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KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA'S ETHNIC COMMUNITIES


Foundation of the Nation BY Wanguhu Ng'ang'a

Website: www.kenyacommunities.org Emails: author@kenyacommunities.org , wanguhu@kenyacommunities.org

ISBN 9966-9757-0-5

Printed and bound by Primex Printers Ltd. P.O. Box 11590 - 00400 Nairobi, Kenya Tel: 554595 / 550543, Fax: 553010, Email: primex@bidii.com

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or produced or utilised in any form or any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author or authorised agent.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Dedication To my wife Rahab Wambui and my children Angela Waithira, Monalisa Waithira, Hannibal Ng'ang'a, Ashley Njeeri and other fellow Kenyans who are free of ethnic and racial prejudice. In addition to the above, I have included the following whose writing on Kenya I found to be useful and quotable in my research and writing of this book: William Ochieng (Prof.) Godfrey Muriuki (Prof.) Henry Mwanzi (Prof.) Bethwel Ogot (Prof.) Okello Ayot (Prof.) Cynthia Salvadori Osogo John (PhD); Were Gideon S. (Prof.); Abuso Asaka T. (PhD); Chacha Wambura O.J.; Cohen D.W. (PhD); Spear Thomas T. (Prof.); Banger Robert L. (PhD); Meinertzhagen Richard; J.M. Nyasani (Prof.); Mwan]ki Kabeca; Basil Davidson (PhD); Encyclopedia Britanica; Allen James De Vere (PhD); Leakey L.S.B (PhD); Stigand C.H; Krapf Ludwig (PhD); McGregor; Soberwal Satish (PhD); M'Imanyara Alfred Fadiman J.A. (PhD); Jackson R.; Daniel Stiles (PhD); Sutton E.G. (PhD); Matson A.T.; Huntingford W.; Towett Taitta (PhD); Cadinal Otunga; Peristiany J.G.; Kandagor Daniel R.; David Bonnie Kettel (PhD); Beech Mervyn W.H.; Pertterson David (PhD); Blackburn R.H. (PhD); Massam A.T.; Goldschmidt Walter (PhD); Ehret Christopher (PhD); Galaty Johng (PhD); Walter Richard (PhD); Spencer Paul (PhD); Ivan Karp (PhD);

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Ikeya J.M (PhD); Lawrence J.C.D. (PhD); Johnston H.H. (PhD); Nabuhiro Nagashima (Prof.); Webster; Ivan & Patricia Karpin (PhDs); Richard Gray (PhD); Barri Wanji A. (PhD); Lamphear J.E. (PhD); Mbuya Paul; Le Cronk; Goto Paul; K.A. Munde; Jean Luc Ville; Bashuma Ali Balla; Lewis I.M. (PhD); A.H.J. Prins (PhD); Chittick Neville (PhD); Salim Ahmed Idha (Prof.); Hollis A.C. (PhD); Seidenberg Cynthia (PhD); Patel Zarina; Vidyarthi Shravan; Huxley Elspeth; Morell Virginia; Sunday Nation; Trzebinski Errol; Blundell Michael; Justus Strandes. Gabriel Mwangi M[ita Andrew Fedders & Cynthia Salvadori; Middleton John & Kershow Greet (PhDs); Kipkorir B.E & Welburn F.B (PhDs); Chebet Susan & Tom Dietz (PhDs); Gabriel Sommer & Rainer Vossen (PhDs); Pamela Gulliver & P.H. Gulliver (PhDs); Derek Nurse & Thomas Spear (Profs.);

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Acknowledgment My acknowledgments go to the writers, publishers and institutions whose kindness and generosity in many ways enabled me to effectively research and gather information contained in this book over a long period of time. In this category are members of staff of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta University Library and in particular those at the Africana section and also those at the Institute of African Studies Library at the Nairobi University, Museum Campus and British Institute in Eastern Africa Library. National Archives in Nairobi; MacMillan Library, Kenya Museum Society, Nairobi and Mombasa Museum Libraries and the Late John Njoora who inspired me to quote H.E Sonnet and Clarance Day poems. Many thanks also go to the authors and copyright holders for permission and indulgence to quote from their work and in particular to Professor William Ochieng; Professor Godfrey M[ri[ki; Professor Henry Mwanzi; Professor Bethwel Ogot and Professor Okello Ayot whose Kenya history books I found to be very useful and quotable in my research and writing. Ms. Cynthia Salvadori apart from giving me open-ended permission to quote from her books and use her pictures, she also gave to me invaluable advice on how to collect materials for my writing. Mr. Gabriel Mwangi M[ita, retired Director of Kenya Institute of Education read the manuscript and made useful suggestions. Ms. Betty Chappell, Pheroze Nowrojee, the late Lalit Pandit and Dr. Manu Chandaria among others assisted me in collecting materials used in the book. Efforts to trace all copyright holders or their agents have failed to bear fruit. In case the holders or agents come across passages or pictures extracted from their works without acknowledgement, let them notify me by post/email or other means so I may acknowledge in the next print. Last and not least is my wife Rahab Wamb[i whose support and patience enabled me to accomplish the hard and time-consuming task of collecting and collating this work under difficult circumstances.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Quotable Quotes The world of books Is the most remarkable creation of man Nothing else that he builds ever lasts Monuments fall Nations perish Civilizations grow old and die out And after an era of darkness New races build others But in the world of books are volumes That have seen this happen again and again And yet live on Still young Still as fresh as the day they were written Of the hearts of men centuries dead! Clarance Day

Reading is a pursuit open to everyone, rich and poor alike, and a source of infinite and unfailing pleasure. True, reading is but one form of what may best be termed "the cultivation of the spirit", but while the literature is not life, it is essential to complete living. A love of books is the sign of a cultivated man or woman as intellectual curiosity is the true test of education. A room without pictures has been likened to a house without windows. What, then, are we without books are they not the window's of the spirit? A book-lined room is better than the most palatial interior.ii W.E. Simnett Footnotes i. Clarance Day, Golden Gift Collection, compiled and edited by O.P. Ghai, (Sterling Publishers Private Limited) p. 5. ii. W.E. Simnet, Golden Gift Collection, compiled and edited by O.P. Ghai, (Sterling Publishers Private Limited) p. 8.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTORY i) Khoi-san (Khoikhoi) ii) Hadza/Sandawe iii) Sirikwa iv) Bantu iv) Nilotes

CHAPTER TWO: WESTERN BANTU 1. ABALUYIA Sub-Groups i) ABABUKUSU ii) ABALOGOLI iii) ABANYOLE iv) ABAMARACHI v) ABASAMIA vi) ABATIRIKI vii) ABAKEKHE viii) ABAWANGA ix) ABITAKHO x) ABISUKHA xi) ABATSOTSO xii) ABAKISA xiii) ABAKHAYO xiv) ABANYALA xv) ABAKABALASI

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

xvi) ABATACHONI xvii) ABAMARAMA xviii) ABATURA 2. ABAGUSII 3. ABAKURIA 4. LUO-ABASUBA

CHAPTER THREE: CENTRAL BANTU GEMA 5. AGIKUYU 6. AEMBU/AMBEERE 7. AMERU 8. AKAMBA

NB: In this book, Aembu and Ambeere have been treated as one group, which they are and Cuka as Ameru CHAPTER FOUR: EASTERN BANTU Coastals 9. WATAITA 10. WATAVETA 11. WAPOKOMO 12. MIJIKENDA Sub-Groups i) WAGIRIAMA ii) WADIGO iii) WAKAUMA

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


iv) WACHONYI v) WAJIBANA vi) WAKAMBE vii) WARIBE viii) WARABAI ix) WADURUMA

CHAPTER FIVE: NILOTES Highlands Nilotes 13. KALENJIN Sub-Groups i) KIPSIGIS ii) NANDI iii) TUGEN iv) POKOT v) MARAKWET vi) KEIYO vii) SABAOT (Kony, Pok/Bok, Bongomek, Sebei)

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Plain Nilotes 14. MAASAI 15. SAMBURU 16. JEMPS 17. ITESO. 18. NUBI 19. TURKANA

Lake/River Nilotes 20. LUO

CHAPTER SIX: CUSHITES OROMO 21. BORAN 22. GABBRA 23. SAKUYE 24. ORMA 25. BURJI SAM SPEAKERS 26. SOMALI 27. RENDILE 28. ARRIAL

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER SEVEN: HUNTER/GATHERERS 29. YAAKU 30. DAHALO 31. ELMOLO 32. WAATA (WATA) 33. AWEER (BONI) 34. LOWLAND NYIKA 35. NGIWAKINYANG 36. IK 37. NGIBOTOK (NKEBOTOK) 38. DASSENECH - SHANGIL 39. OGIEK

CHAPTER EIGHT: URBANITES

40. WASWAHILI 41. ABAJUNI 42. ARABS (WAARABU) 43. ASIANS (WAHINDI) 44. EUROPEANS (WAZUNGU)

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

FOREWORD This colossal work describes the histories and characteristics of Kenya's ethnic communities. It is now accepted that ethnicity is a universal phenomenon. It has persisted from time immemorial and it is not about to disappear. What is ethnicity? Different people have different ideas about this word which is also associated with ethnic group. Ethnicity is the feeling of belonging to a particular ethnic group. In this book an ethnic group is taken as group of people who believe and identify themselves as sharing some qualities. These include a common origin, a common history and historical experience and heritage, a common culture and its cultural values and practices, a certain philosophy, religion and totems. They also claim to have a core territory that they may describe as a homeland or ancestral land. Some of these terms may need some explanation. In his book Creating Ethnicity: The Process of Ethnogenesis, Eugeen E. Roosens says that ethnicity is worldwide. It is found among some communities in Europe like Belgium, France and others. In all the Americas, Canda, the U.S and Latin America ethnicity is as powerful as ever. Furthermore in Asia and its many Islands ethnic groups abound. Finally, in Africa, virtually all peoples belong to some ethnic group or other. Historically some scholars and philosophers have argued that ethnicity was bound to die as new social classes came up. For example, Karl Marx argued that it was futile for one to belong to an archaic cultural group like ethnic group instead of becoming a worker. However, ethnic groups have not died nearly two hundred years since the birth of the German Scholar. One of the reasons why ethnic groups and ethnicity have persisted is because they imply some kind of equality. There is no hierarchy in the membership of an ethnic group. It does not matter whether one is a professor, a multi millionaire, a coffee farmer or picker, or a casual worker on a construction site. As members of an ethnic group all are equal and the intensity of their ethnic feeling is the same. In concepts like class, these are the high class, the middle class and the low working class. Even Marx

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

himself recognised a category below the working class: the Lumpen class. (Lumpenproletariat) Every ethnic group claims a common origin for its members. However, it must be pointed out that there is no blood relationship between the original supposed founder of the ethnic group and the members of the group. In fact, they inter-marry within the group. But through ideology and the type of education they pass over to the children, every member grows up with the belief that they came from one source. The core territory is important. However, not all members live in that territory. Some scholars like Le Vine and Campbell argued in their book entitled: Ethnocentrism: Theories of Conflict, Ethnic Attitudes and Group Behaviour, (1972), that the `homogeneous tribe or ethnic unit' was the creation of colonialism and missionaries, I do not agree entirely and as Wang[h[ Ng'ang'a's work has demonstrated very clearly, ethnic groups existed in Kenya long before colonialism. In fact the only such case of ethnicity being created by colonialism was in Rwanda and Burundi. Colonialist Belgians attached an ethnic label on the terms Tutsi, Hutu and Twa. In the precolonial period the Tutsi and Hutu were socio-economic categories and not ethnic groups. On this see Mworoha's very well written book: The Kingdoms of the Great Lakes and Husband Mark's book: The Skull Beneath the Skin. Taken positively, ethnic identity is part of the cultural and social diversity of any African country. People identify themselves with their ethnic groups for tangible economic and social interests. They feel the pride and the assurance of belonging. The ethnic group, through its multifaceted activities, is a kind of social security. It offers many advantages that the government, the Church or the social class cannot offer to the individual. Members of an ethnic group often exhibit certain characteristics peculiar to their group. It is in this positive context that Wang[h[ Ng'ang'a has assembled all this knowledge about Kenya's ethnic communities. Historical experiences have helped cement ethnic groups together. The past victories over their enemies, the defeats they suffered, the wealth they accumulated or the epidemics and other calamities they might have suffered, are all fondly remembered through their language, whether oral or written. These events and experiences feature in the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

oral literature, in the Proverbs riddles, poems, epics and many other forms of expression. The historical experience is part of their total heritage that is passed on from generation to generation. The heroes are remembered for the new generations to emulate; the valour, courage or special qualities. Taken negatively, however, ethnicity can be manipulated by leaders for their selfish ends counting on ethnic loyalty. Some leaders appeal for political support. The members also fall in the trap and extend the idea of exclusive enjoyment of their cultural right (The UN Declaration of Human Rights and UNESCO's concern for the cultural rights of a people) to the exclusive enjoyment of economic and political interests that belong to citizens in a given country. Elite members of a given ethnic group can have an excessive access to the country's assets. We have argued elsewhere that in Africa, the ethnic group that has the access to national finance `grid' (state finance capital) excludes other ethnic groups from the same, causing tensions. On this see my conference paper entitled: "Social Differentiation in Kenya, 1963 2004." It is obvious to-day that virtually all the wars in Africa fought over the last fifty years or so, have been sparked by ethnic chauvinism. Examples are many: the cases of Rwanda and Burundi pitting the Tutsi against the Hutu is heartrending. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was a terrible climax. The Temne and the Mende in Sierra Leone have fuelled an armed conflict there. The Ibo's revolt in 1966 led to the civil war in Nigeria. In Southern Sudan ethnic and racial chauvinism fuelled the longest civil war in Africa. We welcome wholeheartedly the work of Wang[h[ Ng'ang'a. He has used the ethno-linguistic approach to the study of Kenya's peoples. The work has taken over seven years of research. The author has divided the book into a total of eight chapters. The main clusters are Bantu, Nilotes, Oromo and Sam, and then what he calls urbanite group. Chapter one is the Introductory, in Chapters Two, Three and Four, the author discusses the Bantu Speaking peoples. He deals with the Nilotic Speakers in Chapter Five and in Chapter Six the Cushitic Speakers and HunterGatherers are covered as well. Chapter eight is devoted to the Urbanities. The sub-clusters are the Bantu who are further sub-divided into the Western, Central and Eastern sub-clusters. Then the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Nilotes. These are further divided into the Highland Nilotes who are basically the Kalenjin speaking sub-clusters, then the Plain Nilotes. These are the Maasai and the Turkana, Samburu, Njemps, Iteso and Nubi. The final sub-cluster is the Lake/River Nilotes. There is only one group in this category, the Luo. Chapter Six discusses Cushitic speaking peoples of Kenya. They are sub-divided into the Oromo and the Sam speakers. The Oromo speakers include the Borana, Gabbra, Sakuye, Orma and the Burji. The Sam speakers includes the Somali, Rendille and Arrial. Hunter-Gatherers are the subject of Chapter Six. They include the Yaaku, Dahalo, Elmolo, Waata (Wata), Aweer (Boni) Lowland Nyika, Ngiwakinyang, the IK, Ngibotok (Nkebotok), Dassenetch (Shangila), and the Ogiek. Finally, what Wanguhu Ng'anga'a calls the Urbanities are a collection of peoples who may have nothing in common except that they live in towns. They defy the definition of ethnic group. They are Waswahili, Arabs, Abajuni, Asians and Europeans. The author has done a thorough job and his symphatic approach to the study of every ethnic group is worthy a lot of credit. It is a book that every library and learning institution should have. It is an ethnic encyclopedia of Kenya. In all Mr Ng'ang'a has given the histories and cultures of forty four (44) ethnic communities of Kenya.

Sources Sithole, S.: Political Conflicts in Zimbabwe, CODESRIA Seminar Paper, Nairobi, 1992. Osaghae Eghosa E.: Ethnicity, Class and Struggle for Power in Liberia. Roosens, Eugeen E.: Creating Ethnicity: The Process of Ethnogenesis. Sage Publications, London, 1990. Husband Mark,: The Skull Beneath The Skin. Africa After the Cold War. Westview, Press, 2001. RN. Ismagilova: Ethnic Problems of the Tropical Africa; Can they be solved. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1978. Ahluwalia Pal & Zegeye Abebe, (Eds.) African Identities: Contemporary Political and Social Challenges, Ashgate, 2002.

Simiyu V.G.: Social Differentiation in Kenya, 1963-2004. Paper presented at the Conference of The Historical Association of Kenya, Baringo, Kenya, 2004. Ellis Stephen (Ed.), Africa Now: People, Policies and Institutions, James Carey Ltd. 1996. Prof. Vincent G. Simiyu, Associate Professor of History, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Preface The distinctive difference between this book and the standard scholarly books is that it is meant purposely to be interesting and for ordinary people to read and comprehend. Esoteric or academic language has been reduced to the minimum. The style used is to a large extent of a narrative form and in some cases with a light touch. I have deliberately quoted from historical accounts quite extensively rather than simply referring the reader to the source in a footnote as is the tradition. In order to be able to put together the chapters in this book, I have deliberately avoided being imprisoned by what may be described as utopian or phantom pursuit of the so-called primary sources of information when writing about what took place a thousand or more years ago at this time when those who lived then died a long time ago. Dwelling on the tradition to appear to be original where it is not possible is to me unrealistic. The objective here is to provide the reader with each of the Kenyan communities' history as is herein presented. Some of the books used depended partially on evidence from oral traditions. I have not laid claim for this book to be anything else other than what the reader hopefully may find it to be a record of history. This is my method of writing and others are free to use theirs. In ancient times (it is so, to an extent, even now) an African belonged to his family, clan and ethnic group. The community provided the individual's security, understanding, awareness and fellowship. The dominant characteristics of the traditional society were security of the individual in the group and for the group as a whole and close integration of all patterns of behaviour social, religious and political. Much of this has now considerably changed with new circumstances which require that all ethnic communities be incorporated into the new Kenyan nation with its structures of representation, defence, economic, social and political integration as well as centralised administration of the country and justice for all the people. In other words, the country is in the process of moulding itself into one national Kenya entity. An ethnic group is a social group comprising series of families, clans and adopted foreigners. Typical characteristics of an ethnic group include a common social group name; a relatively uniform culture or way of life; a common language or dialect and general traditions of common descent. The term sub-ethnic group as used in this book denotes a division of an ethnic group on the basis of minor differentiations in language or dialect. such divisions, however, maintain very similar culture and occupy the same territory. The colonial usage or connotation of the word `native' as an exclusive description of the African people who were disadvantaged racially and economically has created a negative and racial undertone to the word to mean people of African origin exclusively to many Kenyans which is not correct. The word native, according to Webster New Collegiate Dictionary is: "1: inborn, innate _ talents. 2: belonging to a particular place by birth". It has nothing to do with the colour of the skin or a person's place of origin. In Kenya, browns and whites whose great grand parents and parents were or are domiciled in the country are natives of Kenya and by extension Kenyan ethnic communities. The parents may have been natives of other countries, but the children are natives of Kenya. This applies to children of Kenyan parents domiciled in other countries of the world who qualify to become citizens of those countries by birth. Our joint history has helped to give the country its present character and uniqueness. It is, therefore, important for students of the country's history and indeed for all Kenyans to know as

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


accurately as possible the facts about who they are and how they got here so as to be able to make up their minds as Kenyans about what they want for their country from an informed standpoint. The message that emerges in this book is that we all belong to one or the other ethnic community and that all of us (other than perhaps the Yaaku and the Dahalo hunter-gatherers) originated from outside the present Kenya boundaries not very long time ago. This notwithstanding, there is nothing illegal, outrageous, shameful or harmful in belonging to any of the Kenya peoples. We are all Kenyans with the same citizenship, destiny, rights and obligations to each other and the country. Like dynamic societies in North America and elsewhere, we should take pride in our individual and community heritage and not undermine or demean our nationhood. We must consciously suppress clan, caste, ethnic, sub-ethnic or racial prejudice against each other as all are inimical to our common good as people and nation. This book is the final product of very extensive research from written sources, many which are not easily accessible and are largely unknown to many, and some are from unpublished materials. It has taken me over seven years to collect and collate the materials in this book. In the course of preparation of the book, I have been inspired by Matthew 5, verse 15 which reads: "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." I have, therefore, found it compelling to share what I now know with my compatriots in Kenya and, indeed, with readers in the rest of the world. I believe those I have quoted from and from whom I have learnt so much about our respective histories as Kenyans share with me the generosity to posterity as it is urged in the Mathew verse quoted. The Mission I believe that this is the first book published containing an abridged, referenced and unbiased history of each of the forty four ethnic communities which constitute the Kenya nation. From here onwards, one needs not speculate or seek rumours about any of the Kenyan ethnic communities as known basic historical information has been compiled and presented in the book. It is hoped that availability of this information will demystify ethnicity and racism and positively open and moderate the minds of Kenyans. Learning that we lived in organised and orderly societies, albeit seperately, before the Asians and European came will serve as enlightening civic education to the present and future Kenyan generations so that they may assume responsibilities of managing their country and their society in a tolerant and accommodative manner. I hope that references and quotations in the book from other written works will provide reasonable substantiation of what is written herein and deliver the message in its original form. The references will also create awareness of the existence of the books and papers I have extracted the quotes from for those who would wish to obtain more details for themselves. For these reasons, the urge to use my own paraphrased language as is the tradition, instead of quotes from the authors has been minimised. I am not inventing or rewriting history. The objective is to produce a book to serve as a civic education manual to Kenyans and other interested readers.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Introduction The history of Africa has long ceased to begin with the arrival of Arabs and Europeans in Africa as formerly portrayed in the history curricular of schools and colleges in Kenya under colonialism. Aware of the importance and the role of history in uniting and maintaining a nation, a presentation of available histories of each of the forty four ethnic communities in Kenya has been presented in this book confirming that every Kenyan has a history, a culture, a language and character. In support of this, at the end of each community's history, an attempt has been made to present its social and political organisation which sustained it as a homogenous and functioning entity where it has been possible. Kenya's boundaries were fixed by the colonial authorities basically to meet their administrative expediencies without taking in regard the territorial claims of the existing communities or ethnic boundaries. As a result, some groups straddle the frontiers between Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia. For example, the Maasai and Abakuria inhabit both Kenyan and Tanzanian territories in Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria areas. The Iteso and Samia people live in the Western province of Kenya as well as in Uganda, and the Sebei live in Uas Nkishu district in Kenya's Rift valley province and related ethnic communities live in the adjoining areas across the border in Uganda. We also have the case of the Boran (Oromo) people inhabiting in both sides of the Kenyan-Ethiopian border and the Somali people overflow into Kenya from the territory of the Republic of Somalia. In this book, it has also been established that people living in Kenya originated from various communities who immigrated into the country at different times during the last four thousand years and, therefore, may not have yet become fully homogenised communities. To fully support the process of national integration, that is the diverse communities becoming one national community, adequate information based on authentic historical facts needs to be made available. It is pertinent to make it possible for people to know our origins, migration patterns into Kenya and settlement, all which disclose our very extensive intermingling, assimilations and mutual dependence. This knowledge and understanding is dependable and positive basis for natural and beneficial national integration. An attempt to this end has been made in this book. Europeans and Asians have been directly associated with this country and East Africa as a whole for about 3000 years. Apart from the colonisation of the country and its attending inequities, they have been instrumental in the introduction of modern agriculture, commerce, education and modern government administration. Many of them are citizens of Kenya and are active in all spheres of the country's life for the common good for all. Those born here and whose parents are citizens of Kenya or formalised residents are natives of Kenya on equal footing with citizens of African origin. They are, therefore, their fellow men and women and their histories are included in this book making Kenya ethnic communities forty four. The history of Europeans and Asians in Kenya has been presented in this book in the form of life histories, activities and achievements of individual members of these communities as representative samples. Some particular individuals' histories in the two chapters may appear inordinately longer as they have been given wider coverage to bring out important aspects of social, political and economic contributions made by members of these two communities in the past to the present time to achieve what we know today as the modern history of Kenya. They have been considered deserving samples.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The reader may find in the text unfamiliar terms such as Khoikhoi, (sometimes also called Bushmen/Hottentots), Khoi-san, Galla/Oromo, Sandawe, Hadza and Sirikwa, representing people who are perhaps not known by those names in Kenya today. Detailed histories of these people are not included in this book among the present Kenyan communities. Brief synopsises are necessary to provide brief histories of these extinct communities which have in the past helped to form some of the Kenyan people about whom I have written in this book. Some information about them is provided in the introductory chapter. Description of people as Bantu, Plain Nilotes, Highland Nilotes and Lake or River Nilotes may also prove to be a problem to the reader. Explanation has been provided in the introductory chapter. the chapter more or less serves as an extension of the introduction of this book to the reader as it anticipates some contents in the book. It is also important to point out at the outset that what may be perceived to be repetition or overlapping of what is written in one or the other community's history in this book is not so as it is only coincidental. The history of each community is written independently of all the others though in the same book.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER ONE
Introductory Khoi-san (Khoikhoi) Writing about the hunter-gatherers in the Lake region, Professor William Ochieng has said: We learn from linguists and archaeologists, however, that in the last millennium B.C, a people like the Khoikhoi of South Africa sometimes called `bushmen' were scattered in the plains and higher parts of Nyanza. The majority of these hunters and gatherers were later displaced by pastoralists who came to Nyanza with their cattle from the direction of the Ethiopian Highlands.1 Writing in the Kenya Museum Magazine Kenya Past and Present, Daniel Stiles has stated: The archeological record tells us that much of East Africa and the Horn was occupied by hunting peoples before the arrival of Cushitic pastoralists. Linguistics suggest that Khoisan speakers did occupy part of eastern Africa before the arrival of the various present day linguistic groups. Ehret (1974) has proposed that pastoral southern Cushites expanded into East Africa beginning by at least 2000 B.C displacing and/or absorbing Khoisan-speaking hunters. The presence of Dahalo in a small area of Lamu District adjacent to the Boni suggest that at one time this area contained both Khoisan and Southern Cushitic speaking peoples. The Dahalo today speak a southern Cushitic language that contains a dental click, thought to be a residual Khoisan trait, and they have traditions indicating a long standing occupation of the area (i.e. no migration legends, and traditions of having been there before any of the surrounding peoples.) (Ehret 1974: Stiles 1980 ) Hadza/Sandawe Writing on the Hadza/Sandawe in the Kenya Past and present magazine, David Stiles has recorded: The hunters-gatherers of Kenya probably spoke languages related to Sandawe and Hadza, heard today only in Tanzania. Some Hadza are still hunter-gatherers and the Sandawe were in the recent past. The classification of the languages is debatable, but because they contain clicks, most linguists think they are directly related to Khoisan, the language of the Khoi and san (`Bushmen') in southern Africa. The pastoralists descending the Rift Valley probably spoke southern Cushitic. Those coming in from Sudan and Uganda presumably spoke southern Nilotic that later gave rise to Kalenjin.1 In step with the main message in this book, Stiles concludes his article by stating that: Since these phenomena have been happening in Kenya for the last 3000 to 4000 years, there is no such thing as a "pure" tribe. Except for the most recent immigrants, it is safe to say that all tribes in Kenya contain a mixture of Bantu, Kalenjin, Eastern Nilotic and Eastern Cushitic elements, with a small amount of Southern Cushitic and Hadzan thrown in. Linguistics and comparative

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


ethnography bear this out, as historical evidence of language and cultural borrowings from one group to another is unmistakable. Sirikwa Before the Maasai era, Sirikwa had been the dominant population of the western highlands of Kenya. The Sirikwa region extended from Sotik in the south through Kericho, Nandi and Uas Nkishu to the slopes of Mount Elgon and Cherangani hills in the north and to the North end of the Mau Hills and Nakuru in the east. The so-called "Sirikwa holes" are common in much of the western highlands of Kenya and the Hyrax Hill near Nakuru. These livestock-herding people had a long lasting relationship with the Ogiek of the forested areas they lived in. This relationship contributed to the history of the highlands from past centuries to recent times. John Sutton writing in the Kenya Museum magazine Kenya Past and Present in an article titled "The Sirikwa and the Okiek in the history of the Kenya Highlands" has stated: It is not suggested that the Sirikwa of old were Okiek or a branch of them. By speaking of relationship, perhaps even a symbiosis, a definite contrast in economy and ecology is implied. It was a contrast between those who inhabited the forest and knew and exploited its products, and those who pastured cattle, goats and sheep on the adjacent grass-lands a situation inviting exchanges and mutual respect and communication through a shared language. That was an early form of the Kalenjin tongue. Thus, though the Sirikwa are no more, their language in effect survives , being maintained by the Okiek groups.1 In explaining the disappearance of the Sirikwa in the same magazine, Sutton has noted: The Sirikwa have not simply died out, or been the victims of massacre in the Maasai era, as some have mainly imagined. Rather they were assimilated into the newly emerging ethnicities of the 17th and 18th centuries, thereby losing their Sirikwa identity. Some, especially in the Nakuru area, would have been absorbed into the expanding Maasai groups and lent their experience of the region's ecology and resources, and of methods of tending cattle and small stock there . . . The Sirikwa language, it can be inferred would have been an early dialect of Kalenjin. That is the only reasonable deduction from the overall distribution of Sirikwa remnants, which are mostly in distinctly non-Maasai territory now populated by Kalenjin, and in particular from the telling strength of memory of the Sirikwa and accurate understanding of their archaeological relics provided by Kalenjin elders.2 Due to this historical consciousness, when Kenya became independent, the name Sirikwa was chosen by the Kalenjin for the council created to serve the districts of Nandi, Uas Nkishu, TransNzoia and Elgeyo-Marakwet in the Rift Valley. By then Kericho was administered from Nyanza Province. Sirikwa county council was later broken up. The Kony sub-group of the Kalenjin people according to their oral tradition extended from Mount Elgon and adjoining Western territory across the Uganda borders to Kapenguria and Kitale and they represent the remnants of the Sirikwa people. The Ababukusu people of Western Kenya's tradition is that in their migration movement into Kenya, they first arrived at Esamoya (Jinja) and changed course and walked backwards through Bugishu (in Uganda) to the northern

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


side of Mount Elgon and then proceeded to Mbayi and Sirikwa where they settled. In those days they were known as Babayi Basilikwa (Babayi of Sirikwa). The former member of Parliament for Webuye Constituency Mr. Joash Wamang'oli who is a Bukusu traces his ancestry to Sirikwa people. As it has been established elsewhere in this book, the Sirikwa people who are known to have also settled in the areas of the North end of Mau Hills and created the so-called "Sirikwa holes" in much of the Western highlands of Kenya and the Hyrax Hill near Nakuru, were assimilated into the newly emerging Maasai and other ethnicities of the 17th and 18th centuries thereby losing their Sirikwa identity. These Maasai ethnicities included the Keekonyokie section of the Maasai who before colonial appropriation of their land in 1905 occupied the Kinangop (Kinopop) area of the Nyandar[a range adjacent to M[rang'a, {thaya and Tet[ areas of Ny]r] (Nyeri) and neighbouring Laipikia plains formerly homes to Laikipiak (Wakuavi) Maasai. In these Ag]k[y[ areas, the name Thirikwa (Sirikwa?) is found as a male name such as that of the former member of Parliament for Ndaragwa constituency Hon. Thirikwa Kamau indicating absorptions and assimilations of the Sirikwa people by the Ag]k[y[ from the Maasai neighbouring communities in Nyandar[a and Laikipia areas.

Bantu Historians have provided evidence that the place of dispersal of the Bantu peoples' language is the Congo Niger complex. According to Greenberg, as quoted by Professor Ochieng, the most convincing evidence is that which is based on geographical location of the most closely related languages. He has referred to the analogy made by W.R. Bascom and Herskovits in Africa on the basically similar methods that may be used to establish the homeland of the English language as being similar to finding the originating home of the Bantu thus: In similar fashion, the relationships of Bantu point, first to the Nigeria and the Cameroon's, and finally, to the Niger _ Congo family, whose distribution centres is West Africa rather than in East Africa.1 Professor R.W. Ochieng on the same subject has written: According to Joseph Greenberg, Peter Murdock, Malcolm Guthrie, and Roland Oliver, it would appear that the original dispersal zone of the Bantu speaking people was contained within the Congo-Niger complex. Influenced by his discovery of a number of apparently unrelated West African languages, Greenberg, concluded that the "pre-Bantu" families originally lived in the Cameroon and Nigeria area, where they probably spoke some "pre-Bantu" language. If it is assumed that the Tiv, Batu, Ndoro, Bitare, Mambila and Jawara dialects are the vestiges of some earlier language, fragments of which were absorbed into various languages at some time in the pre-historical period in West Africa, then Greenberg says that such a language might also have been the source of "Proto-Bantu". We have therefore to imagine from the above assumption that the speakers of the "pre-Bantu language" moved in two directions, some to "proto-Bantu" area "in the bush country to the south of the equatorial forest," and others to West Africa.2

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The first stage of expansion of the Bantu started from the original homeland in the Cameroon highlands towards the end of the last millennium B.C. They travelled by canoe along the Ubangi River to the Congo, then along the Kasai River to northern Shaba woodlands of the Republic of Congo where they settled. The parent Bantu language was formed here before major dispersal took place. According to Roland Oliver, this took place between A.D. 400 and 1000. During this period, the proto-Bantu reached the shores of the Indian Ocean and some followed the Indian Ocean coast line northwards, and are reported by the Arab geographers to have reached the Juba River by the 10th century A.D. Some migrated to the East African Great lakes region as far north as lake Albert and beyond while others settled in Central and Southern Africa where they are found today. Nilotes The Nilotes are people who imigrated into Kenya from areas of the Nile River in Sudan and hence the name Nilotes. Some settled along the Lake Victoria areas while others settled in the highlands of Kenya and hence the descriptions as Lake and Highlands Nilotes respectively. These people in Kenya are the Luo and Kalenjin communities. The Plain Nilotes are the Maasai, Turkana, Samburu and Jemps who are pastoralists and heard their livestock in the grassland plains. Iteso live in Western Kenya and Nubi in Kibira in Nairobi.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER TWO
Western Bantu (Abaluyia, Abagusii, Abakuria, Luo-Abasuba)

Abaluyia The Luluyia-speaking people occupy the Western Kenya Province, Samia in Uganda, Bukedi and Bagisu districts plus a small extension of territory into Busoga district also in Uganda. There is little difference between the Babukusu of Kenya and Bagisu of Uganda, and there is none at all between the Samia of Kenya and the Samia of Uganda. The Banyuli of Uganda are of the same stock as the Banyole of Kenya. The Lake Bantu of Tanzania parted from some of the Abaluyia of Kenya somewhere in Uganda long time ago. The Bahaya are particularly akin to the Abaluyia and their language is not far removed from Luluyia spoken in Kenya. The Bukoba of Tanzania are of the same clan as the Bukoba of Samia in Kenya. There are pockets of Nilotic-speakers in Luluyia-speakers' areas in both Kenya and Uganda. In Uganda they are Iteso and Badama (Jopadhola) respectively. The Iteso of Kenya are an off-shoot of the Iteso who live in the Teso district of Uganda. Maragoli tradition has it that they came from Misiri [Egypt?] and are believed to have descended from a group known as Soba during their stay in the northern part of present-day Sudan and a portion of present-day Egypt. John Osogo on this has written: On the map, the suggested area of origin of the Baluyia has been marked astride the Nile comprising a section of the northern part of present-day Sudan and a small portion of presentday Egypt. This whole area lies over what was once known as the land of Kush (Kash). Note that Serra and Kurru were important places at that time. Note also Soba; what connection could this have with the Maragoli, who say they came from Egypt, and are believed to have descended from a group known as Soba? These are all fairly wild guesses, but they are worth thinking about.5 The Abaluyias' Adam and Eve counterparts of the Jews appear to have been Akuru (or Kuru) and his wife Muka who are also known as Mwambu and Seera. According to A.J. Akell in his book A History of the Sudan from the earliest times to 1921, places known as Seera, Dongola, Merowe, Kuru and Soba existed before the Birth of Christ. these places are in the areas which the Abaluyia relate to their origin or migration route from Misiri. it would appear reasonable, therefore, to accept the Misiri legend of origin as being grounded in authentic historical experience. Furthermore the Abaluyia traditions of migration from the north, from Misiri or Abyssinia (Ethiopia) is corroborated by other Bantu traditional histories. Paul Aseka Abuso, writing about the origin of the Abakuria, has stated: Mt. Elgon district is also important in the tradition of various Abakuria clan's claim that at that time their ancestors who had earlier come from `Misiri' were living on the northern side of Lake Victoria.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Migration into Kenya Some of the Abaluyia people travelled from the Congo area through Uganda into Kenya. Others travelled first to the northern parts of the present Sudan before turning southwards and into Kenya. The earliest Abaluyia immigrants arrived in the territory that is today western Kenya before 1000 A.D. and the latest waves of immigrants arrived in about 1700. The very earliest clans to arrive have now disappeared or have been absorbed by clans which arrived much later and only their names are still remembered. It would appear that the first arrivals passed through Buganda on their way from Bunyoro or the Congo. Some groups went through Busoga to Ibanda and the others moved over generations to the mainland between the mouths of the river Sio and the river Yala and settled on the Islands of Sigulu, Jagusi, Siro, Lolue and Mageta. They also moved to Samia (Kenya) between Bunyala and Yimbo, particularly the Igoye area and the area around Kadimo Bay. The groups which went through Busoga settled in Ibanda and some reached river Malaba and later on reached Sang'alo in Kenya and Bunyole in Uganda. A northern route brought the Mount Elgon sub-groups to their present settlement. The Name Abaluyia The Abaluyia community is made up of eighteen sub-groups. The sub-groups which constitute the community have a common background, common customs and speak closely related dialects of the same language. Each sub-group is divided into many clans and in the olden days, the subgroup formed the basic political unit. The smallest unit within the sub-group was the Olukongo, which literally means `a ridge'. But although the Abaluyia had a common language and a common culture, they did not have a name embracing the whole community, that is, all the subgroups. In the 1920s these Bantu communities of western Kenya, realising that they had a common background and a unifying language, began to explore possibilities of the formation of a community association to cater for their common interests. Several associations were formed including the Bantu Kavirondo Tax-payers Association. In 1940 the Abaluyia Welfare Association was formed. The name Abaluyia quickly gained popularity particularity after the Luyia language committee was established and formulated an orthography for Luyia language. Within ten years, the name Kavirondo was discarded and the name Abaluyia stuck. According to Abaluyia tradition, communities used to hold criminal tribunals at the junctions of foot paths. The area at the junction of foot paths was known as Uluyia or a meeting point and it is claimed that the name Abaluyia was derived from this. There is another version. In a polygamous home the courtyard outside the main father's house is called Luyia. All the children are referred as children of one Luyia and hence the name Abaluyia.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Abaluyia sub-groups are as follows: 1. Ababukusu 2. Abamarama 3. Abalogoli (Maragoli) 4. Abanyala ba Maelo 5. Abetiriki (Terik) (Kakamega) 6. Abitakho (Kakumega) 7. Abanyala baongo (Busia) 8. Abesukha (Kakumega) 9. Abakabalasi 10. Abawanga 11. Abasamia 12. Abatsotso 13. Abakhekhe 14. Abashisa 15. Abamarachi (Ambamataki) 16. Abanyole 17. Abakhayo 18. Abatura 19. Abatachoni

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Wanga Empire During its last two centuries, the empire was the best organised in Buluyia. The Nabongo ruled the whole sub-group effectively and also extended his authority over a number of neighbouring sub-groups. Both Netia and Osundwa retained services of Maasai (Abasebe) mercenaries to fight and raid for cattle for them from other people and sub-groups. Wamukoya Netia had inherited some of the Maasai mercenaries from his father Musindalo but increased their number on his accession to the Nabongoship. They were paid with cattle in addition to their share of the booty brought from their devastating raids. The Nabongo was assisted in governing his territories by various chief clan elders appointed by the Nabongo himself. Thereafter, the office became hereditary in the families or lineages of the elders so appointed but the Nabongo also had special elders who assisted him in hearing and settling cases. The tribunal elders were appointed by the Nabongo who remained the court of final appeal in cases referred to him by the chief clan elders. Before that cases or appeals were first presented to the Weyanga (president of the court) who then presided over the hearing. The Weyanga was usually a member of the Abanashieni clan. The Abakaribo clan provided the Nabongo's messengers and police.

How the Empire Split Nabongo Osundwa who was the father of Kweyu and Wamukoya was the cause of the quarrel between the two brothers as he was misled by the royal servants to believe that his eldest son Kweyu was not concerned about his deteriorating health. As he lay in his deathbed, he sent for Kweyu many times, but apparently since the servants did not want the arrogant Kweyu to inherit the throne as they preferred Wamukoya, his messages never reached Kweyu. Any time Kweyu asked the servants what his father's state of health was, they replied that "he was just as you left him" giving the impression that Nabongo was not dangerously ill. Osundwa gave up waiting for "unconcerned" Kweyu, as the servants had hoped, and bequeathed the throne to Wamukoya. By the time Kweyu at last came calling, his father had already died and Wamukoya had already performed the ceremony of spearing the bull in the traditional manner, and people had shown allegiance to him. In anger, Kweyu declared that Osundwa's body would not be taken to Matungu for royal burial as had been done to the previous Nabongos. He insisted that the Late Nabongo should be buried at Eshimuli near his home, but Wamukoya remained the confirmed Nabongo. Kweyu declared himself the supreme chief of Wanga Mukulu and though he was never recognised as Nabongo, he ruled Wanga Mukulu independently of Wamukoya till he died. He was succeeded by his son Sakwa, whom the German explorer Carl Peters found on the throne of Wanga Mukulu in 1890. Sultan Sakwa Apparently the Wanga Mukulu chieftanship or sultanate was well-run and impressed Carl Peters who signed a treaty with Sakwa. Carl Peters wrote the following:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Kwa-Sakwa rose before us, not like a village but like a town. A dense crowd came streaming out of the gate towards us . . This is the way he described Sakwa's form and attire: A great bronze chain hung around his neck, and his arms were profusely ornamented with artistic copper rings. He carried a lance in his right hand, and a shirt [kanzu] of cotton fabric covered his body. In his effort to impress and to have the Europeans on his side against Nabongo Mumia, he signed a formal treaty with Carl Peters which reads as follows: Sultan Sakwa of Kavirondo, begs Dr. Carl Peters for his flag. He acknowledges Dr. Peters unreservedly as his Lord. Dr. Carl Peters promises to protect Sultan Sakwa according to his power, and to help him in the conquest of the whole of Kavirondo, so far as is consonant with Dr. Peters' other plans. Sultan Sakwa solemnly hoists the German flag today in his capital. Both parties complete this treaty by the signatures of witnesses. Sakwa's treaty with Dr. Carl Peters did not produce results as the Berlin Agreement transferred those parts of East Africa to Britain. Nabongo Mumia Nabongo Mumia succeeded his father Shiundu, who died in about 1881, when he was aged between twenty seven and thirty years. As a young and friendly king he received Joseph Thomson into his kingdom in 1883. It is the same Mumia who in 1885 advised Bishop Hannington at his capital of Kwa-Sundu (now Mumias) not to approach Buganda from the east, but who, when the missionary insisted on going, gave him a number of Bawanga guides and porters for the fateful safari to Busoga. Only one man Otsuolo son of Ingutia returned to KwaSundu alive carrying the sad news of the murder of the Bishop and the remains of the Bishop who had been killed along with all his caravan on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga. Mumia acceded to the Nabongoship of Wanga at a very critical time of attacks against the kingdom by the Ugenya Luo, the Ababukusu and the Abanyala (Navakholo). It was also a prolonged period of drought followed by a severe famine. Wanga was also afflicted with a cattleplague which killed many cattle. Nabongo Mumia was a very generous and kind ruler and a good warrior. He was extremely pleasant and cheerful, but maybe he did not have enough wisdom or determination as a leader. Joseph Thomson, the first European to be received by Mumia said of him: The present chief is a mild and pleasant young man, and we were soon on the best of terms with each other. Though of a sluggish temperament . . . He enjoyed enormously examining my photographs. He became so enthusiastic about the charms of one young lady, who was represented as posing aesthetically over a flower, that he gave me a large order for a bevy after that pattern at two tusks of ivory a head. I said I would see what I could do for him.22

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Thomson also wrote: I arrived at the town of Sundu [Kwa Sundu]. This place under the father of the present chief was one of great importance and size; but since his death has gradually dwindled away, till the wall encloses more Matamma field and grass patches than huts. The inhabitants, under an effeminate prince, have no special advantages, and consequently prefer to live in smaller villages to be nearer their fields. Nabongo Mumia helped the British to establish colonial government in Nyanza Province. Most of the Abaluyia sub-groups like the Ababukusu and Kakalewa, for example, were brought under control by Wanga chiefs under Mumia's orders. It is possible that if Mumia had not foolishly listened to advice from some Swahili Moslem friends at Mombasa to refuse to go to England for the coronation of King Edward VIII in 1902, he would have acquired the same status as that of the Kabaka of Buganda whose regent Apolo Kagwa went. On reaching the coast on his way to board a ship for England, the Swahilis, who had influenced him at Mumias with Islamic religious ideas, approached him and told him that he was being fooled and that if he went, he would be killed. As it was, Mumia gave up the voyage. In 1909 he was made Paramount Chief, which in effect was only a nominal title, from which he retired in 1926. Mumia died on 24 April 1949 with what had remained of his kingdom. ABAGUSII The Abagusii are a Bantu ethnic group which occupy the most southerly portion of the cool fertile western section of the Kenya highlands. Their language places them within the family of the Bantu-speaking majority of sub-equatorial Africa. The present Gusii homeland consists of an elevated plateau which rises to the south and east to altitudes of over 2000 metres above sea level and is cut into wide flat-bottomed valleys by the Kuja river and its tributaries. The plateau extends over 200 square kilometres with a mean altitude of 2250 metres above sea level. Between the Abagusii and Lake Victoria are the Nilotic Luo. To the east and south-east they are bordered by the Kipsigis and the Maasai respectively. To the south, though separated by a corridor of Luo, are the closely related Abakuria. Abagusii in their traditions acknowledge their close relationship with the following peoples: the Abakuria, the Abalogoli, the Ababukusu, the Abasuba, the Ag]k[y[, the Am]]r[, the Aembu, the Ambeere and the Akamba. Their tradition also has it that on their way from the country which they call `Misiri', they were also accompanied by the Baganda and the Basoga besides the above mentioned peoples. The Baganda and the Basoga are said to have branched off from the rest of the immigrants around Mount Elgon, taking a south-westerly direction. The Ag]k[y[, Am]]r[, Aembu, Ambeere and Akamba are said to have travelled eastwards towards the central highlands of Kenya, while the Ababukusu appear to have remained around Mount Elgon. The remaining clusters the Abagusii and the Abalogoli migrated southwards following the River Nzoia valley and arrived near Lake Victoria between 1490 and 1520. Following an easterly course along the lakeshore, they settled at the head of Goye Bay in Yimbo location of Nyanza with their homeland spreading across present day Ulowa, Sare and Unyejra at the foot of Ramogi hill. Luo migrants found them settled in this general area.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The migration and settlement history of the Abagusii people right from the cradle-land of the Congo-Niger complex is inter-twined with the rest of the East African Bantu migrations and settlements. Many of the East African Bantu peoples' traditions acknowledge a sojourn in Misiri and evidence for this exists. Professor W.R. Ochieng in his contribution in the book Kenya before 1900 has written thus: The Gusii themselves speak of Mogusii as the founder of their society and the person after whom their tribe was named. They also say that Mogusii's father was called Osogo, son of Moluguhia, son of Kigoma, son of Ribiaka, who was son of Kintu (variously called Mundu, or Wantu, or Muntu, apparently according to personal preference). It was Kintu, the Gusii says, who led the migration from "Misiri" to Mount Elgon, and there they appear to have stayed until they were forced to disperse because of droughts and pestilences. Gusii traditions also indicate that Moluguhia, the grandfather of Mogusii, had a number of sons who founded some of the Baluyia sub-tribes or clans, and that among his remembered sons were Osogo and Mogikoyo [M[g]k[y[]. Osogo's descendants are said to have founded the Gusii, Kuria, Logoli and several suba tribes, while the descendants of Mogikoyo became the G]k[y[, the Meru and the Embu tribes and according to a few elders the Kamba tribe as well. It is worth pointing out at this stage that these Gusii claims are not to be taken for granted. Linguists like Whitely and Greenberg, who have studied the Gusii and other Bantu languages, are agreed that the Gusii, Logoli, Kuria, Gikuyu , Embu, Kamba and Meru languages are very closely related.1 Mogikoyo is a common name among the Abagusii while the Maragoli also name their sons M[g]k[y[. This is a tangible proof of the existence of the ancient clan or ethnic blood relations as asserted by the Abagusii, Maragoli and Abakuria among others to the Ag]k[y[ and their other related communities. Goye Bay Abagusii traditions indicate that they lived at Goye Bay for two generations only and it is probable that both Mugusii and Mulogoli were born there. The arrival of the Luo section of JokaJok in the area created a big security risk for the small population of Abagusii and Abalogoli. The area is at the head of Goye Bay up to the mouth of the River Yala. Bunyala was becoming overcrowded by various Bantu peoples such as Mwasi, Boko, Munje, Ini, Lungo and Nzamba who were being pushed from the area to the north east of Lake Victoria by the Luo invasion. The Abagusii and Abalogoli were also living side by side with other Bantu peoples such as Khaala, Lwani, Tsipi, Kaweri, Kholo and Benge. The Luo invasion and settlements in the areas earlier occupied by the Abagusii and Abalogoli gradually became a major problem to them and the threat to their security increased with more regular and daring cattle raids by the Luo taking place. The Abagusii and Abalogoli were forced to flee from these areas. Professor W.R. Ochieng on this has written: From the available evidence it would appear that the Luo did not attack the Gusii and Logoli immediately they came into contact with each other. Rather, the Luo appear to have welcomed the prospect of an illicit addition to their cattle wealth and, loath to frighten their quarry, resorted to a policy of pinpricks, contenting themselves with small-scale raids, at reasonable intervals. When the Luo later intensified their raids on the neighbouring Bantu clans, however, groups

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


began to leave, one after the other, to safety, away from the clubs and spears of the raiders. Most of the above mentioned Bantu clans fled into Samia and Bunyala and are still to be found there. It would appear, however, that a number of Bantu clans migrated southwards into Sakwa, Asembo and Seme before retiring to the higher and colder areas of present-day Buluyia. Kisumu Settlement To reduce pressure on land and for security reasons, the Abagusii and Abalogoli left Goye Bay to settle first by Lake Gangu in Alego and then at Kisumo [Kisumu] led by Mogusii. Between 1580 and 1620 the settlement at Kisumo was forced to break up by severe drought. This caused the Abagusii to migrate to the Kano plains led by a number of warriors whose names are remembered as Mombasi, Kimanyi, Oibabe, Omugsero and Mochorwa. Mogusii was either too old or dead to lead the migration. However, Abagusii traditions are clear that Mogusii's mother Nyakomogendi died at their Kisumo settlement at a very old age. Abalogoli under the leadership of Mulogoli or Omoragoli the Logoli name for a seer or soothsayer remained at Kisumo but after some years, they also moved first to Seme and later to the land they inhabit today. Occupation of Gusii Highlands About AD 1755 the Abagusii moved out of Kano plains divided into four distinct groups. Wanjare group was led by Oisukia, Basi by Ogichocho, Sweta by Manyanta and the Girango group by Tabichi. They first stopped at Gososia in the present day Mugirango where they settled for a short period. The majority of the group, under the famous Sweta leader Manyanta, migrated to an area further to the south of Gososia which Abagusii scouts had recommended. A smaller group made up of Sweta, Sigisia and Osiango clansmen travelled to the thickly wooded highlands to the west of Gososia and it appears they first erected their settlement in the area of present day Nyamira. Sigisia and Osiango were largely pastoralists who also cultivated wimbi and root tubers. The wet and cold conditions of the highlands killed many of their people and forced the two groups to move to the area of south Mugirango where the climate was warmer. Unfortunately, the Maasai forced them back to the highlands where they settled at Kiegora in Nyaribari. From there, they moved to south Kitutu and spread to north Mugirango. Social and Political Organisation The environment under which the Abagusii migrated can be said to have had an effect on the nature of their settlement as well as their social and political organisation. The Abagusii society did not constitute one political unit. It was a collection of social and political units based on exogamous patrilineal clans. Each social and political unit consisted of one large clan and a number of affiliated smaller clans or sub-clans or families who ordinarily settled in a distinct territory over a ridge or adjacent ridges. Gusii political organisation was based on the clan in which elders ruled under a traditional chief. The clan warriors maintained law and order including providing defence. The Kitutu Abagusii were different as they had a chief under whom a number of clan chiefs served. The Abagusii people spoke a common language as they do today, shared a common and continuous territory, common customs, traditions and acknowledged descent from Mogusii.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The period between about AD 1870 and 1900 had many problems for the Abagusii. This was a time when sections of the Abagusii were rushing to occupy the land they live on today. The scramble for land brought about very bitter conflicts among the groups sometimes leading to fighting. Due to these conflicts, disunity, famines and pestilence, the neighbouring tribes, particularly the Maasai and the Kipsigis, took advantage to constantly raid Gusii groups for animals and also to expand their territories into Gusii territory. Due to the Maasai and Kipsigis menace, by 1880 no Abagusii families lived to the south of Kuja river. And during this time, Muksero and Wanjare people were undergoing acculturation due to their close interaction with the Luo. Efforts by prophet Sakawa to unite the Abagusii against their common enemies failed and raiding and snatching of territory continued until it was stopped by the colonial administration. Colonial Occupation The British declared Uganda a protectorate of which Gusii county was part in 1894. But the Abagusii remained unaware that they were a subject people until late in 1904 when the British colonial government started to intervene in their domestic affairs. The Kitutu section of the Abagusii had just taken punitive measures against Abagusero Abagusii for alleged offences against Kitutu women and children who had gone to trade in Luo land. On learning of the civil strife in Gusiiland, the Kisumu Provincial Commissioner, S.S. Bagge, sent one hundred soldiers and fifty policemen to restore peace, law and order among the Abagusii and also to make them realise that they were now under British rule. The Abagusii demanded to know what the white men were looking for in their country. When the colonial administrators realised that the Abagusii would not yield their independence, they attacked with guns. Professor J.M. Nyasani on this has written: On 12th September 1905, a punitive expedition consisting of members of V company of the 3rd K.A.R. stationed at Kericho under the command of Captain E.Y. Jenkins was dispatched to Kisii. Also accompanying the expedition were L. Gower the camp officer, the commander of the civil police, a certain Milton, a medical officer Rodriguo and G.A.S. Northcote as political officer. The patrol consisted of one hundred men of V Company of the 3rd K.A.R., fifty police from Kisumu, eighty native levies mostly of Sudanese origin and one hundred and twenty five porters. The expedition had twelve maxim guns among other war equipment.6 The ill-armed and unprepared villagers put up stiff but hopeless resistance against the maxim guns and about 100 Abagusii warriors were killed and 3000 heads of cattle were confiscated. The British colonial forces plundered and burnt Abagusii homesteads.

