonial Africa.