ABAKURIA The people now known as Abakuria are of diverse origins and clans. Before the twentieth century they did not know themselves as the Abakuria but by either their various clans or by "provinces" from which they came. The name Kuria seems to have been applied to the whole group by the early colonial Chiefs mainly to distinguish them from the other Luoised groups along the southern shores of Lake Victoria who were known as Abasuba a name which at times also included the Abakuria proper.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Abakuria live in both Kenyan and Tanzanian territories. In Kenya they live in Kuria district and in Tanzania they live in both north Mara and Musoma districts. The homeland of the Abakuria is between River Migori to the east and the estuary of River Mara to the west. On the eastern side the area stretches from Migori district in south Nyanza to Musoma district of Tanzania on the western side. To the south the land borders the Transmara district on the Kenyan side and the Nguruimi area in Tanzania. To the north is Lake Victoria with a small corridor occupied by the Luo and some other Bantu peoples. The immediate neighbours of the Abakuria are the Abagusii, Maasai, Nguruimi, Zanaki, Ikoma, Luo and Suba of south Nyanza (Suba district). The Abagusii state that their ancestors originally came from "Misiri" and that they migrated with the ancestors of the Abakuria, Abalogoli, Ababukusu, Abasuba, Ag]k[y[, Am]]r[, Aembu/Ambeere and Akamba and that they lost contact with these people in the Mount Elgon area. The Abagusii and Abalogoli followed river Nzoia Valley which eventually took them to the northern shores of Lake Victoria probably between AD 1500 and 1560. At this early stage there doesn't seem to have been significant differences between the Abagusii, Abakuria, Abalogoli and Abasuba among others. Their distinctive names and identities appear to have developed much later when they had separated into their present homelands. The origin of the name Kuria is a thorny point in Abakuria history. The major Abakuria subtribes such as Abanyabasi, Abatimbaru, Abanyamongo, Abakira, Abairegi and Abagumbe have traditions to the effect that their ancestor was Mokuria (or Mukuria) who lived in "Misiri". His descendants migrated from "Misiri" and after many years of wandering on the other side of Lake Victoria, they eventually reached and settled in the present Bukuria. According to this tradition, the Abakuria have been divided from time immemorial into two families: the Abasai of the elder wife of Mokuria and the Abachuma of the younger wife. But this tradition does not explain how the Abakuria people got their generation sets, such as Maina, Nyambiriti, Gamnyeri on the Abasai side, and Mairabe (Norongoro), Gini, Nyangi on the Abachuma side. These generation set names are also found among other people such as the Ababukusu, Kalenjin, Ag]k[y[, Aembu/Ambeere and Am]]r[. It is therefore most probable that the early Abakuria people who brought the generation set system into Abakuria society were a splinter group from a much larger community living in the area of Mount Elgon from which the Kalenjin people, a section of the Ababukusu and the Ag]k[y[ clusters emerged. Paul Aseka Abuso in his book A Traditional History of the Abakuria has written thus: Abakuria section of the Abagumbe, Abapemba, Abaasi and Abasonga also state in their tradition that they travelled together with the ancestors of the Kikuyu among other people from Misiri to Lake Baringo in the Kenya Rift Valley where they finally separated. Although Kikuyu history does not corroborate this point it looks as if at one time the ancestors of these people originally lived together in some area north of Mount Elgon. Perhaps the people known as Sirikwa we have talked of above were part of that larger ancestral community or possibly their descendants. This is not yet clear.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The other view of the origin of the name Kuria is as follows. Between about 1774 and 1858, some of the Abakuria people were living in Musoma district in the present Tanzania and were settled in a hilly area north of the River Mara then known as Korea hill. The inhabitants of that area in time became known as Korea people after the name of the hill, which eventually changed to Kuria hill whereby the people became known as the Abakuria. The divergent views on the origin of the name would explain why the name had not gained wide acceptance among the Abakuria even at the beginning of the last century, as people still largely identified themselves by the subgroup names. During the colonial period, it was the name Abatende (after the Abatende clan in Bugumbe area) rather than Abakuria, which was in common use among the Kenya Abakuria. Those living in Tanzania continued to be known by their totems. It is only in about the 1950s that the name Abakuria gained wide usage. In a similar manner the Mijikenda, Abaluyia and Kalenjin became generally accepted as collective ethnic names in the 1940s and 1950s, at a time when in Kenya they were seeking political recognition by the colonial authorities. The Abakuria are divided into several clans which include the following; the Abagumbe, Abairegi, Abanyabasi, Abaasi, Abapemba, Ababurati, Abakira, Abamera, Simbete, Watobori, Abakunta, Wiga, Kaboye, Abakenye; Wasweta and Abagirango. Social and Political Organisations The Abakuria people appear to have sprung from too many directions to have a common historical origin, although a number of clans claim to have come from Misiri. The culture of the present Abakuria therefore is an amalgam of many different cultures which may originally have been opposed to each other in content and practice. Among the Abakuria today are found people who were originally from the Kalenjin, Maasai, Bantu and Luo speaking communities. Between A.D 1400 and 1800 when migrations into Bukuria took place, the foundation was laid for the future Abakuria cultural and political developments. Early inhabitants of Bukuria came from both Bantu and Nilotic speakers who brought into Bukuria their peculiar cultures. Predominantly agricultural Bantu came into close contact with predominantly Nilotic pastoralists. Thus a blend of cultures took place among the early inhabitants of Bukuria from the start by combining agricultural practice with pastoral pursuit as well as tendencies towards nomadic life. Today elements of Abakuria agriculture is much like that of the Abagusii and the Luo while in cattle keeping they have borrowed the practices of the Maasai, Zanaki and Nguruimi. Before the population had increased very much, it appears that a number of the Abakuria communities developed independently without many interactions with the others. Many of those who lived at the foothills of such places as Gutura, Maheta and Gwasi tended to carry on with their mode of life as if there were no other people around them. During the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, more and More immgrants settled into the region and whether they liked it or not, the earlier communities were forced to interact with the new arrivals or at any rate to confront them. Some of the newcomers were aggressive and would not let their neighbours live in peace as they engaged in raiding for cattle and at times fought for dominance in the region. This meant that the small family clusters that had hitherto lived peacefully in the region shifted location and internal migration and resettlements were a continuous and repetitive process within and around Bukuria. In this way new social groups were formed. Many of these new societies were often swelled by splinter groups running away from other broken-up communities

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


as a result of disruptions of war and raids. The Abamerani, for example, are said to have swallowed up many other clans. LUO-ABASUBA The Luo-Abasuba who today occupy the lake region of south Nyanza and the two islands of Rusinga and Mfangano were not originally Luo. They were composed of Bantu speaking peoples who came from all over East Africa, with a large number having come from Buganda after the killing of Kabaka Junju around 1760. From the islands of Lake Victoria, some extended their fishing into Tanzania and then proceeded on to south Nyanza in Kenya. Geographically, the Luo-Abasuba territory stretches along the gulf of Nyanza from Ruri bay to the southern end of Matara Bay including the islands of Mfangano and Rusinga. Mfangano island is much more rugged and has a smaller population than Rusinga though it is larger in size. Gembe on the mainland of the south Nyanza lake region is much more open whereas Kaksingri and Gwasi are rather similar in topography, the difference being that Gwasi is almost surrounded by hills. Flight of Abakunta from Uganda Professor Henry Okello Ayot in the book A History of the Luo-Abasuba of Western Kenya from A.D. 1760 - 1940 has stated as follows: The history of the Luo-Abasuba, which is the topic of this book does not start until 11 generations ago using 23 years as the mean length of a generation . . . towards the end of the reign of Kabaka Junju. According to the revised genealogy of Apolo Kaggwa, Kabaka Junju began to reign in 1764. However, Kaggwa combined the periods covered by both Kabaka Junju and Semakookiro so that it is difficult to know when Kabaka Semakookiro began his reign. Gorju, who wrote in 1920, gave the date of the flight of the Abakunta from Buganda as around 1760.1 According to elders interviewed during genealogical investigations made by Professor Ayot for his work, Abakunta arrived in Mfangano island about between 1740 and 1763. Historian Kaggwa has given a full account of the circumstances which led to the Abakunta's flight from Uganda. Settlement of the Abakunta Mfangano Island Kiboye reached Mfangano island as a bachelor. He sailed to the mainland of south Nyanza and built for himself a hut at a place which is today called Kisegi and trapped animals and fished there. One day Kiboye's fire went out and since there were few inhabitants, he decided to go to the top of the hill and try to spot any home nearby. He saw smoke rising somewhere and went there to ask for some fire. At that home he found the owner smoking an opium pipe which he shared with Kiboye who found out that the old man's wife had died and left him with one daughter. The old man's name was Wiga. The girl was old enough to be married and during their conversation, Kiboye expressed the wish to marry her. The father agreed provided Kiboye had cattle to pay for the bride price. Later on he left for Mfangano island. On reaching home, Kiboye told his brother, Witewe, that he had something he wanted to discuss with him. After eating, Kiboye told Witewe, his wife and their younger son, Muse, that he had found a girl and needed cattle for the bride price which they did not have as they had only recently arrived from Buganda

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


and their daughters who in turn could have earned him cattle as bride price had not yet been married. Witewe then offered to give Kiboye one of his daughters whom he could exchange with Wiga, the old man, for Wiga's daughter. One of Witewe's daughter was called in and the situation explained to her. She agreed to marry the old man Wiga upon Kiboye's promise that he would live with them. Before she could change her mind, Kiboye and his niece left for Gwasi the following day. When they reached Kiboye's hut, he left her there and went to see the old man. He told Wiga that as he had no cattle he had brought a girl whom Wiga could take as a wife and Wiga agreed to give his daughter to Kiboye in exchange. Both men lived happily with their wives thereafter. Rusinga Island The second group of the eastern Abakunta immigrants who had preceded Mwembe were led by Kenge and Mukonya who sailed from one island to another until they reached Rusinga Island following the route taken by the first Abakunta group, as the story is told by the descendants of Kenge and Mukonya. Professor Ayot has written: The group led by Kenge and Mukonya can still give the route which they followed from Uganda with very little variation from the one followed by the first Abakunta group led by Witewe and Kiboye. The following islands in Lake Victoria seem to have been calling points on their way to Rusinga Island: Nyagombe, Kome, Lolwe, Sigulu and Mageta. These are the main Islands between Rusinga Island and Uganda; therefore, it is quite possible that they were used as resting places for a few days en route. Kenge and Mukonya also called at Imbo Kadimo, where they were told that the first Abakunta group had passed on to Mfangano Island. They then sailed to Rusinga Island and went to live on the hill, which is today referred to as Kia Kenge simply meaning Kenge Hill. Assimilation of the Abasuba 1780 - 1940 The Luo influence on the customs and practices of the Abasuba took effect over a long time of intermixing and assimilation between the two communities involved the Bantu and the Nilotic. As has already been seen, the Luo arrived in Yimbo at about 1490 which they found occupied by Abagusii and other Bantu clans who had been living in the area some of them for several hundred years. The Bantu warriors launched an attack on the Luo, but lost. After defeating the Bantu, the Luo established their homes around Ramogi Hill and began to raid Bantu homesteads for cattle. For many years, Abagusii organised Bantu forces to repel the constant Luo attacks on their homesteads, but more and more Luo were arriving and the Abagusii, Abalogoli, Abamuli (or Wamuri) and other Bantu clans found it very difficult to defend their homesteads and animals and decided to move away. Eventually, a line of Luo ruoths (chiefs) was imposed upon the Bantu clans to make sure that all the original Bantu clans were very closely watched. Governing councils consisting of Luo and only a few representatives of the defeated Bantu clans were established. Some of the Bantu representatives on the governing councils came from the Goma, Walowa and Wayipi clans. Giving an example of the Kadimo routh's operations, Prof. Ochieng has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Each of the Kadimo ruoths controlled the chiefdom through a territorial council called Buch Piny. This council consisted of the leading elders from the major Yimbo clans both Luo and Bantu. These elders were called Jodong dho udi. The war leader of the ruothdom, or Osumba Murwayi, was also a member of the council. The council dealt with major political, judicial, and economic matters affecting Piny, or the routhdom, like murders, cattle thefts, trade and interclan disputes, famines, pestilences, invasions, defence, trade and inter-clan conflicts. There was also an inner cabinet of the buch piny which was composed primarily of elders from the routh's clan, as well as a few leading experts like jobilo (diviners), jotheth (blacksmiths) and jojimbo koth (rainmakers). This inner council was called buch dound ruoth or buch oganda ruoth. It advised on major and sensitive policy issues of state like who should be the army leader, when should war be declared, who should be allies or which clan elders, or magicians were a threat to the security of the routhdom.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER THREE
Central Bantu(Agikuyu, Aembu(Ambeere, Ameru, , Akamba) Agikuyu The Ag]k[y[ are the largest community in Kenya and the largest group in the African continental context of the North-Eastern Bantu. They form the largest part of the population in Central Kenya, the neighbouring city of Nairobi and are the second largest group in the Rift Valley Province. The Agikuyu are also found all over Kenya, especially in towns, where they live and work as traders, artisans and professionals. The Agikuyu ancestral and spiritual homeland is in the present central Province. Natural landmarks mark the boundaries of the area. To the north is K]r]nyaga (Mount Kenya); to the west is the G]k[y[ escarpment of the Rift valley, which merges to the north with the Nyandar[a range, and to the east and south is K]anjah] hills (Ol Donyo Sabuk) and K]ambir[ir[ (Ngong hills) respectively. The ancestral area is well watered and dissected plateaus of approximately 160 kilometres in length from north to south and 50 kilometres in width from east to west. The area tilts southwards from the mountainous and hilly north to the Mbeere and Kaputiei plains, the direction in which numerous parallel rivers and streams flow into the Thagana (Tana) and Athi rivers, causing deep narrow gorges. As a result, the dominating feature of most G]k[y[ country topography is that of a trenched and denuded plateau of ridges and valleys. The area has ample rainfall, which averages from 1750 mm in the highlands and 1000 mm in the lower lands per year. This rainfall comes in two rainy seasons per year; the long rains falling between March and May and the short rains falling between mid October and December. The temperature of the area is generally moderate. The Origin As will be seen later in this chapter, the Ag]k[y[ people on entering the Mount Kenya area rapidly and extensively absorbed people of other communities they found in the area and it seems that through this process of mutual assimilation, their earlier history beyond this period became blurred and eventually forgotten in their traditions. What is distantly remembered is that they came from the north and Abaci (Abyssinia) is definitely mentioned as a place of origin. However, other Bantu peoples from Western and Nyanza provinces in their traditions remember association and contacts with the Ag]k[y[; contacts which took place earlier before these people's entry and sojourn in Mount Elgon, Lake Baringo, Lake Nakuru and Mount Kenya area settlement. On their origin, migration and relations with the Western Bantu and others, Professor William Robert Ochieng has written: The traditions of the Gusii people indicate that in the distant past they were the same people as the Kuria, the Logoli, the Bukusu, the Suba of south Nyanza, the Kikuyu, the Meru, the Embu, and the Kamba. They farther state that on their way south from a country which they call "Misiri", they were together with the Ganda and the Soga. The Ganda and Soga are said to have branched off from the rest of the migrants around Mount Elgon in a south-westerly direction. The

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Kikuyu, Meru, Embu and Kamba are said to have travelled eastwards toward what is now the central highlands of Kenya, while the Bukusu (Kitosh) appear to have remained around Mount Elgon. The remaining clusters the Gusii, Kuria, Suba and Logoli migrated southward and, following the course of river Nzoia, arrived on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria some fifteen to sixteen generations ago, presumably sometime around A.D. 1520.1 Professor Ochieng has further written: The Gusii themselves speak of Mogusii as the founder of their society and the person whom their tribe was named. They also say that Mogusii's father was called Osogo son of Moluguhia, son of Kigoma, son of Ribiaka, who was son of Kintu (variously called Mundu, or Wantu, or Muntu, apparently according to personal preference). It was Kintu, the Gusii say, who led the migration from "Misiri" to Mount Elgon, and there they appear to have stayed until they were forced to disperse because of droughts and pestilences. Gusii traditions also indicate that Moluguhia, the grandfather of Mogusii, had a number of sons who founded some of the Baluyia sub-tribes or clans, and that among his remembered sons were Osogo and Mogikoyo. Osogo's descendants are said to have founded the Gusii, Kuria, Logoli and several Suba tribes, while the descendants of Mogikoyo became the Kikuyu, the Meru and the Embu tribes and according to a few elders the Kamba tribe as well. It is worth pointing out at this stage that these Gusii claims are not to be taken for granted. Linguists like Whiteley and Greenberg, who have studied the Gusii and other Bantu languages, are agreed that the Gusii, Logoli, Kuria, Kikuyu, Embu, Kamba and Meru languages are very closely related.2 Professor Were writing on the Maragoli stay in Misiri has written thus: They lived there with the Arabs, the Kikuyu, the Meru, the Embu, the Baganda, the Basoga and their fellow Abaluyia. Every tribe had its own language. It is of note that the Abagusii name their sons `Mogikoyo' and Maragoli name theirs `M[g]k[y[', in addition to names such as K]mani and Macaria etc. Ag]k[y[ have the name `G]thii', for Abagusii Kisii, `Kuria' for the Abakuria who also share names with Ag]k[y[ such as M[g[re for their daughters. Also these closely related Bantu people share the age-sets names of Maina (ir[ng[) and Cuma. Entry into the Mount Kenya Highlands The group which came to the foot-hills of Mount Kenya through present M]]r[ seems to have come from a place north-west of Mount Kenya. According to Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen's diary dated 26.11.1902 in a conversation with chief Kar[ri wa Gakure in M[rang'a he was told about the origins of the Ag]k[y[ and he recorded thus: I am out of bed and all right today. Karurie came to Fort Hall this afternoon and told me a curious myth regarding the origin of the Kikuyu. He says their ancestors came from near lake Rudolf . . According to H.S. Kabeca Mwan]ki in his book The Living History of Embu and Mbeere to 1986:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

An equally believed story of Embu origin is that they came from a far away land beyond Meru and settled in the present land. Some specify the place of origin beyond Meru as Tuku or Ethiopia and others Uru. They say that when the first bunch of the Embu came they were in company with the ancestors of the Mbeere. Taking into consideration that the Ag]k[y[, Aembu, Ambeere and Cuka travelled together as one congerie into the Mount Kenya region, a northern home of origin for the Ag]k[y[ is suggested. Professor Godfrey M[ri[ki in a book titled A history of the Kikuyu, 1500-1900 has written: First, a tiny minority of my informants believe that the Kikuyu were descendants of the Baci or Ethiopians; or descendants of the Rendille man who came from Meru and settled at Gathanga; or that the Turkanas and Baci are relatives of the Kikuyu. The Abaluyia and Abagusii who say that they were in Misiri with the Ag]k[y[, Aembu, Am]]r[ and Akamba also mention Kuru or Akuru in relation to their stay in Misiri. According to A.J. Akell in his book A history of the Sudan from the earliest times to 1821, places with the names Seera, Dongola, Meroe, Kuru and Soba existed before the Birth of Christ. Evidence is, therefore that many Bantu peoples living in present-day Kenya had lived together in the distant years, that is therefore the birth of Christ, in some part of north-eastern Africa, and passed through some parts of Ethiopia (Baci _ Abyssinia) during their movement to the south. It is interesting to note that the Gurage people of Ethiopia who excel in business and farming look and act in a similar manner like the Ag]k[y[. They also came from the north, which is presumed to have been Meroe (Misiri?) which was defeated by Aksum armies at about A.D. 350. Aksum (Axum) is in the present day Ethiopia. They first settled in Gura in the present Eritrea before spreading to the south. The Ethiopia publication Spectrum Guide had the following to say about the Gurage: The area of the Gibe River for hundred of years has been the homeland of Ethiopia's most remarkable and industrious people the Gurage. of mixed Semitic and Hamitic stock, they probably migrated here from further north in the long forgotten past. They have made themselves at home in the southern highlands and have evolved a uniquely vigorous and self reliant economy. It is probable that the Gurage may have left Meroe (Misiri?) before the Ag]k[y[ congerie through Eritrea and settled in Ethiopia. They are generally referred to as Ag]k[y[ of Ethiopia. It may appear incomprehensible that the Ag]k[y[, who are believed to have been the dominant community in the group consisting of the Am]]r[, Aembu, Ambeere and Akamba during the migration from Misiri to Mount Kenya area to have `forgotten' their distant past history almost in total and to have adopted the myth of origin from M[k[r[e wa Gathanga. It is believed the legend served as a focus or symbol of unity, thereby welding together the various disparate elements into one people from heterogeneous origins. The Abaluyia, Am]]r[, Kalenjin and Mijikenda have similarly invoked myths which legitimised the occupation of their present localities during the last few centuries and which strengthened their communal cohesion and identity in order to meet new and in particular external challenges. On this Ochieng W.R. has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


These myths are clearly unhelpful in indicating where the "proto-Kikuyu" families came from. Looking critically at their traditions, it would appear that since the beginning of land alienation in Kikuyu land, the Kikuyu elders have "willfully decided to forget" their early traditions. Dr. L.J. Beecher has suggested that the fact that the Kikuyu have forgotten their early history and concentrated on the creation story, in the heart of Kikuyu land, is explainable by way of "their strong attachment to present tribal lands". And according to Dr. Muriuki, "from 1920 onwards, land became a bone of contention between the government, the Kikuyu and the white community. To the extent that land and their traditions of origin are interrelated, it is crucial to distinguish between the material collection before and after 1920. Much of the latter work whether contributed by Kikuyu or European, was politically inspired".17 Inter-community mingling and absorptions experienced by the Ag]k[y[ over a long period of time may have had telling diluting effects on the community's customs and historical lore. Introduction of foreign religions also played a major part by aggressively introducing foreign cultures and values, and discouraging traditional way of life of the people. Colonisation introduced modern education and urbanisation as well as increased interaction with outsiders in central Kenya which also played an important part in blurring G]k[y[ communal memory and values. But the G]k[y[ myth of origin in M[k[r[e wa Gathanga remains central to the G]k[y[ sense of becoming a separate people and has undoubtedly been used to make a lasting claim on their core living area in the Mount Kenya region. The myth encapsulates the religious belief that G]k[y[ country is God's endowment, their inheritance forever. This myth has all the ingredients of myth as described by the late Professor Bronislaw Malinowski: Studied alive, myth is not an explanation in satisfaction of a scientific interest, but a narrative resurrection of a primeval reality, told in satisfaction of deep religious wants, moral cravings, social submissions, assertions, even practical requirements. Myth fills in primitive culture an indispensable function, it expresses, codifies beliefs, it safeguards and enforces morality, it vouches for efficiency or ritual, and contains practical rules for the guidance of man. Myth is thus a hard-worked active force: it is not an intellectual explanation or an artistic imagery, but a pragmatic character of primitive faith and moral wisdom. Professor William Robert Ochieng on traditions of the origins of clans, the founders of the various divisions and the acquisition of group totems findings are that they are ridded with myths and at times, confusion. "They should be looked at as an attempt by a simple society at tracing back the origin of their society." He has written thus: Myths are extremely complex social or cultural realities which we must approach and interpret with intellectual sympathy and caution. They are said to narrate sacred history as well as to relate events which took place very long time ago in other words, myths tell us how, through the deeds of the supernatural being, reality came into existence, be it the whole reality, the cosmos, or only fragments of reality an island, a species of plant, a particular kind of human behaviour, an institution.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


According to Ag]k[y[, Aembu and Ambeere, it is generally agreed that their ancestors originated from the east or north-east of the present Mbeere country. On the basis of the available evidence, it appears that the ancestors of the Ag]k[y[, Cuka, Aembu/Ambeere entered Mount Kenya area through Igembe and Tigania in around A.D. 1800. This is about 100 years before the proto-M]]r[ arrived in the area from Mbwa (Manda island) at the Kenya coast. Professor W.R. Ochieng on this has written: The picture which emerges from Meinertzhagen, Dundas, McGregor and Muriuki accounts is that which would suggest that the proto-Kikuyu immigrated into the Highlands from an area to the north or north-west of Mount Kenya, and entering the Highlands in small family units. Be that as it may, makes it quite clear that "the Kikuyu and Chuka have no traditions of having ever migrated from the Coast, let alone Shungwaya . . . In the event and on the basis of the available evidence, the most that we can deduce is that their ancestors migrated from Meru, and especially Igembe and Tharaka countries, and that this migration was well under way by the 16th century. Migration to Ithanga Some Igembe/Tigania groups on their migration route to the Tharaka country are said to have come into contact with il Tikiri (Ndigiri or Ndegere?) or Asi (Athi) who lived to the south-west and north of Mount Kenya who they eventually absorbed. When the Igembe/Tigania groups were trekking southward, they halted at Mat]ri in the Ntug] forest between Thingith[ and Mutonga rivers. A section of the group settled there and joined the Thagic[ (Segeju) and the descendants are the Tharaka. Others moved to the confluence of the M[tonga, Maara and R[giti rivers from where a section broke off moving towards Mount Kenya. The other migrants travelled south-westwards and halted at Igambang'ombe south of the confluence of Th[ci and Tharia rivers which became an important centre of dispersal. One section crossed Th[ci river to what is the present Embu. Another group moved up the ridge towards Mount Kenya and settled at Magumoni, thus joining the group that had broken off from the main body of pioneers at the confluence of M[tonga, Maara and R[giti rivers. These two groups are the ancestors of the Cuka people. The group that crossed the Th[ci river into Embu advanced to Karurumo and reached Mwene-Ndega sacred grove, near today's R[nyenjes town. Professor M[ri[ki has written: According to Cuka traditions, however, the Cuka, Aembu and Tharaka are very closely related. They are said to be descendants of three sisters who migrated from Tigania or Igembe or both places. On leaving Tigania and Igembe, they are said to have settled around the Ntug] forests. The mother of the Tharaka, Cia-Mbandi, was left there and she gave offspring to the Tharaka, while Cia Nth]ga (the Eve of the Aembu) and Cia Ngoi (the eve of the Cuka) pressed ahead and settled at Igambang'ombe. Cia Nth]ga and Cia Ngoi apparently quarrelled at this stage and the former crossed the Tharia and Th[ci rivers into modern Embu land, while the latter went up the ridge to settle at Magumoni.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Ithanga Settlement From Igambang'ombe, the other group of the immigrants traveled southwards, along Thagana river valley to K]ambere hill where they made a settlement. While on the way to K]ambere hill, one group broke off and settled in the area of Mumoni hills and up to modern K]ndaruma to form the present Mbeere people. The group, which trekked on reached and settled around Ithanga, at the confluence of the Thagana and Th]ka rivers towards the end of A.D. 1700. On their southward migration the group appears to have encountered a large concentration of the Thagic[ along the Thagana river and close to Ithanga. While some of the Thagic[ eventually became the ancestors of some of the Tharaka, Mbeere and Akamba, it is accepted that others became the ancestor of some of the Ag]k[y[. From archaeological evidence and C14 dating, it is indicated that at Gatung'ang'a, a village in Math]ra in Nyeri (Enyer in Maasai )-district which is not far from Ithanga, there had been continuous occupation by a Bantu speaking population for many years, probably several centuries before the arrival of the Ag]k[y[. This Bantu population were no doubt Thagic[ people who had lived in these parts from about the twelfth to the fourteenth century. The encounter must have led to assimilation and culture fusion between the two groups, particularly around the important centre of dispersal at Ithanga and contiguous areas. Some Mbar] (clans) categorically assert that their ancestors migrated from Akamba land or Mbeere and specifically mention Thagic[. As has been seen , the Thagic[ people are now to be found living to the east of Mbeere and in Tharaka. As has already been acknowledged, Mavulia location in Mbeere is traditionally called Thagic[ while Kitui District in Ukambani is traditionally known as Uthaisu. The name Thagic[ is common as a male name among the Ag]k[y[ people. Besides the Thagic[, the Igembe/Tigania groups in their migration came into contact with the Gumba, an Eastern Cushitic-speaking people who are recalled by nearly all the Mount Kenya peoples. They are reputed to have been a race of hunting dwarfs, rather like the pygmies, who lived in roofed-over dug-outs or tunnels. Estimates of their height range from 76.2 centimetres (0.76 metres) to 137.2 centimetres (1.37 metres). The Igembe /Tigania and Thagic[ groups are likely to have initially mingled with the Gumba in the Tharaka and Mbeere areas. Apparently, the former groups gradually displaced or assimilated the Gumba. It is presumed that the process mainly occurred during the gradual migration through Mbeere and the stay at Ithanga and contiguous areas. Settlement in Gaaki and Metumi By the beginning of the nineteenth century, at the eastern frontier of Math]ra, which was then relatively peaceful, settlements had reached the outskirts of Iria-in] and Magutu. People from Kony[ and K]r]m[k[y[ who had greatly suffered from Maasai raids had reached Ker[a and R[thagati. Gathu-in] and Wam[rogi saltlicks where the Ag]k[y[ took their livestock for salt-licks were regular battle grounds. Maasai wars in the 1880s between the Purko and Laikipiak (Wakuavi) enabled the Ag]k[y[ to reach R[] R[ir[ river, since the Maasai had suffered great loss of life and battle fatigue. Further settlements to the north did not take place until after the eviction of the Maasai from the Ny]r] plains by the colonial administration in about 1912. The most notable aspect of G]k[y[ history at this period was the continued assimilation of the Maasai by the Ag]k[y[, quarrels notwithstanding. Maasai and Athi appear to have had an ambivalent relationship with the Ag]k[y[. Both peoples were considered aliens and adversaries on certain occasions and as associates on others and many of them eventually became assimilated by the Ag]k[y[. The Purko and Laikipiak war in 1870s resulted in great numbers of refugees seeking

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


shelter among the Ag]k[y[ and these were absorbed. In Math]ra, {thaya and Tet[ divisions of Ny]r] district, a large percentage of the population is of Maasai (Wakuavi/{kabi) ancestry. At the close of the nineteenth century, due to the preponderance Maasai influence, Math]ra had almost evolved into a separate sub-group, a process that started during the first half of the eighteenth century. Their extensive assimilation of Ndia immigrants and increased absorption of the Maasai and Athi led them to acquire language characteristics including a distinctive dialect which was different from the language of their Ag]k[y[ kinsmen including within the areas of Gaaki. It is probable that the people of Math]ra could have evolved as a sub-group quite distinct both from the Maasai and the Ag]k[y[ had not the colonial administration quite soon facilitated greater integration of Math]ra with the rest of G]k[y[ country by moving away the Maasai from the adjoining plains. On the early migration and occupation of the rest of Gaaki and parts of Metumi by the Ag]k[y[, Professor M[ri[ki has written: The migration northwards into {thaya was spearheaded by the Aithiegeni clan which had initially settled around Gikondi. According to tradition, the pioneer settler at Gikondi was a certain Kambaire M[nj[ri, who later migrated to Kar]ma together with his four sons Ngai, Gitene, K]r[mwa and Maigua. This was perhaps at the time of the Cuma generation, that is, about the end of the seventeen century and the beginning of the eighteenth. Further north, Kamoko, who is alleged to have been a herdsman, is said to have been joined by a M[mb[i hunter, Magana, a man who is reputed to have ranged far and wide from Mathira to Wamagana (named after him) before settling with Kamoko at Mahiga in the first half of the eighteenth century. Other pioneers spread across the Gura River into Aguthi from Tambaya, but expansion further north was considerably slower, only reaching the vicinity of the north Chania River towards the end of nineteenth century. This slow rate of expansion is explained by the Maasai threat, and is similar to the situation in Mathira. But here, as in Math]ra, extensive intermarriage between the two peoples took place. The two groups were conducting joint raids not only against their own people, but as far away as Ndia and Cuka.32 Migration to Kabete Migration to Kabete took place between the second half of the eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth century (1757-1827) during the K]nyanjui and M[ngai age groups. Cuma and Ci]ra age groups Kamau, K]mani or Karanja (1687 to 1721) did not migrate from Metumi to Kabete as they were either dead or very old. Only a few of the Iregi elders (1727 - 1761) managed to cross Chania river if any. The first G]k[y[ warriors to fight the Maasai in the area of Th]ka during the first half of the nineteenth century belonged to the G]ta[ and Wainaina age groups (1792 to 1827). By the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ag]k[y[ had reached the area of Karura river in Nairobi (Nairobi city centre was then known to the Ag]k[y[ as K]n[-in], a place where there was a Mw]n[ tree) thrusting towards the nearby Maasai country on the other side of Mbagathi river, the Athi plains and a stretch of land between K]ambaa and Ngeeca. The Ngig] warriors, initiated in 1890, were involved in this thrust towards Maasai country. Professor M[ri[ki has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


During 1880s, the Kikuyu were settling in the area between the Karura and Nairobi rivers, and also towards Muguga. The penetration of Karura ridge was spearheaded by Iguku, of Mbari ya Gathagu, and Ndungata, of Mbari ya Muya. However, several people led the advance towards the Nairobi river and Muguga; Gatonye Munene made his Kihingo, a fortified cluster of homesteads (pl. Ihingo), in the 1880s at Muguga and Waiyaki Hinga moved to Mbugici (near Fort Smith) from Karura between 1884 and 1890. Other prominent pioneers who had ihingo at the frontier were Mucene Cege at {th]r[, Muthondu Nduru and Gatama at Kirungii [now Westlands], Mbari ya Wahothi close to Kikuyu station and Kiratu at Limuru. By 1890 among those who had established ihingo at the frontier were M[[r[ M[gwe at M[thaiga, Gatama and K]ari] Ndemengo at the confluence of the Karura and G]tathur[ rivers, Waihumbu and Thair[ at Kogoge, M[g] at Kabete, M[kiri and Waiyaki at Mb[gici, Wamagata at K]noo, Ngware at G]tar[ (Kanjer[), Gatonye at M[g[ga, Ngeeca at Ngeeca, Cege and K]rat[ at R[ngai (Kabuk[/Tigoni), K]rat[ at Limuru and Nding'[ri and Nd[ti at Uplands. A few other ihingo were at Korio, and T[r[thi, a Mwathi (Asi), had a home in the forest nearby. His fourth generation descendant, T[r[thi M[ngai, became a member of Kenya's parliament for Lari constituency in the area after independence; the Dorobo family had been G]k[y[-assimilated. Nairobi Settlements Dr. Louise Seymour Bazett Leakey in his book The Southern Kikuyu before 1903 has written that at the time of Waiyaki's exile, the G]k[y[ boundary ran from a point a mile (1.6 km) or so southwest of Undir] swamp at G]k[y[ Railway Station area in a general east-ward direction to the present position of the city of Nairobi and that: The plains on which Nairobi Railway Station and the commercial area have been built were not undisputed Gikuyu territory, for the Maasai also sometimes grazed their cattle there. "The Hill" area of Nairobi, however, as well as the suburbs known as Parklands, Muthaiga, Karen and Langata were unquestionably within the Gikuyu country. This is established by the fact that many independent Agikuyu witnesses, who were warriors at the time of Waiyaki's exile, testify to the following facts. There were two fortified villages in the woods near State house known as Kihingo kia Waihumbu and Kihingo kia Ndemengo; there were also two on Museum Hill near Ngara Road (these were known as Kihingo kia Muthondu and Kihingo kia Nyanduru); there was a fortified village in what is now known as "City Park"; there were two more in the region now occupied by the Muthaiga Country Club and Golf Course; another was near what is now the Nairobi cemetery; and another between Karen Blixen House and the Karen Golf Club.36 Dr. L.S. B. Leakey has further written: Penetration to the lands south of the river was slow, and by the time of the Iregi generation, c. 1860, it had reached only as far as the river called the Rui Rwaka. However, during the succeeding years the expansion was continued and by 1887, when the first European entered south Gikuyu, they had extended their occupation of the forest lands to the edge of Maasai country near the Ngong Hills. In 1887, Teleki described the Mbagathi River as the boundary between the Maasai and the Gikuyu, even though there were few Gikuyu in the extreme south, and the line of fortified villages which marked the effective border was then several miles from its banks.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Relations with the Maasai The communities within the neighbourhood of the Ag]k[y[ were the Maasai to the east and south and the Akamba to the east of the territory. Both communities were adversaries and friends at the same time to the Ag]k[y[. These communities carried out raids on one another occasionally and traded with one another most of the time. The Maasai had the notoriety of having spread terror from the shores of lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf) to northern and central Tanzania in the south, and from the banks of Tana (Thagana) river in the east to the shores of lake Victoria in the west. It is said that the Maasai had two overriding passions cattle and warfare. Cattle were their pride and source of livelihood. The threat of being raided by their neighbours from the plains caused terror to the agriculturist Ag]k[y[. there was a state of what would have been perpetual war had this not been tempered by other factors which enhanced interdependence and occasional mutual understanding. The pastoralists needed some of the agricultural produce while the agriculturists needed some animal products. The Maasai were particularly vulnerable to famine due to the vagaries of the weather or livestock epidemics. On occasions when these things affected them, they were heavily dependent upon their agricultural neighbours with whom they had either to trade or else seek refuge to avert starvation to death. If there had been problems in relations beforehand, emissaries were sent to negotiate a peace treaty to facilitate resumption of trading. Peace negotiations were a solemn affair and reaching an agreement on a peace treaty (m[nyoro) involved a lengthy and elaborate procedure ending in a religious ceremony during which both parties took a solemn and binding oath. Serious consequences were believed to befall anyone who broke such a solemn oath. That the oath was not to be taken lightly was demonstrated by the fate of a warrior from K]ambuu called Wangai, who was handed over to the Maasai after he had broken a peace treaty in the 1880s. Peaceful coexistence therefore was dully recognised as being of prime importance to the well being of the two communities, sporadic raiding notwithstanding. The British East Africa Company and Changes in Gik[y[ Social Values In the meantime, the Ag]k[y[ in Kabete were undergoing rapid social change as a result of decades of trade and contacts with the coastal traders. This process was heightened by the operations of the British East Africa Company at K]awari[a (Dagoretti) and greater exposure of the people to outside influences at Dagoretti. It is believed the name Dagoretti is derived from the G]k[y[ word Ndag[r]te `He has not bought it' which was the G]k[y[ outcry against the Company, and by-extension the European who had acquired land in the area without buying it. The use of a pro-company group of the Ag]k[y[ led by K]nyanjui wa Gathirim[ who was Hall's pointman, was a pointer to the transformation of social and political relations taking place in Kabete. It is worth noting that those who were ready to compromise and accommodate themselves to the changing circumstances were nonentities in the traditional G]k[y[ society. It is alleged that K]nyanjui N[g[ Gathirim[ who was previously Waiyaki's dependant (njaguti-servant) and a distant relative migrated to Kabete after being disowned by his relatives in K]r]a (Kandara, Metumi) for misbehaving. K]nyanjui and his group, in order to promote their social-standing and influence, found it necessary to operate outside traditional structures, and therefore eroded the traditional norms with abandon. The first consideration of collaborators like K]nyanjui wa Gathirim[ was economic gain from employment as informers, porters, soldiers of fortune and in

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


other manual chores. C.H. Stigand in the book titled "The Land of Zinj (The Land of Black) published in 1913, on Paramount Chief K]nyanjui wrote thus: The Chief of this corner we pass through is called "Kinanjui" [K]nyanjui]. He is the Chief of the Nairobi and Dagoreti Kikuyu, and his village is on the Dagoreti road to the west. His country goes as far as the Chania River, at which place Korori's [Kar[ri] country commences. Some of his underchiefs are Msama [M[thama] near Lamoru [Limuru], Mturi [M[turi], north of Msama (there is another Mturi near Fort Hall), and Njorugi [Njoroge], north of Escapment station. K]nanjui is a Chief who was created by the Government, and so has not so much authority with his people as some hereditary Chiefs have. He is said to be generally drunk. He occasionally visits Nairobi dressed as an admiral. Relationship with the Akamba By the 1840s G]k[y[ country was an important source of ivory and the Akamba were initially the principal ivory buyers, as is suggested by the example of a major Mkamba trader Kivoi Mwenda who told Dr. Krapf in 1849 that he had left his ivory in the Athi country as well as G]k[y[ land. The Athi who were expert elephant hunters were an important source of ivory to the G]k[y[ who sold them to the Akamba and the Maasai in exchange for goats. A good piece of ivory of about ten feet (3.05 metres) in length could fetch between fifty and a hundred goats when sold to the Akamba and Swahili traders. The Akamba were chiefly middlemen who sold the ivory to the Nyika (Mijikenda) people who in their turn sold the goods to the Mombasa traders. Kivoi's caravans, sometimes of more than five hundred porters and other workers, had direct access to the Mombasa traders; he, therefore, did not need to dispose of his goods to the Wanyika. The governor of Mombasa personally knew him and his village in Kitui was a centre of trading activities between the Akamba and the Ag]k[y[ as well as the other Mount Kenya peoples. In addition to the threat posed by the Galla and the Wakuavi en route, the Wanyika were also discouraged by the Akamba from developing an interest in upcountry trading. The Akamba invented stories of fierce pygmies and cannibals inhabiting the interior. Dr. Krapf noted: I conjecture that these stories have been invented by the Wakamba and caravan leaders, in order to deter the inhabitants of the coast from journeying into the interior, so that their monopoly of the trade with the interior might not be interfered with. Trading with the Coast G]k[y[ history was radically changed by the events that took place in the last twenty-five years or so of the nineteenth century. Some Ag]k[y[ people had probably previously seen Swahili traders in the Akamba villages or travelling with the caravans which passed through G]k[y[ country. Very few of them had managed to travel to the coast. The increased contact with the outside world at the close of the nineteenth century was one of the main features which preceded colonisation of G]k[y[ country by the white people. The Ag]k[y[ found themselves increasingly involved in direct Swahili commercial activity and enterprise, a process that coincided with the decline of the Akamba commercial empire which had reached its nadir by the 1870s. Swahili involvement into the interior trade was immediately followed by the establishment of the Imperial British East Africa Company (hereafter IBEAC), founded by British philanthropists, businessmen and empire builders, which was granted a royal charter in 1888. IBEAC opened the way for the subsequent establishment of British colonial administration from 1895 onwards. The

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


advent of the colonial administration saw the entry into G]k[y[ land of the administrators, settlers, traders and missionaries with their strange ways of life, demands that were a threat to communal well-being and ideas that shook the very foundation of G]k[y[ social values and world view. By the time the coastal traders started direct trading in the G]k[y[ land, the Ag]k[y[ had had long experience in trading activities particularly with the Maasai and the Akamba. They were therefore aware of the increased profits that would accrue from direct trade with the traders from the coast by-passing the Akamba middlemen. The Ag]k[y[ also have a hospitable attitude towards visitors and strangers whom they believe should be treated well. They say a visitor or a stranger (m[geni) is like river water that passes on, a saying that also implies that visitors may bring good fortune. They therefore have a positive and generous disposition towards traders and external trade. Despite the Ag]k[y['s positive disposition towards trade and the coastal traders, relations were not as smooth as they should have been. The conduct of some of the coastal caravans caused friction with the Ag]k[y[. Some of the caravans, for example, failed to pay for goods supplied and some had the propensity to forage for food in G]k[y[ cultivated land. The truculence on the part of some G]k[y[ warriors often provoked fighting between the foreigners and the Ag]k[y[ sometimes leading to massacres. Thomson heard stories in 1883 of "some bitter lessons, that the traders in several fearful massacres at Ngong and other places had taught the Kikuyu". It is significant that those on and off conflicts did not deter trade between the two groups as in the end each needed the other. Caravans of between 1,200 to 1,500 men often stopped at Ngong and all of them obtained food from the Ag]k[y[. A number of Swahili caravans reached areas in G]k[y[ country never before reached by the coastal caravans. Hohnel recorded that the head of Jumbe Kimemeta's caravan Kijanja, a man from Tanga, even knew the G]k[y[ language. Prelude to British Rule As has already been seen, before the first European expedition into G]k[y[ country, the tribe had been in contact with both Arab and Swahili traders for some time and were selling to them large quantities of food for their porters. The proceedure was for the traders to pitch their camping near the north end of the Ngong Hills, close to the source of the Mbagathi River, a place known then as Ngongo Bagas, and then to fire off their guns to let the Ag]k[y[ who were living in the fortified villages in the forest belt know that they wanted to trade. As soon as the gun report were heard, news was communicated by messengers throughout the area and people from all over the southern G]k[y[ country would make their way to Ngong taking with them maize, millet, sweet potatoes, and other food stuffs to exchange for beads, copper wire, and cloth. The G]k[y[ names for these Arab and Swahili traders were Th[k[m[, Comba or Makorobai (slave dealers and people who employed paid labour). The Arab and Swahili traders did not themselves dare go into the G]k[y[ country to obtain food. Dr. L.S.B. Leakey on this has written: On one or two occasions the Arabs and Swahili traders tried to penetrate Gikuyu country, but on each occasion they were attacked, their party more or less annihilated by the Gikuyu warriors,

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


and all their possessions stolen. Slave raiders never succeeded in making Gikuyu country a field for their activities. Early Europeans' Perceptions of G]k[y[ Political Organisation Some early European travellers believed that G]k[y[ political organisation had provision for `chiefs'. However, these were misconceptions about leaders who existed under traditional G]k[y[ political organisation in the writings of the early travellers to G]k[y[ country. There were no chiefs in the sense of rulers or governors. The fundamental basis of G]k[y[ social and political structure was that people ruled themselves through an organised system of committees. The title M[thamaki (Samaki according to von Hohnel) which was erroneously equated to the title of chief did not mean chief at all, for those who held the title had no powers or rights vested in them as individual leaders, but rather could act only in consultation with their colleagues in the committee of leadership (k]ama). A m[thamaki was usually a wise and respected president of a committee, who could persuade those who were with him to take a line of action that he considered to be best, but who could not arbitrarily impose his will upon them. Decisions made by the k]ama were enforced by the warriors as the armed branch of the people's government under supervision of the territorial warriors' m[thamaki. While Teleki and Hohnel's plans for the march through G]k[y[ country were being made, the travellers arranged for the purchase of further food supplies, and a big market was organised in a clearing as described below: Here they found such an immense number of native men most of them, it is true, laden with food that our people dared not leave the shelter of the forest, and some of them, including Kijanja, even ran away. Qualla, however, remained calm, and made his way through the crowd, which appeared greatly excited, but when the numbers were increased by fresh swams of gesticulating natives, he too began to feel alarmed. The young warriors, however, soon restored order, drawing their long knives or swords, and laying them about vigorously, with the flat sides only, but some blood was drawn . . . One native snatched a bundle of beads out of Qualla's hands, another stole the turban from Maktubu's head, but warriors themselves caught and flogged the thieves, compelling them to restore the property taken.55 Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) IBEAC paved way for the subsequent establishment of British colonial rule from 1895 when the British administration took over from it. Machakos and Dagoretti stations were established in 1889 and 1890 respectively to provide for the caravans on their way to and from Buganda, which was the centre of interest for the company. Lugard who set up both stations had entered into blood brotherhood and made peace treaties with a number of prominent Ag]k[y[ when he established a fort at K]awari[a (Dagoretti) in 1890, including Waiyaki. The fort lacked strong administration capable of controlling the activities of caravans and the ill-disciplined soldiers. None of the company's agents Wilson, Purkiss or Nelson was capable of the necessary firmness. The rowdy behaviour and conduct of the ill-disciplined soldiers and Maasai levies provoked the anger of the Ag]k[y[. Apart from foraging in their shambas (cultivated land) or forcibly taking food, the behaviour of the askari (soldiers) towards local women was wanting. Hall reported that two of his men who were supposed to be herding the company's goats and sheep tried to rape a woman on 25th October 1892. She resisted and one of them shot her and she died two days later. K]nyanjui recounts another episode involving seven Swahili soldiers who

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


had been sent on an errand to Machakos and who stole Kamw]ngo's goats. In the fighting that followed five of the coasters were killed. Drunkenness was a serious problem right from when Lugard was building the fort in 1890. The company, which was having financial problems in 1892, ordered that Fort Smith and Machakos be self-supporting, thereby authorising pillaging. This policy was effected through series of primitive raiding expeditions for food or stocks which dealt the last blow to the G]k[y[-IBEAC relationship. Lugard acknowledged this by observing that: Owing largely, I believe, to the want of discipline in the passing caravans whose men robbed the crops and otherwise made themselves troublesome, the people became estranged and presently murdered several porters. Due to the excessive hostility from the Ag]k[y[, George Williamson had been forced to evacuate K]awari[a fort for the first time on 30th March, 1891 and for the second time on 13th June, 1891, arriving in Machakos on 19th June, 1891. Purkiss and Erick Smith came back with a strong force towards the end of 1891 and they pitched their camp within Waiyaki's kihingo (fortified village) without his permission where they remained until the new fort, which captain Smith named after himself was completed. The company's relations with the Ag]k[y[ were further poisoned by the machinations of G]k[y[ collaborators, who made deals with the Company behind their community's back, and the new station's policy of being self-supporting through primitive raiding. As temperatures rose between the people and the company, Waiyaki became worried by events taking place and particularly the stationing of the company's soldiers virtually at his doorstep against his wishes. He became apprehensive that he might be punished, by having his livestock seized, in retaliation for the sins of his fellow G]k[y[ warriors who had ransacked and burned down K]awari[a fort. To secure his livestock, he dispatched part of his flocks and herds to an area near M[g[ga under one of his sons, G]thagui, while another lot was sent to the Mbar] ya G]konyo (G]konyo's clan) of Ting'ang'a in G]th[ng[ri under another son, M[nyua, for safety, just in case the Europeans decided to take action against him. In the meantime, an extraordinarily large force of Maasai warriors invaded the G]k[y[ country nearby. Surprisingly Purkiss agreed to help when an appeal was made to him by the Ag]k[y[ to help prevent the expected defeat of the Ag]k[y[. Reinforced by the Company's forces which were armed with guns, the Ag]k[y[ were able to make a successful counter-attack on 23rd May 1892 that annihilated the invaders who were caught unawares jubilantly celebrating their success at G]camu near M[g[ga. This offer of help worked to improve the relationship between the company and the Ag]k[y[, albeit temporarily and Waiyaki's fears proved unwarranted at the time. The most experienced soldier at Fort Smith was a former slave from Malawi known as Maktubu who had seen service three times with Thomson and one time with Holnel. This is the man the company would send out most of the time to buy or forage for food as he was intelligent and hardworking. A G]k[y[ collaborator known as Kamar[ Wamagata who had previously been married to a woman known as Wanjik[ Gathura in a marriage which had failed wanted to recover by force the bride price he had paid from R]m[i and K]ari] Gathura at Ting'ang'a, then known to the company as Guruguru. In August 1892, he persuaded Maktubu accompanied by fifteen soldiers and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


several Ag]k[y[ warriors, under the pretext of going to buy food, to go with him to Ting'ang'a. When there, they seized goats by force and a war cry rang out attracting local warriors who outnumbered the invaders, all but a few of whom were killed; Maktubu was one of the men killed. One Abdulla Omar who escaped reported falsely that Maktubu and others had been murdered while buying food. The company administration in retaliation organised and dispatched a large expedition of five companies and levies under MacDonald, Austin, Pringle and Foaker to punish the people of G]th[ng[ri where the Ting'ang'a incident had happened. Waiyaki, who had transferred his livestock to the G]th[ng[ri area, learned of the impending expedition in advance and fearing that his livestock would be seized together with those of the people involved in the battle of Ting'ang'a gave a timely warning to his riika (age mate) G]konyo Maag[ who was at the time harbouring his livestock and who in turn informed other people in G]th[ng[ri. One of the officers in the expedition, Austin, gave an account of what followed thus: The expedition was disappointing in one respect and that was our failure to capture herds of cattle and flocks of sheep which the Wadorobo were known to posses in large numbers. We secured no cattle and only fifty or sixty goats and sheep. For this we learnt later that we had to thank Waiyaki who had by some means obtained news of the impending punitive expedition and sent out warnings hot-foot to his Wadorobo relatives.58 Just after the expedition returned to Fort Smith, Waiyaki, who had been drinking and was definitely drunk, came to the fort and entered Purkiss's room. Purkiss, seeing that he was drunk and knowing what he had done to them tried to eject him out. Waiyaki, in too drunken a state to know what he was doing, drew his sword and resisted Purkiss. After a struggle, Purkiss wrestled the sword from Waiyaki and with it he cut him on the head. He was overpowered and handcuffed to the Fort flagstaff with a chain around his neck as an additional safeguard and in that state spent the night in the fort square. Major Macdonald account for what happened is as follows: It appeared that Waiyaki, who was rather drunk, went into Purkiss's room to taunt him with his failure to secure the cattle of the Guruguru. Purkiss, seeing the state he was in, ordered him out of the house, and on Waiyaki becoming still more insolent, pushed him towards the door. Waiyaki at once drew his sword and attacked Purkiss, who was unarmed, and could not get to the weapons he had laid aside on entering his room. An unequal struggle now commenced, and Purkiss grappled with the Kikuyu chief, in an endeavour to deprive him of his sword. The rest of the struggle we had ourselves witnessed. Waiyaki was tried next day in the presence of seventeen of his brother chiefs, to whom all the evidence was translated. Of the verdict there could be no doubt, nor had Waiyaki any defense to make, except that he was drunk. So we decided to take him away with us to the coast, and deport him permanently from the country, where he had proved such a treacherous enemy, and the cause of so much bloodshed. . . . Waiyaki, however, never reached the coast, as he died at Kibwezi. It appeared that his skull had been slightly fructured by the sword-cut he received from Purkiss, and this caused complications, which killed him. Strange to say, poor Purkiss died at the same station a few years afterwards and the graves of the two combatants lie close together.59

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Dr. L.S.B. Leakey who interviewed some of Waiyakis' warriors has written: According to the Gikuyu version, the people were so enraged when they heard that Waiyaki was to be deported for an act not committed deliberately, but while drunk, that they planned an ambush to release him. I have spoken to several old men who were leaders of this plan and who were in the ambush. They all testify that it was Waiyaki himself who, on realising what was about to happen, cursed the warriors and ordered them not to attack. Considerable violence followed in 1893 and 1894 largely due to the error of judgement made by Purkiss and Macdonald in not pardoning Waiyaki and thereby strengthening his friendship with the Europeans. He had been a friend to the Europeans for a long time and had done a great deal for them. Waiyaki had never been the "treacherous enemy" that Macdonald makes him out to have been. Shortly after this incident Nelson was sent to take charge of Fort Smith and Purkiss was demoted to second in command. After Waiyaki's arrest and death, there was continued warfare between the Ag]k[y[ and the Company forces stationed at Fort Smith through December 1892. In January 1893, the G]k[y[ made an all out effort to overrun the Fort and Purkiss despite the presence of about 150 Zanzibari soldiers and armed porters belonging to Martin's caravan was forced to seek help from Ainsworth at Machakos in January. When Sir Gerald Portal arrived at the fort, he found that: At Kikuyu, the European-in-charge dare not venture 200 yards from his stockade without an armed escort of at least 30 to 50 men with rifles. He is particularly a prisoner with all his people: (and) maintains the company's influence (and) prestige by sending almost daily looting and raiding parties to burn the surrounding villages (and) to seize the crops and cattle for use of the company's caravans (and) troops. The Ag]k[y[ were hit by serious famine the Famine of Europe (Ng'aragu ya r[raya) and an outbreak of smallpox simultaneously. The Ag]k[y[ suffered very high mortality in some areas. Some of the survivors in southern G]k[y[ country (Kabete) took refuge among the relatives they had left behind in Metumi from where they had migrated. The emergence among the G]k[y[ of a pro-company and later pro-government faction had also begun to seriously weaken their resistance and resolve long before natural disasters struck the final blow. The lure of economic rewards also became an important factor, which led to collaboration. The Ahoi or displaced people without their own or clan land, like Kamau Ngengi later Jomo Kenyatta for one reason or the other attached themselves to the Christian missions during the Great Famine and thereafter. Many warriors offered their services as porters and Askaris (police/soldiers) to the company and eventually to the government in search of survival. When the colonial government took over from the company in 1895, no significant change in policy took place. The British government took over from the company and continued to use the same personnel that had served the company and punitive expeditions were regularly mounted in an effort to subdue the Ag]k[y[ and force them to accept British rule. Captain Richard Meinertzhagen who led many punitive expeditions in Metumi, Gaaki and Embu on 7th December, 1902 recorded the following in his diary:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Now arises the question as to whether political action cannot end these military expeditions. I have approached Hinde who is in political charge and he thinks they require still more punishment. To this I am compelled to agree but I cannot help thinking that he could bring the Tetu people to terms during the next week if he so desired. I suspect that he wants more captured stock to give him sufficient revenue to build his new station here. If that is the case, it is most immoral. So as matters stand the operations are to continue.62 In furtherance of punitive expedition and raiding policy, a three-pronged expedition was in February and March 1904 launched under the command of Captain Dickson. Humphrey and Meinertzhagen marched from Mbiri station (M[rang'a) to Thika river with sixty soldiers and 20 Maasai levies and from there they covered Ndia from Kutus to Kabari where they camped. From there, they covered Ndia and G]ch[g[ right up to Mount Kenya forest to the north and the Embu border to the east. One of the other two columns passed through M[k[r[e-in] and camped at Icakahanya, and the other, consisting of 100 soldiers and 200 Maasai levies, crossed Thagana river by M[r[ wa Hi[hu ford and camped at R[thagat]. The two combed Math]ra particularly Kony[ and Iria-in] before joining the other column from Mbiri in Ndia. So heavy were the casualties inflicted upon the Ag]k[y[ during this punitive raid that no official dared to report the exact number of the killed. The official report put the number at 400 but Meinertzhagen's estimate of 1,500 is believed to be a modest estimate. Meinertzhagen diary on 6th March, 1904 records: I sent all our captured stock into Fort Hall and rode in myself, returning to my camp here in the evening. Our total captures were 782 cattle and 2,150 sheep and goats. We killed 796 of the enemy. I met Brancker in Fort Hall. He tells me he captured about 300 cattle and 800 sheep and goats, while Dickson's main camp raked in 602 cattle and 4,500 sheep and goats without firing a shot. There seems to be some doubt whether the later captures are enemy property. While spears and poisoned arrows were of no avail in the face of superior arms, the Ag]k[y[ attempted to defend themselves and their property courageously as is evident from Meinertzhagen's diary dated 4th December, 1902 where he records the G]k[y[ attempt to storm the well armed and protected Ny]r] camp: Our casualties during the night were 4 sodiers and 5 Maasai killed and 11 soldiers and 14 Maasai wounded. Our carriers had one killed and 7 wounded. We found the dead bodies of 38 enemies outside our defences in the morning. I must own I never expected the Wakikuyu to fight like this. British colonialism was established in the G]k[y[ country by use of brutal force which was met with G]k[y[ resistance. Captain Meinertzhagen's diary recording of 8/9/1902 at Kihumbu-in] in M[rang'a speaks loud and clear about the overwhelming brutality used by the British: I have performed a most unpleasant duty today. I made a night march to the village at the edge of the forest where the white settler had been so brutally murdered the day before yesterday. Though the war drums were sounding throughout the night we reached the village and our guides assured me that they were dancing round the mutilated body of a white man. I gave orders that every living thing except children should be killed without mercy. I hated the work and was anxious to get out of it. So as soon as we could see to shoot we closed in. Several of the men tried to break out but were immediately shot. I then assaulted the place before any defense could be prepared. Every soul was either shot or bayoneted.65

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Although captain Meinertzhagen was resolute and ruthless in his work as a military officer, he also had foresight and could foresee the likely reaction in future of the Africans they were brutalizing and coercing. He recorded in his diary thus: In October 1902 some villagers revolted and troops were sent out to punish them. The trouble was attributed to medicinemen so two of them were publicly hanged in Fort Hall which stopped the trouble temporarily; but Kikuyus are ripe for trouble and when they get educated and medicinemen are replaced by political agitators, then there will be a general rising.66 Colonel Meinertzhagen, then a captain in the British Army had met and interacted with the Ag]k[y[ leaders including M[thamaki (Community leader) Wamb[g[. On 6.x.1903 he wrote thus: In 1949 I again met Wambogo, on 6 April, at Nyeri. I wrote at the time: He was delighted to see me and held my hand for some ten minutes, which touched me deeply. He invited me to his village, offering me a house all to myself and lots of women to wait on me; then he suddenly burst out with political worries which he had clearly been bottling up. "Give us back our old times," he said. "Give us back our land. Remove the Indians with whom we cannot compete; remove our grievances; you have put yourselves in the wrong by creating grievances. You have given us better health and security, which has increased the population, and we can no longer grow sufficient food in our restricted reserves." I asked him if he would prefer to return to paganism, Masai raids, epidemics and insecurity. "Yes," he replied at once. "Willingly. We were better off and much happier; sooner or later there is bound to be a clash, an armed clash, between black and white in Kenya; I want to avoid that." At the end of his official tour of duty in central Kenya, Meinertzhagen wrote in his diary on 18/3/1904: I am sorry to leave the Kikuyu for I like them. They are the most intelligent of the African tribes I have met therefore they will be the most progressive under the European guidance and will be more susceptible to subversive activities. They will be one of the first people to demand freedom from European influence and in the end cause a lot of trouble. If the white settlement really takes hold in this country, it is bound to do so at the expense of the Kikuyu who own the best land and I can foresee much trouble. The book, Kenya Diary (1902 _ 1906) by Richard Meinertzhagen was first published in 1957. He left Kenya by sea on 28/5/1906 and retired from the British Army at the rank of a colonel. G]k[y[ Social, Economic and Political Life Land Tenure The original pattern of migration and the subsequent system of land acquisition governed the land tenure that emerged. The procedure of individual pioneers striking out on their own led them to exploit the natural resources in their wake along the ridges typical of G]k[y[ country in all directions. Available traditions indicate that the vanguard of the pioneers would hunt and trap wild animals, collect wild honey or hung beehives on trees in the forests. Pastoralists and agriculturists followed later. In many cases, place names represent the names of the original pioneers or clan settlements.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Land in most cases was occupied and finally acquired on a ridge basis, each pioneer in the pioneering group settling along his own ridge or area. In nearly all cases, land acquisition was on the basis of who occupied it first and initial economic activities carried on it. Consequently, people claimed to have acquired their land by trapping animals (kwamba m[tego) or clearing of the virgin forest (kuna k]r]ti). Land could also have been acquired through marriage, as it was customary for in-laws to provide land temporarily where necessary. Land could also be forcibly taken as blood fine payment in lieu of livestock. Land once acquired remained the property of an individual and subsequently of the descendants of the original pioneer. These descendants maintained a strong sense of community and shared values. This formed the birth of the ancestral land and Mbar] (clan) tenure of land rather than communal or individual ownership. Communal rights were restricted to salt-licks, public pathways (nj]ra cia agendi) or firewood collection places. Land acquisition in Kabete was in some cases similar to the situation in Metumi and Gaaki. In some parts of Gat[nd[, an area of Kabete (K]ambuu) which neighbours Metumi, for example, clearance of the land was the basis for land ownership. Existence of large concentrations of Athi (Asi) colonies in the rest of the Kabete area led to the adoption of other methods of acquiring land. In these areas, it was necessary to create friendship with the Athi before any land transaction could take place. Once mutual understanding was established, the Athi sold land to the Ag]k[y[ or allowed them to occupy it, especially where they were adopted into families by the Ag]k[y[. Adoption Before a land transaction took place between a M[g]k[y[ and a Mwathi, a ceremony of mutual adoption took place. Within the G]k[y[ tribe, any person who stole the property of any member of the tribe, killed or wounded or otherwise harmed such a person, became liable by law to criminal proceedings. If any M[g]k[y[, therefore, killed or harmed an adopted Mwathi, or, for that matter, a Mwathi from whom he proposed to purchase land, he would be held responsible in G]k[y[ law and would be punished. At the same time a Mwathi, who had laws similar to those of the Ag]k[y[ on such matters, bound himself to treat the M[g]k[y[ who had adopted him as a brother and fellow tribesman. The ceremony of adoption was followed by the ceremony of showing the land boundaries. A typical example of land purchase by a M[g]k[y[ from a Mwathi is given in Dr. Leakey's book The Southern Kikuyu in the form of an Elder's story, a true narration by Mzee Kabet[ wa Wawer[ thus: Not long after I had married my second wife the Ndorobo hunter announced that he wished us to start making payments for the land, and he fixed the amount that we were to pay at 700 goats and sheep. Every member of our family began to assemble his contribution and we made up a herd numbering 460 goats and sheep, which we handed over. Then we gave the Ndorobo hunter the Mwati wa Njegeni (virgin ewe for the stinging nettles; or compensation for getting stung when pushing his way through the bushes see glossary), and he marked out our boundaries. The south-east side of the boundary ran from the Gitathuru River up through the depression where there were some Mukurue trees, and thence to Kandutha. From there the boundary ran straight down to the Gitungiti River. In the north-east our boundary started at the big rocks by the Runguthiu River, so that our boundary in this direction matched with that of the family of wakaruugi.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

We were left with a debt of 240 goats and sheep and sixty stall-fattened animals (ngoima) to pay, for we had paid only ten ngoima to start with. After about three planting seasons we paid over these 240 goats and sheep and the sixty ngoima, and completed the deal. As has already been seen elsewhere, a solemn ceremony of mutual adoption (g[ciar[o na mburi) preceded purchase of land from a Mwathi. This was a legally binding transaction as they owned the land. Dr. L.S.B. Leakey has testified thus: The fact that the Wandorobo used their land only for hunting and did not cultivate it does not in the least invalidate their claim that the land was theirs to sell. Nor does it mean that they did not sell the land, or that they merely received compensation for the loss of hunting rights. It would be as unjust to deny that the Wandorobo were the owners of their land as to claim that the moors and deer forests of Scotland do not belong to those who hold title deeds for them. When the members of a Mwathi family sold their hunting lands to the Ag]k[y[, the senior members of both the Athi and G]k[y[ families had to call in witnesses, and these sales were effected with the knowledge and consent of the Athi leaders. They were not simply casual negotiations by individuals, unrecognised by law from both sides. Social and Political Organisation The most fundamental basis of G]k[y[ social and political organisation was the family unit. Many of the most important religious and social ceremonies were invalid if any member of the family was absent. Individuals, therefore, were constantly required to subordinate their own plans to the welfare of the family as a whole. The family unit, which was of the greatest significance to the individual, was the immediate family, that is the members of a single homestead (m[c]]), but the greater family (ny[mba) was only slightly less significant. The G]k[y[ family system was an inclusive one, and the classificatory system of relationships meant that everyone was catered for. Dr. L.S.B Leakey has written thus: In the average Gikuyu homestead, the bonds of friendship and love which linked a man, his wives, and their children were very strong. For example, although from every animal that was slaughtered there were certain joints that belonged by right to the women, and yet others to the men, it was seldom that a father did not give bits of his own portions to his children and his wives. Furthermore the anxiety that a father showed if a child was ill, or that a husband felt if his wife was not well, was just as great among the Gikuyu as among Europeans, even if it was manifested somewhat differently. The G]k[y[ family was the centre of all religion, and family worship was more important to the Ag]k[y[ than public worship, which was conducted only on very special occasions. It was from the parents that every child learned about God and about the spirits of the departed. Similarly, it was from their families that G]k[y[ children obtained most of their moral education imparted through stories and riddles. Fathers spent much of their evenings talking to their sons, and mothers to their daughters. Girls learned to do agricultural work, to cook and to help their mothers in other domestic chores; they prepared themselves to become future mothers by looking after their small brothers and sisters. Boys learned how to look after livestock, and were prepared for the future defence of the country and for raiding the Maasai for livestock.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The possession of stock was essential for observance of many customs, from birth ceremonies to initiation, marriage and death and burial rites. Death for the G]k[y[ was not the end of all things, but marked the passage of the individual into yet one more stage of life. In the spirit world responsibilities were not discarded, but were if anything, strengthened, especially those towards the family. The living occasionally made animal and other sacrificial offering to the spirits (ngoma) of the departed relatives which was condemed as an evil practice by foreign religions. The first responsibility of each adult male was to his father and mother and to their children, including his half-brothers and sisters in addition to his responsibilities to the members of his father's homestead. when he was married, he assumed full responsibility for his immediate family his wife/wives and children. A man also had definite responsibilities towards the family in the wider, extended sense, the ny[mba. The responsibilities towards all members of the ny[mba and mbar] included obligations to assist in paying communal fines, blood fines and marriage payments. The Position of Women and Division of Labour Although Ag]k[y[ women had no political rights as such, it is not correct to assume that they had no influence and status in the group. Because by age-long custom women carried heavy loads, casual observers have formed the opinion that they were treated more as beasts of burden than as human beings. Dr. L.S.B. Leakey rejected this impression when he wrote: The commonly expressed view that the Gikuyu women had to do all the really hard work that was involved in providing a livelihood for themselves and their families is quite false. There was, of course, a recognised division of labour, and it is true that some of the really hard physical work falls to the lot of women, but by no means all of it. The clearing of forest and bush land for cultivation was essentially men's work. Similarly the preparation for cultivation of freshly cleared ground, using nothing but the digging stick, was men's labour, and it was of the hardest type. If the division of labour between the sexes seems, in spite of this, to be unfair, it has to be remembered that all young men had arduous and at time dangerous duties to perform as the protectors of the land, as well as being expected to enrich their families by raiding the Maasai. The older men, too, had public duties which took up much of their time, and had they been responsible for a bigger share of the labours of family life, they would have had to neglect their public duties. The first or senior wives, in particular, were not mere servants of their masters. All the more important rites and ceremonies in the home were centred round them, and in almost all religious ceremonies conducted by their husbands they were almost equal participants. Their husbands were expected to consult them in all matters which affected the home, and real friendship and companionship was added to the physical side of married life. Moreover, although women did not normally own property, they had considerable say in the disposal of property, and every husband had to consult his wife if he wanted to do anything with the goats and sheep that were kept in her hut, and which were earmarked for use for herself and her children. Dr. S.L.B Leakey has further written: Even those who became second, third, or later wives of men who already had a first and senior wife were not by any means objects of pity. In many cases girls who had the chance of becoming first wives chose rather the position of a second or third wife, because they loved the man, or because they considered that they would be happier thus. Sex appeal is a curious thing, and there

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


is no doubt whatever that many girls found themselves more attracted by men of forty and fifty than by men of their own age, and it would be a serious mistake to think that girls who married men old enough to be their fathers all did so of necessity or because they were coerced. G]k[y[ Clans As the legend has it, the ancestors of the G]k[y[ people are G]k[y[ and his wife M[mbi from M[k[r[e wa Gathanga. It is popularly believed that the two had nine daughters. Actually they were ten or kenda m[iy[ru (`full nine'), which means ten, but for magical reasons which forbid exact counting of either human beings or livestock because it was widely believed that such counting would invite calamity, the Ag]k[y[ equivocated on the number. The ten G]k[y[ clans are said to be descendants of the ten daughters of G]k[y[ and M[mbi. The names of the daughters are given and the names of the clans are given against each daughter's name: The eldest Wanjir[ Anjir[; Wamb[i Amb[i; Njeeri Aceera; Wanjik[ Agacik[; Nyambura Ambura or Ethaga (aithaga), Wairim[ Airim[ or Agathigia; Wangar] Angar] or Aithekahuno; Waith]ra Aith]rand[ or Angeci; Wang[i Ang[i; Wam[y[ Aithiegeni or Aicakam[y[ which was formed from the descendants of a girl who became an unmarried mother. While it is debatable whether this is the actual origin of the G]k[y[ clans, it is true that all Ag]k[y[ trace their descent here, notwithstanding whether the origin of the Ag]k[y[ was at the `primary' dispersal area of Ithanga or M[k[r[e wa Gathanga at Gathuk]-in] in Metumi or not. An individual M[g]k[yu saw himself/herself as belonging to the wider community of Ciana cia M[mbi (the children of M[mbi) but for practical purposes in day to day life, the clan or a segment of it and, of course, riika, or belonging to an age set were of more significant value. Professor M[ri[ki has written: An individual Kikuyu saw himself as belonging to the wider community of ciana cia or Mbari ya Mumbi (the children of, or descendants of Mumbi). But this wider community of Mbari ya Mumbi was of little practical importance in day to day life, and the clan, or a segment of it, was of more significance. The myth of Mbari ya Mumbi was only relevant when it was vital to foster solidarity and unity within the Kikuyu community. This usually occured in times of deep internal crisis, or when faced by external threats. A good example is the rallying nationalist songs sung just before and during the Mau Mau upheavals. The Ag]k[y[ tried to retain clan/mbar] solidarity by holding occasional reunions when kinsmen and women from Kabete, Metumi, Gaaki, Ndia and G]c[g[ had each clan visit its particular spiritual home at the secondary dispersal area. The last reunion is said to have taken place towards the end of the 1800s. Distance notwithstanding, clansmen were expected to act together particularly on important occasions such as circumcision ceremonies, marriages and payment of blood fines. Mainly because of the population increase and wide dispersal of the people as well as intermixture with neighbouring peoples, distinction between clans and mbari gradually became blurred and, indeed, some Ag]k[y[ have claimed to be related to some of the Maasai and Akamba clans or indeed the clans of other communities. For example, the Agacik[ and the Aceera are said to be descendants from the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro. Some clans are common to both the Akamba and the Ag]k[y[, which may explain their shared common origin from Thagic[/Thagic[ ancestry or to earlier ancestry. Mariika (Age-sets)

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The all-embracing and institutionalised mariika (age-set) system that cut across lineage and territorial groupings was more important than all other considerations including the sentimental notion of belonging to Mbar] ya M[mbi or even external threats in uniting the Ag]k[y[. While oral traditions do not give a clear picture of when the G]k[y[ began to adopt the mariika system, we have clear evidence that the mariika system was practised by the Ag]k[y[ in the seventeenth century. In the G]k[y[ age system, the word riika may refer to four different age groups. In its broadest and most general sense, riika means a generation. Professor M[ri[ki on this has written: I am not concerned here with riika in the sense of age grade, which is a status role commonly ascribed to individuals at a certain age and in many societies. My concern is with riika in the sense of age sets or age groups, which are coeval, corporate groups whose members are recruited through specific criteria. This word is not at all precise, as shown in chapter 5 and this may have been the source of confusion depending upon the context. it may refer to generation (moiety), or to three slightly different kinds of initiation sets, comprising either all the neophytes who underwent circumcision in any one year, or an army embracing several initiation sets, or an army contingent embracing several initiation sets, or an exclusively female initiation set. The moiety or generation set was charged with the responsibility of running the group affairs at any given time and its term of office began with a hand over ceremony, the Itu]ka. This took place every thirty to forty years, during which one generation handed over to its successor the reigns of power to conduct the political, judicial, and religious functions. The alternating moieties were Mwangi and Maina (Maina was also known as Ir[ng[) and members were recruited according to first born sons, who in any case were named after them. The moiety names Maina and Mwangi were only applicable to the living generation; those generations which had died off were given a definite name which encapsulated the most outstanding feature of their period or rule, e.g. Manjiri, Mamba, Tene, Agu, Mand[ti, Cuma, Ci]ra, Mathathi, Ndemi, Iregi, and Maina in that order of seniority. Mwangi, which took over from Maina/Ir[ng[ in 1898, should have transferred power to Ir[ng[ between 1924 and 1932. This it did not do and it has not yet done due to colonial disruption of traditional G]k[y[ institutions. Riika (Initiation) Riika in its more restricted sense meant an initiation set comprising of boys and girls who had undergone circumcision in the same year. Circumcision was the only criteria for membership in this riika category. Several such initiation sets were grouped together to form a contingent of an army. Such an army contingent or regiment was also a riika and was given its own name. A m[hingo (closed period) when no male was circumcised was regularly imposed after every nine years in Gaaki (four and a half calendar years) and five years in Kabete and parts of Metumi (two and a half calendar years) in order to raise a large number of warrior recruits at a time. Professor M[ri[ki on this has written: The former system the Metumi system was based on a Muhingo (closed period), which lasted for nine imera (seasons) or miaka (years) four and a half calendar years during which no initiation of boys took place at all. But it should be noted that initiation took place in the tenth kimera (season) which in effect meant that it took place after five calendar years, since as a rule initiation took place only during the themithu after the mwere (millet) harvest. This was followed

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


by annual initiations for the next nine calendar years before the next muhingo was imposed. These nine initiation sets formed one army contingent or regiment set. It is only to be expected that the system in Metumi and Kabete should coincide, Kabete having been so recently occupied that there had not been time for the development of a different pattern. And it was generally agreed by my informant that the first initiation set to be circumcised in Kabete was the Mungai.85 After m[hingo, circumcision of both boys and girls took place yearly for five consecutive years before the next m[hingo and all the men would join the same army contingent. Girls, who unlike boys were not subjected to m[hingo, were initiated every year. If their initiation concided with that of the boys after m[hingo, as a rule they associated themselves with the boy's age group and acquired the same irua (circumcision) riika name as the boys. When initiation was exclusively female circumcision, the girls' age group was given its own specific name, which distinguished it from all the others. To the Ag]k[y[, initiation conferred a new social status. Childhood behaviour values were cast off and the initiated became full members of the community. This was also an opportunity to teach group traditions, religion, folklore, mode of behaviour, taboos, correct sexual behaviour, and duties of adulthood. The age set membership demanded and encouraged cooperation and solidarity. It also provided a strong sense of comradeship and fraternal egalitarianism. Riika mates looked upon each other as brothers and sisters and behaved as such. The spirit of comradeship was so strong among the riika brothers that friends occasionally shared their wives. Routledge observed that: The festivals and rites associated with both marriage and death hold but a small place in the Gikuyu imagination compared to that greatest of all ceremonies whereby the boy becomes a man and the girl a woman. As adult members of the community the male initiates became members of the junior warrior group and could now defend the country together with the senior warriors; the remnants of the retired regiment who had not been fully absorbed into the elderly group acted as advisors. in Gaaki and the neighbourhood of Metumi, the promotion of the junior warriors to the status of senior warriors and the simultaneous recruitment of the new initiates to take their place ushered in the closed period m[hingo of nine years. The entire warrior corps formed a reservoir of ablebodied men for performing other public functions. They acted as executive officers to the elders, being entrusted with such activities as policing duties in the markets and during festivals, the arrest of habitual criminals and the calling of public gatherings during which rules and prohibitions were promulgated and other pronouncements made. When necessary, a njaama ya anake (warriors' council) toured the country punishing habitual criminals and other offenders thereby performing governmental operations on behalf of the community at large on instruction of the council of elders. The warriors also performed the more difficult manual tasks such as clearing of virgin land, building of houses, cattle bomas (kraals) and planting bananas, sugarcane and yams. Warriors were popular and their general maintenance was in the hands of all the people, not just their families and lineage groups, in appreciation of their services to the community henceforth regarded as senior elders. As a symbol of their office, senior elders wore earrings (ic[h] cia mat[ or ngocorai) and carried blackened staffs and mataathi or maturanguru leaves tied with a twisted string. The elders were the highest authority in the land, and carried out legislative, executive and judicial functions. Some elders by talent and inclination were

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


proficient in judicial or religious affairs and such persons tended to be more influential in those spheres than their comrades. The most significant function of these councils was the administration of justice, which was carried out through arbitration by a court constituted by the k]ama (council). The primary purpose of the judicial process was to maintain peace and stability in the society. More often than not, it is the disputants who referred the case to the elders for arbitration. Their evidence together with that of any witnesses was then heard. The case was then open to general discussion by those present. Normally the hearing was public and everyone attending could express an opinion on the points raised or any other relevant issue. Allowed in the audience were junior elders and even some of the warriors who wished to be acquainted with the legal procedure and customary law. Finally, a smaller group, Ndundu ya K]ama, the inner consultative council, retired to consider judgement. The ndundu consisted of the senior elders but excluded anyone who had a direct or indirect interest in the case. Before the case could be heard, each litigant produced a goat as the court fees and these were slaughtered and roasted during the k]ama session. The ndundu, having arrived at its decision, the meat was then eaten and judgement was delivered. Appeals were allowed. M[thamaki (Spokesman) A m[thamaki who presided over various social segments and territorial divisions was not formally elected and did not exercise executive authority as he was not equivalent to a chief as understood by Europeans or people in centralised states. His powers were very circumscribed and he acted in accordance with the wishes of his peers who delegated power to him. Chiefs were a creation of the British administration at the beginning of the 20th century. The Ag]k[y[ believed that "[thamaki nduoyag]r[o ig[r[, [ciarag[o na m[nd[" a leader is born not made. From an early age, some of the boys and girls displayed a flair for leadership by asserting themselves and becoming chief organisers of the dances and other activities pertaining to the young people. After initiation, some of them would climb the ladder to the top. Self-assertion, courage, self-confidence and diligence were important attributes of both a warrior and a m[thamaki but the latter also needed wisdom, tact and self-control in addition, especially as they became athamaki through general consensus. Elders from whose ranks a m[thamaki emerged were good in particular fields. Therefore there were in G]k[y[ country leaders in such areas as judicial matters (athamaki a ciira or aciiri), others in ceremonial rites (athamaki a k]r]ra) and others became general or political leaders (athamaki a b[r[ri) with no particular responsibility. However, all of them were the prominent personalities in a democratic system and there was nothing hereditary about [thamaki or leadership. Attempts by a few athamaki to act as chiefs landed them and their British sponsors in serious trouble with the Ag]k[y[. Ignoring genuine traditional leaders and their way of going about business democratically was the beginning of administrative problems for the British rulers. A more serious blunder was that nonentities were made chiefs just because they had ingratiated themselves with the British rulers in questionable ways. Kar[ri wa Gakure who was among the first chiefs in British colonial administration of G]k[y[land was the son of a Mwathi who before his appointment was selling red ochre (th]r]ga). During his trading expeditions, he met K]nyanjui who probably later on introduced him to both Hall and Ainsworth whom he paid several visits. By 1898 he had already visited Machakos and Fort Smith and even expressed a wish to have a white man at his Tuthu home. His rogue friend Boyes wrote:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

As time went on Karuri was to become my friend and right hand supporter while I in turn was to have an influence over him and his people which was to raise him to the position of a great chief and myself to supreme power in the country a virtual king of the Gikuyu. One of the chiefs, Wang[ wa Makeri, one of Makeri's wives, a Kar[ri agemate was a woman who became a chief simply because Kar[ri spent nights at her house on the way to M[rang'a, the district headquarters. Such chiefs became extremely unpopular, especially because they had to enforce unpopular measures and they exercised their authority by autocratic and high-handed methods. Kar[ri decreed that before the traditional m[hingo could be lifted for boys to be circumcised, any prospective initiate had to pay him a rupee, an idea that other chiefs emulated. Any person who refused to obey the chief and his njaama was beaten, his home burnt and livestock seized and there was nowhere to appeal. McGregor in respect of the period 1906-1907 observed thus: Under the present arrangements, the njama consist of all the rogues of an enormous district who have the chief's permission to enter. It is an engine of oppression because by means of it, the Government headman can punish any district which does not, as he thinks, listen to him viz, allow his young men to do as they like there. The njama entering a district divide themselves up, and each decides upon the village where he will make his home for the time being. During the time he condescends to remain there, he is like the owner of the village, the owner himself is but his servant, and is condemned to sit up and watch that the fire does not go down while his lordship is sleeping smugly in his bed. If the fire goes down the poor man has to pay a fine of a sheep or is beaten by the whole band in the morning. The women of the village become for the time being the property of the visitor. Every day a sheep has to be killed, and the njama live like kings. McGregor was not alone in condemning the chiefs and their hangers-on. Dundas also noted that "it has become a heinous crime to dispute the authority of the so-called chief" and that "their authority was only sustained through the fear of the government. At the same time, their chief aim was to enrich themselves and to secure their newly invented authority." One observer said: They [the chiefs' hangers-on] had no official salary and consequently had to live on the people. Wherever they went they commandeered whatever they fancied food or livestock. They even ordered girls to sleep with them. They went to the extent of killing people and if anyone protested, their village would suffer. On chiefs' excesses, an observer has written thus: The chiefs overreached themselves and took other peoples' wives and property by force to teach them `kutii sheria' (to obey the law). People had to cultivate in their fields without pay and if they refused they were in trouble. The behaviour of the chiefs and their hangers-on were the [cause of the] first complaints voiced by the early politicians. Quite a number of them were dismissed as a result of this, including court elders who took bribes.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


AEMBU AND AMBEERE Aembu The west Embu highlands merge with the hot, dry semi-arid southern Mbeere plain over a formerly undemarcated zone of separation with Mbeere, several miles wide. Embu is about 540 square kilometres and the main physical feature is Mount Kenya that stands to the north and northwest at an altitude of 5201 metres above sea level. Other notable features are the hill of Kar[e and the forested K]r]m]r] hill near M[k[[ri. . Most of Embu land is characterised by ridges and deep valleys except along the Embu-Mbeere border. The altitude of the best agricultural land ranges from about 1220 metres to 2134 metres in areas covered mostly by fertile volcanic soil. Mbeere is about 1640 square kilometres in area and unlike Embu, Mbeere land is very low. About one third of the land lies to the left bank of the Tana river at between 609 metres and 915 metres. The rest of the area is between 915 metres and 1220 metres. Good productive agricultural land is found mainly on the riverbeds. Most valley slopes and hills in Mbeere are too rocky and stony to be of any use for agriculture. Mbeere is too far away to benefit from rain precipitation upon Mount Kenya and, as a result, rainfall is inadequate and unreliable in most areas although rainfall comes at the same periods as in Embu. The Embu and Mbeere people are virtually one people with a common history, language and culture and until recently when Mbeere District was created, they lived together in Embu District. The story of the origin of the Embu is told in various versions, one of which is mythical while the others differ only in details. The myth of origin states that the Embu are descendants of a man called Mwenendega who lived in the small grove known by his name which is located to the south of Runyenje Market. He is said to have got a wife from a stream nearby whom he kidnapped as she bathed. As they were eating meat, the woman snatched meat from Mwenendega who consequently named her Nthara or "snatcher" because of her action. Their first children were a boy called Kembu and a girl called Werimba. Kembu is said to have later impregnated his sister Werimba and the two were chased away from the grove by the parents. They settled elsewhere and founded a home as man and wife near a place called Karungu. Mwenendega and Nthara had more children who also like Kembu and Werimba married and founded homes with their children spreading all over the present Embu land. The offspring of Mwenendega and Nthara were popularly known as the "Children of Kembu", and hence the land they occupied was named Embu. The other version is that the Embu came from a far away land beyond M]]r[ and settled in the present Embu country. Some claim the far away place beyond M]]r[ was Ethiopia or a place called Tuku or Uru. Kabeca Mwaniki in his book The Living History of Embu and Mbeere to 1906 has written: An equally believed story of Embu origin is that they came from "a far away land beyond Meru" and settled in the present Embu land. Some specify the place of origin beyond Meru as Tuku or Ethiopia and others Uru.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Embu say that their ancestors migrated in the company of the ancestors of the present Mbeere people and that they crossed River Th[ci together at a place called Igambang'ombe or "where cows moo," near the present Ishiara market from where the Mbeere took a southerly direction. The Embu say that they found people called Gumba (pygmy-like hunting dwarfs) with an estimated height of between three and four feet 0.76 metres to 137.2 metres) whom they fought and chased away, while assimilating the others. Some of the Embu moved into the forest hunting wild animals for food and eventually found trees and rock caves which they used as shelters. There are such caves by the banks of river R[bingac] which are presently used by beekeepers as temporary homes and workshops for preparing beehives and collecting honey. The Embu gradually left the forest where they had lived on roots and fruits to grow food in the open country. The Embu people who did not enter the forest after crossing river Th[ci at Igambang'ombe migrated westwards and settled in places like G]k[[r] and Maranga from where they spread out to other parts of Embu and eventually were joined by those who had been living in the forest. On the crossing of the Embu people into Embu from Igambang'ombe, Professor Godfrey M[ri[ki in his book A History of The Kikuyu, 1500 - 1900 has written: According to Cuka traditions, however, the Cuka, Embu and Tharaka are very closely related. They are said to be descendants of three sisters who immigrated from Tigania or Igembe or both places. On leaving Tigania and Igembe, they are said to have settled around the Ntugi forest. The mother of the Tharaka, Cia-Mbandi, was left there and she gave offspring to the Tharaka, while Cia-Nthiga (the Eve of the Embu) and Cia-Ngoi (the Eve of the Cuka) pressed ahead and settled at Igambang'ombe. Cia-Nthiga and Cia-Ngoi apparently quarrelled at this stage and the former crossed the Tharia and Thuci rivers into modern Embuland, while the latter went up the ridge to settle at Magumoni. Professor M[ri[ki has further written thus: The group that crossed the Th[ci river into Embu advanced to Karurumo and finally reached Mwene Ndega's sacred grove, near present-day Runyenjes market. The region around Mwene Ndega's grove was the first settlement in Embu, and immigration into the area was spearheaded by Igamuturi and Kina clans. A study of the Igamuturi genealogy indicates that some of their earliest ancestors were born there towards the end of the fifteenth century or very early in the sixteenth century. It was from this region that people dispersed to settle in Gikuuri, Maranga, Kevote, Nvuvoori, Kieni and Nginda. This group finally evolved into the Embu. Ambeere The Ambeere people say that they came from Marig[r] or "Banana Grove" beyond M]]r[, a place which some of their people call R[kanga to the east of their homeland. Ambeere claim to have come with the Embu and crossed river Th[ci together at Igambang'ombe and as a result, the two groups perform ritual sacrifices especially during traditional handovers by moieties (Ndu]ko) at Igambang'ombe. The Ambeere remember the crossing point as the place where sacrificial blessings and advice should be "collected" since they were left here at the time of the crossing. H.S. Kabeca Mwan]ki on the crossing and happenings thereafter has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


After crossing, the Embu turned right to modern Embu land while the Mbeere continued straight ahead to "rest" first on Kiambere hill which was chosen for strategy. Only a few people were left here and the rest made an exodus up the Tana river to Ithanga hill by Makuyu which were once again chosen for strategy. Here they settled. They were in clans such as Mbuya and Mururi.4 At Ithanga the Mbeere population and livestock greatly increased and they grazed farther and farther from Ithanga until they reached R[ir[ river where they were in contact with Kaputiei Maasai. Kabeca Mwan]ki has written: They picked up the art of circumcision from the Maasai. This is remembered when the Mbeere sing: "Ni Ukavi watuonirie kurua rukiri Mundu arengwa Ruiru . . ." That is, "It is the Maasai who showed us circumcision in early morning, someone has been cut [circumcised] at Ruiru.5 After a long period of settlement and prosperity at Ithanga, the Mbeere had a quarrel with the Maasai which ended in a terrible war which drove the Mbeere and their livestock out of Ithanga. That was about 17th century. The experience was so severe that the Mbeere up till today sing to their cattle: Mwarua Caaru, Mwarua Ndia Ndunge, Ni wania ugacutha na Ithanga Ni kuri mwana watigire Ithanga kana ninie ukwendia? Literally this means: Mwarua Caaru, Mwarua Ndia ndunge (names of the cows) You moo looking towards Ithanga inquisitively; Is there any child you left at Ithanga, or it is me you are selling?

Ambeere Social and Political Organisation In an Embu homestead (m[ci]) the father was the overall head; the mother was second in authority and was also responsible, assisted by her daughters for the domestic welfare of the family. The father and sons were responsible for looking after livestock and the primary defence and protection of the family. Grandparents were respected and obeyed by the parents and the children. In case of the death of a father, the eldest adult son took over authority including the role of sharing out of the fathers' wealth among his brothers assisted by the clans elders. Each individual or family (ny[mba) belonged to an extended family (sub-clan) and several extended families belonged to a clan (m[v]r]ga). Several sub-clans were members of the two major clans of the Embu the Irumb] (Gatavi) and Thagana (Ngua). These two main clans formed the tribe. Members of all the clans, after Nduiko or political power handover ceremony belonged to either one of the generation age-sets Kimathi or Nyangi. In Mbeere the Irumb] clan is known as Ndamata and Thagana as M[r[ri.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Above the authority of the head of the family was the clans council of elders who were selected on the basis of their knowledge of the clan's traditions and property ownership. The clans could make their own rules and execute them among the members. No person could sell clan land without the clan's consent, and clan members paid their clan dues when they performed circumcision and marriage ceremonies. Members of the clan's councils of elders were called Athamaki in Embu and Aciiri in Mbeere. The councils operated from ridge to ridge of habitation. Ambeere Social and Political Organisation The Ambeere structure was similar to that of the Aembu except for some details. The father was the overall authority at home and had to be involved in all major decisions on matters concerning his family such as circumcision, marriage, feasts and sharing of his wealth among his sons. The mother was second in authority when the sons were young but when the sons attained maturity her authority passed on to the sons in order of their seniority. The eldest son was accorded the same respect accorded to the father. Due to the relief and topography of Mbeere country, people were organised in villages as opposed to ridges as in Embu and each village had its government consisting of clan leaders, leaders of village warriors and male circumcisers. Above all, the oldest man in the village was given special recognition and was consulted before any decision was made. He was the village guardian and custodian of tribal secrets, laws and traditions. The village government made laws and regulations about accepted behaviour, education and general conduct in the village and acted as the judiciary. It also made arrangements for the maintenance and supervision of highways in its locality and for the opening or closing of them. This body also regulated food procurement and borrowing during the frequent famines in the area. These village councils are still operating in a very similar form with slight alterations and their members are called Ac]]ri. Mbeere clans are still very strongly held together by traditions. Elders Courts of Justice Although at times in Embu and Mbeere some people took the law into their hands and avenged themselves as individuals or in groups, there were courts of justice in the land. The established way was to sue the alleged offender before a court of elders who would hear the parties concerned and if they considered the matter to be more serious than they had the authority to settle, they would refer it to a higher council for hearing and determination. The litigants also had the right of appeal if any of them was not satisfied with the first council's ruling. Every person, young or old, was allowed to sit in court and hear the proceedings and air their views but not everyone participated in arriving at the verdict. The decision was made by a "consultation group" of wise men Ndundu who sat aside after both parties had been heard to summarise the evidence and reach a decision. The parties to the litigation then took an oath to abide with the verdict which was bidding for all jointly. The Ndundu would then deliver judgement in an open court. When decisions could not be reached from only hearing evidence, the council would resort to ordeals and oaths. The most senior court of justice K]ama k]a Ngome dealt with criminal matters only and its members were also members of other councils. They sentenced to death witches and dangerous criminals and called upon Njaama ya Ita to execute their decisions. They wore ngome, which was a half-tubular metal ring on the right hand middle finger in Embu and on the right hand little

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


finger in Mbeere, as a badge of authority. In addition, the members, carried distinctive staffs of office and also wore ribbon on their heads called Mwange or monkey skin caps. Qualification to membership was old age, generally recognised great wisdom, knowledge of the traditions of the country and surrounding lands, sympathy and courage. One qualified to become a member by invitation and paid a fee which varied from a he-goat or ram, accompanied by much honey beer, to a castrated he-goat and castrated bull and beer. No appeal was allowed after this court's decision. Final Conquest of the Embu The Embu people legend has it that British authorities at Fort Hall through Chief Gutu K]bet[ of G]c[g[ took the Embu warrior leader M[gane to Mbiri (Fort Hall) and performed a big display of the whiteman's power to convince M[gane of the futility of the Embu resisting British rule. A letter was written by the British authorities and M[gane, escorted by Chief Gutu, took the letter to Embu where he announced its contents to the Aembu who had gathered in a K]vata dance. The whole dance shouted him down and refused to be ruled by "uncircumcised boys" or anybody else. Gutu and M[gane would have been killed but for the respect the Aembu had for M[gane who had served them well in the past as a brave and wise warrior leader. Kabeca Mwan]ki quotes M[gane telling his people thus: "Embu, you are like leaves from the bush, your obstinate bravery will lead you nowhere, if not into trouble. You have rejected me and my advice, the consequences will not be pleasant." The warriors waved their swords and spears about and declared him a "traitor." M[gane went home disappointed and desolate, his wise advice having been rejected by his people and he died before his words came true. Emotions had the upperhand over wisdom and prudence. In or about 1906 an Embu raiding force of warriors left the country to raid the Cuka, leaving the country largely undefended. The whiteman's invasion force led by captain Maycock, who later became to be known as "Njoka", launched a major and well co-ordinated attack on the Embu. Kabeca Mwan]ki has written the following on the invasion: The invaders came by Riamagiri, Riamakunyi, Riakithaage, Muthiru (near present Nvuvoori), Mwea and Rukanga, near Kathunguri on the Embu/Mbeere border. At Muthiru, the invaders were led by Murigu wa Irimu, the forces at Riamakunyi, Riamagiri and Urumathi were led by Tugura while Gutu wa Kibetu led those at Mwea. The Mbeere leaders were Muthuri, Mutavo and Rumbia. The warriors who had gone to Cuka found that the Cuka had strengthened their methods of defence by digging trenches lined with sharpened spikes cleverly concealed and also blocking the normal approach to homes. Some warriors were killed in these trenches and ignominous rout was in progress when the bad news from home reached Aembu. By the time they reached Kyeni, the British invading army had swept through all Embu killing many people, burning huts and capturing livestock. To the Aembu it was a devastating tragedy. The Aembu had lost in both the Cuka campaign and at home! They fled and hid themselves with their livestock in Mount Kenya forest, K]r]m]ri, R[vingac] river valley, K]emeri, Th[ci river valley and other places in Embu. Captain Maycock or "Njoka" had first camped at Gatit[[ri near the present K]vut]]ri school. Gatit[[ri was also called K]amataama or a place of taama or "cloth sheets" (meaning tents).

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Maycock then moved to camp at a place now called Ngoir]. Every locality was asked to send a representative to the camp to perform a formal surrender and each delegate sent was made a chief for his area. Mwan]ki Kabeca has written: People of all varieties were sent by different localities. Ngandori sent Mutero, a great warrior who had taken Mugane's place. Mugane was known by the whitemen but was dead after bewitchment. Murue had already been represented by Kiriamiti, Mwea wa Ithimu represented Kagaari and was introduced to the whiteman by Kiriamiti. Kyeni sent an outcast called Kangoco because they thought if one went to the whitemen, he would be eaten. To their surprise, he was made a Chief over them. After all surrender procedures had been completed and spears and shields had been collected at Ngo-ir], bwana (Mister) "Njoka" or Maycock moved his camp to Cia-igam[rind[ko or the present M[rind[ko hill. Later in the same year, he built the present Embu town administration headquarters with forced labour recruited from the Aembu. The name for this place originally was "Nthithiar]" or "where M]thithia shrubs grew". At the peace "negotiations", all the Embu chiefs had "agreed" to make roads (in place of their narrow footpaths), to pay hut tax and to obey the whitemen. From then on the Aembu people became British subjects until Kenya became independent in 1963. AMERU The Am]]r[ are a Bantu people who live in the area adjoining the northern slopes of mount Kenya. The community consists of the sub-groups of Tigania, Igembe, Igoji, Imenti, M[thamb], Mw]mb], Cuka and Tharaka, the last living on the adjoining eastern plains. The modern history of the M]]r[ spans about three hundred years and no written records are available for the first two hundred years or so. What is available are traditional oral recollections from the memories of the community's oldest men and women, who are no longer living. They gave their accounts when written recording became possible at the beginning of the 20th century. These people claimed that M]]r[ origin was "Misiri". Alfred M. Imanyara has on the name M]]r[ written: Meru is an old name; it is a name of classical antiquity. From Egyptian history, Thinite King's boats (c. 3200 2700 BC) were constructed using Meru wood because the tags on them bear the inscription, `Meru wood'. The Thinite period was between c. 3200 - 2700 B.C. Hence the revelation of the earliest date of the name, `Meru' in the Nile basin. Since lower Egypt had no forest, `Meru wood' must have come from the middle of the Nile section, known in historical records as the `Island of Meroe'. This implies the syllable, `roe' ought to be pronounced like the syllable `ru'. The letter `u' in `ru' is pronounced like `oe' in the word, `hoe'. The `Island' is known to have been well wooded even as late as two thousand years ago.1 According to Abagusii and Abalogoli peoples' history, the Am]]r[ are descendants of Mogikoyo (M[g]k[y[) who was a half brother to their ancestor Osogo. The Am]]r[ and associated peoples (the Ag]k[y[, Aembu, Ambeere and Akamba among others migrated with the Abagusii and Abalogoli to Mount Elgon area from "Misiri". Professor W.R. Ochieng has written: The traditions of the Gusii people indicate that in the distant past they were the same people as the Kuria, the Logoli, the Bukusu, the Suba of South Nyanza, the Kikuyu, the Meru, the Embu and the Kamba. They further state that on their way South from a country which they call

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


"Misiri" they were together with the Ganda and the Soga. The Ganda and the Soga are said to have branched off from the rest of the migrants around Mount Elgon, in a southwesterly direction. The Kikuyu, Meru, Embu and Kamba, are said to have travelled eastwards toward what is now the central highlands of Kenya, while the Bukusu (Kitosh) appear to have remained around Mount Elgon. The remaining clusters the Gusii, Kuria, Suba and Logoli migrated southwards and following the course of River Nzoia, arrived on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria some fifteen or sixteen generations ago, presumably some time around AD 1520.2 Alfred M. Imanyara in his book The Restatement of Bantu Origin and Meru History concluded the chapter on the origin of the Am]]r[ people thus: Up to now, a broad survey of available evidence to support the Meru people's claim that their ancestors emigrated into their homeland in Kenya from Ethiopia and beyond has been the main concern of this Chapter. On the balance of probability, it can be now concluded that the Meru are some of the Bantu descendants of the ancient Africa's Meroitic Kingdom which was in existence over two thousands years ago and which was located in the Middle Nile basin in Sudan.3 The proto-M]]r[ were part of the Bantu families which travelled together eastwards from Mount Elgon area via Lake Baringo to a settlement at Lake Nakuru (Nakuso) area. The groups consisting of the Ag]k[y[, Akamba, Am]]r[, Aembu/Ambeere were impinged upon by the Maasai early in the sixteenth century in the Nakuru area and forced to move away in a north-easterly direction. Some groups in the meantime hived off to migrate towards the Mount Kilimanjaro area (Akamba) and towards the coast (Am]]r[ together with some Ag]k[y[ and Aembu/Ambeere) as the remaining groups entered the Mount Kenya area through the present Igembe and Tigania areas of M]]r[ towards the end of the sixteenth century. At the coast, the proto-M]]r[ were taken into captivity by the Arabs (Nguo Ntune) at their Manda Island settlement. The Mbwa Tradition Traditions of all the Am]]r[ sub-groups other than the Cuka and Tharaka speak of their ancestors as having been a small agricultural community from the Kenyan coast. This proto-M]]r[ group is said to have lived near the mouth of a great river, recalled as the Mbweeni, on a small island remembered as Mbwa in the Indian Ocean but near enough to the mainland such that people and animals could be seen to the west and north. The land was partially ringed by a low coral reef, that could be crossed on foot within a single day. Alfred M. Imanyara on the Mbwa tradition has written: The "Mbwa" tradition is Meru people's most popular reminiscence of their past history. This tradition tells of how their ancestors were conquered by "Nguuntune" (Red People) and taken into captivity, in the direction of the rising sun (Maumo ja riua) to Mbwa.4 The Am]]r[ people in their oral history recall that the island they lived in was an "Island to which one could walk from the mainland at low tide". This is characteristic of Manda Island where at certain times during the day and once at night, the tide would flow swiftly westwards towards the mainland "to eat grass" "runj] r[gw]ta k[r]a nyaki", the Am]]r[ would say leaving an area of relatively dry land (mud sprinkled with tidal pools) between what they referred to as Mbwa and the mainland shore. After a certain period, the water would return flowing rapidly past the island towards the sea. Occasionally, the returning tide would catch and drown wild animals

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


including elephants moving between the mainland and the Island. The Islanders would share out the meat and take ivory. This continues to take place in Manda Island to date and there is evidence that Mbwa Island in M]]r[ tradition is Manda Island at the Kenyan north coast. Existing evidence suggests that the place called Mbwa lay on the Island of Manda, part of the Lamu archipelago, off the northern Kenya coast. J.A. Fadiman in the book Kenya Before 1900 has written: Further evidence would seem to be provided by tidal patterns in the Manda area. Two-thirds of the Island is surrounded by low reefs, similar to those mentioned in tradition. Northwest of the Island, however, is a narrow channel, the Mkanda, which passes between that section of the Island known as Bwara Matanga and the mainland. Informants have also mentioned the term Mkanda, using it to describe a people (Likanda, Nkanda) who are remembered as living on the mainland opposite Mbwa (thus, across the channel) before migrating to the southeast. Corroborative data can also be found within oral history of the Pokomo, a people currently living along Kenya's river Tana, just south of the Lamu area. Meru traditions record that two other Islands lay near Mbwa. One of those, known to the Meru as Bua, was inhabited by a group remembered as the Buu. Buu is the current name for a division of the Pokomo. Testimony collected in their area records that five of their clans did indeed live on an Island adjacent to Manda (Lamu Island), during an era corresponding generally to the pre-Meru period on Mbwa. The second island, remembered by Am]]r[ informants as Cuguri, was occupied by a people recalled as Nderi. Nderi is also the name of a Pokomo division, which at one point in their own history, lived adjacent to the Bua. Nderi traditions also recall the island of Bua in this instance as a point where they once separated from other Pokomo peoples. It should also be noted that a third division of the Pokomo peoples, the Dzundza, also retain memories of Manda Island, recalled in their own oral history as an "Island to which one could walk from mainland at low tide". Further indication that M]]r[ people were in this area together with splinter groups of Ag]k[y[ and Akamba is found in the writing of Robert L. Bunger Jr. on the people who were in the Lamu, Bwara and Pate areas as the Pokomo were settling down on arrival from Shughwaya: These groups are usually considered the "Core" Pokomo: the Miji Kenda (Giriama, Digo, Duruma, Rabai, Ribe, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, and Chonyi); the Taita; the Bajun (now considered one of the Swahili peoples); the Kilindini (a Swahili group of Mombasa); and (in part?) the Kamba, Meru and Kikuyu. The same writer has written the following: Within the upper Pokomo there are two sub-dialects, one spoken by Subaki of Ndera, Gwano, Kinakomba and Ndura, and another spoken by Subaki and Milalulu. The Munyo Yaya speak Oroma, and the Welwan speak their own language, which is said to be different from and not mutually intelligible with Pokomo, Oroma and Somali . . . Just in a hunch it might be interesting to see if the Kielwan language is related to Meru or Embu.7 We further learn from James De Vere Allen that Liongo who is known from the Pate Chronicle to have extended his kingdom until it stretched from Malindi to Pokomoni and had settled a good

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


number of Bantu speaking farmers in his kingdom. Allen has written: They could have included speakers of an ancestral Mijikenda tongue from near Malindi as well as some of the ancestral Pokomo-speaking groups from Pokomoni (remembered as the Buu homeland). And conceivably a few speakers of an ancestral Meru tongue also came to assist in the riverine trade. From the above, it is reasonably established that M]]r[ people at this point and time were at the coast and settled in Manda Island while others were scattered around the general area. Those on Manda Island were taken into captivity and remained separated from their relatives and fellow travellers, the Ag]k[y[, Aembu/Ambeere, Akamba, Cuka and Tharaka for a long time. The M]]r[ call people who took them into slavery Nguo Ntune or Ng[r[ntune, meaning people who wore red clothes or had "red legs", light skinned non-Africans who possibly were Persians (Shirazi) or Arabs. Alfred M. Imanyara has written: The term "Nguuntune" literally means "Red clothes", but since clothes cannot take people into captivity, the term must have been applied to people who the ancient Meru people considered to have red skin colour. In short, "Nkuuntune", means "Red people" or simply "Reds", it was a term applied to people of Sabeanic origin and, in general, to people of Semitic origin. The Semites, too, applied the name to themselves as evidenced in Axum's King Aezane's (Ezana) text which describes the conquest of Meroe as a reprisal against her (Meroe) because the Cushites of Meroe had repeatedly waged war on the Red People. Escape from Mbwa M]]r[ people like would have been with other human beings grew desperate for freedom and requested their masters to set them free. The masters set impossible conditions for the M]]r[ people to fulfil before they could be set free. Tales of miracles which need not to be detailed here are told about this period. However, M]]r[ people organised to escape from the Island which they succeeded in doing and a long migration trekking inland started along the southern bank of Tana river from the coast for several seasons before they left the river trekking northwest. At the beginning of their flight, the migrants were weak. They had few warriors and armed only with knives and small bows. They had few livestock and roots and seeds as could be carried, and wooden fishhooks they had used in the island. J.A. Fadiman on the Am]]r[ escape and migration has written: Once across the "Red sea", the migrants moved inland along the southern bank for several seasons, and then left the river, turning northwest into what traditions speak of as a "desert". They named this area Maliamkanga or Ngaaruni, both of which carry a linguistic implication of aridity. At this point the community began to call itself Ngaa, a word possibly derived from the thorns (migaa) with which they now surrounded themselves at night; this name was used to refer to the group until its eventual dissolution near Mount Kenya. Meru Occupation of the Mount Kenya Area

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The original nucleus separated into two sections recalled by tradition as M[k[nga (people of Ngaa) and M[rutu. The two sections together migrated to a point tradition places near Ntug] Hill from where they divided once more. Two or three subsections seem to have separated from M[k[nga and entered Igembe and the northern part of today's Imenti while a section of M[rutu had already separated to remain on the Tharaka plains. A second subsection of M[rutu broke away on the way and became the ancestors of today's M[thamb], Igoji and possibly southern Imenti. M[thamb] settled in a region adjacent to their current territory, part of which they wrested from the Cuka. The remnants out of the original M[rutu people became the contemporary Mw]mb]. By the 1750s, small groups began to enter the lowest parts of the mount Kenya and Nyambene forests, which at the time covered much of Tigania. During this time M]]r[ warriors were only lightly armed with bows and arrows, knives and axes; they had no war clubs, spears or shields. Evidence available suggests that most of these immigrating communities encountered three nonBantu groups across the whole of the current M]]r[ territory within the lower fringes of the forest or below. Tradition from all sections record violent contacts with these peoples during the 1730s or early 1740s. They are remembered as tall and muscular bodied, and their faces were similar to those of the M]]r[ but with a narrower nose and thinner lips, and they had "straight" hair. Warriors wore headdresses of Colobus monkey fur, decorated with wisps of ostrich feathers at the tip. Their spears, were short leaf or triangular headed and their shields were small and narrower than those subsequently made by the M]]r[. A small sheath was sewn onto the back of each shield, into which they fitted a knife. Their arrows were leaf-bladed or triangular in shape. All kept large herds of long-horned humped cattle, sheep and goats and lived in scattered bands. The description seems to suggest the Oromo/Boran or Galla/Wardy people. Available evidence from the traditions of individual clans on the experiences of the M]]r[ people as they advanced into the forested areas of the Tigania plains shows that most of these migrating communities encountered representatives of three non-Bantu language groups scattered in small bands across the lower fringes of the forest, or immediately below its fringes. These have been identified as follows: three groups of Eastern Cushitic speakers; one group of the Highland Nilotic speakers; and the three groups of plain Nilotic speakers. The most powerful of the three non-Bantu peoples were the Eastern Cushitic speaking groups who were known by the M]]r[ sections variously as {kara, }kara, Njuwe, Mwoko, Athamaji, Nguve, Agira, Akara or Igoti. Existing evidence suggests that these groups were Oromo/Boran in the north and Galla/Wardy in the south. The latter were known to the Am]]r[ as {kala and Mwoko. The M[thamb] recall the {kala as "those who fled our area to join the Boran" and Mw]mb] elders recall that the {kala cattle described by their grandfathers are the same as "those used by the Boran." Imenti elders state that the Agira and Ikara recalled in the traditions of their area appear to have been the same people the Boran adding that they used the phrase "Boran-Ikara (Boran - Galla?) to describe themselves. The Igembe also identify Agira, Akala, {kara as Boran, and add that the Boran were related to Mwoko. Evidence from Am]]r[ seems to correspond with what is known of the Galla in other areas. After c. 1500, Oromo-speaking people from southeastern Ethiopia began to migrate to the south and penetrated deep into Kenya. the Boran had moved southward on both sides of the River Tana while other Galla groups may have travelled as far south as Tanzania by the time of M]]r[ occupation of their present country.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Social and Political Organisation M]]r[ society was organised to ensure that people's needs for religious expression, law maintenance, security and justice were secured. For security there were Athi (hunters) and warriors, for justice and political management there were the Agambi and K]ama. The Am]]r[ people lived in villages of several families. Each family owned a piece of arable land on which they cultivated food crops and kept livestock. At the family level, the father and head of the family resolved disputes; he lived in his own house, which was known as gaaru. If the family head was unable to solve a dispute, he referred the matter to a clan elder who also had his own gaaru. If the dispute could not be resolved at the clan level, it was referred to Gaaru-e-k]ama or house of elders. Several villages fell under the jurisdiction of Gaaru-e-k]ama and each person in M]]r[ was identified with a specific gaaru-e-k]ama. There was also the Gaaru-e-nthaka, which was the name for the military barracks. The jurisdiction of village (nt[[ra) arbitrators did not extend beyond the village boundaries but these arbitrators were used by gaaru-e-k]ama to identify the source of the problem referred to it. Boundaries of the area over which gaaru-e-k]ama had jurisdiction were usually fixed to conform with river courses but where there were no rivers, elders fixed administrative boundaries. Where one gaaru-e-k]ama area was separated from the other by a `highway' (g]tomoi), the boundary was fixed by means of a fresh strip cut out from the skin of a sacrificial sheep or goat. Elders who had undergone ritual cleansing hung the strip known as r[kooro rwa k]ama across the highway as a landmark under which people passed when leaving one gaaru-e-k]ama area and entering another. The gaaru-e-k]ama as the meeting place house of elders was always built at a higher ground than the rest of the village. AKAMBA The Akamba people inhabit the present administrative districts of Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and Mwingi. Machakos district before its division contained the traditional sections of Ulu or the high country in the north and the lower lands of Kikumbuliu or Kibwezi in the south. Kitui district contained sections of Kitui, Mwingi and Mumoni. Neighbouring people to the north-west are the Ag]k[y[ and to the north are the Tharaka and Mbeere. All these are related peoples. To the southwest of the traditional Akamba country are the Maasai. To the north and east are the Boran, Galla, the Pokomo and other small nomadic groups known as Boni, Sanye and Aliangulo. The Akamba consider themselves to be one people. Slight cultural and dialectal differences are recognised between the two traditional geographical areas of Machakos and Kitui. The people of Ulu refer to those of Kitui as Adaisu or Athaisu. Other groups of Akamba numbering hundreds of thousands, live outside Ukamba as Akamba communities in Rabai near Mombasa, TaitaTaveta and Kwale Districts and another group in central Tanzania. To the south is the railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi with Kikumbuliu or Kibwezi remaining as an outside enclave south of the line from Mtito Andei to Kiu. The boundary sweeps north from Kiu in the west towards the line of the Athi River and north-eastwards where it is marked by the Tana River up to the northern tip of the Mumoni range. Most of the population is concentrated in the north-western part of Machakos as the north-east and east of the country is very dry. Until recently, there was no clearly marked boundary between the two areas.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Akamba have a common origin and language relationship with the Ag]k[y[, Aembu/Ambeere, Tharaka, Cuka and M]]r[ peoples. According to the traditions of the Maragoli as collected by professor G.S. Were and recorded in his two books West Kenya Historical Texts and A History of the Abaluyia of Western Kenya, the `Kikuyu clusters', who included the Akamba, were part of the Western Kenya families before they travelled eastwards towards the central highlands at about the end of the fifteenth century. This is also corroborated by the Abagusii who confirm that they and the peoples who are today known as Ag]k[y[, Aembu/Ambeere, Akamba and Am]]r[ were the same people when they migrated together into the Mount Elgon area of Kenya before these other groups migrated eastwards towards the central highlands. Professor W.R. Ochieng in the book Kenya Before 1900 has written: Gusii traditions also indicate that Moluguhia, the grandfather of Mogusii, had a number of sons who founded some of the Baluyia sub-tribes or clans, and that among his remembered sons were Osogo and Mogikoyo. Osogo's descendants are said to have founded the Gusii, Kuria, Logoli and several Suba tribes, while the descendants of Mogikoyo [Mugikuyu] became the Kikuyu, the Meru and the Embu tribes and according to a few elders the Kamba tribe as well. It is worth pointing out at this stage that these Gusii claims are not to be taken for granted. Linguists like whiteley and greenberg, who have studied the Gusii and other Bantu languages, are agreed that the Gusii, Logoli, Kuria, Kikuyu, Embu, Kamba and Meru languages are very closely related.1 It appears that ex-Mount Elgon eastern trekking clusters settled in an area of the Lake Nakuru (Nakuso) where they were impinged upon by the Sigilai Maasai in about A.D. 1625 and forced to move on towards a place north-west of Mount Kenya. The Akamba group headed towards Mt. Kilimanjaro and into Tanzania, with some going to central Tanzania to settle among the Wanyamwezi people while the others returned to what is now Kenya. It appears that the Akamba community was at that time fragmented into small migrating groups shifting locations in the region around Mount Kilimanjaro without permanent attachment to any given location and therefore unable to unify their diffuse settlements. Between 1500 and 1889 or thereabouts, Akamba society went through many transformations at several levels affecting their physical locations, methods of land use and the routine life of the village communities. Akamba history can be divided into four important phases within a period of four hundred years. The first is the Kilimanjaro (K]]ma kya kye[ the white mountain) settlement and migration phase; the second phase is the Mbooni settlement in Ukamba; the third phase is the dispersal of the Akamba from Mbooni hills; and the fourth phase is the development and decline of Akamba trading prior to colonial occupation. The Kilimanjaro Phase settlements around Kilimanjaro seem to have been established during the first half of the seventeenth century although the evidence is contradictory. Oral traditions indicate that in the second half of sixteen century, the Akamba inhabited the Kilimanjaro plains but these traditions do not give territorial locations or arrangements of the Akamba settlements in the area. It is probably safe to conclude that the Akamba settlements were transitory, continually moving to fresh lands and expanding in the new areas as they shifted location. As most of the territory was accessible to the Akamba, shifting locations frequently would have been a beneficial strategy of land use for them. A majority of the traditions state that in the plains

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


the Akamba were cattle keepers and that to compensate for the inadequate water supply for their cattle, they constructed rainponds. They also engaged in hunting and trapping of small game and collecting fruits and roots to supplement the diet of meat from game and cattle. Mbooni Settlement Phase and the Dispersal During the last decade of the sixteenth century, the settlers began to leave the Kilimanjaro plains. Part of the cause forcing this phenomenal migration from the plains was constant raids by the aggressive semi-pastoral Iloikop Maasai otherwise known as Wakuavi. From Kiima Kya Kyeu plains, the Akamba entered the present Ukambaland by scaling the steep slopes of the Chyulu hills which they found to be rocky and not well supplied with surface water. They soon left Chyulu hills for a short stay in Kibwezi plains from where they were forced by the long seasonal droughts to move on northward to settle around the towering rock of Nzaui for a short period of about thirty years. Agricultural cultivation failed to take root, and since the area did not provide a natural protective shield against possible further Maasai attacks, the majority of the Akamba groups moved on rapidly to Mbooni hills and only some splinter communities remained behind. After about one hundred years, some of the Akamba people returned in large numbers to this southern area to settle. Mbooni Hills or Il]ma Sya Mbooni which means buffalo hills or hills with buffalo are about fortyeight kilometres in diameter and have a substantially high elevation (between 1500 and 2000 metres above sea level). It was a region of secluded woodlands, thick foliage and forests. It attracted a sizable number of African buffalo and hence the name. These forests offered the Akamba natural fortifications against raids. The soil in Mbooni was and is still more fertile than in many areas of Ukamba, and indeed can rival the ecological potential of the other productive zones of Kenya, such as the central highlands. In about 1715 some groups of Mbooni people began to move from the hills across the Athi River into central Kitui but this did not reduce the population of Mbooni. Between 1740 and 1780 and particularly in about 1760, heavy migration to the eastern reaches of Ukamba as well as to the north took place. Depletion of soil in the intensively cultivated Mbooni region and a resurgence of pastoralism fuelled the movement. Local feuds and strife between sections of the Akamba community were causes of migration too. The Mbooni period has had lasting effects on Akamba society. K. Jackson (a colonial government officer) has quoted the Kamba saying thus: "Kila umwe e kakelwa kakonanitiye na Mbooni" ("Everyone has a little history connected with Mbooni"). Language and Environment The Akamba from both Ulu (Machakos) and {thaisu (Kitui) speak one language, but there are considerable differences of vocabulary and construction between the dialects of Machakos and Kitui. There are minor differences between Kitui and Mumoni, on one hand, and between Ulu and Kibwezi, on the other. The phonetic and grammatical characteristics of Akamba language are given by Guthrie and Doke. The latter also gives a bibliography of grammars and dictionaries. The language belongs to Doke's "Northern Bantu" zone and to Guthrie's "zone E, group 50" which includes G]k[y[, Kiembu and K]m]]r[.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Social and Political Organisation A homestead (m[sy], pl. m]sy]) was the smallest social unit. A homestead was usually a stockade around the home of each married man, which contained the huts of his wives. Outside the entrance of several family homesteads was a thome, a shaded open space, where men sat and discussed everyday events. Thome was the basic political unit. A thome could have been shared by several joint families and in the political sense referred to a group based on an extended family with possible attached households, which may be of different clan affiliations. In some cases, components homesteads constituting a thome may not be in sight of one another. The head of the family within the homestead (m[sy]) was vested with authority and, in theory, had control over all members of the group, including adult males with families of their own. The m[sy] council was responsible over land ownership and was the group that carried out vengeance for offences committed against its members if judgement penalties were not paid. It was common for adult men to hive off the m[sy] and set up independent homesteads if they disagreed with the family head. Initiation Akamba circumcision or critoridectomy was performed when the initiates were as young as four or five years. To become a full adult member of the tribe, a man or a woman had to undergo two initiation ceremonies nza]ko ]la nini (the small circumcision) and nza]ko ]la nene (the great circumcision). The candidates for the second nzaiko were generally between eight and twelve years old. Both boys and girls were taken to a specially erected hut in a thome where they stayed together receiving ritual and practical instructions from instructors. The boys underwent a second operation a slight cut being made at the base of the glans penis and beer poured into it. There was also a "third circumcision". The participants in the third nza]ko or the "circumcision of the men" were bound by an oath of secrecy. Lindblom speaks of the great difficulty of getting any information on the subject and Hobley learned very little of the true nature of the rite. The ceremonies took place far away from the homestead in special huts near rivers and were performed by men who had already undergone the ceremony. Elders Council The Akamba had institutionalised age-grades which had political and ritual functions. These agegrades, however, were not connected with physical circumcision ceremonies as among the Ag]k[y[. The larger political unit called [t[i was the territorial cluster of joint m]sy] under nzama or elders' council. Nzama was and still is formed of atumia (elders) but not all elders took part in its deliberations as there were three categories of elders. The junior-most were the atumia a k]suka who took part in war discussions and were responsible for peace maintenance, carrying out public executions and the disposal of corpses. They paid ten goats or one bullock on entering k]suka eldership. The top two grades of elders form the nzama, the administrative and judicial council of the [t[i. The nzama is also known as atumia a nzama or atumia ma ithembo with the inner council known

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


as nzili. This inner council also conducts ritual ceremonies. Members of k]suka are allowed to attend the rituals but take no part in them.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER FOUR
Eastern Bantu ( Coastals: Wataita, Wataveta, Wapokomo, Mijikenda) Wataita The Taita people occupy the mountains in west-southern Kenya now known as Taita Hills with the Dawida on the higher slopes and the Sagalla and the Kasigau on the almost uninhabitable surrounding plains. The administrative district includes the Taveta sub-district inhabited by a distinct community, the Taveta. The Kasigau people live around the great dome of the Kasigau hill and the Sagalla around the small Maungu Hill which joins with the imposing Sagalla ridge south of Voi town, which is the main settlement of the Wasagalla. Some thirty-two kilometres to the north-west is the main cluster of the real Taita Hills rising from the undulating plains, carrying the bulk of the tribe (Wadawida). Hived off from this cluster but not actually separated from it, is Mbololo hill. Facing the Serengeti plains and Kilimanjaro is the Mwaktau hill. Outside the district there are two colonies of the Taita people in Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and Taita have also penetrated into Pare, Chagga and Taveta. Taita trading parties often went to Chagga and Usambara via Taveta and that is when some Taita settled in colonies among the Shambala. Clanspeople of the Wanya, one of the Taita clans, claim that their ancestors are also the ancestors of some of the Pare and this is corraborated by Pare traditions. Of the surrounding people, the nearest who used to loam over the surrounding plains, and sometimes to come right up to the foot hills of Taita hills were Wakuavi Maasai (Wamasae in Kidawida). The name Taita brings together three communities namely the Dawida, the Sagalla and the Kasigau, all who lived among the MijiKenda in Shungwaya before they migrated to their present home south of the confluence of the Tsavo, Athi and Galana rivers in a region east of the Tanzanian border. The Kitab al Zanuj has listed among the Kashur (peoples) in Shugwaya the Tita (Taita), Kadhiyaru (Kadiyaru) and Dara (Ndara) which correspond to the Taita present settlement locations at Dawida (Tita), Sagalla (Ndara) and Kasigau (Kadiyaru). Writing on migration from Shungwaya, Professor Thomas T. Spear has recorded: The Swahili called the Singwaya people the Kashur (a name still used for the Mijikenda by the Pokomo and Waata) and recall they were first found along the coast near Brava. After some time Arabs coming from Mogadishu drove the Kashur to the south, where some settled in the Juba river valley and others occupied Singwaya further south. More importantly, they listed the Kashur in detail and all are readily identifiable as either Mijikenda or Taita. The first four are the Dighu (Digo), Shmuba (Shimba), Lughu (Lungo), and Sifi (Tiwi). These were the people at the Juba; they were the first to migrate to Kenya, and they are all Digo. The remaining Kashur are listed as the Ghiryama (Giriama), Shuni (Chonyi), Kamuba (Kambe), Ribi (Ribe), Jibana (Jibana), Tita (Taita), Kadhiyaru (Kadiyaru), and Dara (Ndara).1 The Taita started their journey from Mwangea in three columns each heading in a different direction. The Taita clan of Wanya is said to have gone upstream along the banks of the Sabaki River to the confluence of Athi and Tsavo rivers and then turned south to the northern slopes of the Dawida range of hills. Meanwhile, they were joined by wandering Akamba who became

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


incorporated among them and they moved slowly to the southern valleys, occupying Wundanyi, Wusi and Kidaya where they form the majority of settlers. They also expanded to occupy the eastern slopes of the Pare mountains in Tanzania. The second column followed the coastline to Usambara from where they turned north, with some settling at Kasigau and the majority reaching the foothills of the main Pare mountain range near Mwatate. It is said that they were turned away from upper Mwatate valley by the northern group and they turned west along the Voi river, which they followed upstream before settling down at Msau, Mlechi and Mbale. The third group of migrants consisted of two distinct clusters who arrived at the Usambara mountains in Tanzania and travelled right round it or climbed over to the Pare mountain area before turning towards the south-western end of the Dawida hills. They had been joined by Chagga elements of Tanzania on the way and they settled near Bura and at Umari on the Kenyan side of the border initially before migrating to the high-lying valleys and slopes in Sage-iguru and the border regions of Mrugua, Mwenda and Mgange. Later came immigrants of the agricultural branch of the Maasai (Wakuavi) who occupied north-western Taita Hills and are predominant among the inhabitants of Lushongonyi, Mgange and also in Mwenda. They form the Waikumi clan which is fully incorporated within the groups on the same footing with the original Dawida immigrants. People known as Ndigiri/Ndegere and Wambisha (opponents) occupied Taita country before the arrival of the Taita migrants from Mount Mwangea. They are nowadays considered as one of the Taita groups with the status of a clan. Writing on this admixture, T.T Spear has stated: While Taita clans today claim a bewildering array of origins, the most senior clans all claim they came from north eastern Kenya or south western Somalia with the MijiKenda. Once in the Taita Hills they intermarried with the previous inhabitants, known as the Mbisha, and absorbed wave on wave of subsequent Maasai, Kwavi, Kikuyu, Kamba, Shambaa and pare immigrants, all of whom adopted one of the two local languages. This interpretation is speculative and awaits further information regarding Taita origins, but the evidence so far does not exclude the possibility of Sabaki-speaking Taita at Singwaya and the parallel evidence of the Swahili, Mijikenda and Taita traditions confirm it.2 On the settlement of the Wasagalla, A. H. J. Prins has written: There are various accounts of the settlements of Sagalla. The commonest and most probable ascribes it to inter-tribal strife on the southern slopes amongst the clans of the first and second group. The emigrants Sagalla were subsequently joined by Giryama. Linguistic evidence might throw more light on this point. It is said that no Waikumi live on this ridge and as the Waikumi mixed with the five original Dabida clans through intermarriage some time after their advent in the hills, it might be legitimate to conclude that the Wasagalla as such have existed only for a comparatively short period. Since they are considered culturally inferior it may be that the Dabida sense of superiority is a result of their own acculturation under Masaai influence, i.e that the five Dabida clans were amalgamated with the Waikumi rather than the reverse, the new immigrants being bearers of a more highly valued culture pattern. The contemptuous term of reference for the Wa-Sagalla: "those black people" (Wandu wa chilu) probably relates to this cultural divergence, the Wadabida using red ochre amd grease for adorning themselves as the Masai, the Wasagalla using lamp-black instead.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Social and Political Organisation The Taita are composed of seven parent clans, five of which are supposed to be of original immigrant groups from Mount Mwangea. The first five are Wasadu, Wanya, Wasanu, Wasasadu and Wanyanya. The other two are Waikumi, representing the Wakuavi Maasai group and Wambisha, the clans incorporating the Dorobo (Ndegere/Ndigiri) original inhabitants. Taita clans are referred to as vichuku. None of the clans is limited to one portion of the hill alone but it is possible to discover regions in which members of one clan are preponderant, for example the Waikumi of Mgange, the Wasadu of Sagalla and the Wanya of Wusi. Clan offshoots have spread all over the hills to such an extent that it would be difficult to find areas where clansmen of a certain kichuku are entirely lacking. The vichuku are patrilineal groups with, it would seem, an additional grouping for females. Every daughter belonged to her mother's clan, the exclusively female clan to which no male could ever belong, the Wakenda (people of the "nine"). The lineage, referred to as kivalo or kichuku, has a span generally corresponding to a depth of four generations. It is a descent group incorporating relations by marriage not only by blood kinship. The kivalo is much more prominent than the clan in everyday life. For instance it is a cult group for affairs concerning the ritual status of its members, their village and their land. The segments of the kivalo, which are the next smallest units in the series of lineages, are known as nyumba ("house"). The nuclear unit in the series of kinship group is the patri-local extended family known as kinyumba. The kinyumba includes the father, his wife or wives, his sons with their wives and children and his unmarried daughters. Its main functions apart from maintaining the close relationships of people who are closely related and giving them a sense of community are economic as it is the principal land and cattle owning unit, of which the head of the extended family is legal representative. The nyumba is a dispersed group within one district; it is religiously self-sufficient in minor cases, and it has special significance as a group providing help, protection and shelter, if necessary, to its women who have married outside it. Cattle for bride price may be expected to be provided by its members and assistance in hut building. The Taita territory was divided into administrative malolo (sin. ilolo) or districts and the boundaries were strips of no-man's land, such as high, bare, uninhabitable plateau, or too steep a slope. In more densely populated parts it might be a small river without natural vegetation in its bed. A. H. J. Prins has described the ilolo as follows: Religious ties exist for the district and are of the same importance. Kinship ties also form an integral part of relationships within it, but neither are distinctive of this unit. The main principles are common territory and political identity, rights over land and conformity of culture. Conformity of culture is a vague expression and the whole body of the Taita shares this principle as a basis for unity, but the district is the smallest unit in which being culturally distinct is both felt and expressed. Rights over land are also held by other units, by kin groups in general and specifically by the Kinyumba. The head of the Kinyumba holds the land rights and owns gardens on its behalf within the ilolo and may acquire any of the available cultivatable parts within the boundaries. Wataveta Taveta has been the home of the Wataveta people for about four hundred years. Originally they arrived in Taveta as refugees and immigrants from population groups living in the surrounding

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


mountains and plains. While most Wataveta continue to live in the sub-district, approximately 20 per cent of all the Wataveta live elsewhere. It is also known that the Wataveta are no longer the principal residents of the Sub-district. Almost all of the newcomers are either sisal estate workers and their families or agricultural settlers. In pre-colonial times, Taveta territory beyond their home in the interior of the forest extended south to Lake Jipe on the Kenya-Tanzania border. This border marked the western limits of Taveta then extended north to the sacred grounds around Lake Chala and east to Kishota Ngonji or Grogan hill, a traditional burial place. The boundaries today have been extended farther and farther to the east, to Salita hill. However, this has been accompanied by Taveta's decline from a politically independent unit of some importance in the general Kilimanjaro area to the status of a political and economic backwater within Kenya. Settlement Taveta remained unoccupied forest until the later part of the seventeenth century, perhaps because the surrounding peoples preferred to derive their livelihood from the grassland plains as pastoralists and the forest may have seemed to have little to offer. Settlement of Taveta began after wars, famine and raiding in the Kilimanjaro area drove needy people into the forest for security and in search of sufficient sustenance of life. Tradition states that the first immigrants came from Usambara followed shortly thereafter by people from Ugweno, Ukamba, Taita, Chaggaland, Arusha and Kahe. Since there was sufficient land for all in this early period, no group constituted an immediate threat to the economic interests of any other. No group is likely to have been more than a small minority of the total population of the area and possibly the weakness of each group in relation to all the others served to keep peace. From this shared background, a sense of community developed into a common Taveta culture. By entering Taveta they had broken kinship and lineage ties with their former groups and home areas, factors which favoured cross-assimilation. The political organisation these people established was functional and pragmatic, designed to enable them to maintain peace and order and to provide for defence against external threats. The new political organisation was derived from an amalgamation of the political principles and practices the diverse groups had brought with them from their original homes. One of the principal forces working for political changes in Taveta during the nineteenth century was Wakuavi (agricultural Maasai) immigration into the area as a result of conflicts between the Maasai sub-groups, arising from disputes over cattle raiding and grazing land and finding expression through the fighting culture built into their social structure. When the Wakuavi came under sustained military pressure from other Maasai sub-groups, possibly as early as in the 1820s, the Taveta who were impressed by the martial spirit of the Wakuavi sided with them. Apparently, even before the Wakuavi influx, the Taveta had already begun to adopt the Wakuavi style of circumcision, predisposing them to easily accept the Wakuavi request to come and live among the Wataveta during a time when Wataveta were still actively accepting immigrants from other population groups. Immigrant groups were given land and were attached to one of the existing Wataveta clans and thereby placed under the jurisdiction of the community elders. They were expected to participate in the community's circumcision rites and ceremonies and thereby to be brought into the Wataveta Irika (age-set) system. Through these processes, new comers were accepted and assimilated into the community and became Wataveta. As late as the famine of the 1880s the Taveta language, which is very similar to Kipare, remained more or less what it had been before the Wakuavi influx, with the contribution of the Wakuavi limited to a few words and idioms.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Taveta settlement was set inside the forest with a forest perimeter surrounding area which by the end of the nineteenth century was about 0.8 kilometres deep. The inhabited area consisting of the market place, the people's huts, the traders camps and cultivated land was approximately 26 square kilometres. To defend themselves against the external threat, Taveta political institutions and customs, which predated the Wakuavi influx, were consolidated, however, the most distinctive Wakuavi institutions and practices were incorporated. The Taveta refined and built upon their traditional tactics of defensive forest warfare. The number of entry points into the forest was reduced, the surrounding forest boundary was allowed to thicken so as not to permit easy entry by enemies. In the interior, they built ambush sites and paths with dead ends to confuse intruders. Political and Social Organisation The principal political institution developed by the Wataveta consisted primarily of, first, a single deliberative governing body, the Njama in which all of Taveta'a principal political groups were represented; and, second, an age set, or irika system, which provided for the community's defence and other social relationships. On the Njama, Ann E. Frontera in her book Persistence and Change: A History of Taveta has written: The Njama appears to have evolved from the traditions of several of the Bantu peoples that had come to Taveta. It consisted of lineage heads, chiefs from successive age-sets and wealthy, influential, or especially "talented", men in the community e.g., particularly brave warriors, gifted orators, or those with special magical powers. Until the end of the nineteenth century, the Njama's membership appeared not to have exceeded forty members. The duties of the Njama were to settle disputes among the clans and questions pertaining to land and to act as a court of law. It also had powers to make or alter laws to suit the needs of the time. The Njama also led the performance of ritual ceremonies conducted at special sacred sites on the occasion of such natural disasters as drought, epidemics or floods. Njama had no calendar for meetings but instead gathered whenever there was need for it to do so. Its decisions were based on established customary law and were always arrived at in deliberations carried out in strict confidence. The second tier of authority was the irika age-set system. The origin of the system may be traced to Maasai and Bantu customs as both groups had developed the age-set system within their communities before Taveta area was occupied. The system provided a natural and mutually beneficial framework for organized life in Taveta. Ann E. Fontera has described the Taveta ageset system thus: The age-set system divided the society into a succession of horizontal strata, with a new stratum beginning approximately every fifteen years. Each of the age strata or irika had its own name and special rights and responsibilities with regard to the rest of the community. Members of a particular age set, for example, participated in work, travel, wars, and expeditions together. Moreover, they were expected to help each other in times of crisis and to show hospitality to their agemates from other parts of Taveta. This corporate identity, along with the ceremonies that had gone into the formation of the age-set, helped engender an artificial bond of kinship uniting its members and getting them off from age-sets both before and after their own. Each age set strata

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


was not founded on the basis of age alone, but by the initiation of all circumcised men over the age of puberty who did not yet belong to an age set. Consequently, there is some overlap in age between successive age sets, with some junior members of one irika being younger than some senior members of the next . . . Each new irika formed in this way extended throughout Taveta, reaching from Malaboru (upper Taveta) to Malukaulu (lower Taveta). The irika was internally divided between two groups. The first of these was the Nding'ori, the senior members of the age-set. These individuals were distinguished by their greater wealth, influence, and age. The remaining members of the age-set constituted the Leme. While individual Leme might eventually accumulate sufficient wealth to surpass that of many Nding'ori, they nevertheless remained Leme. Once the age-set had been formed, the division between the two groups was permanent. The association between these two groups was restricted. With the exception of a single feast during the reign of their irika celebrating the election of their respective chiefs they did not even eat together. The central political direction of the newest irika appeared to have been shaped by elders of previous irika operating as agents of the new Njama. The newest Irika's principal political officers, the wafumwa, were not chosen until just a few years before this age-set was displaced as the youngest by still newer Irika. Four Wafumwa were then chosen to represent the irika, including a full chief and an assistant for upper Taveta. In each part of Taveta the Nding'ori of the area elected one of their members to become a full chief of the age-set (mfumwa wa irika). The installation in office of these full chiefs would be followed in both upper and lower Taveta by the election by the leme of one of themselves as mfumwa wa leme or mfumwa wa mchili to become an assistant to the full chief already chosen by the Nding'ori for their area. The wafumwa were expected to serve as a bridge between the new age-set and the Njama and their position in the Njama was essentially that of first among equals. Among the wafumwa, the one with the greatest prestige and authority became the mfumwa wa irika; he invariably came from Malaboru.

Colonial Occupation In 1890 Taveta was made a station of the Imperial British East Africa Company and when the East African Protectorate was established, Taveta came under its jurisdiction in 1897. Christian missionaries under Steggall had already made their first visits in the late 1880s. The collapse of the initial colonial administration in the form of the IBEA, had made the people to think of the Protectorate government as a weak and ineffective power that could not be a threat to them. However, it eventually became evident that the new government officials meant not only to settle in Taveta, but to rule over the Taveta as well. When the Taveta people realized this, the Njama consulted a diviner who advised them to bury a white fowl under the government flagstaff during the dead of the night. However, although the government official who was at Ndii died, as was to be expected from the magic spell so cast, another one was posted there and the Taveta gave up hope of ridding themselves of white rule. Once government officials had established themselves other Europeans followed, and this created many problems for the Taveta with regard to their land. The Taveta did not differentiate between the political and economic implications of occupying a territory. To them a political community simply occupied an area and used its resources; the rights of ownership did not differ from the rights of sovereignty. Accustomed to a continual influx of outsiders as immigrants or traders, the Taveta were readily able to adjust to the first European settlers as simply one more group in a long series of

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


newcomers. However, the Taveta feared the colonial government and its administrative bureaucracy. The first European settler to arrive was Jeremy Dermos. He settled in the area near Njoro Springs. He was the first manager of Kilindini Harbour and Wharfs. Arriving shortly thereafter in Taveta were the partners Goodwilles and Sedgewick and the Homer brothers who having acquired 450 acres of land over the years sold out to Colonel Ewart Grogan in 1952. Between 1928 and 1932, Grogan bought 21,135 acres of semi-arid plains for four shillings an acre. This was made possible by the East African Land Ordinance of 1902. under the terms of this Ordinance, unoccupied land in Kenya became Crown land which could be given out by the colonial government to individual European settlers for their own use. In 1937 Ewart Grogan acquired 22,000 acres of Crown Land in the Ziwani area. Five years later he increased that total to 32,000 acres. Thereafter, he increased his holding by purchasing a large tract of land from the Taveta-Voi railroad down to Lake Jipe, equal to about one-third of the whole Taveta sub-district. By 1952 Grogans' total holdings amounted to approximately 81, 296 acres distributed as follows: Ziwani: 20,018 acres Ziwani Sisal Estate Ltd. Taveta: 8,325 acres Ziwani Sisal Estate Ltd. Jipe: 30,456 acres Kilindini Harbuor & Wharfs Ltd. Taveta: 6,032 acres Kilindini Harbuor & Wharfs Ltd. Taveta: 16,015 acres Kilindini Harbour & Wharves Ltd. Taveta: 450 acres Sold by Homer brothers. TOTAL 81,296 acres By 1937, Grogan had planted 6,054 acres of sisal with most of the workers brought from other districts, particularly the Akamba and Wataita. By 1937 he had a labour force of 1,500 living in or around Taveta, most of them being single men living outside the sub-district. The nonindigenous immigrants gradually came to constitute little communities of aliens and tended to live as squatters on the sisal estates or on government land in the vicinity. As their wages were very low, they were often permitted to grow vegetables between the rows of sisal and in that way, they became totally dependent on the estate while remaining independent of the local community. Grogan founded two camps for them: Homer's camp near Njoro springs and Reata camp near the boundary of his estate. Wapokomo The Wapokomo are one of the Coastal peoples of the North-Eastern Bantu group which includes the MijiKenda and Wataita, while the remaining North-Eastern Bantu peoples the Wachagga, Wapare and Wataveta, with the exception of some of the Wataveta in Kenya are found further south in Tanzania. The Central Bantu clusters occupy central Kenya around Mount Kenya. The Western clusters have their ancestral homes in areas between the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria, better known as Western Kenya.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The Wapokomo like other Coastal peoples have a common tradition of origin and migration from Shungwaya, the legendary town or territory supposed to have been situated on the southern Somali coast, somewhere in what is now Jubaland. They occupy the Tana valley in an area that extends from the coast into North-Eastern Kenya. The Tana river, which rises from the southern slopes of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares flows east through north-eastern Kenya, before making a south-easterly sweep to the Kenya coast. Tana River is called Tsana in Pokomo, Galana maro or dima in Oromo, Kiluluma in Kikamba and Gururuma (upper Tana) by the Swahili. Traditions of origin and settlements of the Wapokomo are that Shungwaya must have been the original home of a number of clans, not only of the Pokomo, but also of Taita, Digo, Giriama and Segeju/Katwa tribes. The Wapokomo say that they were friends of the Galla until the latter began to covet their herds of cattle, resulting in wars, which made the Wapokomo to emigrate. They reassembled and settled in a place remembered as Dana Sukutu along the Tana. After some centuries, they were attacked by the Galla. In an ethnographic survey by the International African Institute, A.H.J. Prins has written thus: A more recent version is to be found in the account of the history of the Buu sub-tribe by a literate tribesman. He puts the advent of the Buu ancestor, Sango Vere, in the Tana in the days of Liongo Fumo long before the coming of the Galla (4). His original home was called Mungini or Mundini, in the country called "Inti Kuu" which is situated on the coast some twenty miles north of Lamu. The first attacks from the side of the Galla are supposed to have been directed against the Pokomo who had already been living on the Tana for centuries. Then the Galla came and fought them very much. The Buu were beaten and many of them ran away by way of the hill of Gede.1 The ethnographic survey by the International African Institute which was sponsored by the Colonial Social Science Research Council on the timing of the Pokomo migration had the following to say: The first drive southwards must have occurred either before Liongo Fumo (Boecking) or during his lifetime (Darroch). Liongo is variously placed in the 13th Cenrury (if this is true he must have lived before the coming of the Galla), in the 12th or even 8th century which is difficult to believe. Other accounts make him contemporary with the Portuguese. The only certain date connected with the early history of the tribe is 689 A.D (the foundation of Pate (Patta), the first Arab town on the coast) as Werners' informants were positive that Swahili towns already existed when their first ancestors moved into the Tana valley.2 Wapokomo, who pronounce their name as Wafokomo, are divided into four main groups or vyeti and into thirteen sub-groups. The four groups have distinct identities, territories and dialects. The territory of the first major group, the lower Pokomo, is from Kipini to Bubesa in Salama location; the upper Pokomo occupy the area from Matanama in Ndera location to Roka near Masabuba; the Welwan (called Malakote by the other Pokomo) live in an area extending from Roka to Garissa; and the Munyo Yaya (meaning "Northern Pokomo" in Oromo; other Pokomo call them Korokoro) occupy an area extending from Garissa through Mbalambala. The sub-groups or clans do not seem to have very distinctive characteristics. The names of the vyeti are associated with their long residence in their present settlements. Going down stream the vyeti, are in the following order: (1) Korokoro, (2) Malakote, (3) Malalulu, (4) Zubaki, (5) Ndura,

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


(6) Kinakomba, (7) Grano, (8) Ndera , (9) Musina, (10) Ngatana, (11) Dzunza or Yunda, (12) Buu or Ngao, (13) Kalindi. The Zubaki are the largest sub-group. The upper Pokomo call themselves Pokomo and refer to the lower Pokomo as Malachini (southerners) while the lower Pokomo in turn call themselves Pokomo and call the upper Pokomo Watu wa Dzuu (or Northeners); both descriptions have a derogatory tinge. Both the Oromo and the Somali call the Pokomo "Munyo", meaning sedentary agriculturists. The upper and lower Pokomo speak a dialect of a Bantu language called kipokomo, which is closely related to the Mijikenda dialects and to Kiswahili. Robert L.Bunger Jr. in the paper Islamization among the Upper Pokomo has written thus: Although there are many differences in phonology, vocabulary, and grammar, the two dialects are mutually intelligible. Within upper Pokomo there are two sub-dialects, one spoken by the clan alliances of Ndera, Gwano, Kinakomba and Ndura and another spoken by Subaki and Malalulu. The Munyo Yaya speak Oroma, and the Welwan speak their own language, which is said to be different and not mutually intelligible with Pokomo, Oroma and Swahili. All Pokomo dialects contain many Oroma loan words as well as some from Swahili and even English . . . Just in a hunch it might be interesting to see if the Kielwan language is related to Meru or Embu. Mijikenda The MijiKenda people who include Giriama, Digo, Duruma, Rabai, Kambe, Chonyi, Jibana, Kauma and Ribe came from Shungwaya in the southern Somali hinterland at the turn of the 17th century and settled initially in six individual, fortified, hilltop Kaya or villages, along the ridge behind the Southern Kenya coast. Three more Kayas were built later to make a total of nine. At Shungwaya the Mijikenda people were collectively called `Kashur' by others. When they migrated and settled behind the Kenya coast they became known as `Nyika' (meaning `Bush' people). They had no collective name for themselves, until they chose the name Mijikenda in the late 1940s to replace the pejorative `Nyika'. The name `Mijikenda' is a purely descriptive term and means, quite literally, `The Nine Kayas or Makayachenda'. Shungwaya has been variously described as a major empire and as a mere town or even a temporary nomadic settlement. The most recent of the few modern historians to take it seriously sees it as a Bantu speaking proto-group occupying a fairly limited area at some indeterminate place in southern Somalia. The book The land of Zinj reports of a people it calls `Kashur' and states that the most famous of their towns was called Shungwaya where their king lived and that their laws were famous. Shungwaya as remembered in traditions was somewhere on the Juba river near Deshek Wama and the junction of the Lagh Dera and the Juba River. On this James de Vere Allen has written: A re-examination of all the relevant material suggests that, as so often, the traditions are right, and that Shungwaya was a phenomenon (as we shall for the moment continue to call it) much larger and more important than most modern historians give it credit for, also, that it began much earlier and lasted, in some shape or form, much longer. It must in fact have been in existence, at least in embryo, before c. AD 800 and still existed (at least in some peoples minds) as late as c. 1725

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

A.H.J. Pins on Shungwaya has written: Shungwaya is shown on three Dutch maps: Linschoten, 1596, Plaeuw, 1640, and de La Feuille, 1700, and on a British map of 1670 by Ogilby. The spelling are Jungaya, Tungaya or Xungaja and its position is just to the north of Patta. The name is also found in Portuguese documents of 1686 and 1689 (9). The Chinese name for East Africa Tsungpao may also have some connection with the town which must have been much more important before than after the arrival of the Portuguese. Language The Mijikenda speak dialects of a single language, which they attribute to Shungwaya origin. Each of the nine Mijikenda speaks a separate dialect of the same language, which is closely related linguistically and historically to the other languages along the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts. Over the centuries these languages have slowly evolved from a single common ancestral or proto-languages through a series of intervening proto-language into the distinct languages that exist today. This process of development occurs when people speaking the same language become separated and slowly change their patterns of speech and the single language diverges into separate but naturally intelligible dialects and eventually separate languages. Professor Thomas T. Spear has written the following on Mijikenda languages: Related languages or dialects with a high percentage of common words, or cognates, are very similar and probably diverged from their common ancestor relatively recently, while those with lower percentage of cognates are less similar and diverged from each other at an earlier date. Classified in this way the Mijikenda dialects fall into three groups: Mijikenda A (Rabai, Ribe, Jibana, Kauma, Kambe, Chonyi and Giriama), Mijikenda B (Duruma), and Mijikenda C (Digo). Since the dialects of group A share an average of 77-85 % cognates among themselves, but only 59-64% with Digo, we can say the Digo split from the peoples of Group A at an earlier date than the peoples of Group A split among themselves.3 Traditions of the Bajuni which refer to double-storeyed houses in `Shungwaya' say that its inhabitants left it to go either to Kisimayu or to Kayama, the northern-most of the island settlements off the southern Somali coast. From there they moved south to the other island settlements, then to Bur Gau which they usually call Buri Kavo and into what is now called Kenya. Professor Thomas T. Spear on the Mijikenda Shungwaya period has written thus: The traditions of all the Mijikenda, with the exception of the Rabai and the Duruma, are unanimous in tracing their origin to the region between the Juba River and Singwaya along Southern Somali coast. They lived there with the Taita, Pokomo and Galla until one day a Galla was murdered. Most Mijikenda say the Galla was sacrificed as part of the initiation of the first age-set, but others say that a Mijikenda bridegroom killed the Galla who came to fulfill the ritual duty of initiating intercourse with his bride. In either case, the Mijikenda refused to pay compensation to the dead man's kinsmen and the Galla took retribution on any Mijikenda they found. Unable to defend themselves, the Mijikenda, Pokomo, Taita were forced to flee to the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


south. They left in two groups the Digo first, followed by the Pokomo, Taita, and remaining Mijikenda. The Shungwaya legend relates that the father of all the Mijikenda was Muyeye who lived at Shungwaya with his two wives, Mbodze and Matseze. Mbodze was the elder wife and had two sons, Digo and Ribe. Matseze's sons were Giriama, Chonyi and Jibana. The Giriama say they are the younger brothers of the Ribe and defer to them in certain rituals. The Chonyi and Jibana say they are brothers and often co-operate in war and ritual. The Kauma, who split off from the Ribe, acknowledge that they are the sons of the Ribe. The Rabai who came from Rombo, now in Tanzania, and the Duruma who are of heterogeneous origin, both append Shungwaya to their own origin legends to explain cultural origins, not demographic ones as a unifying or core tradition. According to Swahili traditions found in Kitab al Zanuj and other manuscripts, the Swahili called the Shungwaya peoples the Kashur (and recall they were first found along the coast near Brava). Arabs from Mogadishu drove the Kashur to the south where some settled in the Juba River valley area while others established themselves in Shungwaya farther south. They described the composition of the Kashur in detail as Professor Thomas T. Spear has written: The first four are the Dighu (Digo), Shmuba (Shimba), Lighu (Lunga) and Sifi (Tiwi). These were the people at the Juba, they were the first to migrate to Kenya and they are all Digo. The remaining Kashur are listed as the Ghiryama (Giriama), Shuni (Chonyi), Kamuba (Kambe), Ribi (Ribe), Jibana (Jibana), Tita (Taita), Kadhiyaru (kadiyaru), and Dara (Ndara). The first five are all Mijikenda and are only those Mijikenda who themselves claim Singwaya origins. Omitted are the Kauma, who acknowledge they were Ribe then, and Rabai and Duruma, who both claim other origins. The last three are Taita groups and correspond to their settlement locations today at Dabida (Taita), Sagalla (Ndara) and Kasigau (kadiyaru). While the Pokomo are omited in this listing, they are included later in the Kitab al Zanuj; though somewhat inconsistently. One reference groups them with the Digo while another places them at Singwaya with the other Mijikenda. Political and Social Organisation of the Mijikenda Differentiation among the Mijikenda peoples is evident when one examines cultural attributes and practices; one discerns a sharing of almost a total complex of cultural traits between certain sets of Mijikenda groups in opposition to other sets of groups. Mijikenda sub-groups can be classified by variation in the overall cultural complex as explained by Thomas T Spear: The Northern Mijikenda (Kauma, Giriama, Chonyi, Jibana, Kambe and Ribe) all have cognate Kaya institutions, age-sets, residence patterns and descent patterns, as we shall see. Several even share some of the same clan names. At the opposite pole are the southern Mijikenda (Digo). Their Kaya institutions and age-sets are radically different from the northern group. The Digo do not have two tiers of clans differentiated by time of origin into clans and sub-clans, as the northern group does, but a single set of clans of indeterminate origins. And Digo age-sets are arranged in a complicated arrangement of alternating pairs, in contrast to the linear arrangement in the North. In between these two groups, both geographically and culturally, are the central Mijikenda

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


(Rabai and Duruma). Both of these can be grouped primarily with the northern group, except for their descent patterns. Both practice double unilinear descent so that every individual belongs to two clans: a multiclan inherited from his mother's brother and a partrilineal inherited from his father. Inheritance is normally divided between the two, but the Rabai are predominantly partrilineal. Thus, both dialectal and cultural distributions confirm the Digo as a group apart from the other Mijikenda. A.H.J. Prins on this differentiation of the Mijikenda has written: A main dividing line seems to run between the southern and northern groups. The first is commonly known as Digo (Adigo); the second, known as Alupanga, includes Duruma, Giryama and Rabai (these and Digo are the four major tribes) as well as Kauma,Chonyi, (Dschogni in German), Dzihana (or Jibana), Kambe (not to be confused with Kamba), and Rihe (or Ribe), the five minor tribes. Alupanga (also: Waliupangu, walupangu) seems to be chiefly a linguistic term used by the Digo to denote those Nyika who do not speak Digo. The Giryama recognize another division: they consider themselves and the Digo as separate units to be distinguished from the other, the proper Nyika tribes. Kaya Settlements Kaya were fortresses built on the hilltops approachable only by narrow paths leading to the several entrances in a stockade built with stout stakes. With time, these ring fences have fallen down and disappeared; so have the gateways. The Kaya had heavy double or triple wooden gates. The individual settlements defined the individual peoples, for whether or not differentiated peoples moved into a Kaya settlement, Kaya residence redefined and consolidated their identity as one new and united community. Kaya were both central residential towns and political religious complexes. Instead of offering a hierarchical political organization, they each had a series of inclusive groups based on a common descent, ranging from the lineage to the clan. At each level, a group of elders exercised political leadership over the group and represented it in the councils of the next larger group inclusive of their own and others. Although these arrangements may appear to be diffuse and lacking in central control, Mijikenda common Kaya residence and a system of cross-cutting age-sets gave a degree of centralisation and cohesiveness unusual in segmentatry societies. People gradually moved out of Kayas to settle in the lowland farming areas and some engaged in trading. In a book published in1952, A.H.J. Prins wrote: We must distinguish two kinds of settlements: The original tribal fortified centres (Kaya) and the common villages (Mudzi). It is only in the latter that people actually reside today; the Kaya Kauma, Kambe and Jibana were the only ones still occupied some forty years ago. But in the days of Krapf and Guillain, a century ago, nearly all were still residential agglomerations with the exeption of those of the Rabai, which were occupied only once a year by the whole of the population and periodically served as a tribal meeting place for the elders.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER FIVE
NILOTES (Highland Nilotes Kalenjin, Marakwet, Keiyo, Sabaot) (Plain Nilotes Maasai, Samburu, Jemps, Iteso, Nubi, Turkana) (River Lake Nilotes Luo) HIGHLANDS NILOTES KALENJIN The Kalenjin people form the principal population of Kenya's western highlands in the present Rift Valley Province. The Kalenjin area is bounded on the east by the steep Mau Escarpment and Lake Baringo and on the west by mount Elgon, the Nandi escarpment and the western dip slopes of the Mau Range in the former Kericho District where the land falls away towards Lake Victoria. The width of the region from east to west varies from upwards of a hundred kilometres. From south to north the region is much more extended. from Chepalungu forest bordering the Loita plains, the country extends for more than three hundred kilometres to cherangany mass and the edges of the dry northern plains. The western highlands receive an average of 75 cm of rain per year while Nandi district and central Kipsigis receive twice or more. During their settlement in the Mount Elgon area, people who are today known as the Kalenjin called themselves Miot, Mmyoot or Mnyoot. When they migrated to their present homes, they adopted or were given new names by which they are now known separately. The Kalenjin consist of seven principal groups with numerous sub-divisions within them. The principal groups are: the Kipsigis(Lumbwa); the Nandi (Chemwal); the Tugen (Samorr and Arror); the Pokot (Suk); the Marakwet (Marakweta, Endo, Almo, Kiptani, Barokot, Sengwer or Cherangany); the keiyo; the Sabaot (Kony, Bok or Pok, Bongomek, Sebei or Kisirai Ogiek (Dorobo) are also known as Southern Kalenjin. While the majority of the Ogiek people speak Kalenjin-related dialects, those living next to the Maasai in Narok and Laikipia speak the Maasai language. The Kalenjin as will be shown are a recent phenomenon as far as a mutually accepted collective identity encapsulated in the name `Kalenjin', as a collective name for several sub-groups is concerned. B. E. Kipkorir with F.B Welbourn in their book the Marakwet of Kenya have written: The name `Kalenjin' is not only a recent coinage, it is unpretentiously artificial and political in its origins. Although the Kalenjin as such now consider themselves one people and this is generally accepted as the situation, it should not be assumed that they are a homogeneous group. This is how the use of the name Kalenjin originated. The British colonial government designated and referred to all the Kipsigis, Keiyo, Marakwet etc as the `Nandi-speaking tribes' and were subsequently referred to as Wa-Nandi (plur) or M-Nandi (sing.). Occasionally the Kipsigis were referred to as the Wa-Lumbwa or M-Lumbwa. Non-Nandi

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


did not like the description. The missionaries also added to the disaffection by exporting the Nandi dialect to other areas, notably Keiyo, Marakwet and Tugen. A broadcasting announcer called Chemallan in his Second World War-time broadcast frequently used the word Kalenjok (plur. for "I will tell you") and Kalenjin (sing.). At the Alliance High School, Kikuyu, in 1944 there were a total of fourteen Kalenjin students who included John Seroney, William Bomet, John K. arap Koitie and Kendagor arap Bett. By 1945 the fourteen students appear to have organised themselves for the historical task of coining a new name to apply to all of them. With Chemallan's popular broadcast and Taaita Toweetts' inventive and ingenious mind, the name Kalenjin was chosen for all the related tribes and a Kalenjin club was formed at Eldoret by the available albeit less educated elite leadership. Among the leaders were Chemallan and K. K Thomas. unknown to them then, the name became precursor of the future political and social alliance of the community. On this B. E. Kipkorir with F. B. Welbourn have written thus: If the Union did have an impact or influence, it was not at this stage, however. There were no controversial political issues affecting the Kalenjin then. as much as crowds flocked to Kenyatta's Kenya African Union rallies at Eldoret in the early 1950s, the Kalenjin as a whole, before the Mau Mau emergency, were unmoved by the politicking taking place in Central Province and other areas of Kenya. And though the formation of the Kalenjin union had been the first major intraKalenjin development since Chemallan, the War-time service men and the scholars at Alliance High School conception of the term Kalenjin was still largely unknown by the masses of the people it sought to describe. The concept that the term implied had not therefore gained wide enough currency to bring together for political reasons the various peoples involved. Kalenjin areas lagged far behind the majority of Kenya in political awakening. It was not until 1958 that district based political parties were formed in Kalenjin areas, at the instigation of the one representative nominated to the Colony's Legislative Council.2 The term "Kalenjin"and the concept of ethnic solidarity with which it embodied would appear to have taken root in the period during the Mau Mau Emergency. A special department of information which prepared news and commentaries for broadcast for the then "Nandi-speaking" tribes was established at Eldoret headed by a European officer and with Kendago arap Bett as assistant information officer. On this B.E.A Kipkorir with F.R Welbourn have written the following: Now late in 1953, Bett had produced a newssheet to which he had given the title Kalenjin. From January, 1954 Kalenjin appeared regulary as a monthly paper and rapidly gained considerable popularity among its readers and public. For a government paper and Kalenjin was but one of several propaganda papers published by the government to control Mau Mau this marked a contrast to the reception given to the majority of the other government papers.3 In the world of academia a debate has been raging concerning the origin and spread of the Kalenjin communities as they are known today. Unlike the Nilotic Luo whose genesis is traceable to Bahr-el-Ghazal province in southern Sudan whence they migrated to Nyanza Province through Uganda, the genesis of these people is somewhat obscure. However, it is generally believed that the cradleland of the ancestors of the proto-Kalenjin was somewhere on the present Ethiopia-Sudan boundary, possibly in the country between the River Omo and the Pibor tributaries of the Sobat. As the physical type, languages and culture of these people are basically

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Nilotic, it can be inferred that Nilotes provided the main element of the mixer. The progenitors responsible for the introduction of the characteristics that distinguish the Highland Nilotes from the River-Lake Nilotes were possibly Galla (Oromo) or Sadama. It is also uncertain whether the three well defined groups of present-day Highland Nilotes were formed at the same time, or ever lived together as one people. If the latter was the case, then it seems that the groups must have parted a long time ago, probably from a dispersal area north of Lake Turkana and east of the Nile. The Southern Highland Nilotes (the Kalenjin and Maasai) migrated to the south. The northern migrants (Bari-Lotuko group) moved west and northwest towards and across River Nile, and the central group (the Turkana Karamojong clusters) probably remained in the dispersal area for some time, before they too moved south. The Dinginga people found at Chukumu near Torit in southern Sudan language has some similarity with the Kalenjin language and it is possible they were related to them in the distant past which may help to identify the actual place of origin of the Kalenjin in Sudan. More research needs to be done to follow-up this and other lead. Migration into Kenya The migration by the southern group beyond Lake Turkana into Kenya appears to have taken place in two main streams and along different routes.The migrant waves passed either to the east of the lake by way of Mounts Kulal and Nyiru, the Angata Mbarta plains and Suguta valley or to the west on the line of the Moroto Nepak (Kamalinga) and Kadem (Debasien) massifs. The Maasai section began their migration after the main proto-Kalenjin migration and either pressed upon some of the latter in a southerly or south-easterly direction or passed to the east of the south-easterly direction or passed to the east of areas under proto-Kalenjin occupation. Before the Plain Nilotes immigrants arrived in the Lake Turkana area and beyond, the Bantu peoples had already spread into many areas of Kenya. Professor Mwanzi writing on Bantu settlement during this era has stated thus: Bantu speakers came into East Africa from a northerly direction. And their first major settlement was the lake region and the two highlands to the east of it, such as Kipsigis country, before some of them crossed the Rift Valley into the central Eastern Highlands of Kenya. It is suggested that the people known as Sirikwa may belong to this early group of Bantu speakers who came to the area before or during the 17th century. The Highland and Plain Nilotes consist of the various Kalenjin and Maasai tribes. The Tatoga cluster in Tanzania either fell within the Kalenjin division, or are descended from Nilotes who left the cradleland before the proto-Kalenjin migration. At the present time, the southern group occupies a stretch of country from beyond Lake Eyasi in the south to the Karamoja-Turkana plains in the north. As has been seen, the Lake Victoria area and the Mount Elgon area had been settled, sparsely as it may have been, by some Bantu people who may have included the Sirikwa. J.E.G Sutton in the book Becoming Maasai has written: Before the era of the Maasai ascendancy, the Sirikwa way of life had been dominant in the western highlands region for several centuries. At its greatest extent, the Sirikwa territory covered the highlands from the Chepalungu and Mau forests northwards as far as the Cherangany Hills and Mount Elgon. . . . There was also a south eastern projection, at least in the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


early period, into the elevated Rift valley grasslands of Nakuru. . . . Thus the areas of Sirikwa and Maasai occupation were not conterminous and it was only this outlying south-eastern area that was taken over permanently by the Maasai,probably not later than the seventeenth century. Here Kalenjin place names seem to have been superseded in the main by Maasai names. It is apparent that when the proto-Kalenjin southern group arrived in Mount Elgon area they found the Sirikwa and the Ogiek in the area and they freely mingled with them. A.T. Matson has written thus: The Kalenjin contingents concentrated in the country bounded in the west by Mount Elgon and on the east by the Suk and Chelangani Hills. It is debatable whether the first settlements were made on Elgon or the eastern hills, but it seems there was a considerable amount of wandering within the concentration area before some of the sections settled permanently, and others moved away to their present locations. The point being made here it seems is that the country into which the proto-Kalenjin settled was Sirikwa country, and the Sirikwa appear to have been a Bantu people practising agriculture and pastoralism simultaneously; and it appears that the proto-Kalenjin and the Sirikwa merged and became one people. J.E.G. Sutton has written as follows: The main body of Sirikwa, however, remained in the western highlands where they reculturated to form the new Kalenjin communities all around the Uasin Gishu plateau and further south. This is, in the first place, no more than a simple geographical deduction; but it receives strong support from the Kalenjin traditions and the strength of memory of the Sirikwa there. Moreover any alternative historical reconstruction has to face the virtually insuperable problem of explaining where the Kalenjin come from. It is an undisputed fact that the Ogiek (Dorobo) people occupied the Kenya highlands particularly the forested areas prior to the present-day Kalenjin and Maasai. They are referred to as `Southern kalenjin'. R.H. Blackburn writing on Ogiek history has stated: All people who call themselves Okiek speak a Kalenjin-related dialect as their domestic language. All of these people also speak the language of their most prominent non-kalenjin neighbours, in most cases the Maasai. Most Okiek local groups also live near one of the principal Kalenjin tribes such as Kipsigis, Nandi,Tugen or Marakwet, and their Kalenjin dialect usually, but not always, will tend to be more similar to that of the neighbouring tribe than to any other. This proximity and similarity in dialect has prompted some Okiek and other tribes to speak of such and such a local group as Okiek of Kipsigis or Nandi etc. It is apparent from the above that the Ogiek have been actively involved in the evolution of the proto-kalenjin into the present-day communities we know and this role has been played down. G.W Huntingford who has studied the antiquity of the Ogiek has written: The Dorobo are the nearest approach to aboriginal inhabitants to be found in east Africa and though their languages and many of their customs are Nandi, they are not akin to them.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The proto-Kalenjin settlement in Mount Elgon area is acknowledged by Professor B.A Ogot who has written: The second big group of the Luhyia people arrived at the beginning of the 18th century. They came overland and settled in what is today's Elgon Nyanza. The best representative of this group are the Vukusu, who were preceded in the country around Mt. Elgon by Nilo-Hamites as is evident from place names such as Kakamega, Kaimosi, Bungoma, Elgon etc which are Kalenjin. But by the 18th Century the Nilo-Hamites remnants were driven to the slopes of Mt. Elgon by the more powerful and numerous Bantu groups. As has already been seen, the proto-Kalenjin wandered around the areas of mount Elgon before they settled. Huntingford and Hobley seem to agree that when the Kalenjin were living on mount Kamalinga near Mount Elgon, they were already one united community. It would appear that the Pokot could have left the main group, even before the Kalenjin had fully settled at Mount Elgon. It is also debatable whether the first settlements were made on mount Elgon or the eastern hills, but it seems that considerable wandering within the concentration area took place before some of the sections settled permanently, while others moved away to their present locations. It is during this sojourn around Mount Elgon when the previously nomadic pastoralists modified their way of life in order to meet the requirements of a more settled mode of existence. All Kalenjin section's traditions agree that at this time, they were members of one group though divided into sections, which is supported by the marked similarity of the language and culture among the sub-groups despite long separation. P.A Abuso writing on Kalenjin during those early times has stated thus: The proto-Kalenjin speaking communities who were the descendants of the pre-Kalenjin groups probably dominated the Uasin Gishu plains and largely operated only on the periphery of the Nyanza complex ethnic situations. By about A.D 1800 proto-Kalenjin groups had already probably divided into various branches; Elgon, Pokot, Nandian, and south Kalenjin (Ogiek). Professor G.S. Were writing on the Abaluhyia neighbours of the Kalenjin stated thus: Some years later the community emigrated and settled on Mount Elgon where after some time, a second dispersal took place. It was as a result of this second dispersal that the present communities of the Kalenjin clusters came into existence. Thus Kipsigis, Tugen, Pokot (Suk), Marakwet and Elgeyo communities. Those who stayed behind on Mount Elgon later became the present Kony, Bongomek, Bok/Pok and the Sebei people of that district. A branch of the Elgon group, the Terik who presumably hived off from the Bongomek, seems to have migrated southwards a little later, in search of water and grazing, and to have eventually settled in Asembo in the Central Nyanza district of western Kenya about eight to ten generations ago, c. 1652-1733. there they mingled with the Bantu ancestors of some of the Abatirichi to form the nucleus of the Abatirichi sub-tribe of the Abaluyia. SUB-TRIBES Kipsigis The Kipsigis live in three districts namely: Kericho, Bureti and Bomet. The area lies between longitude 35002 and 35040 East and also beween the equator and latitude 1061 South. The area

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


shares common borders with Uas Nkishu (N), Baringo (NE), Nandi (NW), Transmara/Narok (S and SE) and Nakuru in the Rift Valley province; Kisumu (W) South Nyanza and Kisii (SW) in Nyanza province. The Kipsigis country lies along the South Western edge of Kenya Highlands forming a hilly shelf between the Mau escarpment and the lowlands of Nyanza. The altitude varies from over 2700 metres in the Southern Bomet area and about 1500 metres in the West bordering Kisumu District. There is good distribution of rainfall throughout the year in the area. The second Kalenjin sections to migrate from Mount Elgon concentration areas to their present locations in the Rift Valley after the Pokot were the Nandi and Kipsigis. They migrated through two major routes, with one heading to the east and the other to the west. The western contingents passed through the uninhabited North Nyanza forest to the Maseno Hills and then to the northern areas of the Winam Gulf where they settled around the Komoin salt lick. The main group left the Gulf area and ascended the Kakamega escarpment from where the section of this group that eventually became the Nyang'ori (Terik) travelled further north, accompanied by the founders of the Nandi pororosiek of kapsile and Kabianga. The sections that later became the Nandi and Kipsigis returned to the plains in the area of Njoinywai. The ancestors of the Nandi climbed the escarpment to settle at Chemngal and Chebilat. These settlements were established by an Elgony (Kony) named kakipoch after whom the oldest Nandi Pororiet (location) is eponymously named. Part of the section went south from the Njoinywai settlement and became part of the ancestors of the Lumbwa, now known as Kipsigis. The proto-Nandi-Kipsigis eastern contingents passed down the Kerio Valley, wandered about between Kamasia Hill and Lake Baringo, and as far east as Rumuruti, before establishing settlements in the uninhabited Rift Valley grazing plains around Lake Nakuru (Nakuso as the area was then known before Europeans came). Here they later were impinged upon by the Sigilai Maasai who drove the Kalenjin back to the Kamasia hills and Keiyo/Marakwet country. A.T. Matson on this has written: After recruiting their forces, the Kalenjin returned to the Rift Valley and either drove the Loosekelai to the east, or pushed through them towards Mau in the Molo Londiani area. Here the immigrants split up. The main body moved south into Lumbwa, while the remainder turned west and joined their kinsmen at Chebilat. It is not certain whether the eastern immigrants left the concentrated area before or after their western colleagues, but traditions agree that when the former reached their destinations after a long and extensive wandering, they found other Kalenjin groups already settled in Nandi and Lumbwa. Most of the ensuing migration waves followed the westerly route, where there was no opposition to be feared, rather than eastern which necessisated crossing Maasai occupied country in the Rift and Nyando valley. From the above, it can be postulated that the first occupants of Nandi and Kipsigis land were the same people who also initially migrated together by the western and the eastern routes. They remained friendly all the time and did not raid each other as both communities considered themselves to be blood brothers. As will be seen in the historical narrative, Kipsigis community is an amalgam of people from many other communities and Dr.Toweett conceded to this when he wrote:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


These people now call themselves Kipsigis. They are in no way a hundred per cent Kipsigis. As a tribe the Kipsigis is not a pure blood. The designation "Kipsikis or Kipsigis" includes persons of foreign extraction such as the Terik, the Nandi, the Keiyo, the Maasai, the Dorobo, the Tugen (Kamasia) and the Kisii. If the Kipsigis divided themselves into these tribal units there would be no one else to be called a Kipsigis. Some sub-sibs who cannot trace their history say that they are the real Kipsigis. What they say is disproved by more and thorough study of their ancestors' descent. Interaction of the Kipsigis with the Ogiek (Dorobo) At first the Kipsigis lived at the foot of the Nandi hill close to their "blood" brothers the Nandi at Kedowa, Fort-Ternan (Chilchila) Kibigori and Muhoroni, concentrating in the southern parts of these places and also in Tulwap and Binyiny. They then moved to the Chemosit river and as far as Tegat near the present Kericho town. All the country around Mau hills is known to the Kipsigis as Tegat (Bamboo) because it had thick bamboo forest. The Kipsigis lived in Tegat for many years and there they interacted with the Ogiek. Dr. Toweett on this has written: Intermarriage took place between the Kipsigis and the Ndorobo people. Among the Kipsigis of today are people who claim that they descended from the Dorobo. Some Kipsigis sub-sibs (ortinwek) such as the Kipcheromek, Kipsamaek and a few others are of the Akyek (Dorobo) origin. During any Kipsigis circumcision hibernation, initiated boys and girls include a good deal of information in their ceremonial songs which shows that some Kipsigis people came from the Dorobo. In such songs some reference is made to dogs, honey, beehives, hunting bows and arrows, which characterize the life and the mode of living of the Dorobo. Not all the Kipsigis initiates include such things in their characteristics. Others whose ancestors came from Keiyo, Terik, Nandi and others refer to Keiyo, Terik and Nandi characteristics respectively. As the Kipsigis population grew and their livestock increased, some of the people moved towards the present Kisii hills and settled where Kericho town is today and around Chagaik/Chemogonday (Chemogonde). Others moved towards Kabianga (Kapyanga) area and around Karenga where they encountered the Abagusii people. Several battles took place for many years and finally the Kipsigis were defeated and pushed back to Tegat area after all their domesticated animals had been seized. It is said that this is the time they really admixed with the Dorobo. Dr. Toweett has described this period as follows: So it happened that during the age-set of Chuma and Sawe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, i.e. about 300 years ago, the Kipsigis decided to quit the bamboo country. They moved to those parts around Kimulot, Jamji, Chemosit and Chemosot. Because of the presence of the Kisii they could not move further southward or westward. The Kisii then were living around Roret, Kabianga, Liteiin and Chemoiben (near Boito). Ng'oina was the centre of the Kisii people. As soon as the Kisii realized that the Kipsigis were nearby they began attacking them. But the Kipsigis were determined to beat the Kisii. The consequences of this attack was a complete defeat of the Kisii at the `famous' battle of Chemoiben. The Abagusii were tricked to chase a decoy company of about 100 warriors sent to lure them into an ambush by pretending that they intended to attack a Gusii village. They then ran away when they were confronted by Abagusii warriors who made the mistake of chasing them too far away into the ambush where they were attacked fiercely from all sides, nearly all of them getting

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


killed. It is said that the Chemororoch river became red with Abagusii blood for two days and that nobody used its water for about four days after. The Abagusii could not fight any more that day and the remaining Abagusii women and children, old men and their livestock fled, some going to sotik side while the others fled in the Ng'oina direction on learning of the massacre at chemororoch. The Kipsigis did not go to plunder the Abagusii on that day as they were involved in preparations for an attack on Abagusii remnants. When they went on their mission, they only found hurriedly deserted homesteads with all their domestic furniture and utensils, meat in cooking pots on the firestones and beer in containers which they drank. The Abagusii had left in a panic and the Kipsigis easily began to colonise Bureti. The Kipsigis and the Abagusii fought many battles including those of Mabasi, Ng'oina, tiriitap, Moita, Kibongwa, Chelemei, Kipsabanut, Benjo and Mogori. Before the battle of Mogori, the Kipsigis had killed the Abagusii people mercilessly. They had burned and devastated most of the Abagusii villages. Maasai women had lost their feet and hands when Kipsigis warriors cut off their hands and feet to remove ornaments such as bracelets, etc, leaving them to be eaten by wild beasts alive. The Kipsigis themselves believe their warriors' acts of malevolence and cruelty must have moved God to pity their Abagusii adversaries and hence made them vulnerable to Abagusii warriors. The Laibon, as was usual, is said to have advised the Kipsigis warriors against going to Mogori. However, every able-bodied man including visitors from Nandi and uncircumcised boys went to Mogori many with ropes which they intended to use for tethering cattle, sheep and goats from the Abagusii. Some people came from Sotik, a few from Belgut, but the majority came from Bureti where the army assembled from before marching to Mogori. On arriving at Mogori the army was divided into two sections with one attacking the Abagusii and the other the Luo. They captured livestock from both peoples and left for home but when the two Kipsigis fighting sections rejoined on the return journey, they decided not to go home at night. Some warrior commanders like Chepseng'eny Kaparok of Bureti pleaded with the army to go home even though it was at night while others like Mbale of Sotik, a Kisii by birth, said that it was very cowardly to run home with cattle by night. He is reported to have said, "We are not going to flee with other people's cattle at night when they are not present to witness how we are taking their cattle away like men and not like thieves. We must wait until tomorrow." Mbale persuaded the whole army to spend the night in the valley of Mogori. The Abagusii who had combined forces with the Abatende and the Luo arrived at about midnight and at once the fighting began and lasted throughout the night. When the sun rose, the Kipsigis began to fall like cut trees. T. Toweett has written: The Kipsigis say that there had never occurred another massacre like the Mogori one. The Bureti males were almost wiped out. However, a few people managed to escape from this massacre. One of the few who escaped was Cheseng'eny Kaporok, then senior warrior commander in Bureti. It was him who was to prevent the Kipsigis from quitting Bureti and sotik after the Mogori incident. The Mogori massacre took place about 1900. My own uncle (father's eldest brother) was killed in the Mogori massacre at the age of about twenty years. Then my father, who is about 65 now (1975) was about 14. Had my uncle lived until today he would be nearly 70. Hence my figure of 1900 for the Mogori massacre. The name Kipsigis According to the traditions of the Kapkowelek clan of the Kipsigis, the ancestors of the clan migrated from tiriki to what is today Nandi hills. From there they moved on through Lumbwa,

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Londiani to rongai and Nakuso (Nakuru) region and then retraced their steps to Londiani where the group divided into two. One section went over to what is now Nandi while the other remained behind and settled on a hill there, which was later called Tumsigis, that is the hill of the Kipsigis. The Kapkowelek clan seems to have been an agricultural group who cultivated wimbi. They are said to have brought with them the knowledge of making porridge and brewing liquor from wimbi flour and for this reason they were alternately called Kapmusare or Kapmusarek, which means "those of porridge". They claim that they were at one time the same people as the Abalogoli of western province. The reason for leaving Tiriki is given by Kapkowelek as a quarrel over land. As to the origin of the name "kipsigis", some suggest it was a nickname. When the Kipsigis came to Tuluopsigis, they settled down and began to grow wimbi. Some of the people (Ogiek) began to make containers called Kipsigik or simply kisiet. consequently the society was nicknamed kipsigis, a corruption of Kipsigik. Another tradition is that when the Kipsigis arrived at Mau and Londiani areas they found the Sirikwa settled in the area and began to make baskets which they sold to the Sirikwa. The latter then nicknamed the former Kipsigis from kisiet. In this case the name `Kisiet' and consequently "Kipsigis" may be either of Sirikwa origin or may have come from those who are so nicknamed. Professor H. A. Mwanzi has written the following on this matter: The account of Kapkolwelek clan regarding the connection between the baskets and the name Kipsigis gives a more plausible interpretation of what may have happened. According to this, when the clan settled in Londiani area, they began to clear forests for agriculture. The forests were inhabited by Ogiek groups, especially the Kipsamaek clan. The clearance of the forest forced some members of the group to take to settled life, others to move to new areas and the rest to take basket-making which they sold to the agriculturists for food, as they had been deprived of their source of livelihood. It was the Kipsamaek who were then nicknamed Kipsigis, from `Kisiet' according to this view. Studies among the Mau groups of Ogiek have shown that they are skilled basket makers. The name Lumbwa Dr. Ludwig Krapf in his report in 1854 mentioned a people called Nandi as being neighbours of Walumbwa but did not tell of the origin of the name. G. W. Huntinford who was in the colonial administration in the area tried to do so when he wrote: The name Lumbwa was adopted by coastal traders from the Maasai il-lumbwa, a pejorative term applied to agriculturists. Hence it crept into early maps which gave it currency. It is also established that the Kipsigis used dogs (mbwa in Kiswahili) in solemn ceremonies such as the peace treaty with the British colonial representatives which took place where Lumbwa town stands today. Commissioner Fredrick Jackson wrote the following on the ceremony: That day we entered Lumbwa and the natives at once demonstrated their wish to be friends by bringing in food directly to where our camp was pitched: next day in further proof they kept clear of our lines of match throughout. Two days later at their request, we went through a form of blood brotherhood, a horrid performance as it entailed the chopping in half of two wretched puppies, little fat things unable to see, in lieu of exchanging a speck of blood, which I personally would have preferred.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

It is not clear why the Maasai did not apply the word Lumbwa to other agriculturists such as the Ag]k[y[ or Abagusii and only to the Kipsigis. The dog (mbwa) factor seems to be the origin of the name and as the Kipsigis country was along a trade route frequented by caravan traders, the Swahiliaised name Lumbwa was popularised, Maasai or Mbwa origin notwithstanding. Social and Political Organisation Clans The Kipsigis are a patriarchal society and, therefore, the father is the head of the family and the children take their father's line of descent. The whole tribe is divided into four main sections according to paternal descent which are: Kipkaige or Kipkwaige; Kasanet; Kipng'etuny and Kebeni about which Dr. T. Toweett has written: These divisions I call sibs and not clans as many people have suggested. To a Kipsigis the English word `clan' means Oret (sub-sib). The main sections or sibs are called boryosyek (singular: boryet). Every Kipsigis man or woman falls into one of these four boryosyek (sibs). Once a woman is married she automatically belongs to the boryet of her husband. Even after her death her spirit belongs to her husband's line of descent. Everyone of the four sibs has many subsections (sub-sibs) which the kipsigis call artinwek (singular oret). No one is allowed to marry within ones' boryet. Many people have gone wrong here by saying that the Kipsigis is an endogamous society, and others, likewise mistaken, have stated that among the Kipsigis exogamy is the rule. As far as boryet goes there is no rule about marriage relationship. As far as the Oret is concerned the rule is that of exogamy. As time went on each of the four sibs increased in number through natural reproduction and partly through adoption and absorption of other peoples. Since custom and habit required that people refer to families by the head of each family, and many other names of family heads came into existence, these family heads formed sub-sibs in their names and the process has continued, on which T. Toweett has written: An attempt to analyse the numerous Kipsigis sub-sibs is similar to an attempt to analyse a bucket full of sand. The most complicating factor of them all is that after every few generations these sub-sibs subdivide themselves further into smaller groups. Therefore as the tribe increases in its numerical strength the sub-sibs also increase in their number.17 People who are said to have a common agnatic ancestor are declared to be kot-ap-chi, i.e. "people of the same hut". Such people may trace their links over three or four generations to common agnatic bonds. People who have never seen each other, whom even the elders cannot link with any common ancestors, are declared to be Kot-ap-chi when they belong to the same oret or clan. Political Organisation The grouping of a number of Kokwotinek has no proper name in Kipsigis as the names Emet, Koret and sirtitiet simply mean place or country. However, one Kokwotinwek covered an area of 4 to 10 or more square kilometres. Their jurisdiction and authority is thus described by J. G. Peristiany:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

This area is ruled by the Kirugindet neo with his council of elders, and by the chief of the warriors, the Kiptayat neo nebo murenek. Its religious authority is the Poyot ab Tunda. Those three persons are attached to their territory by very stringent rules, which do not allow them to give their advice, to fight or to perform a ceremony, on behalf of any other Kokwet than those belonging to their group. The inhabitants of this group are linked together, not only by their common interest in the welfare of their group, but also by the rivalry of their warriors and of those of neighbouring groups, which organize wrestling contests against each other. Each Kokwet, as a member of the group, sends its elders as deputies to the Kapkiruok council and has, under the presidency of the Kiruogindet neo, a full share in the government of the country. As each Kokwotinek is independent of its neighbours, when matters of interest to the whole emetwinek (district) are under discussion, each group is represented by its Kiruogindet neo and his chemengesh. Nandi The Nandi-inhabited Plateua extend from Mau (the western wall of the Rift Valley) to the Nyanza Plains. The Nandi also occupy areas below the South escarpment in the middle and lower Nyando Valley and on the North Nyanza Plain at the foot of the west escarpment. The Southern and Western limits of the Nandi Plateau are well defined by granite escarpments rising steeply from the plain below. The South escarpment which towers 2,000 feet (609.6m) extends eastwards from the Southwest corner of Nandi until it merges with the Tinderet and Mau ranges. Its western counterpart rising about 1,200 feet (365.76m) above the North Nyanza Plain, stretches in an unbroken line from the Yala Valley to Broderick Falls and then continues northwards to join the Elgon Masaif 14,000 feet (4,267.2m). The Plateau normally enjoys ample and well distributed rainfall, with a wet season extending from March to October. The ancestors of the present Nandi and Kipsigis migrated from the Mount elgon concentration area through the uninhabited northern Nyanza forests north of Winam Gulf where they settled around Kamoin salt lick. The Bongomek people who were part of this migration remained on the Kavujai hills while some other groups remained at resting places on the way south-east where they were either annihilated or absorbed by Abaluyia groups. Some Kalenjin groups, however, continued their southward migration. The main body left the Winam Gulf area of lake Victoria and ascended the Kakamega escarpment where the section that eventually became the Nyang'ori (Terik) travelled farther north east, accompanied by the founders of the Nandi pororosiek of Kapsile and Kabianga. A. T Matson has written: The section that became the Nandi returned to the plains in the area round Nyoiywai, and then climbed the escarpment to settle at Chemngal and Chebilat. These settlements were established by an Elgony [Kony] named Kakipoch after whom the oldest Nandi pororiet is eponymously named. A few of the more enterprising spirits went south from the Nyoiywai settlement and formed the Lumbwa [Kipsigis].1 Another proto-Nandi contingent migrated to the east and wandered about between the Kamasia hills and Lake Baringo and as far as Rumuruti before settling around lake Nakuru. Here they later encountered the Sigilai Maasai who pushed them back to the Kamasia hills and Elgeyo. While it is not certain whether the eastern migrants left Mount Elgon area before or after the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


western migrants had left, traditions agree that after extensive wanderings, they found their colleagues settled in Nandi and Kipsigis and joined them. Other migration waves followed the western route rather than crossing Maasai occupied country in the Rift and Nyando valleys. G. W. B. Huntingford in his book titled The Nandi published in 1944 wrote: About 300 years ago, a man named Kakipoch, who belonged to the Kony, one of the tribes which remained on Elgon, settled on the top of the escarpment which runs eastwards from Kisumu above Kibos and Kibigori; he was joined by other settlers from Elgeyo, Kamasya and Kipsikis or Lumbwa, and so a new tribe was formed, the original name of which was Chemwal, "the cattle raiders". At first they clung to the broken and rocky country in the escarpment area, but as their size increased they spread northwards reaching the Kipkaren valley in the second half of the 19th century. Huntingford has suggested tentatively that Kakipoch arrived at Chebilai at about the beginning of the seventeenth century, but traditions of other tribes point to a much earlier date for the Nandi and Kipsigis migrations, as early as between 1281 and 1491. After the pioneer migrants became firmly settled, fresh immigrants from Elgon, Keiyo, Tugen and Kipsigis arrived to join Kakipoch settlers. This caused overcrowding in Chebilat area and hence the movement to the east and north and occupation of new territories. The first break away movement was by the goat-owning section who migrated into the Chesumei forest; and their cattle-owning kinsmen migrated east along the top of the escarpment. By the middle of the nineteenth century the escarpmet edge had been occupied as far east as Tinderet and the upper Nyando, where Nandi and Kipsigis converged. Some settlement had taken place north of the chesumei forest and a few groups had penetrated beyond the Kimondi into the forests on the western escarpment. After the Maasai were eventually driven off from the Uas Nkishu plateau by the Nandi, the final stage of expansion in pre-colonial days began with settlements towards Lessos and with the northerly extension of the occupied areas on the western Nandi escarpment. A.T. Matson has written: At some period as more pororosiek were formed and more territory was occupied, the Nandi became a tribe. The designation, Miot, which had originally been used by all the Kalenjin who migrated from the concentration area, was abandoned, and the Nandi became known as the Chemngal to the other Kalenjin groups who had formed themselves into autonomous tribes. On adoption of the name Nandi, G.W.B. Huntingford has written thus: About 1860 these Maasai were themselves attacked and broken up by other Maasai, and Chemwal, were freed from their occupation; but the Maasai Oloiboni (Laibon), the religious head of the tribe, took refuge with the Chemwal, and in a very short space of time established for himself the same position that he had held in his own tribe, adopting the Nandi title of Orkoiyot. About this time the Swahili traders from the coast appeared on the scene, and such was the rapacity of the Chemwal and so much did the traders suffer from them, that they spoke of them as Wanandi, "the Cormorants," this name has stack to them and they have adopted it in place of Chemwal . .

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Nandi Clans The Nandi are divided into seventeen clans, each of which has one or two totems. The names and the totems are as follows: Clan Totem 1. Kamwaike Monkey 2. Kapchemuri Frankolin cat 3. Kipaa Wild cat 4. Kipamwi Duiker 5. Kipasiso Sun, mole 6. Kipiegen Baboon 7. Kipkenda Bee; frog 8. Kipoiis Jackal, cockroach 9. Kipkoiiting snake 10. Kipkokos Buzzard 11. Kipsirgoi Bush pig 12. Kiptopke Monkey ( Cereopithecus griseo viridis) 13. Moi small bird, Elephant Crested crane 14. Sokom hawk 15. Talai Lion 16. Toiyoi Soldier ant, rain 17. Tungo Hyena

Social and Political Organisation

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Nandi as a people were conservative and insular. Their contented frame of mind, together with their exceptional tribal unity and military prowess, engendered an intense pride in being Nandi which was strengthened by their reluctance to associate with their neighbours. Language differences also created a barrier to communication although the Nandi had close affinity with the Kipsigis, Keiyo and terik. Among the other Kalenjin groups, they had least affinity with the Pokot, Endo and Marakweta whose dialects though basically similar, they had to learn. The Nandi had no centrally organised or controlled authorities such as chiefs. Orkoiyot who became the ritual head of the tribe did not exist before about 1860. The maintenance of law and order and the regulation of public life was in the hands of the elders who deliberated over and discussed issues in a series of councils, and who were obeyed because they were parents and old men and so nearer to the spirits of the dead than the others. The fundamental feature of the Nandi form of organisation was that control was exercised by local councils. Kokwet People were organised in land units, the smallest being the Koret or parish, consisting of as few as 20 homesteads or as many as 100 with a name often derived from some natural feature in the area. The administration of the Koret was done through a parish council called Kokwet which was held under a fig-tree whenever possible. Each Kokwet had a spokesman or leader, the poiyot ap Kokwet, "elder of the council", who led during deliberations. He was not formerly elected but ascended to the position by reason of his force of character, personality, intelligence, wealth and general influence. A Kokwet council dealt with murder cases, punishment of crime and compensation for private wrongs; the council also decided on actions to be taken to deal with calamities like cattle epidemics, drought, locust invasions etc. Disputes including inheritance were also brought to the Kokwet. Pororiet A Pororiet consisted of a number of Kokwet put together and formed a fighting unit under a council of parishes which formed the Pororiet. The council primarily deliberated on military matters involving the actual fighting force or regiment of young men of fighting age who went out on raids or defended the Nandi against aggression. In each Pororiet there were two elders called Kiruguogik (singular: Kiruogindet), "the advisers", who were the leaders of the Pororiet council; each council also had two fighting men who were in charge of military affairs called the Kiptaienik (singular, Kiptaiyat), "the captains". Under them, the various Kokwets were organised into small companies of warriors (sirityet) of about 20 or 50 men, led by junior officers called Kirukila (singular, Kirkit), "the bulls". These were the groups that went out to raid. Cordination plans were the responsibility of the Kiptaienik. Attached to the council were also two special representatives of the Orkoiyot called maotik, they were not themselves Orkoiik (devinerleaders) but were members of the Pororiet. One of the Maotik was chosen directly by the Orkoiyot, while the other was selected by the Pororiet. All the Maotic so chosen throughout Nandi formed a council which Orkoiyot could summon as he thought fit. The decision to fight was conveyed to the Orkoiyot by the two maotik representing each Pororiet who, accompanied by one of the elders of the pororiet council and one warrior leader took with them a pot of beer to the Orkoiyot, and asked the Orkoiyot for his sanction.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Age-sets Every Nandi male was born into an age-set, in which he remained for the whole of his life. There were seven of these sets with fixed names: Sawe, Kipkoiimet, Cheplelach, Kimnyike, Nyongi, Maina and Chuma. The sets were closely connected with circumcision, and in their operation they cut across all departments of group life, as their functions were both military and political and in addition they had considerable effect on behaviour and relations between people in the country. G.W.B. Huntingford wrote the following about these age-sets: There are, as already noted, seven sets, and at any given time one of these is that of the warriors, two are those of boys, and four are sets of old men. The warrior set is referred to as the set in power; because during its period of office it is responsible for all military operations, and has in addition certain privileges; it is in power for a period of about fifteen years, at the end of which it retires, and the set next below it, which during this period has been circumcised, takes its place as the set of warriors in power, the retiring warriors becoming elders. During the second half of the period, however, there has been an overlap, for the eldest of the newly circumcised men have taken over the more arduous duties from the older warriors in power, so that for the part of the fifteen year period there are actually two warrior sets, though only the senior of them is said to be in power. At the end of the period, when the warriors in power retire, the recently circumcised set becomes the set in power, and at the same time the set of the oldest men, who by that time are all dead, passes out of existence as an old men's set and its name is transferred to the set of the small boys, the most junior set. The sets thus work in a recurring cycle, and the names appear again and again. This is what actually happened during the last thirty years.5 The age-set system therefore provided a source of manpower of the right age for military service and also stratified the tribe into defined age categories with circumcision rites and fighting periods as the determining factors. Orkoiyot As an institution, the Orkoinotet, or participation in certain public affairs by a man whose influence was based on his magical powers, may go back no further than the middle of the nineteenth century. The institution was only found among the Nandi and Kipsigis and the latter borrowed it from the Nandi. The institution of the orkoiyot shows how an individual or group of individuals can have an influence of great magnitude on the life and history of a people. The orkoiyot institution was to influence and largely determine Nandi history in the second half of the nineteenth century. This was mainly the result of harnessing religion in its various manifestation and using it as a base for political authority. Before the Orgoiyot (diviner-leader) from the Talai clan took over, all the Nandi clans acknowledged the supernatural power of the orkoiyot from kapchemuri clan, originally from Gusii and were thus unified in that sense. Earlier orgoik did not however achieve the political eminence of those who came later, but the foundation for the unification of the country had already been laid through the universal acceptance of the authority of the Orkoiyot in Nandi country. The first orgoiik dynasty in Nandi was founded by Barsabotwo of the Talai clan who is said to have been of Loosekelai (Sigilai) Maasai origin. However, Allan Jacobs who worked among the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


pastoral group doubted this view, as he had not found any evidence among the Maasai that the first Nandi Laibon had come from there. The clan of the orkoiyot came from an agricultural people who were wrongly called the Maasai. Professor A. mwanzi on the subject of whether the Talai clan was of Maasai origin and therefore on whether or not the origin of the Orgoiyot was Maasai has written the following: It may be useful to note here that the so called Uasin Gishu Maasai appear to have been these Sigilai. Mr. Robinson who lived among them (Uas Nkishu Maasai) contended that they were not Maasai, as they practised agriculture, could not speak maasai language and were a mixture of various groups. Huntingford has put it thus: The Nandi Orgoiyot has in fact a more direct connection with agriculture rather than with cattle, for whereas he used to announce the time for planting, he performed no analogous act with regard to cattle. And though he may have been in a general way responsible for the fertility of the cattle, his public acts related only indirectly to them, like the sanction to raid, the raid being a means of acquiring cattle; and rainmaking, the result of which affected crops as well as cattle.7 Professor Mwanzi has further written thus: The immediate historical origin of the Laibons in Kipsigis was Nandi country where they are said to come from Maasai country. However, T. Toweet thinks that they ultimately came from Kikuyu country. Whatever their ultimate origin the Laibons themselves seem to have told a different story. The chief one, arap Koilegei, for example, is said to have told the Kipsigis that he came from Asis [God] and that he was his son. If it happened so, then he was clearly involking supernatural powers to legitimate his position in that country. A theocrasy was destined to reign over the country. Tugen The Tugen ancestral home is in the present Baringo and Koibatek districts in the Rift Valley Province. The original Baringo district is situated in the Rift Valley Province and it covers some 10,627 square kilometres of which 165 sq km is water surface in the forms of lakes Baringo, Bogoria and Kapnorok. Tugen country is situated between the Elgeyo escarpment to the east and Ngelesha hills to the west and the Equator touches its southern boundary. To the west lies Kerio Valley where the River Kerio flows along the Valley floor marking a natural boundary between Baringo and Keiyo and Marakwet districts. To the east the land rises sharply from 3,500 feet (1,080m) on the valley floor to peaks of over 8,000 feet (2,440m) at the Tugen hills. The hills run from north to south forming a secondary fault escarpment lying within the great Rift Valley. At the southern extreme of the Tugen hills is Lembus forest, a portion of the larger Londiani Forest reserve. The southern boundary of the original Baringo was marked by the road between Eldama Ravine (Eldama Orropir) and Kampi-ya moto. The area inhabited by the Tugen is naturally divided into three zones, namely: Mosop (the highlands), Soin (the lowland plains) and Kurget (the area between the highlands and the lowlands). The soin zone is further divided into two sub-zones. The lowland plains to the west of the Tugen Hills are called Turukwei and the lowland plains to the east are called Mogoswok.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Two rivers run across the mogoswok lowland plain which are the perkerra and the molo rivers. The molo descends into the mogoswok plains from the Mau escarpment to the south and the Perkerra springs from the Lembus forest and flows to the west of Eldama Ravine. Tugen are one of the seven main Kalenjin groups, the others being the Kipsigis, the Nandi, the Pokot, the Sabaot, the Marakwet and the Keiyo. Their home is Baringo and Koibatek districts in the Rift Valley. Some of them have migrated and settled in the neighbouring districts of Nakuru, Uas Nkishu and Laikipia. It is also important to point out that not all the inhabitants of Baringo and Koibatek are Tugen. Others include the Pokot, Kipsigis, Jemps (Chamus or Il Tiumus) and Ag]k[y[. Origin and Migration The Tugen patriclans, whose major names are the same as those of the neighbouring Keiyo, Marakwet and Nandi, came from two directions. Most of them came from Mount Elgon area where they lived with or near Kalenjin speaking Kony people. Others came from the direction of Mount Kenya (Koilegen) and a few are said to have spoken Maasai when they arrived. One clan, targok Kapter of Chebartigon, claims to be from the IL-Tiumus (Jemps) Maasai speakers. This historical data hold for certain only for the clans south of the Kabartonjo area. North of Kabartonjo there may well be clans which claim other historical origins. The southern Tugen from Lembus location have close linguistic and cultural links with the Nandi to the south and the Keiyo to the west in the Turukwei plains, while the northern Tugen are closely related to the Marakwet and the neighbouring sections of the Pokot. On this professor W. R. Ochieng has written: The Tugen, known in extant literature as the Kamasia, trace the majority of their clans to three major sources. The largest group of clans, particularly among the Arror, claim origin from Sumo, or the Mount Elgon areas. B.K. Kipkulei, who has studied them, claims that most of the groups that claim Sumo origin arrived in their present country before AD 1800. One group, the Kabortiony, first settled at Chepkurong, "where they sojourned for many generations". By the middle of the eighteenth century the Kabortiony had expanded to the Kapchepkulei area. Another migrant group from Sumo, the Kaborios, travelled to Tugen country via Tambach, settling for a while at Ngolong. They later migrated to their present home around Kabartonjo area, where they found other clans already settled in the place, which was thickly forested.1 On the meaning of the name Tugen and on Tugen migrations into the country, Daniel R Kandagor has written thus: The original meaning of the term Tugen is difficult to infer. However, the Tugen are the people who call each other chi (person) or Tugenin (person) as opposed to Bunyon (enemy). As for the origin of the Tugen, oral traditions indicate three possible areas of origin: north-west and east of their present habitation. One group came from Sumo (the area to the west between Mount Elgon and Cherangany hills). Sumo is a Kalenjin territory from which the biggest bulk of the Tugen emanated. The second and the third groups migrated from Suguta (Lake Turkana in the north) and Koilegen (the area to the east of the Tugen Hills) respectively. The second and third areas of origin brought with them a group (some were of Maasai and Turkana origins) of non-Kalenjin speaking people from northern Kenya and the highlands to the east of the Rift Valley respectively. As the Tugen moved, they encountered these communities on their way which they

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


assimilated. The people assimilated were the rejects of their own communities who sought refuge among the Tugen. On the origin and migration of the people from Suguta, Professor W.R Ochieng has written: The second group of Tugen clans trace their origin to a place known in their tradition as Suguta (or the Lake Turkana area) and of these the Kamorir and the Kabarasel clans are the most numerous. Today both clans are distributed among the Arror and Samorr Tugen. The Kamorir, in particular left Suguta before AD 1800. after sojourning in Maoi and Kabaruet for a number of generations the groups divided into two due to scarcity of pasture. One group migrated to Kabutiei in Kerio Valley near Lake Kamnarok, while another wing moved north, "along the top of the Tugen Hills", and eventually settled at ngorora, in the extreme north of Tugen country. "The Kamonir" according to Bejamin K. Kipkulei. "today form major groups in Maoi, Kabarnet, Kabutiei and Ngorora". The Kabarasel, another group which also claims origin from Suguta, left Rendille country "via Suguta" before AD 1700. A severe famine is claimed to have forced them to migrate south. Social and Political Organisation As has been seen, the Tugen came to the land they live in today as immigrants from three main directions, settled and became a reasonably homogeneous society. It is rightly accepted that inmigrative communities brought with them political and social structures they practised wherever they lived prior to migration. On this David and Bonnie Kettel have made the following observation: Ritual and legal authority was, and still is in large measure, vested in the clan elders. Furthermore, before their arrival in Tuken, the Elgon clans at least had the informal political status of Kilwokindet. This name was applied to an elder who had influence over an area containing a number of clans(such an area would be called pororiet, the area held by a single clan is called kokwet). A man emerged as a kilwokindet only after many people had come to consider him as a wise and fierce persuasive speaker in elders' councils, and as a kind and generous man.4

In Tugen society, several kapish (households) formed a homestead. A household was each wife's individual house with her children and property. A homestead was a husband's house and his wives' houses, the husband's house being the centre of the homestead. Several such homesteads formed a kokwet and several Kokwet formed a Pororiet (plural, pororiesiek). Each pororiet had a council of elders with the mandate to oversee all the political, economic and social issues affecting its area. Every individual in the pororiet lived in accordance with the society's established norms. The formal gathering of the elders had the ritual and juridical authority over the members of the Kokwet. David and Bonnie Kettel have described a kokwet thus: The internal structures of the kokwet, in the sense of people inhabiting the clan territory, comprises local kin groups which themselves have no category name. If the wives of the component local groups are excluded, the remaining members are called collectively kaporet, but agnatically related married females residing elsewhere are also members. The term for a man and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


his wife or wives is sikeek. Tugen have no term equivalent to "family", whether nuclear or extended. Pokot The Pokot people are a sub-tribe of the Mmyoot (Kalenjin) tribe who are said to have been the first to leave Tulwop Kony (Mount Elgon) cradleland for the area they now live in. They inhabit the upper Rift Valley area of western Kenya and adjacent corner of Uganda. Until 1922 the Pokot country which lay west of the Suam River was in Uganda. In that year the territorial boundary was adjusted. From 1916 the Pokot were administered from Kacheliba; but in 1932 some parts were returned to Uganda and administered from Moroto, the rest of the western Pokot in Kenya being administered from Kapenguria. This put an end to a friction which was on-going over grazing between the Pokot and the Karamojong. The eastern Pokot who had moved southwards across Kerio River, were administered from Baringo. The name Suk was first mentioned by Dr. Ludwig Krapf in 1854 in the form of Sukk. It is said that this name was given to the Pokot by Uas Nkishu Maasai from the name Chok or Chuk. On this Mervyn W.H. Beech has written: As to the origin of the tribe, evidence tends to support the native tradition, which may be taken to be substantially correct. The old men are unanimous in declaring that there always were two original suk tribes living on the Elgeyo escarpment. The names of these two tribes were chok or Chuk, which is the name for a short, sword-like implement, and seker, which means cowrie shells. Fugitives and adventurers from Sambur, Rudolf, Moiven, Karamojo and Nandi intermarried with the two original tribes, and thus the Suk nation was evolved. This tradition is supported by the fact that amongst the Suk one finds an astonishing number of types. There, every type is represented from the tall to the short, dwarf-like pigmy, with spread nose and bolting eyes. I am inclined to think that this latter type of physique characterize the original Chok and Seker. The Pokot occupy the kerio Valley as far north as Mount Laterok, and extend northwards to the Laikipia Escarpment, south of Naudu, and southwards as far as Lake Baringo, the Keiyo Escarpment from the northern boundary of the Endo and Chep-bleng as far north as Kapukogh, which is beyond river Suam or Turkwel in Uganda. They are divided into two sections, the pastoral and the agricultural. On this G.W.B. Huntingford has written: The Suk are divided into the Hill Suk, who hunt, practise agriculture with a system of channel irrigation and keep only a few cattle; and the Plain Suk, who are pastoral. The Hill Suk, who may have provided the tribal language which is spoken by both Hill and Plains people, appear to have broken off from the settlement of the Nandi [read Mmyoot] stock on Elgon and settled in the Suk hills to the East. The Plains Suk on the other hand, seem to be the people whom the Turkana tradition claims an early association within the country east of the Karamojon escarpment, and whom the Turkana after a time drove south-eastwards out of this area. This division of the suk is divided into two sections, Kasauria and Kiplekit, according to Beech, and formerly lived on the north side of the Turkwel River. They made several unsuccessful attempts to settle in the Kerio Valley, from which they were prevented by the Turkana and Sambur; and it was not till the Sambur had been defeated that they were able to maintain a footing there; and their final establishment did not take place till the Sambur had been weakened by Maasai inter-tribal wars.2

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The Hill Pokot are called pi pa pax, "corn people," and the pastoral or plains Pokot, pi pa tic, "cattle people." The Hill Pokot live in the hill country south of the Merich pass which rises to 10,520ft (about 3207.5m) at Mount Sondany and others in the less suitable area north of the Merich pass round Mount Seker 10,950ft (about 3385m). The pastoral Kasauria live in the western plains which stretch towards Uganda and the Katiati of the eastern plains who are the eastern Pokot, extend south-east to Lake Baringo. The Pokot are divided into the following sections starting with the agricultural people of the escarpment, bordering on Chebleng country and Masol: 1. The Cheptulel bordering the Chebleng or Endo who are probably the original nucleus of the Pokot. 2. The Kurut occupy Wei-Wei River area, Maerich, Bongo and Masol. They are also found among the pastoral sections, having attained cattle, as wellas in the hills. 3. The Magan occupy chachai and part of Sakerr and posses comparatively few cattle. 4. Kasauria are found in Chemerongi Hills (Tanduguit and Chemerongit), Korosi, Ribko and Masol. They are an admixer of Karamoja-Turkana and the Hill Pokot and they now speak a semiTurkana Karamoja dialect and have abandoned circumcision. 5. The Kaboheriko occupy Chemerongi Hills (Kirogoh), Chepkariat and Tirioko. They are pastoralists but do a little agriculture. 6. The Kiplegit are said to be part of the main Cheptulel and Kurut Pokot who have become stock owners. 7. The Mnage are in some fashion allied with the Kabcheriko. They are pastoralists who engage in small scale agriculture. 8. The Sekerr hail from the area between Chachai and the Turkwell Gorge at Ramai and are spread along Turkwell River and Kipkomo. They live in mountainous country and have little stock. The sub-sections living to the west of the Kerio are Masol, Cheptulel, Weiwei, Maerich, Kipkomo, Sel, Romai, Kirogoh, Tanduguit, Chemerongit, Bongo and Mnage. And to the east of the Kerio Valley are the following sections: Korossi, Kibko, Kabarma, Tirioko and Barpello. General social divisions of the Pokot population are: Karachoma _ boys; Muren _ full grown men; and Pai _ Old men. Physically, the Pokot are a tall, lean people like the other pastoralists of the "Plain Nilotes" group. Vegetation zones in Pokot country are determined by rainfall, soil and altitude. More favoured

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


areas support open forests or grass-lands while the dry plains are covered with desert scrub and thorn bush. Many pockets of thick bush are infested with tsetse flies which further limit the activities of herdsmen. The soil is generally poor and overgrazed leading to a serious problem of erosion. The mountainous nature of much of the country hampers road building. Thus the habitat of the Pokot people sharply limits both economic possibilities and contact with more advanced areas to the south. Outside influence has been restricted to Karamojong and Turkana who are not better than them in development progress. Social and Political Organisation Groups of the agricultural Pokot live in sprawling "villages" made up of fifty or more homesteads which may be anywhere from a few yards (metres) to a mile (more than a kilometre) apart. Each homestead contains a hut for the male household head and one for each of the wives and her children. Two or three adjacent villages comprise a "federation". Both villages and federations have councils of elders who attempt to mediate disputes and allocate irrigation water. J.G. Peristiany has written: I have stated that I consider the village to be the smallest territorial unit of political significance. Territorially it is a distinct unit whose limits are known not only to every member of the village but also to members of neighbouring villages. Economically, in certain contexts, it is a corporate group. Its male members join in the upkeep of the irrigation system while village men and women form distinct agricultural teams. Politically, the spatially distinct village is differentiated from all other villages, and by the unity of its judicial and status systems and their mutual interdependence. The unity of its judicial system is organically expressed by the village council of elders, and the unity of its status system by the fact that it is not possible to understand the political hierarchy of lineages unless this is seen in relation to the village in which they reside.3 The herdsmen in the plains are forced by the arid nature of the territory and the periodic outbreaks of trypanosomiasis, East Coast fever, rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, to lead a semi-nomadic existence. They have no settled villages and families move about at will, joining and leaving local concentrations of population as the head of the family may decide. Mervyn W.H. Beech has written: The pastoral Suk can hardly be said to live in houses at all. A few sticks with a little grass at the top kept down with some cow-dung serves neither as a protection against wind nor rain. The reason for this is that the Suk never stay in one spot for more than two or three months. Grass for their cattle is scarce, and they have to be continually moving about in search of fresh pasture and in the dry season, water. Such as they are, their houses are made by the women entirely. In time of rain, skin is flung over the top. Only married men possess houses at all, and they keep one house for each wife. Unmarried men sleep outside, and in the rain wrap themselves up in oxskins for the night. Within the houses there is no order; stools, calabashes, calves, kids, women, and children are all jumbled together; only in the houses of the hill tribes is there a kind of upper story or shelf, upon which is stored the grain. Children sleep with their relations, but unmarried girls have a house to themselves. Cattle occupy a central position in both the economic and social life of the Pokot and stock raids play a role in pastoral life. The pastoralists, like the farmers, have an elaborate age-set system. In former times, the age-set system formed a basis for military organisation, but now it serves

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


purely as an instrument of social cohesion. Clans and lineages seem more important for the sedentary Pokot than for the herders. Every pokot knows his lineage, clan and sub-clan. Pokot agriculture is backward with the plough only recently beginning to replace the digging stick. Millet and eleusine (finger millet) were the major traditional crops before maize was introduced and some tobacco was grown to trade with the Turkana for sheep and goats. Some areas have an irrigation system which is communally controlled and maintained. Some irrigation furrows are up to four miles (about 6 kilometres) long. The Pokot are an independent, war-like and individualistic people who show little deference to authority, indigenous or imposed. The society has strong social cohesion and effective governance to ensure order and conformity; contrary to the impression conveyed in some administrative reports, the Pokot did not live in a state of bloody anarchy before colonial government was established. Disputes were settled informally, with the disputants' friends and agemates supporting them and usually counseling moderation. Compensation was always in livestock, but corporal punishment was occasionally administered in addition. K. David Patterson in "The Pokot of Western Kenya 1910 - 1964" has written: Political power is very diffuse. Councils of elders depend on finding a consensus and have no power to enforce their decisions. All adult males are allowed to speak at public meetings (kokwas). There are a few ways that a man can attain greater influence, but this is never the power to command nor is this influence hereditary. Wealthy men and elders have enhanced prestige, as do the elders of the senior lineage in a given village ("fathers of the soil"). Men noted for wisdom and fairness may be esteemed as arbitrators (kiruokintin); successful warriors have strong influence on kokwas held to plan raids. Diviners (werkoi) may have considerable influence on political matters as a result of a string of successful prophecies, but as will be seen later, this cannot be translated into hereditary power. Although taxes were paid grudgingly to the colonial government, disputes among the Pokot were usually settled by the kokwas and not by the government sponsored courts. Parents were eager to keep their children away from the contaminating influence of teachers and preachers and prospectors for minerals were not popular either. The colonial establishment in the Pokot district never got larger than the DC, DO, one forester, one prison warden, two policemen, one school principal, two agricultural workers, and two veterinary technicians. African civil servants were usually Luo, Akamba or Ag]k[y[ and had little non-official contact with the local population. Under alien domination and cultural pressure, the Pokot sought greater unity and distinctiveness within themselves. K. David Peterson has written: The Pokot were little affected by colonial secretaries, investigating commissions, settler politics, Indian protests or the rising unrest of such African peoples as the Kikuyu and Luo. West Suk district attracted no European settlers and very few Indian or Somali traders. African nationalist leaders had little more interest in tribes like Pokot than the Pokot themselves had in the movements among the more politically aroused peoples. West Suk remained as the Pokot preferred, a backwater of empire. Marakwet

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Marakwet territory is bounded on the east by the Kerio River which lies at 3,500 feet (966 m), and runs through some parts of the Great Rift Valley. To the west the territory includes most of the Cherangany Hills, which rise to 11,000 feet (3,350 m) west of the Elgon Escarpment. The name "Marakwet" is a corruption of Markweta one of the sub-sibs which inhabit the territory including the Endo, Almo, Kiptani and Cherang'any (or Sengwer). Their territory is shaded to the east by the Tugen (Kamasia) Hills and extend to the floor of Kerio Valley which is generally dry and which, as it extends northwards, gradually becomes arid. The valley is also infested with mosquitoes and tsetse flies; and in historical times the valley provided a ready highway for potential raiders. Origins of the Marakwet By the nineteenth century, all people now known as Kalenjin (Mmyoot) lived within one hundred miles (160 kilometres) of the place that today is Eldoret town. It is not easy to give a coherent and identical account of how the less politically united Marakwet groups came to be formed and settled in the areas they live in today. On this, B.E. Kipkorir with F.B Welbourne have written: Thus while the Talai travelled east from Cherang'any, the Sogon clansmen claim to have come from the north through Turkana or Abas. The Tingo clan in present Sambirir location came from Riwo in West Pokot, traversed the Trans Nzoia, an important stopping point being Koitalel (Kitale) and on into the Kerio Valley near Tambach, then crossed the Kerio River and ascended the Tugen (Kamasia) Hills and recrossed the Kerio and settled on their present area. The Talai in North Marakwet aver that according to their traditions they came from Misoi and that an important stopping point en route was Mt. Elgon (Tulwop Kony). It was at Mt. Elgon, they further state, that they met a man who taught them the rite of circumcision and initiation. They in turn taught this rite to the Sirikwa, in the Cherangani Hills. The Sogom also in Marakwet, likewise say they came from Misiri but did not go to Mt. Elgon. Instead, as indicated earlier, they came through Turkana. The other interesting account of the Sogom relates to their acquisition of the rite of circumcision and initiation. This, they say, they learned from the Talai on arrival in present Marakwet. Of other Marakwet clans scant information is as yet available. For their safety, the Marakwet traditionally built their houses on the escarpment which rises 4,000 feet (about 1200m) to the west. The cliffs are broken by terraces and although they are steeply sloping are habitable. Limited herds of sheep and goats were kept in this area but large herds including cattle were found at such places as Kapsowar, on the higher land immediately above the escarpment. Crops were grown in the valley, which is irrigated through man-made furrows which are about three or four hundred years old. In the Cherangany area there was considerable bee-keeping. The five territorial groups, though politically distinct and each recognising no authority higher than the asiswo (the assembly of all adult males of the section), before colonisation had formed some association through their common residence along the Kerio Valley and the Cherangany Hills. Inhabiting the land from north to south along the valley are the Endo, Markweta and the Almo. In the Hills are the Borokot and Cherangany (Sengwer). The Endo in the North merge with the Pokot and the Kiptani in the south with the Keiyo. To the west of the Cherangany are the Sebei and the Kony, to the south-west, the Nandi and to the east of the Valley are the Tugen.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Social and Political Organisation Traditional Marakwet society is divided into thirteen patrilineal clans, each of which (with the exception of the sogom) is divided into two or more exogamic sections distinguished by totems. The clans are: Kabon, Moi, Kobil, Mokich, Saniak, Sogom, Sot, Syokwei, Talai, terik, Ting'o, toyoi and Tul. The clans cut across the territorial groups and many are represented also in other Kalenjin sub-groups. On the family level, the father acted as the head of each family, dealing with internal discipline, allocation of land and succession matters. In matters of wider oncern he was assisted by a Kok (gathering) of his close male agnates. Above this is a Kok of all male clansmen living in the same area. Finally, the Kokwap Asiswo, consisting of all males, of any clan living in the same territorial group. The Asiswo was in charge of judicial matters. At each point of a case the accused's evidence would be given careful consideration by the Asiswo. In a serious case, the maternal uncles (Kamama) would also be present. If they disagreed with a verdict of guilty given by Asiswo, they would accept the accused into their own houses. If they concurred, they would take the lead in executing the sentence. B.E. Kipkorir with F.B. Welbourne have written thus: In the event, for instance, of sorcery, the accused's arms and legs were bound and two strong poles tied back and front across his neck. As he lay on the ground, the maternal uncles filed solemnly, stepping on the poles and breaking the neck. They would be followed by the accused's parents, brothers, sisters, and other age-mates and finally, by all members of the Asiswo. The verdict and sentence were thus confirmed by the whole Asiswo and Kamama. The community's well-being, and the well-being of all its members depended on strict observance of a moral code laid down by tradition. There was no place for indifference, for non-conformity or for individual thinking contrary to the socially accepted code. Keiyo Keiyo District was recently hived off from the former Elgeyo Marakwet district and the neighbouring districts are: Baringo to the east, Marakwet to the north and Uas Nkishu to the west. The long narrow strip of the country stretches from Tugumoi at the southern end to Kendur in the north where it borders Marakwet. The land has varied geographical features with hills, valleys and ridges on the land surface. The Elgeyo escarpment is the major divider of the two contrasting geographical zones of the district the highlands and the valley. The areas at higher alttitude enjoy higher rainfall and has a higher potential for agriculture. The altitude drops from over 2,500m in the highlands to 1,300m on the Kerio valley floor. To the west of Kerio river is the Keiyo escarpment which is a major topographical feature. The land rises gradually from about 1,000m to above 2,700m at the summit of the escarpment, forming the highland. These areas have forest cover and ridges forming water catchment for rivers and streams which flow from there. Unlike the Marakwet highlands to the north, the Keiyo highlands are tilted towards the west, and most rivers flow westwards forming part of the Nzoia River system, that drains into Lake Victoria. The highland plateau on the top of the escarpment, locally known as Tengunin or Wareng, gradually spreads westwards to the border with Uas Nkishu district and has low temperatures, high and relatively reliable rainfall patterns and rich agricultural soils. The second feature is the thickly forested Elgeyo escarpment referred to as Tumoo, of which the high parts have cool

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


temperatures and adequate rainfall and the low parts are drier and hotter. The third ecological zone is the valley proper and the zone which divides the escarpment from the valley's marginal zone is called Mosop. the fourth zone is Korgeet bordering the valley basin and the fifth is Soin, also called Tir'ngo'ngwo or Saiwo, which is adjacent to river Kerio. Historically, the Keiyo country was divided into five zones as follows: Ten'ngunin (Wareng), Tumoo, Mosop, Korgeet, and Tir'ngo'ngwo (Soiwo or Soin). Each clan had a strip of land running from the highlands up to the Kerio River on the valley floor. In the past, the Keiyo people preferred to settle in Korgeet zone which was considered to be free from mosquitoes and tsetse flies and where rock formation provided good security and reliable water systems. The lower Kerio Valley basin was considered to have the harsh climatic conditions of a typical semi-aridarea. The highland section in the past faced threats of cattle raiding and attacks from the neighbouring Maasai and Nandi communities which inhibited settlement and in addition to this, the area was regarded as too cold and not suitable for the habitation of people and their local breeds of livestock. The name Keiyo Until recently the Keiyo people were known as Elgeiyo which was a corruption of the term Keiyo which means "for or from Keiyo land". It appears that the original corruption of the word was done by the Maasai and confirmed by the European colonial administration. The first District Commissioner of Elgeyo Marakwet A.J. Massam who was posted to the district in 1922, wrote a book about the Keiyo in 1927, referring to the Keiyo as Elgeyo or `Il Keyu' as pronounced by the Uas Nkishu Maasai, and went on to explain the corruption of the word thus: Their ancestors formed the community called Keyo the name being corrupted later to "Elgeyo" by the Swahili traders, who used the Maasai tongue for trading purposes, and probably adopted the Maasai word for "Elgeyo People", Il Keyu.1 In his book, A.J. Massam has explained who the Keiyo are thus: The Keiyo people are a sub-tribe of the Kalenjin who remained behind in the Kerio Valley when other Kalenjin groups moved from Mount Elgon to their current respective settlement areas. The origin of the Keiyo as such remains a mystery. Susan Chebet and Tom Dietz in their book Climbing The Cliff: A history of the Keiyo says the following: The origin of the Keiyo as a community is a mystery since information in oral traditions is relayed in form of story telling and songs. The Keiyo possess a strong sense of history and tradition, using their age-set cycles, adverse weather conditions and wars. However, genealogies do not go back to a time before their occupation of the present settlement, though some of the older generations vividly remember what oral traditions indicate about their origin, but they are vague on migration routes. The same writers have continued to explain as follows: Oral traditions among the Keiyo indicate that all kalenjin speaking people were dispersed at tulwop Kony (Mount Elgon) and every group migrated to its present settlement directly and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


using their current names. What is perplexing in this tradition is the lack of clarity in regard to the possible routes taken from this common dispersal point to the present settlements. The Keiyo consider the Kony, which Sutton identifies as a part of Saboat along with the Sebei, Pok and Bongomek to be the ancestral trunk of the dispersal tree. They also consider this territory to belong to their great forefathers. Social and Political Organisation Clans The nucleus of the Keiyo society is the household, got, headed by the man, and comprising his wife and children. Beyond this is and was the immediate extended family or lineage kinship, comprising of families who could trace their origin to the same father ancestor. The extended family is and was known as Oret, i.e. group of people with a common ancestry. Groups of Oret constituted sub-clans, sub-clans made up clans, Kokwet. the neigbourhood of several Kokwet was called Pororiet. the community of several Pororiosiek formed the country, Emet. The clan was a cluster of several kinship related families, which resembled a kinship group, but was much larger in size and wider in diversity. Clan origins were traced to remote founding ancestors whose remoteness meant that only clan elders remembered the genealogical details, which they would impart to the younger generations. Every clan was associated with a totem. The totem could be a particular animal, a bird, a reptile or some manifestation of nature, such as thunder or lightning, the sun or the moon. The Keiyo consisted of sixteen clans as listed below, with an indication of each clan's totem: Ringoi snake (eren); Siakwei Bee (Segemia); Legenui Baboon (Moset); Kobil wild pig (toret); Kure Quail (Taiwa); Saniak Monkey (Cheree); Sokom hawk (Chepsirere); Mooi Buffalo (Soet); Toiyoi Lightening (Ilat); Tulo Fox (Lel); Kong'oot Fire (Ma); Tungoi hyena (kimaget); Sot Sun (Asista); Terik Elephant (Balio); Talai Frog (Mororoch); Turkok Guniea fowl (Terkekeha). As clans expanded, they broke up into sub-clans which after several generations could intermarry as they had no close blood relations any more. Keiyo elders could trace the lineages of their sections and establish interconnections between different lineages and, more remotely, they could bracket together various clans which shared certain rites and obligations, representing a common origin of such clans in remote times. Those who could not trace their origin within the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


society were referred to as Punot, meaning they were not original occupants of a given area. They were, however, assimilated into the culture of a particular clan among which they settled. They adopted the name Mooi used by those who could not trace their original clan. In addition to securing suitable land for communal grazing and cultivation, water sources and salt licks for the animals, settlement was organised in villages taking into consideration the availability of security barriers like hills, forests, rivers and cliffs. The settlements were given names denoting geographical sites or clan names and were separated by ridges and rivers. Villages followed rules of etiquette, morals and law to satisfy the basic human needs of all their members and, therefore, individualism was discouraged. Most of the resources such as land, water holes and animal salt licks, were communally owned and so were forests and other natural resources. These common facilities were administered by elders on behalf of a particular clan for the benefit of everyone. The elders also had important judicial and reconciliatory functions. They adjudicated between conflicting parties and took whatever action was deemed necessary to strengthen the fabric of social and economic life of the society. The extended family system constituted a kind of "social security scheme" based on natural ties and kinship relationships, and facilitated sharing of resources for the benefit of all including the aged and the less fortunate members of the society. Also a hungry stranger or sojourner could enter into a village garden and help himself to a bunch of millet without incurring a penalty. A stranger could also walk into the nearest house and would be offered food to continue with the journey. Also, the old, the sick, children and pregnant women were given assistance by members of the society as the need arose. SABAOT From available historical records, it would appear that originally the present Kalenjin groups were one united community. Huntingford has suggested that at that time the group lived on Mount Kamalinga, about forty-five (72 kilometres) miles to the north-west of Mount elgon. Hobley also seems to support this postulation. Later the community emigrated and settled on Mount Elgon, where after some time, a second dispersal took place. It was as a result of this second dispersal that the present communities of the Kalenjin came into existence. thus those who emigrated eventually founded the present Nandi, Kipsigis, Tugen, Pokot, Marakwet and Keiyo communities. Those who stayed on Mount Elgon later became the present Kony, Bongomek, Bok (Pok) and Sebei in that area and across the border in Uganda. A branch of the Elgon group, the Terik, who presumably hived off from the Bongomek, seems to have migrated southwards a little later in search of water and grazing, and to have eventually settled in Asembo in the central Nyanza area about eight to ten generations ago (C. 1652 _ 1733). As a result of the Luo invasion, they were eventually pushed farther eastwards into their present homes where they were joined by more people from the neighbouring Abaluyia and Nandi communities. Although the territorial boundary between Kenya and Uganda has divided the Sebei with some remaining on the Kenyan side and the majority being on the Uganda side, a good deal of intermarriage and movement between the communities and territories have taken place creating psychological affinity between the Kenya and Uganda Sebei. This has been reinforced by political leaders in modern times, who formed the Sabaot Union (for people who use the greeting, supay)

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


as a pressure group. The union includes the three Sebei tribes in Uganda and those in Kenya and their sister tribes on the Kenya side of the border the Bok (Pok), the Kony and the Bongomek. Bok (Pok) The Bok (Walaku) have linguistic, cultural and historical affinities with the Kony, Sebei and Bongomek. They originally came from Sirikwa in the Elgon area and moved to Kitale where they sojourned for a time before migrating to Swam Hills which they found to be too cold, forcing them to move to Malakisi; they did, however, leave some of their people at the area of Swam Hills. Since their arrival at Malakisi, they have not migrated to any other area apart from the few who wander from place to place. Professor Gideon Were on the Bok origin from Sirikwa has written: According to the Bongomek and Bok sources, it is possible that at least some of their people originally belonged to the same group as the "Sirikwa" and that they formerly lived in Sirikwa which may be identified as the Uasin Gishu Plateau. Wars with the Nandi and the Uasin Gishu Maasai are said to have been the reason for their emigration from Sirikwa to Mount Elgon. Bok (and the sebei) were preceded in the country by the Ababukusu and the Iteso. They probably arrived about the middle of the nineteenth century. At the time when the bok arrived in the area, the Nandi and the Kipsigis had already moved out and emigrated elsewhere. The Ababukusu were living in the present south Bukusu area and the Iteso were occupying the Amukura area of south Teso. When the Bok arrived in Malakisi they found it uninhabited and only came into contact with the Ababukusu later at sirisia, on the banks of the river Ndakala. That was the time when the Iteso also moved into the same area. The Bok are related to the other Kalenjin. Professor Gideon S. Were has given the following genealogy of their tribal ancestors:1 Bok was their tribal ancestor. Suleman Kapukoto is the son of Mbito; son of Kipuchek; son of Kisambayi; son of Chesang; son of Muluke; they all died in Malikisi. The Bok fought with the Maasai in Sirikwa and Kitale after suffering from cattle raids. Further fighting took place in Malakisi between 1870 and 1880. Ever since the Bok established contact with the Ababukusu, there have always been sporadic skirmishes between the two peoples. The bok community was ruled by one man whose title was Kirubokindet. He was appointed by the community through elders on the strength of his good leadership qualities. He was neither a rain maker nor a medicine man. The functions of rain-making and war leadership were performed by the laibon. At local village or clan level, the community was directly ruled by the Natarian. The Kirubokindet wore a monkey skin cloak, a cowry head-gear and an ivory armlet (chabasiett). The office insignia were not inheritable and a new ruler had to buy his own. The old ruler could appoint his own son to succeed him although this was subject to the approval or disapproval of the tribal elders. Bongomek The Bongomek (Abangoma) are a branch of the Kalenjin-speaking people related to the Kony, Bok and the Sebei. The Bongomek Kalenjin dialect is called Kibongom (Olungoma by the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Abaluyia). According to their traditions, they originally came from Misiri which was also the country of origin of some of the Abaluyia. The Ababukusu who also have a tradition of Misiri origin lived in Sirikwa with the Bongomek before the latter migrated to the Mount Elgon area. Bongomek preferred the hilly areas where they kept on moving from hill settlement to hill settlement, making a round of the hills. This way they built settlements on the Kiribot hill, Broderick (Webuye) falls, and the Kabuchayi (Kagtai) hill. From here Bongomek staged another dispersal to the neighbouring hills including Amukura (Ebwayi). It was when they were staying at Amukura that the Bongomek first encountered the Ababukusu who were then moving in from the Uganda area. The Ababukusu and the Bongomek lived in peace and harmony although they sporadically raided each other for cattle, but this never resulted in any serious fighting. On the other hand, the two communities were frequently raided by the Uas Nkishu Maasai in the fight against whom they usually united. Professor Gideon S. Were has given the genealogy of the Bongomek thus: Arap Kubong'oma was the ancestor of the Bongomek. Makaya Kituyi is the son of Makhaso; Son of Kimusoare; son of Kipkemeyi; son of Kipsengwer. Bongomek say the only war they ever fought was with the Iteso when they invaded Bongomek country. The Bongomek ruler was known as Mogoriondet and was appointed by the elders on the basis of prowess in conducting war and other leadership qualities. Before installation as the people's leader, he was called Laitirian or war leader. Their medicine-man was called Laibon or Warikoandet. The ruler wore a goat-skin cloak (sumbet), a wild animal's skin head-dress, a cowry shell and ivory arm-band. The office regalia were heritable. If the ruler died without a son to succeed him, the elders appointed a successor from a different family. In that case the new ruler got a new set of insignia. The Nyang'ori hived off from the Bongomek and migrated to their present territory. Kony The origin of the Kony (Il Kony/ El Gonyi) is closely associated with the people vaguely known as the Sirikwa. It is, however, agreed that they belong to the Kalenjin cluster of peoples with whom they share a common language and past history. According to their account, their country extended from Mount Elgon and the adjoining western territory across the Uganda border to Kapenguria and Kitale in Western Kenya. Professor Gideon S. Were on this has written: Probably this apparent contradiction is to be explained by the fact that the incoming Kalenjin settlers mingled with an earlier stock in the district (such as the Dorobo or the Sirikwa) and also with the Uasin Gishu Maasai and even grazed together. They would appear to have lived in their present country for twelve generations or more and to have preceded the Babukusu in the area.3 The Kony insist that they originated from Mount Elgon and that they have always lived there. They claim that their ancestors were Kingo and his wife tamunae who had five children: Kipsabiny, Kongin, Kibok, Kipsengwer and Kibongoin. Everyone of the five sons later became the founder of each of the five clans of the Kony. Professor gideon Were has given the genealogy of the Kony descendant as follows:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Ex-chief Tendet is the son of Kisa; son of cheptek; both of them died here (Mount Elgon). Cheptek was the son of Kipsambo who died at Kitale; son of Kitaria; son of Kiptapeita; both of them died here; Kiptapeita was the son of Sangut who died at Kitale. Keton is the son of Jamet; son of Kiboi; both of them died here. Kiboi was the son of Kiblai who died on the border between Trans Nzoia and Elgon; son of chesang' who died here; son of Mukulia who died on the borderland between Trans-Nzoia and Elgon; son of Cherike who died here; son of Kipsimbi who died in Malikisi; son of Kipsimbi who died in Malikisi; son of Cherike who died here; son of Kibit who died at Kitale. Kwirio is the son of Sikirio, son of Labeo, they both died here; son of Pemkoin who died near Kitale in Trans-nzoia; son of Kiptas, son of Chemuga, who also died in Trans-nzoia; son of Surui, son of Kamirut, son of Kaptetake, who died in Kimilili; son of simolo who died in Malikisi; son of Chebongen who died at Kapsokwony; son of Kabonet who died in Kimilili.4 The Kony have always belonged to the Kalenjin groups dispersed from Mount Elgon and it is claimed that Kingo was their ancestor. They are related to the Bongomek, Bok, Sebei, Ogiek and Uas Nkishu Maasai. The Kony fought wars with the Uas Nkishu Maasai in the Trans-Nzoia area at the time when Kony settlements extended as far as Kitale while the Uas Nkishu Maasai were living at Sirigoi near Eldoret. They fought at Kitale with the Karamojong who used to come from Uganda to raid their cattle. They fought with the Ababukusu at Nanafwa, near Mbale, in south Bugishu when the Ababukusu were still living across the border in Uganda. They also fought with them at Khungachi in Malakisi after the Ababukusu had settled in the area. The fighting in all cases was on account of raiding for cattle or defending against such raids. The Kony were the first people to settle in the Mount Elgon (Masop) area which they found unihabited; they have always been there and the Bok, Bongomek and the Sebei have always been with them. The Kony system of government was similar to that of the Bongomek and the Bok. Sebei Modern Sebei consist of three formerly independent but closely inter-related tribes living on the northern and north-western slopes of Mount Elgon and on the plains below in eastern Uganda. Etymologically, Sebei (sabei, sapei) is a corruption of Sapin, the name of one of the tribes. The other two tribes are the Mbai and the Sor. Walter Goldschmidt writing on the Uganda Sebei has stated: Their territory was curtailed by the drawing of the Kenya-Uganda border, for Sapin formerly extended into modern Kenya on the eastern side of the mountain and into the Uasin-Gishu Plateau. In language and culture, the Sebei are closely affiliated to the people on the southern slopes of Elgon; indeed modern politics largely severed these close ties, though a good deal of intermarriage and movement between the territories and some psychological identity remain.5 Writing in a History of the Abaluyia, Professor Gideon Were corroborated walter Goldschmidt's finding that the Sebei territory extended into modern Kenya on the eastern side of the mountain and into the Uas Nkishu Plateau thus:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


These accounts are partly supported by Roscoe according to whom the Sebei kinsmen of the Bok originally came from the plains to the east of Mount Elgon. They would further appear to be in general agreement with the researches of Weatherby according to which the Sirikwa immigrated from a place in the neighbourhood of the Uasin Gishu Plateau to Mount Elgon whence some of them trekked south-wards into Bugishu and Bugwere, where they arrived in the middle of the nineteenth century. Weatherby further suggests that another branch of the sirikwa was driven from the dispersal area by the Maasai to the neighbourhood of Broderick falls and Kabras in the Buluyia country. The Maasai attack probably occurred in 1819. Walter Goldschmidt on the history of the Sebei has written: When Sebei are asked about their origins, either they have nothing to say or they take the mythic view that they are descendants of Masop the mountain personified as the son of the first being. The myth is a simple genealogical charter, expressing the relationship among the several Kalenjin tribes, and the closer one among tribes within the sabaot group, all descended from a personified representation of Mount elgon, Musobo, the son of the original prophet Kingo. I have grave doubts that this is an old myth; no old man ever told it to me, despite frequent inquiries, but I heard it in political speeches and was told parts of it by younger, politically oriented men. It is also current among the Kony . . . PLAIN NILOTES Maasai (Il-Maasai) The description of the Maasai people given by Professor William Robert Ochieng is flowery and captivating. He has written the following: The East African Maasai, as B.K. Ole Kantai has aptly put it elsewhere, have long remained the ideal mental conceptualization of the Western European idea of an African noble savage. "Tall, elegant, handsome, and walking with a gently spring of the heel, seemingly proud and in different to all but the most necessary external influences." Writes Ben Kantai, "they have become major trophies of the tourist's camera." Yet no scholar, as far as I know, has meaningfully researched into their history although the Maasai are probably one of the most famous and most written about people in East Africa. Their pre-colonial history is still shrouded in myth and the cloud over it has yet to be lifted. Maasai are Southern Plain Nilotes who by the middle of the first millennium A.D. had established themselves in the plains around Lake Turkana stretching from Samburu country in the east, to Karamojong plains in eastern Uganda. From Kieru (their name for their northern plains homeland) they migrated and established themselves, for sometime, along the northern parts of the Kenya Highlands where they came across the Kalenjin and other people in the highland particularly the Sirikwa who are said to have been pastoralists practising little agriculture. The Maasai from an early period were divided into the primarily semi pastoral people, the Iloikop (or Kuavi) and the "purely" pastoral groups, the Ilmaasai (or Maasai "proper"), both who are further sub-divided into sections or "potentially autonomous tribes." While Maasai have no clear answer as to when this separation took place, it is thought in their traditions that the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


division occurred sometimes after they had entered the Kenya Highlands. Professor Ochieng on this has written: This view would fit in with the Ilmaasai traditions which associate some of the Iloikop with the Sirikwa, Dorobo and Seker. When they encountered these people, and other pre-Maasai settlers in the Highlands like the Kalenjin, the Maasai are said to have "nationalized" some of them "in the sense of absorbing quite a number of them into the mainstream of Maasai community." Some of the groups that were "nationalized" are thought to have formed the backbone of the Iloikop Maasai. Today the Iloikop [Il-Aikipiak or Kuavi] are represented by the Ilarusa (or Wa-Arusha) in northern Tanzania, the Ilsampur (or Samburu) of northern Kenya, the Ilwuasin-Kishu of Narok District, the Laikipiak, the Iltiamus (or Njemps) and the Ilbaraguyu (sometimes known as the Baraguyu).2 The Ilmaasai (or Maasai "proper") are today represented by the Ilpurko, the Iloitai, the Ildamat and Ilmoitanik of Narok District, the Ilkaputiei, the Iloodo-Kelani and the Ilmatapato of Kajiado District, as well as those pastoral Maasai who are today split between Kenya and Tanzania, including the Ilkisonko who live around Kilimanjaro, and the Ilsikirai. By the first half of the eighteenth century the Maasai were already firmly established in large areas of the Rift Valley, the Trans-Nzoia and the Uas Nkishu plateau. However, they did not form a regular territorial state since they were nomadic pastoralists who wondered all over the Rift Valley in search of pasture. G.W.B. Huntingford has written: At the height of their power in the middle of the 19th century the Maasai occupied a stretch of country which covered some 500 miles from north to south and at its widest, 150 miles from east to west. The northern limit was approximately Lake Sukuta (now mud flats), 20 miles south of Lake Rudolf [Turkana]; the southern, Lenjoge, near Kiteto, some 50 miles south of Kibaya in Tanganyika. The most northerly Maasai were (and still are) the Sambur, who in 1888 extended more than 120 miles northwards towards Lake Stefanie. This vast country, with an area amounting to some 80,000 square miles, now reduced to one-half its original size, has great varieties of altitude, climate, rainfall, and vegetation.3 The Maasai presence was felt far and wide, from the shores of Lake Victoria in the west to the shores of the Indian Ocean where they raided the Wakamba, Wataita, Wadigo and Wagiriama territories. G.W.B. Huntingford has written: Maasai warriors raided to all points of the compass. They would traverse three hundred miles and think nothing of it. Catching the unwary they would surge foreward in a rush, themselves protected by solid phalanx of buffalo-hides shields, with two lines of ostrich plumes waving aloft they would sling their rhinocerous-horn clubs, hurl their broadbladed spears, and vent their spleen upon all within reach. Then having rustled all the available cattle they would be gone, as quickly as they had come, leaving naught but a trail of terror behind. They probed westwards to Kuria country on the shores of Lake Victoria: swept north against the Kony and Sebei of Mount Elgon, fought the Borana and Rendille, cut across Tana, probed south around Mount Kenya against the Meru and Tharaka, then belaboured Kilimanjaro. The Maasai people came from the south eastern Sudan probably during the first half of the first millennium A.D. when the Proto-Ongamo-Maa emerged from the breakup of the Proto-lotuko-

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Maa (groups of languages now spoken largerly in northern east Africa). Their southward movement following a route between the Dodos escarpment in the west and lake Turkana in the east appear to have brought them to the plains between the Nyandarua range and Mount Kilimanjaro. Ehret (1971:53:) has writen: A proto-Maasai (i.e. Ongamo-Maa) homeland between the Nyandarua Range and Kilimanjaro would allow neatly for the possibility of Ongamo expansion around Kilimanjaro north and south along the plains of the neighbouring rift-valley region. Early widespread Maasaian settlement in the area is required in any case by the strong Maasaian loanword strata in Chagga, Gweno, Taita, and Kikuyu Bantu languages spoken all about the area today . . . As the immigrants spread southwards down the Rift Valley into central Kenya, a division between northern and southern dialects took place as different groups split off from the main body and settled separately. By the end of the sixteenth century, the Samburu and the Chamus (Njemps) who are known as the northern Maasai split from the Maa nucleus and Samburu subsequently expanded north and east of the Cherengany hills while the Chamus inhabited the shores of Lake Baringo (Vossen, 1877: 214, 1982: 74). The Samburu and their Rendille allies were forced to move from the areas west of Lake Turkana by the Loosekelai Maasai and the Turkana to El Barta plains and the region north of Leroghi where they are reported to have dislodged the Boran to settle (Anderson, 1981: 5. Sobania: 1980, 1982-1983, 1988-1989). The Laikipia group consisting of closely associated people such as the Samburu, Il Kinopop, Uas Nkishu, Loosekelai and Kabenabisi were the next third group to separate from the nucleus and settle on the Laikipia Plateau. The fourth and the largest divergence from the Maa nucleus was that of Loogolala who inhabited much of the southern Rift Valley and the surrounding plateaus from the seventeenth century (Forsbrooke, 1984: 1945). It would appear that this group of Loogolala included: Lumbwa, Parakuyo and Enkan Lema, the latter associated with the area just north of Kilimanjaro and near moshi (Krapf 1854 _ 1855). Maasai Groups and the Social Mores The Maasai are divided into about twenty-two autonomous political sections spread over Kenya and Tanzania. The groups in Kenya are Purko, Chamus (Jemps), Dalalekutu, Kaputiei, Damat, Loitayiok, Keekonyokie, matapato, Loita (L-oitai), Moitanik, Loitokitok (L-aitokitok), Samburu (Sambur), Kilani (L-Oodokilani), Sikirani (Ngong) and Sikirani (Loitokitok), Siria and the Uas Nkishu (Wuasinkishu). In Tanzania are the Arusha (L-Arusha), Purko, Serenget, Kisongo (Kinsonko) and Parakuyo. The four major Maasai groups are Purko, Kaputiei, Kisongo and Loitai. The Kisongo were the first to emerge from the Maasai core and they migrated to the areas west of Mount Meru in Tanzania. Next to emerge were the Purko who spread in the areas of Lake Elementeita, Nakuru (Nakuso) Lake Basin and the adjacent Rift Valley escarpment. By AD 1800, Maasai were firmly established in the plains and grasslands stretching from the area south of Lake Turkana to the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Maasai were called Maasai after their particular speech, Maa, one of the languages in the East Nilotic group of languages which emerged from the break-up of the Proto-Lotuko-Maa about or before the time they entered Kenya in an area which became the point of Ongamo-Maa dispersal. Maasai Wars In the southern Maasailand, the Kisongo displaced loogolala during the nineteenth century in a series of wars. Early in the century, the Kisongo took the Lake Manyara region from Tatogaspeaking people and subsequently occupied Engaruka and the ngorongoro crater region. During the age-set of Le Kidotu, the Kisongo seized the wells and swamps of Naberera and Losogoni from the Parakuyo (Baraguyu). In the age of Le Twati age-group, they occupied the right bank of the Pangani River and took over Talami and Kiteta in the south by 1880. Some Parakuyo were absorbed by the Kisongo or driven into adjacent districts from where they have multiplied in the last century, some immigrating during the last three decades to southern Tanzania and over the border into Zambia which is today the southern frontier of Maa speakers. About the Kenya side Johng Galaty has written: In the north, there were `three successive supremacies' in the nineteenth century; Uas Nkishu, Laikipiak and Purko (Weatherby, 1967:133). Uas Nkishu dominated the region west of the Rift Valley before 1840, when they were attacked and defeated by the Laikipiak, perhaps as part of a wider conflict between Loosekelai, with whom they were aligned, and Laikipiak (Sobania, 1980:82). Loosekelai were then defeated and dispersed by a Purko alliance (Jacob's, 1965:68). Finally, just before 1870, the Purko, in alliance with the Laikipiak, invaded the Uasin Gishu plateau, leaving in Thomson's words, `not a man in the entire land' (Thomson, 1885:233). Some Uas Nkishu refugees were absorbed by the Purko while others settled among the Nandi, the Chamus or the Luyia, whom they served as mercenaries. They were later moved to Eldama Ravine by the British Colonial Government and then to the Trans-Mara where they and their kinsmen, the Moitanik, now live in uneasy proximity to the Siria (Waller, 1984).6 The alliance of the Kaputiei, Matapato and Loodokilani forged during their southeastern expansion assimilated many Loogolala (especially Kaputiei), other Loogolala fled southwards to regroup with the Parakuyo. While the Kaputiei seized control of the Athi River and its plains, the Matapato and Loodokilani drove Loogolala out of areas south of the Kapiti plains, and the Loitokitok Maasai, a sub-section of Kisongo, replaced the Loogolala in Amboseli. Dr. Krapf was informed that Enkang Lema, a sub-section of Loogolala, were nearly annihilated by "the wild Maasai" (Matapato and Loodokilani) and had fled to Taveta and to Pangani River to join Barraguyu (Parakuyo).

G]k[y[ Factor in Maasai History The dynamics of identity formation and change among neighbouring communities depend on how the boundaries between these communities were first drawn, maintained, adjusted or even dissolved. Both the Maasai and the Ag]k[y[ were expanding during the nineteenth century in ways that were complementary rather than competitive. The Maasai sections involved were those whose patterns of movement took them closer to G]k[y[land the Kaputiei and Keekonyokie in

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


the south and the Purko in the north. In the frontier areas of G]k[y[ settlement in K]ambuu and Ny]r], the local economy was mainly stock keeping and there was a high degree of ethnic mixing as the Ag]k[y[ and the Maasai traded, raided each other and intermarried and took refuge with each other across the frontier. G]k[y[ household heads needed access to Maasai sheep and goats in order to advance their status in elderhood; they also needed to convert perishable foodstuffs into productive stock through trade with pastoralists. Maasai households needed access to reliable supply of farm products and sometimes they needed extra herding labour which they obtained by taking in G]k[y[ dependants which, in its turn, offered important advantages to the G]k[y[ dependants to learn the Maasai language and to make contacts in Maasailand which later on could enable a man to establish lucrative business relations or become a frontier intermediary. The close economic and social ties between the two communities were symbolised by the Maasai concept of osotua, a term for `bond friendship' that expresses the idea that preferential exchanges between two partners created a kind of kinship transcending social and cultural boundaries. Ag]k[y[ who had prior contacts with the Maasai and whose families had previously straddled the frontiers immigrated into Maasailand as individuals. Their absorption into Maasai communities was a matter of public agreement between G]k[y[ clients and Maasai patrons and it was expressed and formalised through ceremonies of sponsorship and adoption. The formal adoption ensured that immigrants to Maasailand were fully integrated into the basic structures of Maasai society by joining an age-set and becoming members of specific households and sub-clans. Under the outlying district ordinance (1902) the Maasai reserve had been declared a closed district to which entry was allowed only under an administrative permit. The Ordinance's restrictions were enforced against G]k[y[ squatters. When the frontiers of Maasailand were effectively closed by the demarcation of reserve boundaries just before the first world war, there were already members of resident G]k[y[ who regarded themselves as assimilated Maasai or `adoptees' and were so regarded by the Maasai. Many of them had been living with the Maasai in Laikipia and had been moved into the Maasai reserve with them in 1912. they were the product of the long tradition of intermarriage, patronage and trade contacts between the Maasai and the Ag]k[y[. The presence of a colonial administration in the Maasai reserve determined to enforce a policy of exclusion, based on supposedly ethnic criteria, made the continued assertion of a contrary (G]k[y[) identity unacceptable. In 1940, the district administration reluctantly accepted a degree of controlled entry into the Maasai Reserve which in effect widened eligibility and thus increased the number of registered acceptees without, however, opening up the reserve. The opening of the Olenguruone settlement in 1941 had reduced the pressure but did not solve the problem of G]k[y[ infiltration. Since mass eviction had been ruled out, the Maasai administration was obliged to resort to a complicated process of screening and registration which continued during this last period of control and resettlement under the colonial regime. Strict criteria based on ethnic acceptability and length of residence were set out and tribunals of local Maasai elders appointed to judge the validity of each claim. The G]k[y[ petitioned to be allowed to remain, offering to pay taxes at the (higher) Maasai rate and to conform to the prescribed identity. They sought out Maasai protectors to "give them a place to stay" (MT/M/DT8) or to "write them on", i.e. to attest that they were legally employed (MT/M/KE25); they sought out sponsors willing to attest to their Maasai credentials. Such credentials were easy to assume and difficult to disprove. Richard Waller on this has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Such credentials were easy to assume and difficult to disprove. There were so many different strands of obligation and versions of the past that, in so far as the administration had committed itself to investigating and validating degrees of `Maasainess,' the arguments of history and ethnicity could sometimes be turned against it. Claimants created or rediscovered appropriate past for themselves which they hoped might strike the right note with the local headman or investigating committee. Gathatwa . . . was, eventually adjudged to be a Loitai war captive. Ernest Sokoiyan, whose real father had apparently been an early Kikuyu settler in Ngong, claimed to have been adopted by a local Maasai elder and to have taken his name. Some like Kinaiya, Kamuni and Isiah at Siyabei . . ., were `returnees' whose stories were supported by others. Some of them claimed Laikipiak, Loosekelai or Loogolala ancestry which gave them a place in Maasai tradition and a reason for returning (MT/M/KA6; Ibid./P11, 14). None of these claims and pasts were inherently implausible; nor were they necessarily false though some probably were. SAMBURU The Samburu (Sampur) speak the Maa language spoken by the Maasai in southern Kenya and north-central Tanzania as well as by the Chamus (Camus, Njemps) in north-central Kenya. Their ancestors are the same proto-Ongamo-Maa group that migrated from an area situated east of the present day Juba in the southern Sudan (Vossen, 1982:468), a migration which commenced early in the first millenium A.D. Maa speaking immigrants reached the Rift Valley area by the end of the ninth century and the Tanzania territorries to the south probably by the mid-sixteenth century. The Maa language is divided into a number of closely related varieties grouped into major clusters. North Maa includes the Samburu and Chamus dialects, and south Maa consists of a number of variants which the Maasai proper speak. Certain similarities between the most widely separated dialects of the Samburu and Chamus in the far north, on the one hand, and Parakuyo (Baraguyu) in the far south in Tanzania exist. Writing on the Maa language in "Time Perspective," Gabriele Sommer & Rainer Vossen have stated: Regardless of any linguistic differences which may exist within the Maa speaking community _ be they economic, cultural or historical _ Maasai (including Parakuyo and their kinsfolk, the Samburu and Chamus) refer to their language as a single linguistic unit by calling it ol maa. The genetic position of Maa among the languages of Africa is fairly clear. It belongs to the NiloSaharan phylum (Greenberg, 1963) which is sub-divided into several branches, groups and subgroups of which the Nilotic a member of Eastern Sudanic is the most complex in terms of number of languages actually spoken. Nilotic itself consists of three primary branches: West, South and East (Kohler, 1955) each of which contains a number of individual languages and dialects. The Maa language has its place in the eastern branch whose internal classification may be diagrammed as in Fig 1.1 (Vossen, 1981,1982). Maa speakers relate that the migration of their forefathers from the north took place in the early seventeenth century or even before. Glottochronological calculations date the split between North and South Maa roughly to some time between 1280 and 1580 (Vossen,1978:49n18). Samburu and Parakuyo like most of the Maa speakers refer to a legendary place called Kerio [Kerio Valley?] as their place of origin. Slightly preceeding the southwards movement of Parakuyo (or their ancestors), towards the end of the sixteenth century, the Samburu and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Parakuyo seem to have lived together in an area north-west of the Laikipia plateau. There is evidence that the Parakuyo are the descendants of the partly annihilated and partly expelled Loogolala Maasai who are said to have lived on the `Samburu _ occupied' Laikipia plateau as early as the sixteenth or seventeenth century. Some words shared by Samburu and Parakuyo are not found in other Maa dialects. After their separation by the end of the sixteenth century, the Samburu moved in a northwesterly direction and occupied an area between the Cherangany Hills and Lake Baringo before moving further north to their present home south and southeast of Lake Turkana. On Maasai expansion and the new East African pastoralism, Galaty has written: On the northern frontier, the initial expansion of these Maa-speakers, who were known as Kore to their non-Maa neighbours, followed the split of the `Northern Maa' Samburu-Chamus from the Maa nucleus by the end of the sixteenth century. The Samburu subsequently expanded north and east of the Cherengany hills, while the Chamus inhabited the shores of Lake Baringo (Vossen, 1977: 214; 1982:74). By the early nineteenth century, however, the Chamus had separated linguistically from the Samburu. The Samburu, who were expelled with their camel-keeping Rendille allies from west of lake Turkana and succesively defeated by Loosekelai Maasai and Turkana, left the area and the region north of Leloghi, where reportedly they had to dislodge the Boran before coming to dominate this `heartland' (Anderson, 1981:5 Sobania, 1980, 82-89). They were evicted from the lands somewhere to the west of Lake Turkana by the Turkana who together with the Pokot became their neighbours to the west of them. to the north and northeast are the Rendille with whom they live in a peaceful and mutually advantageous relationship. To the east are the Borana of the Sagwiya group. During the times of Maasai expansion across Kenya, they were the northern neighbours of the Laikipiak (Wakuavi) to whom the Samburu refer as relatives, an attitude presumably pointing to close and long lasting contacts and mutual absorptions between the Samburu and the Laikipiak, rather than genealogical affiliation.

Social And Political Organisation In the course of a Samburu man's moranhood he performs in a series of Ilmugit or age-set ceremonies with other members of his age-set and clan (club). All the Ilmugit ceremonies have a similar basic form, although those that mark some changes in status as the age-set to become more senior have additional features. Each moran provides an ox for slaughter, or if he is poor and the ceremony is not very important, a goat. Prior to and during the ceremony, the elders address and harangue the moran with the aim of imparting to them a sense of self respect (nkanyit) and honourable conduct among themselves and the community. The ceremony begins in the evening when the moran are summoned over to the elders' enclosure for special blessings and on this night no outsider is allowed to sleep in the hut of the moran. The animals provided by the moran are killed on each of the next four or six mornings depending on the number of the moran involved in the ceremony with each segment providing a certain number of animals on each day. These killings take place in the bush. While on the first morning, the carcasses are being cut up and divided between the various status groups in a prescribed manner, some of the moran build their Ilmugit enclosure where they eat their meat and if they like, sleep at night. The elders take their portions to eat elsewhere in the bush and the women collect theirs and take it to the settlement.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The first Ilmugit of the arrows (Ilmugit lenkweeni) ceremony marks the point when the initiate becomes a junior moran and usually takes place one month after circumcision. Fat from the underside of the carcass (nkiyu) is used in a small but elaborate ceremony to establish a relationship between the initiate and his two moran helpers and from this moment they address each other as nkiyu and have reciprocal powers of moral coercion similar to bond brothers. The next ceremony is the ilmugit of the roasting sticks (ilmugit owatanda) ideally performed one month after the ilmugit of the arrows. During this ceremony, the moran are divided into two groups, left and right. Ideally brothers should belong alternately to different sides, the eldest belonging to the right. The main significance of holding these two ilmugit ceremonies close together is to give the firestick elders, as the elders in charge of the current age-set of Moran are called, opportunity to assert some control over the moran from the outset, especially at a time when their youthful age can make them somewhat high-spirited and uncontrollable. Ilmugit lenkarua follows some five years after the initiation of the age-set and this marks a point when the junior moran are promoted to senior moranhood. A further ilmugit ceremony of the same name is performed in the following month. From this point it is no longer ritually unpropitious for the moran to beget children by circumscised women. Those whose fathers are dead can act as ceremonial guardians at the iniatiation of their younger brothers and sisters, but cannot marry as yet. Paul Spencer on the next stage has written: At this time, the elders of each phratry decide on a name for the phratry age-set of moran in secret, decide to nominate a particularly mature member of it as the ritual leader (launon). During the ceremony, the elders indicate their choice to some of the more influential moran and unsuspecting the incumbent is seized, made to wear a girl's apron (common in Samburu ritual) and taken to his mother's hut. There he is held down by force until he is prepared to accept office. He is not obliged to resist, but may do so for hours or even days before he agrees. His struggle is associated with the fact that in the prime of his moranhood he is expected in certain respects to settle down to a premature elderhood and thereby is to some extent cut off from his age-mates. He should not be involved in any affray or dispute within his phratry age-set and should generally absent himself from any conversation or behaviour that contravenes the ideal norms of the society. The son of a ritual leader cannot himself become a future ritual leader. Events were associated with each successive age-set of Samburu moran (and Rendille youths). This provided a useful tool for dating events using specific age-sets. Thus the moran of the Samburu Kipeko age-set were remembered as having captured Mount Ngiro from the Boran. Other age-sets with the estimated year of initiation are: 1. Saikanya is among half a dozen or so age-sets that are remembered to have preceded the Meishopo age-set and consistently referred to by the older informants but little is known about it. 2. Meishopo (initiated c.1781) 3. Kurukua (initiated c.1795) 4. Lpetaa (initiated c. 1809) 5. Kipayang (initiated c. 1823)

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

6. Kipeko (initiated c.1837) 7. Kiteku (initiated c.1851) 8. Tarigirik (initiated c.1865) 9. Marikon (initiated c.1879) 10. Lterito (initiated c.1893) 11. Merisho (initiated c. 1912) 12. Kiliako (initiated c. 1921-2) 13. Mekuri (initiated c.1936) 14. Kimanki (initiated c. 1948) 15. Kishili (initiated c. 1960-2) At the time of the Tarigirik age-set, a small off-shoot of the Rendille tribe called Kirimani, which was cattle-owning and Rendille speaking and had close relations with the cattle owning Maasai speaking Laikipiak, similar to that between the Rendille and the Samburu, appeared and Ariaal Rendille attacked them, routed them and seized their cattle. The Rendille proper did not associate themselves with this route of their Kirimani kinsmen and took no part in it. Today, there are many descendants of the Kirimani among the Rendille and they have been absorbed into various clans. On the importance of social groups of the Samburu, Paul Spencer has written: There are seven distinguishable levels in the segmentary descent system of the Samburu. They are the lineage group, the hair-sharing group, the sub-clan, the clan, the phratry and the moiety. Of these, the clan is by far the most significant in terms of social cohesion and shared interests. In contrast to the Rendille whose clans tend to be concentrated in one or a few large settlements, the Samburu clans tend to be scattered over much of the tribal territory in interspersed clusters of small settlements. A number of Samburu clans are segments of more inclusive units, which I refer to as phratries. While the phratry is not a particularly cohesive unit socially, the principle of exogamy is extended to it and it has a ritual significance in the age-set system, each phratry having its own ritual leader. As there were no institutionalised positions of power in Samburu society elders represented the traditional system of authority according to the influence possessed and exercised by prominent elders. Consensus and not the dictates of a select elite, governed Samburu politics. The traditional leaders whom the Samburu did have were strictly ritual leaders, the launon and labarnkeene, his deputy. As has been seen, they were nominated by the elders in the course of the ilmugit ceremony which celebrated the promotion of junior warriors to senior warriorhood. The fuctions of their office were almost exclusively ceremonial.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

JEMPS (IL-TIUMUS) Jemps (IL-Tiumus, Chamus, En-jemusi) are Maasai speaking friends and allies of the Samburu. It has been suggested that the Jemps sprang from a Samburu section called Il-Doigoio (Ltoiyo?) in the mid-eighteenth century. But the historical situation appears to be that the Jemps are descended from the Laikipiak Maasai, one of the Il-oikop or Il-Kuavi groups defeated by the IlMaasai and forced to migrate to and settle in an area known as Jemps by Lake Baringo. They adopted the name of the area and became sedentary agriculturalists. There are, however, Samburu clans who claim descent from the Jemps. Paul Spencer on this has written: To give a further picture, acknowledged relationships are also shown between the Samburu and the Tiumus tribe on the one hand and between the Rendille and Odolah on the other. The Tiumus are a Maasai-speaking tribe to the south and east of Lake Baringo, from whom a number of Samburu families claim descent. The Jemps inhabit the area to the south and east of Lake Baringo, an area which Samburu oral tradition claims some of them migrated from about 1840 A.D. They were an agricultural community in the nineteenth century. Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori have written: When Von Hohnel and Count Teleki passed by Baringo in the 1880s, they counted four Jemps villages. As recently as the mid-1940s the Jemps population was a mere sixteen hundred. Yet the Jemps were so successful in their cultivation that they were renowned purveyors of produce to the nineteenth century caravans stopping at Baringo to resupply before going on to Uganda and the Congo. Or the reason for their success in cultivation may have been that the needs of the caravans gave them the necessary incentive to develop their agriculture.2

As has already been established, the Maasai represent the southern extension of the Eastern Sudanic speaking peoples who moved southward and developed into the Maa-speakers and pastoralist. It has been proposed (Ambrose 1984:87) that Elmenteitans were Southern Niloticspeakers, who may have coexisted with, and later displaced, earlier Southern Cushitic groups in the region. Lack of wild faunal remains and from current Maasai pastoral practice in the region suggest that the Elmenteitan communities of the Loita-Mara region were pastoralists though they may have gained grains through trade (Marshall, 1990:242-243). A number of farming communities had therefore developed in the midst of pastoral areas and such communities practised highly intensive irrigation agriculture. Thomas Spear in the book Being `Maasai' but not `People of Cattle' has written: Arusha was not the only Maasai agricultural community in the nineteenth century. Others existed at Nkuruman at the foot of the escarpment south-west of Lake Magadi, Chamus (or Jemps) south of Lake Baringo, Taveta east of Mount Kilimanjaro and later, Ngong on the edge of Kikuyu. All were oasis communities, occupying small irrigated niches in or on the fringes of the otherwise semi-arid plains. While pastoral Maasai also had relations with the Bantu-speaking agricultural people surrounding the plains, the oasis communities were a unique source of agricultural products in their midst and were themselves either Maasai or heavily influenced by Maasai.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The Iloikop hypothesis holds that there was a division between the purely pastoral Ilmaasai and the semi-pastoral or agricultural Iloikop (Wakuavi). These included the present day Arusha, Parakuyo, Chamus, Samburu as well as the now exstinct Loogolala, Loosekelai and Laikipiak (Jacons 1965:112). However, while the Arusha and Chamus (Jemps) cultivated, there is no evidence that their kin Iloikop were less pastoral than Maasai or that they recognised greater affinity with one another than they did with the `pastoral' Maasai. The struggle between the Maasai and Iloikop was not between different economic forms, but rather a conflict over pastoral resources involving the two sides. By contrast, Chamus and Nkuruman Maasai were like the Arusha Maasai societies. Both spoke Maa and were closely affiliated with adjacent pastoral Maasai. Both farmed on the semi-arid plains, employing irrigation drawn from the rivers or out of Lake Baringo and were involved in pastoralism and fishing as conditions permitted. On Chamus and Nkuruman agriculture, Thomas Spear has written thus: Neither, however, developed into a large or stable an agricultural community as Arusha. Both occupied small, remote, highly restricted environments incapable of expansion, thus making them more dependent on the changing fortunes of pastoralism and the caravan trade. Chamus, for example, expanded considerably from 1840s to 1870s with the influx of many Samburu and Laikipiak refugees from the pastoral wars and the expansion of the caravan trade, but subsequently went into decline with a downturn in trade and loss of population, until floods destroyed the irrigation system in 1917 and people took advantage of the colonial pax to resume herding on the plains. ITESO The majority of the Iteso people live in what was formally Teso District in central Uganda and also in Bukedi District in eastern Uganda. In Kenya, they live in Amagoro in Western Kenya. The Iteso of Uganda are referred to as the Northern Iteso. Ivan Korp has described these people and their language as follows: Linguistically, they belong to the Teso-Karamajong branch of Eastern Nilotic languages. The other branch of Eastern Nilotes is the Maasai-speaking language family, the languages of the Teso-Karamajong, Jie, Dodoth, Turkana, Diding'am, Toposa and northern and southern Iteso. All languages are mutually intelligible.1 The Northern and Southern Iteso have a common migration and ethnic history as well as a similar language. During research carried out by J.B. Webster, a professor of History, assisted by three students, C.P. Emudong, D.H. Okalany, and N. Egimu-O'kuda for the Department of History, Makerere University, the term Ateker was agreed upon to describe all the related peoples who were formerly called Nilo-Hamites. The study found that: The Iteso belong to a family of people which may be called ateker (people of one language). In the past they have been called Nilo-Hamite, which means nothing to the people themselves or Itunga (in the vernacular meaning "all people") or Teso dialect cluster, Karamajon'g cluster or Lang'o family, which inaccurately suggests that they spring from the Iteso, Karamojong or Langi. The Ateker are composed of nine major peoples: the Iteso, Karamojong, Jie and Dodoth in Uganda; the Turkana and the Iteso of Kenya; the Toposa, Jie and Donyiro of the Sudan. The ateker speak mutually intelligible dialects of the same language. They recognise a common origin

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


and dispersal from Karamoja and they possess numerous cultural, social, political and military features in common.2 Having been part of the northern plain Nilotic population in the Sudan, they eventually separated and some migrated southward into Uganda and eventually into Kenya. J.M.Ekeya who is an Iteso writing on Asonya (migration period thought to be between 1800 and 1920) has stated: Deep within the consciousness of an Itesot is the desire to know "nukokolong", that is things of long ago, particularly those things concerning where the Teso came from and what life was like then. In the mind of an Itesot, Asonya was a period in history full of enchantment and mystery, a period when animals, birds, fishes, reptiles and even insects could talk with people and lived in close collaboration with nature. Asonya to the average Itesot, was also the period when Ikapolok, the ancestors of the Iteso, migrated to their present habitats. The elders of the Kenyan Iteso say that their ancestors came from Soroti, Kuman, Karamoja, Sudan, Kairiri, Abyssinia. Those of Soroti say their ancestors came from Karamoja and beyond . . . J.M. Ekenya has continued to state that according to Lawrence, Asonya was the sixth and last migration period or generation or age of the Iteso. Lawrence was stationed as D.C. in Soroti during the colonial period and was able to gather a lot of information on the Iteso of Uganda and that the ancestors of the Iteso came from the direction of Abyssinia through Karamojong district. Their travels lasted through six generations or ages. The Iteso and other Ateker probably arrived in the present Karamoja about the tenth century AD and remained in Karamoja and parts of Eastern Uganda for the next four centuries. Professor W.R. Ochieng has written thus on Iteso migration: The migration of the Iteso from Karamoja to Tesoland was spread over a long period of time. Magoro became the gateway to Iteso country and witnessed a continual movement of people through it from about AD 1500 until the second half of the nineteenth century. J.B. Webster says that sometimes the movement was slow, as people moved unhurried in search of new land and prosperity, but sometimes there were almost hordes of people, destitute and fleeing from famine, justice, cattle and human diseases, or the destruction of war. Between A.D. 1625 and A.D. 1733 the Iteso were already firmly established in Kumi and Soroti in Usuku in modern Tesoland.6 By the beginning of the nineteenth century, a large number of people moved out of Usuku, particularly south-eastwards to give rise to the present Iteso of eastern Uganda and western Kenya. In these areas they fought and dispossessed the Bantu speaking Bamasaba, Bagisu and Babukusu of their land and cattle. They also raided the Kalenjin particularly the Kony and the western semi nomadic Pokot who lived around Chemerongit hills, an area today administered by Uganda under the name Karasuk. Kenya Teso sources clearly suggest that by about c 1706 _1787, their ancestors were living across the Uganda border in the Mbale and Tororo areas. Expansion to their present homes in western Kenya seems to have taken place between about three and six generations ago, that is, c. 1760 1868. Gideon S.Were on this has written: . . . by about six generations ago, c. 1760-1868, the greater part of eastern Uganda and western Kenya was already settled. This meant that the Teso had to fight with the local occupants of some

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


of the lands they moved into. This was especially the case in the Tororo and Ebwayi (Amukura) districts from which the Babukusu were driven by the newcomers towards the middle of the 19th Century. The Bamasaba and Bagishu kinsmen of the Babukusu were also partly dispossessed by the invaders. It was, in fact the Teso invasion which drove the bulk of the Babukusu into their present homes in Western Kenya; a few of the (Abakhone) even fled as far south as Bukhayo for refuge. NUBI To trace the history of the Nubi presence in East Africa, it is important to go back to the point of origin of the Nubi community. That beginning may be said to be the expedition sent by Khedive Muhammad Ali of Egypt under Captain Salin, a Turk, on 16th November 1839 to carry out a campaign of conquest in the Sudan. By 1820, Northern Sudan had been conquered by men of varied ethnic backgrounds. These included Ottoman Turks, Circassians, Kurds, Greeks and Albanians. The Sudanese peoples simply lumped them together as "Turks". Hence the period from 1820 to 1884, when the conquerors were overthrown by the Mahdist revolt is known as "Turkiya". Muhammad Ali had an ambitious colonial vision for the creation of an economic and political Egyptian empire. To achieve this, Muhammad Ali made military power the corner-stone of Egyptian rule. Henceforth the new Egyptian army was modelled on the latest European examples and formations. Richard Gray wrote: In 1821 a training camp at Aswan was started for Negro soldiers. Here they were vaccinated and instructed in Islam and trained by French military officers who had served under Napoleon. . . . In addition to these regular troops, locally recruited irregular bands, armed and paid by their officers were extensively used for tax collecting and the raiding of recalcitrant tribes.1

The black soldiers were taught Islam during their military training to ensure discipline and loyalty rather than to simply Islamise them as was the case with the Arab conquest and Islamisation elsewhere after the death of Prophet Mohammed. The motive of Egyptian penetration into the Sudan was economic and political conquest. After incurring lavish expenses in Asia Minor, in the digging of the suez canal and in ostentatious expenditure at home, Muhammad Ali looked southwards to solve his economic problems at home, as well as meet the cost of his wars in Asia. The black people's physique inspired him to seek their recruitment into his army. in addition these would be cheaper and would owe him the loyalty of slaves for they would not be recruited by the Khedive on their free will, but to all intents and purposes as slaves. As has already been mentioned, Egyptian colonisation had as its main aim not conquest for development but organised armed plunder against both Muslims who lived along the White Nile in the north and the southern Sudan. The ambition was empire expansion to obtain new resources to fill the empty coffer and improve the finaces under successive Khedives. The Egyptian administrative machinery was manned by officials of many ethnic and national backgrounds, the result being the absence of one national ideology or philosophy of administration. The forceful policy of recruiting the indigenous tribesmen against their wishes

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


led to the removal of able-bodied young men and the general destruction of the village or tribal economic and political structures that had existed before contact. Meanwhile in northern Sudan, taxation on the riverian cultivators was so exhorbitant that people began to desert their fields and the more able found out that only the slave trade presented itself as the alternative profitable commerce. These people became involved in the southern Sudan slave trade and were to surpass in the end both the Egyptian administrators and the European merchants in cruel zeal. Around the Egyptian military stations, a new community was beginning to emerge. The slaves captured and given to soldiers in payment for their services began to develop a new form of relationship with the soldiers and the villages immediately around these stations. Most of the high ranking officers were Egyptians and Arab Sudanese. The bulk of the soldiers were Sudanese and mostly Negroid, recruited by Khedive Muhammad Ali. Most of the clerks, store-keepers and other ranks were Egyptians. Gordon Pasha recognised that around the Egyptian military garrisons, a new community was in the process of formation. By 1884, the Mahdi rebellion was a complete success and tribes such as the Dinka, among others, in the Southern Sudan joined in burying the excessively corrupt Egyptian administration. Britain and Egypt were to return as condominium (joint) powers in 1898 to rule the Sudan until its independence in 1956. The sociological significance of the events narrated above is to explain the process of the formation of the Nubi community in its early phases. In short, most of the Nubi people originated from Egyptian military stations which were scattered all over along the Nile, from the Shilluk and the country in the North, to the Mahdi and Acholi in the South and the Makaraka (a branch of the Zande tribe) in the west and a part of the province of the Equatorial. The Dominat group, and not necessarily the majority group were Egyptians, and Sudanese Arabs as high officers and Negroid elements captured previously from the Nuba mountain and Sourthern Sudan who had been trained as soldiers. Some latter became junior officers and N.C.O's and part of the system as they largely consisted of semi-native, semi-Arab elements that had formed the military stations. The Nubi also included captured slaves and slaves given in payment to the soldiers or tribesmen from neighbouring villages that had come to share in the cultural life of the stations. These elements taken in total formed the main ancestors of the East African Nubi communities. The majority of the Nubi ancestors, however, came from people occupying the southern sudan today such as the Dinka, Bari, Muru, Kuku, Mondu, Shilluk, Nuer, Makaraka and Azande to mention the main ones. The Arab elements of the Nubi over time have since been absorbed by the predominately Negroid elements from the southern Sudan. The community thus formed could be described as "marginal" as it had not absorbed sufficiently the Arab culture and at the same time remained essentially indigenous in cultural outlook, although all of them confessed the Islamic faith. However, in the long run, the pull would be towards the norms, values and behavioural patterns of the dominant group. In the course of time, some soldiers recruited by the Egyptians deserted and joined the Mahdist rebellion and others joined the forces under Emin Pasha in their continued loyalty to the Khedive of Egypt. They fought the Mahdist forces as well as other wars against hostile tribes. By 1884, the Mahdi rebellion finally dealt a death blow to Egyptian occupation by taking Khartoum. The Khedive troops moved southwards evacuating station after station until they found themselves at Mavali on the shores of Lake Albert in what is now Uganda. Some few Egyptians were also present but were repatriated to Egypt when they arrived in Uganda through Zanzibar.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The forefathers of the Nubi came from these "cultural islands". Most of them particularly in Uganda would account for their origin from these stations. As for the Nubi in Kenya and Tanzania, many originated from Negroid soldiers who arrived in East Africa through the Red Sea. They were recruited by both the British and Germans into these powers' colonial armies. The Term Nubi The name was derived from Nuba which was homeland for some of the ancestors of the present Nubi. Barri A. Wanji has written thus: My Nubi informants are agreed on this version of the origin of their being called Nubians. A substantial number of Nubi high ranking officers then, were from the Nuba mountains, and on being asked whom and from where they came by Kabaka Mwanga they mentioned the Nuba mountains. Hence the Baganda called them "Banubi". From that point of time all the different ethnic peoples that formed the Nubi community, whether they came from Egypt, North or South Sudan were referred to as Banubi. The term "Nubian" then is just an English improvisation of the Luganda version. The Nubians proper are found in upper Egypt, occupying the Aswan area of Egypt. Others live in the Northern Province of the Republic of Sudan. They belong to the hamitic group showing all their physical and linguistic characteristics. They have their own language, or more correctly dialect, but speak Arabic. The Nubi in Kenya and Tanzania speak Kiswahili, and in Uganda Luganda in buganda and Acholi, Lang'o, Kakara, Lugbara or Runyoro when they live among these groups. Their mother tongue is however, "Lunubi", a variation of the Arabic language, which has been highly adulterated by borrowing from Kiswahili and the languages of the peoples among whom some of them have settled.

East African Nubi Sociologically, the Nubi community through the years have developed an identity in all the three countries of East Africa. The old generation which preferred to be known as Sudanese, because in the hey days of colonial rule, it was a mark of high status and prestige in society to be known as Sudanese, has now passed on. The Nubi formed the backbone of the British colonial army in eastern Africa. As such their community was associated with power and influence. Many Nubi considered the military profession the most prestigious in terms of achieving social status. This has significantly changed with time. While they are proud of their community and cultural heritage in general, they regard themselves as Kenyans, Ugandans, or Tanzanians which they are. Some factors which influenced the dispersal of the Nubi to where they are today includes the First World War (1914-1918), the development of the East African Railways in Uganda, army transfers and commercial opportunities. When the war broke out, many Nubi came to Kenya from Uganda and some eventually went to Tanzania to fight the Germans. After demobilisation, some chose not to return to their earlier homes and in recognition of their services in the war, they were given plots or settlement parishes. That is how Nubi settlements like Kibera in Nairobi,

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Majengo-Sokoni in Mombasa, Iringa in south-western Tanzania and Dar-es-salaam came to be established. Nubi neighbourhoods in Uganda include Bombo, naguru and Kibuli in Kampala and Kitibulu near Entebbe. Turkana The Turkana are the third largest group of pastoralists in Kenya after the Maasai and the Somali. Turkanaland occupies much of north-western Kenya area in the north east of the Rift Valley and covers an area of about 23,451 square kilometres. On migrating into Kenya from the Sudan, the Turkana descended the escarpment to the Tarach River Valley and spread along the Turkwel and Kagwalasi (or Nakwehe) River Valleys to establish a new homeland in the Turkana District of today. This is a semi-desert tract, containing a few forested mountains with pastures. It is bounded by Uganda to the west, the Sudan to the north, lake Turkana to the east, Samburu District to the southeast and Baringo and west Pokot Districts to the south. The most important development in the course of the evolution of the Turkana seems to have been the separation of the Turkana (or Ngiturkana) from the Jie (or Ngijie) which brought about the emergence of the Turkana as a distinct group from the Jie. It appears that at around A.D 1650, the Jie population which was settled on and around Mount Koten began to separate peacefully. Lamphear has given an account of the following Turkana tradition as quoted by Professor Ochieng thus: Long time ago an old woman called Nayece came to the east from Najie, gathering wild fruits. She came to the hill which is now called Moru Anayece near the Tarash River and she settled there. Then a bull got lost in Najie and it also came to the east, following the Tarash until it came to the place where Nayece was living. During the day, the bull would go out to graze and during the night it would sleep at Nayece's compound. Then eight young men, who were relatives of Nayece, came to the east searching for her and for the lost bull. They found the bull and also Nayece who was drying wild fruits, They remained there for a few days and saw that there were many wild fruits and good grass. They returned to Najie and told the people about the good area they had found. And so a large group of young men and girls took cattle and went back to the east as though they were going to ngauyoi (dry season cattle camps). So the first Turkana were people of the ngauyoi and their real home had been Najie.1 It would appear that by the time the Jie population was disintegrating into two major sections around Koten Hill, the present Turkanaland was probably occupied by a Nilotic group who were probably a section of the earliest westward movement of the Kenya Kadam Nilotes in the northern plains of Kenya and eastern Uganda. By about A.D.1650 one wing of this community seems to have already established itself along the Tarash River in present Turkanaland. This is the group whose presence preceded the arrival of the break-away Jie-group in the Tarash River Valley area: the Ngicuro division representing "primordial" Nilotes. The later arrivals from Najie constituted the Ngimonia division. The most important area of early settlement in Turkanaland by both groups was the Tarash River Valley particularly the area around the Lotangippi Swamps where there was abundant supply of water for their cattle but also for cultivation of grains Hybridisation of the two formerly pastoralist and agricultural divisions of the Turkana people seems to have taken place in the area between Loreng in the south and Loktoi in the north within Tarash river valley and Lotangippi swamp. Professor William Ochieng on Turkana settlement has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

It would also seem that the bulk of the group dispersed in the direction of Lake Turkana, probably in search of better land and water for their animals. One group led by a certain Lokerio, who was a medicine man and rain maker, moved directly to the western shores of Lake Turkana where "it subsisted for a time on fishing". Later, according to Bede Odino, this group raided the southern tip of Lake Turkana and introduced the camel in Turkanaland. In the "southward swoop" they came across the Samburu who were pushing northwards and making footholds along the western shores of Lake Turkana. With these people the Turkana fought for land, but there was also a good deal of intermarriage and absorption between the two communities during which time the Turkana became firmly established in what is now central Turkana. J.E Lamphear on the same subject has written thus: At first the Turkana only raided (the Samburu) for livestock (and thereby acquired camels for the first time), but increasingly they began to wage wars of territorial expansion against them. The Samburu and their allies were handed a series of massive defeats and were forced back to Lake Turkana and finally right around the Lake to the east. It is probable that large numbers of them were absorbed by the Turkana. In many cases, they were probably absorbed into pre-existing clans, but many informants also indicate that the Ngimacermukata clan of the Ngimenia division was composed entirely of defeated Samburu and that large numbers of them also joined the large tribal-wide Panga, Puco and Swalika clans. While the Turkana divisions were disputing over the land around Lake Turkana with the Samburu and Marile to the north, another Turkana division which had settled in the heart of what is now Turkanaland in the area immediately to the east of Tarash River, was spreading to the north and also to the south and south-west. The southward expansion brought them into contact with the Karamajong and Pokot both of whom seem to have preceded the Turkana into the area of Lorugum. They fought with both over pasture and watering places but assimilation and absorption of Karamajong and Pokot groups also took place. Lamphear has suggested that the Ngibotok sub-division of the Turkana, today found on the upper Turkwel, is largely derived from the Pokot. Social and Political Organisation Turkana economy which naturally dictates their mode of social and political organisation is dependent on the type of the territory they occupy. An apt description of Turkanaland has been given by Pamela Gulliver and P.H. Gulliver who have written thus: Turkanaland appears from the surrounding Escarpment as a vast sandy plain far below, where the flat scenery is relieved by isolated mountain blocks and where dust devils rise in high columns for most of the day. Lines of trees, which in certain places widen to form a band of thickish vegetation, suggest the course of dry river beds. On descending into Turkanaland it seems at first glance impossible for men or animals to live there. Pamela Gulliver and P.H. Gulliver have decribed the vegetation thus: Desert scrub covers two-thirds of the country, which is hard semi-desert with loose stones and rock on the surface and steep eroded gullies. The only possible vegetation here is the thorntree in many varieties and large clumps of cactus and bayonet aloes, a sharp-pointed sisal like plant.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Water-courses divide up the country and more vegetation grows on the banks, varying from bushes to tall shady thorn trees. This type of country supports goats, which are usually able to find leaves on the thorn trees and sufficient vegetation along the riverbanks. Camels also live in those regions of the taller varieties of thorn trees and bushes. After the rains stock fare better, as a poor grass cover appears and the country is often rich in berries. Without stock the Turkana could not live in their country and each type of animal plays a necessary part in the economy. Cattle are placed first as the Turkana live on milk and drink the blood. Fishing plays a very small part in Turkana economy as the shores of Lake Turkana are scantily populated and fishing is possible only at certain times. During the dry season, seasonal stockowners whose pastures are near the lake come to the gulfs to fish in order to supplement their diet. On Turkana survival, Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori have written thus: Supreme opportunists because they are born survivors, the Turkana have perfected the art of survival. By tradition they are primarily pastoralists. Theirs is an inclusive pastoralism of cattle and camels, sheep and goats and the lowly burden-bearing donkeys. It is the most practical economic pursuit for exploiting their marginal environment. But pastoralism is by no means their sole economic pursuit. The Turkana cultivate, although minimally, they fish, and they hunt and gather. They eat literally anything, including snakes and crocodiles. It might also be said that they have developed livestock raiding, through persistently industrious practice, to a kind of economic pursuit as well. They have elevated the art of survival above the basic usage of that common clich. Essential for their survival has been that aggressiveness referred to earlier. Lake/River Nilotes Luo The Luo live in the central and south of Nyanza Province that lie astride the Equator around the Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria. The Luo homeland is bounded on the west by Lake Victoria, whose altitude is more than 1,000m above sea-level. The Lake Victoria coastline, which forms the western boundary of Luo Nyanza, is about 200 kilometres long. To the north of Winam Gulf they occupy the landscape rising from 1,000 metres near the Lake to about 1500 metres at the foot of the Nandi escarpment. The land is drained by the rivers Nzoia, Yala, Malawa and Sio which together with the lakeshore seems to have determined the migration routes and the areas of early Luo settlement. To the south of the Gulf is the plateau region of Karachuonyo and Kabondo from which several Luo groups migrated round the Gulf to central Nyanza. Then there is Kuja basin, which is well populated, sloping westwards from the Kanyamkago hills to Kanyamwa escarpments on the eastern side of Lambwe valley to the Kuja River. Ecologically the Luo homeland in both central and south Nyanza is divided into two zones: the high rainfall zones and the savannah zone of the Lake shore which experiences less rainfall. To the north of the Gulf, the high rainfall areas include Buholo, Gem, north Seme, north Ugenya and Kisumu. In south Nyanza, the high rainfall zones includes the eastern areas of Karachuonyo and Kabondo which borders the high rainfall areas of the Kisii highlands.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The second ecological zone is the lakeshore area and much of the hinterland to a distance of about eighteen kilometres or more on either side of the Gulf which have lower and less reliable rainfall. According to Professor S. H. Ominde, there is a close correlation between the population density and rainfall patterns in the area. There is a higher population density generally in the high rainfall areas, with lower densities in the lakeshore areas. Professor B.A Ogot on the Luo settlement pattern has written: What is important from the historian's viewpoint is that it was these lakeshore zones which formed the areas of Luo primary settlement in both Central and South Nyanza, because they closely resembled their original habitat in Sudan. It was only later, about four to five generations back, that they started to move to the high rainfall regions which are more suitable for agriculture than pastoralism. Luo Arrival The Luo together with their cousins in Uganda the Acholi, Padhola and Alur represent the southern wing of the original Jii-speakers. The others are the Jiaang (or Dinka) and the Naath (or Nuer). The last two groups are today found in the Sudan. The Dinka-Nuer group seems to have moved least from its original homeland, hence is least diversified culturally and ethnically through contact with non-Nilotic peoples. Most authorities seem to agree that 1,000 A.D is the most likely date by which the Nilotes had evolved as a distinct group and were living as a small backward group in the open grass plains of the present Eastern Equatoria and the eastern parts of the Bahr-el-Ghazal provinces of the Republic of Sudan. These people built their villages and permanent settlements on the higher and relatively flood free grounds leaving the vast grasslands to provide pasture for their cattle. During dry seasons they moved their herds to the river valleys in the flood plains which provided them with green pastures for their cattle and also lagoons and pools from which they caught fish from. Due to over-population and other factors the Nilotes started to migrate. The first to leave were the Dinka and the Nuer who moved only a short distance from their original home before settling permanently. Shortly afterwards, other sub-groups of the Nilotic clusters the Luo speakers (Luo and Shilluk) started on their southward trek towards the Juba-Nimule area. The movement of the Luo from the north into Uganda and western Kenya was slow and spread over several generations. Probably in the northwestern corner of Uganda, the two groups disagreed and separated with the Shilluk, led by a leader known as Nyikang'o, going northward. The Luo, under the leadership of Dimo, crossed the Nile to the north of Juba and settled at a place called Wipac on the banks of the bahr-el-Ghazal river. A small group, the Bor, hived off from Nyikang'o's northerly party in a southerly direction and settled in the region between the rivers Bo and Sue. Another important group that broke away from the settlement at Wipac, possibly before the general quarrel between Dimo and Nyikang'o, was the Anuak whom we are told by Seligman trace their orgin to the "country of Dimo". From Wipac the main party of the Luo-speaking people seems to have moved southwards up to the Nile, dividing at Pubungu near lake Albert. Professor Ogot has written the following on this movement:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


One group led by Nyipir moved westwards across the Nile and colonized the lands previously occupied by the Landu-Okebo-Madi group. Here they established a pattern of dominant lineage over those Sudanic people and a form of chiefship. Another group under the leadership of Labong'o continued to travel southwards, crossed the somerset Nile and invaded Bunyoro founding the Bito dynasty and giving the country their name. This epoch making event in the history of East Africa almost certainly took place towards the end of the 15th Century. From Pawir in Bunyoro the Luo expanded to occupy acholi, Lango, the lowlands of Alurland, Northern Busoga and parts of Budama. Besides the two groups that immigrated into Alurland and Bunyoro, there was a third party that stayed behind at the dispersal centre near the present Parkwach which, according to crazzolara, "little by little moved inland". According to their traditions, the group moved into modern acholi land from the north following a route to the east of Mt. Agoro. A splinter group moved westwards and settled in modern Pajok while the main section of the group migrated southwards to the present Labong'o in Acholi land. After a brief stay, the Pa-Green (or Pa-meet) and pa-leemo Nilotes moved back to the starting point where they settled. The Jo-Oryang group broke off and settled in Lang'o from where it appears they later gradually moved to Padhola. Professor Ogot has written the following on these movements: The second important point which emerges from this tradition and which is collaborated by Padhola tradition is that some of the Padhola groups settled in the Kacung (stopping place) and Kabermaido (the place which is suitable for groundnuts) regions for some time before moving on southwards towards Mt. Elgon. Oryang is referred to in one of the Padhola songs as `the owner of the soil'. If this inference is correct, then it follows that not all the Padhola or Kenya Luo clans were people who had split over from Palwo, as is generally supposed.8 More detailed scrutiny of the traditions of these Acholi clans reveals that some of the Lang'o, Padhola and Kenya Luo clans are descended from this group that originally settled at Pubungu near Lake Albert. Professor Ogot has written the following on the Padhola and the Luo: Finaly, it would appear that some of the Padhola and Kenya Luo people are descendants of the original settlers at Pubungu. Several clan names mentioned in this traditions are found in Padhola and Nyanza. The Paranga sub-clan in Padhola and the Siranga people in the Ugenya location in Nyanza would appear to be related to the original Paranga group. In Asembo location in Kenya, we have a big sub-clan that claims descent from a certain Le, whose origin is lost in the mist of history. Probably they are an offshoot of the palee, originally encountered by the Patiko at Mt. Palee in Acholi. And the Jo-p'Ugwenyi that are related to the Ragem and Jo-Koc remind one of the Ugenya and Ragem in Nyanza that, according to tradition, are related. According to ancestors of people Professor Ogot calls Crazzolara's account, the thirty-one Padhola clans are descended from ancestors who led their people from southern Agoro to modern Padhola by way of Bugwere. They settled in their present homes in Kenya between 1800 and 1850. There is no evidence that the Padhola or Kenya Luo are all descendants from an ancestor called Adhola. Traditions about descent from Adhola seem to have evolved at a time when Padhola clans were living together and had acquired common historical experience. The various clan leaders considered each other as brothers and hence they regarded their ancestors as sons of a man called "Adhola" from whom the name of the whole derived. No clan dared not to trace its genealogy back to adhola and hence this `monolithic' view of history.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The thirty-one clans did not simultaneously arrive in Budama and each had its own history and only became part of the same collective historical experience in the process of their occupation of the land. There were certain particular historical circumstances which led to the amalgamation of several more or less related clans into a tribe. The first wave of padhola immigrants travelled together with the last wave of the Kenya Luo (the owiny group) from Fort Atura area via Kabermaido, where they lived for some time. All this time, they were under the leadership of a certain Adhola. We need not dwell on the historicity of this Adhola, as there are so many conflicting accounts about him. Professor Ogot has written: Whichever version we follow all Padhola agree the first settlers formed part of a larger Luo group, a section of which later migrated to Nyanza under the leadership of Owiny. The Owiny and Adhola appear to have stayed in Bukoli for about two to three generations and it is while they were there that a split occurred. One group led by Owiny migrated southwards into modern Samia-Bugwe, where they settled for a short time before continuing into Alego. The group led by Adhola remained behind for a short time before they moved back to west Budama about ten to eleven generations ago or about between 1630 and 1700 A.D. Kenya Luo migrations are basically divided into four large waves which are Joka-Jok, JokaOwiny, Joka-Omolo and Joka-Suba. These waves of Luo migrants settled in Central Nyanza between 1590 and 1790. Joka-Jok Grazzolara's revised version of the migration of the Pajook people seems to agree with the traditions of the Joka-Jok, who maintain that they are related to the Pajook, but also that they came from there. On this Professor Ogot has written the following: If this interpretation is correct, then the Joka-Jok represent a group of Luo people who migrated to Kenya directly without either passing through Pubungu or first settling in Bunyoro. The name "Jock" in this context, probably refers to a place and not to a person. Ramogi may also be another reminiscent name like New York or Cambridge (Massachusetts). If we accept Grazzolara's statement that the area South of the Agoro range was formerly known as Lamogi. Moreover, the same author maintains that the area was inhabited in ancient times by a people called Lamogi or Ramogi whom he thinks belonged to the Western Lango group. These were the people who, together with a few others such as the Padzulu (or Julu as they are known in Nyanza) were absorbed by the Joka-Jok prior to their migration to Kenya. In other words, the group that migrated to Nyanza was already a mixed population, and it is probable only metaphorically that we can regard Julu, Onywa, Onwanya and so on as "sons" of Jok. It is more probable that some of these names are personifications of assimilated groups.11 On this migration, Professor W.R. Ochieng has written thus: Having lived in Busoga for a number of years, they moved on to erect their new homes at a place called Ligala in Samia. They found resident in Samia a number of Bantu `fisher clans' and they lived among these Bantu folk for the next one century, `intermarrying and trading with them'.12

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

When Jok died, the leadership of the group passed to a young energetic warrior known as Ramogi Ajwang. Due to heavy movement of people from eastern and southern Uganda into the Samia area, the people of Ramogi started thinking of emigrating from the area. Ramogi sent out scouts to the south looking for good land for settlement led by a small but very clever man called Idi, son of Imbo on or about 1590. Professor W.R. Oching has written: They came to a hill many miles to the south of their Ligala settlement, and here they found groups of people who kept large herds of cattle and also caught a lot of fish in the lake and spoke dho mwa (a foreign language). Impressed by this country the scouts went back and broke the good news. A few weeks later, the people of Ramogi arrived in Yimbo.13 The Bantu residents of Yimbo were alarmed by the arrival of waves of Luo migrants and under the leadership of the Abagusii, the Bantu residents of the area, some of whom had lived in the area for several hundred years, launched an attack on the Luo. For one day the battle raged, but by evening the Bantu had lost. The Luo called the hill which they captured from the Bantu got ramogi, or ramogi's hill, which remains the hill's name to the present. The Luo at this time were a nomadic people who moved from place to place with their cattle. Small bands of nomads settled on the periphery of areas inhabited by agricultural populations and as long as there was adequate pasture for their cattle, they maintained a state of co-existence. However, as more waves of Luo immigrants arrived and strengthened the Luo community, they started to engage the Bantu in intermittent predatory warfare and cattle raiding. For a number of years, the Abagusii organised Bantu forces to repel the constant Luo attacks on their homelands without much success. Professor W.R. Ochieng has written: But more and more Luo were arriving in the neighbourhood of Ramogi Hill from the direction of samia and Bunyala and Gusii, Logoli, Abamuli (or Wamuri) and other Bantu clans found it very difficult to defend their homestead and animals against these quick hitting and organized rustlers. Many of the Bantu, including the Gusii, Logoli, abaludhi, Abagowero, Abenge, Ababasi and Abakweri decided that the logical thing to do was to move away.14 Despite the emigration of the Abagusii and some of the Bantu communities, Joka-Jok themselves later were forced to look for more land elsewhere as more and more Luo and Bantu families were still arriving into Yimbo. Professor Ogot has observed: But this peaceful and satisfactory state of affairs seems to have changed about thirteen generations ago, that is, between 1560 and 1640 A.D. The Joka-Jok started to expand eastwards and southwards in small groups which provided the nuclei for later sub-tribes.15 A group led by Odongo hived off and settled in Sakwa Waringa and Alego, another Luo leader, moved to Nyandiwa which was later named Alego. Chwanya, a brother of Alego, led the move from Alego to Uyoma where the people of Chwanya, and Odongo's people lived until towards the end of the eighteenth century when they quarrelled among themselves over cattle thefts and the descendants of Odongo migrated away. B.A. Ogot has written: For about six generations, the Chwanya cluster of clans (Chwanya is the ancestor of the major lineages in Kanyamwa, Kabuoch, Karungu and Kadem) lived at different places in their fertile

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


peninsula attracting several splinter groups to the area, until about several generations ago, and therefore between 1730 and 1790, when with the arrival of the uyoma in the peninsula the former Luo occupants were forced to migrate to South Nyanza across Lake Victoria. Another party that moved eastwards from Yimbo was led by Nyimek, a cousin of Alego. They stopped briefly at rayola after which they finally settled briefly at Mbaga hill. These two parties of settlers constitute the core of the Jok folk in Alego.16 Three other Jok groups migrated southwards from Yimbo with one led by Nyikal moving to modern Sakwa through Alego. After a short sojourn on Abiero Hill near the present Mugwena village, they moved further South and lived at Likungu in Uyoma with the Chwanya party. Due to dissension, Nyikal and his followers migrated north-eastwards and then northwards to Winam Kagombe in Asembo, absorbing some people called Mori and Uwaria en route. They established a large settlement called `seme' where Jo-Kanyikal live to this day. Chwanya and his followers remained behind in the vicinity of Likungu. The second group of Julu people migrated from Yimbo through Bondo to Ong'ielo Hill where they encountered the Nyang'ori who were retreating inland in response to Luo pressure. JoKajulu claim that the hill was named after a Nyang'ori elder called Ong'ielo, whom they killed on this hill. From Ong'ielo Hill the party moved to Ramba where they set their second settlement. The third party led by an elder called Onywa first moved to modern Busonga where they founded a settlement which they called `Nyakach' after which the descendants of Onywa together with the people they assimilated settled. Later the group divided into three different parties and moved southwards. One group went to osiri Masonga and the second occupied the island of Kadiong'a in the Winam Gulf while the third and largest crossed Lake Victoria and settled around Homa Bay. Joka-Owiny The real conquest of the lakeshore of central Nyanza by the Luo may be said to have taken place between 1590 and 1790. It was during this period that the Joka-Owiny Luo arrived. Also arriving during the later part of the period were other miscellaneous groups that were later to evolve into Kano, Asembo, Uyoma and Sakwa sub-tribes. B.A. Ogot has written on these movements thus: To go back to the newcomers. The most aggressive and virile group of the newcomers, and therefore the group whose arrival had important repercussions, was the one led by Owiny Sigoma. This was the party which had separated from Adhola's followers in Budola. Today it comprises the following: the Karuoth, Kogelo, Karapul, Kanyabol, and Agoro clans all in Alego location; Nyigor clan in asembo; Owil, Dimo, Munyejra and Wagoma clans in Yimbo; the Kakwar clan in Kisumu peri-urban; and the Kamot and Konya clans in Kano.17 The people of Jaduong Owiny (Owiny the elder) who broke away from Adhola of Uganda migrated under the leadership of Owiny across Samia Bugwe defeating the Bugwe whose other name was Otewe. Owiny died at Bakangara in Samia and was succeded by his son Kisodhi who died at a place known in Luo tradition as Akek, but which the Abasamia call Buhehe. Kisodhi was succeeded by his aggressive and impulsive son Owiny Sigoma who led a section of JokaOwiny to alego. It took this group about thirty years to travel from Budhola area. a group led by

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Gwanga, a cousin of Owiny sigoma, moved to Ugoma (the present port Victoria) where they intermarried with the local Bantu from whom they learned the art of pottery. This part of Bunyala was then occupied by some people called the Wamithi and Maingo with whom the Luo established friendly relations. Under the leadership of ager and Owiny Sigoma, the Luo established a settlement at Nungo which they had to defend against the hostilities of the Abamatsi, Abaamba, Abaulwani and Abanyekera whom they defeated and over whom they proclaimed their rule. This was happening at a time when the Bunyala Samia-corridor was the gathering point of all kinds of splinter groups that were eventually to form the present Bunyala and abasamia population. The Owiny Sigoma group arrived in Alego around 1625 where they found parts of Alego still settled by Bantu speaking people, with whom they fought. They then joined the original Luo immigrants who had occupied the region under the leadership of Alego. The followers of Dimo and Owiny Sigoma migrated together to Alego, leaving the present Ababongo people in Bunyala. After wandering about in Alego some of these Luo groups finally settled at the modern Goma area in Kadimo about thirteen generations ago. B.A. Ogot has written: In this area they found several groups, the Wahanga, waguswa and walany whom they subdued. But no sooner did they establish their authority over the former occupants of the land than another Owiny party led by Munyenjra, Owili and Dimo arrived to conquer Kadimo. The leader of the Luo warriors was Dimo's son Juju who died in the battlefield. After the Luo had defeated the Bantu of Yimbo, a line of Luo ruoths (or chiefs) assumed leadership. The grand Jaduong Dimo became the first ruoth. The people whom he led took his name and became known as Joka-Dimo or Kadimo people. W.R. Ochieng has written thus: Dimo was a very strong leader who made sure that the Bantu people were closely watched. He set up a council which was dominated by his Luo followers but in it were also leaders of a few of the Bantu clans. They helped to provide Dimo with an army with which he fought the Alego and Sakwa people. The group from Bunyala led by Owiny Sigoma himself moved across modern Busonga to a place in western alego which they named Sigoma, after their leader. B.A. Ogot has written: Here there occurred the first clash in the Kenya Luo history between the two incipient chiefships. The first territorial grouping in the area had been established under Ruoth Seje who lived about ten generations ago, that is, between 1650 and 1700. Their settlement around Oburu Forest in West Alego soon attracted additional members consisting of affines, matrilateral kin, friends allies and refugees from other clans.20 On the other hand, the leaders of the party led by Owiny Sigoma were already used to being looked upon as rulers (`Jo-Karuoth') by their followers way back from Bunyala-Samia settlements and were therefore unlikely to accept meekly the overlordship of Seje. A long and bitter struggle for power ensued and for a short time, Owiny superseded Seje as the Ruoth of the whole region. Due to his dictatorial and repressive rule, which increased inter-clan feuds, the people of Alego eventually revolted against Owiny who together with his followers escaped back to Bunyala to reorganise themselves. The autocratic ambition of Owiny Sigoma was brought to a premature

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


end with the help of the Jo-Ugenya who arrived in Alego when Owiny had just returned from his exile in Bunyala with the intention of re-capturing power and he was defeated and killed. His death brought peace in the area and more extensive settlements. Jok-Omolo The Jok-Omolo clusters consist of the sub-tribes of Gem and Ugenya in both central and south nyanza and are made up of the following clans; Kakan in Alego; Kagan in south Nyanza; Kadet in gem, Central Nyanza who are called Nyidet in Ugenya; Kanyuda and Kochia in South Nyanza; and the Uburi, Urawana, Udongo and Umanyi clans in Samia. B.A. Ogot has written about these clans thus: According to the traditional evidence we have discussed, it is apparent that the Jok and Owiny groups migrated from Acholiland and Padhola respectively. The case of Jok'Omolo is more difficult to establish, Luo tradition suggests that the party may be related to Crazzolara's Rajem and Jo-Pugweny (or Ugwenyi). The Gem (or Ragem) sub-clans in Acholiland and alurland appear to have migrated to their present homes from Pawir in Bunyoro. They probably formed part of a much larger Luo party which included the Jo-Pungwenyi and which did not settle for long in Bunyoro. Indeed the name Omol (or Omolo or Omoti) appear as the name of several clans in Lang'o, Acholi and Padhola. According to acholi tradition, for example, the Paimol claim descent from a certain Omol. They came from Pawir in Bunyolo about twelve generations ago following a dispute over succession. Probably the Jok-Omolo in Nyanza also came from Pawir and while the Paimol moved towards Opela and the akan'g Mountains via Payira, the Jok-Omolo migrated south-eastwards in the direction of modern Tororo. As one text puts it, the Jok-Omolo had migrated to Acholi area from Bunyoro, where they had lived for a very short time.21

It seems that the Jok-Omolo group did not stay for a long time in Acholi and most probably followed more or less the same route that Joka-Jok had followed, passing close to where the present Soroti town is sited and moving in the direction of Mount Elgon to Tororo and Busia. After wandering forwards and backwards in the plains, they settled at Banda in Bukoli country in Busoga between about 1540 and 1800 where they lived for about two to three generations, intermarrying with the local inhabitants. Tradition also claims that it was while this group was living in Banda that the Luo learned how to make kuodi (large shields) which were to be of great service to them in their conquest of South Nyanza about five generations later. When they decided to leave Busoga in about 1800, a small group under the leadership of Gor remained behind, and this group is known as Kogor in Luo tradition and as Wahori (or Wakoli) in Soga history. It appears that they settled in Samia for about two generations in the area around Akek. Jo-Gem moved southwards across Bunyala into Kadimo where, according to traditions they lived for at least three generations. About between 1760 and 1820 they migrated to western Alego under the leadership of Rading Omolo. The history of Jo-Ugenya, the other group within the Jok-Omolo cluster from Banda and their subsequent settlement in Alego, is much clearer and more detailed. They moved in two big waves with the first wave led by Okiyo, Nywa, Teg and Deje who founded the present Koteg and Kanyamwa clans. These clans crossed through Samia to western Alego where they settled at Uhui, Sigoma and Gangu. Owiny launched a serious attack on the new comers, killing many of

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


them but before he could bring them under his control, a second party of the Jo-Ugenya led by Boro and Puny, the founders of the Boro and Puny clans, appeared. B.A. Ogot has written thus: Crossing the river Nzoia and using clever military subterfuge, the group routed Owiny's army and in the ensuing fight, killed owiny himself. With the consent of ruoth Seje they then established their settlement in the area between Muwer and Uhui, at Boro (named after one of their leaders and still in use) and Ugingo. In other words, the arrival of the Jo-Ugenya folk in Alego marked not only the demise of Owiny's turbulent rule and the re-emergence of the rule of Seje lineage; it also inaugurated an epoch of peaceful, intensive and permanent settlement in the region. Jo-Ugenya for about eight generations lived in their mud-walled villages tending their livestock and practising a limited form of agriculture. The settlement in Alego marked the beginning of a sedentary life, and a marked change from pastoralism to mixed farming. Peaceful and permanently settled existence led to an expansion in population. About four generations ago, there occurred a conflict between Ugenya and Alego over pasture and water holes and the Ugenya people moved to the higher and wetter regions they occupy today. Joka-Suba As has already been seen, the present Luoland and, in particular, south Nyanza was already inhabited by the Bantu people, sparcely as it may have been, before the Luo arrived. Other than the Joka-Jok groups, which arrived in Nyanza from Ligala in Samia, and the Mnyenjra, Owili and Dimo groups from Alego, the Luo in south Nyanza, including the exodus from central Nyanza, arrived in small groups which were not only scattered but rarely, if at all, kept in touch with one another. Apart from formal establishment of the Luo administration through Ruothship (chiefship) in the newly conquered territories, a process of assimilation was commenced between 1850 and 1900 in the area of modern Gwasi, Kaksingiri, Kasgunga and the islands of Rusinga and Mfangano. In the meantime, for the purposes of trade transactions, it became essential for the non-Luo speakers to learn Dholuo in order to be able to communicate. The Luo-Abasuba history is covered under the title Luo-Abasuba in this book.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER SIX
CUSHITES
Oromo( Boran, Gabbra, Sakuye, Orma, Burji) Sam Speakers( Somali, Rendile, Arrial) Oromo Boran The area the Boran (Oromo-Galla) occupy in Kenya includes parts of the Districts of Marsabit, Moyale, Mandera, Wajir and Isiolo; in Ethiopia, the Boran occupy the southernmost parts of the Sidamo province. They are also found in some parts of the Jubaland province of the Somali republic in the vicinity of the Dawa and Ganale rivers. They originated from Dirre and Liban areas of southern Ethiopia. Linguistically the Boran language belongs to the Eastern Cushitic sub-division of the cushitic group of languages, which derives from the main Afro-Asiatic family of languages. In Kenya in addition to the Boran, the Somali of North Eastern Province and the Wardy Galla of the Tana region both belong to the cushitic group of languages. Boran is a corporate term embracing principally three major groups of Borana speakers. They include the Gabbra, Sakuye and Borana Guttu, that is the `Borana proper'. Also closely related to the Boran are the Watta (Waata) people who are descendants of an original hunter-gatherer population. Other peoples who have also played some role in shaping Boran history are the neighbouring groups. These includes the Somali and in particular the Gurreh (Garre) and Ajuran sub-groups of the Somali, the Wardy Galla, the Samburu and the Rendille peoples. Writing on the origin, migration and settlement of the Boran, Paul S.G. Goto has stated: Taking their cue mainly from Cerulli and L.M. Lewis, most scholars of African history accepted as an article of faith the theory that the Galla people occupied the horn of Africa before the Somali, who beginning around the 10th Century A.D, swept south and to the south-west from the shores of the Gulf of Aden and drove the Galla before them. The Galla reached Ethiopia and in the 16th Century overran the greater part of that country.1 According to Haberland and H. Lewis, the origin of the Galla (Oromo) is to be found in the highland region around Bali in South-Central Ethiopia and traditions are unanimous in confirming this. The center of Galla dispersal is traced around the region, which is currently the homeland of the Boran. Paul S.G Goto writing about Boran, Gabbra and Sakuye human and stock movements wrote thus: Hence over the years the vital areas of Boran migrations and settlements were the homelands of Dirre and Liban, and the lowland region of Golbo and Wanyama stretching from the east of Lake Rudolf [Turkana] to Qaddaduma and beyond in the east. It also included Dadasha Waraba as the furthest out post of Boran settlement in the north-east directions, in the lower reaches of the Dawa and Ganale Gudda rivers.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Traditional migration tendencies were increased by disturbances taking place in the horn of Africa as a result of the Jihads by Mohammed Abdille Hassan and the pressure exerted by the Amhara annexation of Boran country under Menelik II in 1897. Many groups migrated to the Golbo lowlands and on to the further reaches of the present Marsabit district of Kenya. Paul S.G.Goto on the occupation of these lowlands wrote thus: We would refer to these as the `low altitude' areas, called Golbo by the Boran and the slightly `higher-altitude' regions, the area traditionally known to the Boran as Dirre and Liban. The latter is the traditional homeland of the Boran and is still regarded as such. The whole of it lies in the Southern province of Ethiopia. The Golbo is that region which coincides with the area below the southern boundary of Ethiopia with Kenya, stretching from the east of Lake Turkana [Rudof] to the region of confluence of the Dawa and the Ganale rivers, in the east. physically, it is set off from Dirre and Liban by an escarpment which roughly coincides with the Ethiopia Kenya border and is called Gorro by Boran.3 Writing on the Boran in the book People and Cultures of Kenya, Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori had this to say: Kenya Borana are the progeny of Ethiopian Borana. The latter descended from the highlands, abandoned agriculture and adopted a pastoral life-style many generations ago. The Borana move to the lowlands may have occurred around the years 1660-1720. They have been migrating to a greater or lesser degree ever since, and periodically fresh infusion of their fellows have entered northern Kenya. Unlike their relations, the Orma, who remain cattle herding pastoral people, the Kenya Borana have been forced to change to a predominantly camel-herding economy. This recent and relatively drastic change has resulted in part from the progressive desiccation of the Borana environment and in part from the loss of most of their cattle during the shifta (Somali bandit) troubles in the north of Kenya in the sixties. Social and Political Organisation Borana homesteads are grouped into settlements. A settlement may consist of eight or nine homesteads, with the largest grouping up to forty such homesteads. Every settlement has a titular leader who is the head of all the grouped households and that is the extent of the settlement organisation. Communal life and co-operation in a Borana settlement are not institutionalised and social organisation among the Borana is loosely structured. Paul S.G Goto has described social structure of Borana life thus: Among the Borana society the institutions of clan and moiety, age-set and generation set are the vital elements of this feature. Clans and moieties: Boran society is divided into two exogamous moieties; Sabho and Gona. Each moiety is in turn divided into named clans and sub-clans and one of the moieties-Gona moiety is divided into the sub-moieties of Haroresa and Fullale. Like the moiety, Boran clans and sub-clans are without exemption exogamous.5

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Below is a break-down of Boran clans and moieties. The Sobho moiety three clans: 1. Karayu; 2. Matarri; 3. Digallu. Karayu is the priestly clan of the Sabho moiety. The Gona moiety is divided into two sub-moieties: The Fullele and Hororesa under each of which are the clans listed below: Fullele Haroresa 1. Oditu 2. Sirayu 3. Galantu 4. Daccitu 5. Kinitu 6. Baccitu 7. Maccitu 8. Arussi 9. Qarcabdu 10. Dambitu 11. Hawatu 12. Nonnitu 13. War Jidda 14. Maliyu

Gabbra Most Gabbra live in Marsabit District but some are found as far north as the Kenya-Ethiopian border area and as far west as the Lake Turkana area. They are camel nomads who herd sheep and goats as well. They are a sub-group of the Boran to whom they are related linguistically and culturally. Their economy is distinguished by the camel rather than cattle, which were the traditional Boran livestock, although this distinction has lost most of its significance today. It is very difficult to determine the origin of the Gabbra people as their traditions are characterised by their vagueness and contradictions. Certain stories pertaining to Gabbra origin are shrouded in myths such that it is difficult to detect any element of historical reality in them. It is possible that these accounts are made up with the deliberate intention of forging an identity between the Gabbra and the Boran by claiming common origin. Establishing the historical facts is a basic problem which confronts every historian who makes use of oral sources, and this problem

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


with regard to the Gabbra is not peculiar to them alone. Even then, it is only one section of the Gabbra, the Algana, who are constantly referred to as being the closest sub-group to the Boran and as directly descended from the Qallu, the Karayu clan of the Sabho moiety. The Algana or Algan are the section of the Gabbra who live in close geographical proximity to the Boran, especially the Karayu clan which is often identified with the region around the escarpment separating the Galbo lowlands from the higher grounds of Dirre. The case of the Algana is similar to that of another Galbo resident group, the Sakuye, who are also linked with the Karayu. In addition, many Boran people today have inter-married with the Algan Gabbra on a scale surpassing that with the other Gabbra groups, namely the Galbo or Golbo, the Gara or Garra and Odolla. Boran and Gabbra traditions narrate a story of the origin of the Algana Gabbra which is widely told and which runs as follows: A long time ago, the Qallu (of Kalayu clan) had two sons. The elder son liked tending to camels very much. The younger one preferred looking after cattle. The Qallu had herds of both these animals. The people began to wonder as to why the elder son of the Qallu showed such a liking for camels especially since Qallu are not allowed to eat camel meat or drink its milk. The council of elders decided to call the elder son "Algala" (meaning some sort of outlaw), but the Qallu instead called him Algana. He gave him his blessings and allowed him to feed on the meat of the camel and on its milk. Then Algana went to live with his camels and his descendants are today called the Algana Gabbra. Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori have on the origin of the Gabbra written thus: Gabbra origins remain uncertain. Earlier in this section on Cushitic peoples, in discussing the fate of the Somali-speaking Garre who were defeated and disbanded by the Orma in the sixteenth century in the region between the Juba and the Tana Rivers, it was suggested that one of the three groups emerging from the routed Garre may have eventually given rise to the Gabbra (as well as to the Rendille and the Sakuye). In other words, it is possible that the Gabbra were Somali speakers who evolved into Galla-speakers. Another possibility that has been proposed is that the Gabbra are a mixer of the Somali, the Samburu, the Rendille and the Borana. Still another possibility is that the Gabbra were simply a sub-group of the Borana but emerged as a distinct people. Paul S.G.Goto in supporting the Garre origin postulation has written: In the absence of concrete traditions of origin, we should place more importance on the infrequent references to the origin of the Gabbra from the Gurreh Somali and the Watta peoples. One account has it that the Gabbras are a branch of the Gurreh who came to live alongside the Boran and adopted the latter's language and most of their customs . . . It is also true that among the Gabbra are several names which closely resemble traditional Muslim names. Such names as Ali, Adano, Abudo, Isako, etc were probably original Muslim names, which have been modified slightly. Finally, the Gabbra names for the names of the week also resemble the Arabic ones or probably the Somali version of the Arabic calendar. These names are Sabdi, Ahad, Alsinim, Talasa, Arba, Kamusa and Gumata corresponding to the days of the week from Saturday (Sabdi) to Friday (Gumata).

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

While the evidence here may be insufficient to confirm the descent of the Gabbra from the Somali it is likely that the Gabbra and the Gabbra Miigo, who constitute one of the sections of the Sakuye people, originated from the Gurreh at some point in the past before the Sakuye became part of Boran society. It is possible that the ancestors of the Gabbra people might include the Somali, Rendille and Miigo. Also the widely told story of the Galbo Gabbra originating from the Watta cannot be entirely ignored. However, there is enough evidence to indicate that various elements are represented in this group Boran, Sakuye, Watta, Gurreh and Miigo and possibly Rendille. E. R. Turton has written: The first threat to Garre hegemony over the Juba/Tana region seems to have come from the Orma after the latter had reached the coast near the mouth of the River Tana. The Orma then turned north, defeating the Garre and pushing them back to Afmadu, where they were subsequently dispersed. One group moved to Giumbo, near the mouth of the river Juba, but after being repeatedly attacked were forced to cross the river and eventually moved north to Merca. A second group of Garre moved to the coast and then crossed to the Dundas islands, where they sought the protection of the Bajun and were eventually absorbed by them. A third group moved inland from Afmadu, reached the Lorian Swamp and then moved further north. Very little is known about this last migration, though it has been conjectured that it was from this group that the Rendille, Gabbra, Sakuye and Gabbra Migo all have their origin.4 Boran oral traditions have it that the Gabbra were a sub-group of the Boran but emerged as a distinct people, but these traditions do not explain exactly what the status of the Gabbra as a subgroup was. A Boran proverb refers to the Gabbra in conjunction with potters, hunters and smiths. It is best to say that perhaps at one time in the past the Gabbra may have been a sub-group of undetermined status among the Boran, but that today they are a group apart. Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori writing on the similarities between the Gabbra and Boran have stated the following: Today the Gabbra are a people apart in spite of being Galla-speakers, pastoral nomads and similar to the Boran in other cultural characteristics. In outward appearance, dress and hairstyles and ornamentation, the Gabbra resemble the Borana in most basic respects. The women display a common taste in aluminium ornaments, such as bracelets and necklaces. Aluminium beads, in fact, form the bulk of both Gabbra and Boran women's jewelry. A peculiarly Gabbra ornament though is the double band of aluminium worn by their women around the head.5 Like the Boran, the Gabbra have a gada-system, but it has been reported that they have only three gada groups, whereas the Boran have five. The Gabbra share fundamental religious beliefs with the Boran and it is to the Boran priest to whom they go to receive blessings. The Gabbra Malbe adhere to their traditional beliefs. The Gabbra Miigo refer to themselves as Muslims, at least in their contacts with outsiders. On their social and political organisation, Fedders and Salvadori have written thus: The most relevant sub-division in the daily life of the Gabbra is naturally the residential or settlement unit. The Gabbra settlements are highly mobile residential units, averaging some seventy people and seventeen houses each. Residents may be related through complex kinship ties and marriage bonds. The settlement is not only the basic residential unit, but also the basic political and ritual unit of the Gabbra.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Sakuye Traditions regarding the origins of the Sakuye, unlike those on the origins of the Gabbra are more explicit. The indication here is that the Sakuye people were acculturated into the Boran society at a much later date than the Gabbra. As their name implies, Sakuye came to the Boran from the direction of `Saku' which is the local name for the site of the present Marsabit township and the surrounding area. These people are said to have broken away, together with the Rendille, from the Garre Somali at some unknown time in the past. The two communities had lived together around Mount Marsabit, where the Sakuye left the Rendille. It is not known why Sakuye moved away, although Samburu pressure on them is suspected to have contributed to their emigration. In the meantime, a group of people called the Miigo, who had long been acculturated into Boran society, were camped at Demo Derra, a mountain to the east of the present town of Marsabit where they were performing Boran religious ceremonies. Tradition has it that the Miigo are a break-away Gurreh Somali group who had accepted Boran protection as they were a small group and therefore became fully acculturated into Boran society, although they retained their identity as Miigo in certain respects. The story goes that the group from Saku met the Miigo at Demo and on being asked where they came from, they replied `Saku'. Hence the Miigo called them "Sakuye," meaning people of Saku. The Miigo decided to introduce them to the Qallu of the Karayu clan as he was the authority under whom they also lived. The Qallu gave protection to the Sakuye and asked them and the Miigo to live together as kinsmen thereafter. Necessary Boran ceremonies were performed for the Saku foreigners to be accepted as a friendly group and as members of the group. They were first required to pay certain dues to the Qallu in the form of camels and they were then required to anoint the Qallu every time they visited him as a sign of recognition of his authority as the spiritual leader of the clan and group. Paul S.G.Goto in confirming the Sakuye adoption by the Boran Qallu has written thus: Henceforth, Sakuye came to be known as "Sakuye of the Qallu" and to all intents and purposes were counted as members of the Karayu clan to which the Qallu of the Sabho moiety had initiated them.1 The Sakuye inhabit the general region of Moyale and their principal centre is Dabel on the road to Buna Wajir. The small population is scattered in an area stretching from Moyale region in the north to Wajir and Marsabit in the south. The Sakuye area has no strict territorial demarcations. They maintain a cultural resemblance to the Gabbra. Their economy is based on camel and goat husbandry. Their houses' walls and roofs are covered with hides and mats like those of the Gabbra. The women wear their hair in the Gabbra style. Sakuye culture is fundamentally changing with time. Nomadism is on the wane and they have increasingly converted to Islam during the last sixty years or so. Although the Sakuye look to the Qallu of the Boran for ritual leadership, it is no longer clear whether or not they have a gada-system at all. Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori explaining the current situation facing the small Sakuye community have written thus: Being numerically so inferior to their neighbors and having suffered greatly during the shifta troubles between 1965-1968, the Sakuye have become preoccupied with peace. They are too few to survive in a fully nomadic and frequently belligerent way of life. Possibly in the near future

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


they will be absorbed by the Somali. Sakuye culture is gradually being sacrificed so that Sakuye themselves survive. Orma (Wardy - Wardai) Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori in their book The People and Cultures of Kenya have described the people known at the coast of Kenya as Orma and by the Boran in the north as Wardy in the following manner: The wedge of Galla speaking peoples parting the Rendille from their fellow Somali speakers has its greatest width along Kenya's border with Ethiopia and tapers down through Marsabit to a blunt point around the region between Isiolo and Garba Tulla. But to the southeast of this wedge is another group of Galla-speakers, a fragment removed from the mass of fellow Galla. These are the people who call themselves Orma, or Oromo. They are also known as the Southern Galla and as the Tana Galla, after the river along which they live, and as the Wardeh and the Barraretta.1 The story of Boran expansion to the east began with the ejection of the Wardy out of the plains of Dirre. Boran traditions have it that the defeat of the Wardy in Dirre took place during the gada of Abbayi Babo, which corresponds, approximately to the years 1657-1665. However, according to Turton's evidence, even by 1800 the Wardy were in possession of Wajir and El Wak and the area to the north-east as far as the Dawa river. Gunther Schlee has written: The wave of Galla or Oromo that moved furthest into Kenya were the Wardeh, Warday or Warr (a) D(a) ay(a) whose descendants are the Tana Orma. `Orma' is a common southern dialect form of `Oromo'. On the aftermath of the ejection of the Wardy from Dirre, Paul S.G Goto has written thus: What is likely to have occurred is that between the ejection of the Wardy from Dirre in the middle of the 17th century and the beginning of the 19th, the Wardy grazed over the lowland regions of Golbo, Wayama and the eastern reaches of the Dawa river until 1800 when concerted pressure was exerted on them by a condominium of forces comprising principally Boran and the Garre Somali, but also including the Ajuran Somali. The last known major defeat of the Wardy in the north was inflicted by the Darod Somali. Paul S.G. Goto has written thus: Further south, in the region of El Wak, Buna and Wajir, Boran traditions claim that it was they alone who were responsible for the ejection of the Wardy and that they occupied the vacated wells for themselves. This claim is partly borne out by fact that Boran occupation of Wajir did not really come after the defeat of the Wardy by the Darod in 1867-69. It is perhaps during the 1840s that the Boran occupied the wells at Wajir and the area to the west.4 Orma traditions, like those of the Garre, are extremely limited both in time and in range. For both these peoples have been defeated and scattered, the Orma being virtually annihilated in the process. Orma have fairly definite traditions concerning their migration from Dirre to the coast. They claim to have migrated on account of famine. E.R. Turton has written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

All accounts agree on the route taken, though there is some uncertainty as to whether the migration took place under Ana Akr or Bierami Higu. The Orma maintain that they moved south to Moyale and then continued to the Lorian Swamp, whence they proceeded to the river Tana and so to the coast. According to one report, the Orma divided into two at the Lorian Swamp and one part went to Aji, which cannot be identified, on their way to Kismayu. What is particularly interesting is that Orma at no time claim to have come from central Somalia. Burji The actual place of origin of the Burji in Ethiopia is not clearly known but it is thought that they were at one time part of the Amharic peoples of Ethiopia. This view is borne out by various factors, one of which is similarity between the names; one is known as Amhara and the other as Amara. There is also considerable linguistic affinity between the Burji and the Sidamo who are related to the Amhara. Apart from Sidamo language, there is no other language in the whole of Ethiopia, and even among the Galla, which resembles that of the Burji. However, the Burji and the Boran have many common words which are incidental when viewed against the whole structure of the language and may have arisen from the social and cultural contacts between people bordering on each other for a long time and traded. Burji supplied food and cotton cloth manufactured with their home-made hand-looms for which the Boran paid with cattle within the framework of commercial exchanges. Thus certain words became common to both tribes. Ancient Burji were agricultural people who lived around the Burji mountain. Their territory was to the east of the River Galana Amara, and south-east of Lake Abaya. To the west, across the Galana Amara was the Konso country, to the north the Darasa, and to the south and south-east the Boran. The Amara-Burji are divided into two main groups the Burji and the Gubba. The Amhara live in the extreme north-western corner of Ethiopia and next to them is the Gubba tribe. It is difficult to establish any cultural or linguistic affinity between the Gubba in the north and the Burji Gubba. If this could be done, it would help to confirm the theory that the Amara-Burji are in fact an off-shoot of the Amharic people. It would also explain the separate identity and yet sharing of the group name between the two Gubba people. But although the ultimate origins of the Burji are unclear, Burji history from around the middle of the seventeenth century is very well known by the traditional historians who also have rough idea about the movements of the tribe as far back as early sixteenth century. On this, K.A. Mude, a Kenyan Burji himself has written: Round about the early sixteenth century, the Burji seem to have arrived from a northerly direction at a place called Liban in south eastern Ethiopia. They were not alone for there were the more numerous Boran who were part of this general southerly movement. Boran traditional history also tends to support this belief. It is not known how long these tribes stayed in Liban nor why they moved. Some claim that a Boran King and high priest advised the people that if they crossed the Liban river, and want to live on the plains beyond, they would multiply and prosper. It may well have been due to pressure from the north or east. Most legends, however, claim that the migration of the Burji was triggered off by a misunderstanding between the Burji and the Boran.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


With the Burji in Kenya came to the close of an important chapter of their history. The first Burji to cross the border into Kenya was perhaps one Hille Ume in about 1906. His arrival in Moyale was slightly in advance of that of Philip Zaphiro, the first British Frontier Agent in Moyale. Hille Ume went back home for a period of time but returned to Kenya during the early years of the Great War accompanied by Nawe Gubbe. These two, then, were the first Burji in Kenya. From about 1918 onwards, the Burji are recorded in government records as coming over in small numbers from time to time. Occasionally when times were hard, as when Moyale was hit by famine in 1928, or simply when they felt nostalgic, the Burji would return home only to reappear once more with a few friends or relatives. Those who stayed in Kenya took employment there. In 1920 there were about one hundred and fifty of them in Moyale. By about 1930 there were about three hundred. According to Moyale District Annual Report, the Burji were a great asset in the district as they were the main agricultural workers. They also built the houses and the road between Moyale and Wajir and were producing enough flour to supply Moyale and other stations. By 1926, they were the sole supply of labour in the District. That is how the Burji came to Kenya with the greater number remaining in Gara Burji or scattered elsewhere in southern Ethiopia in Yaballo, Agar Maram, Mega and Hiddi Lola. According to 1989 census, Burji numbered 5975. SAM SPEAKERS Somali The Somali people in the Republic of Somalia inhabit an area of approximately 320,000 square miles (828,800 sq.km) in the horn of Africa, running from 2 latitude south to 10 latitude north, bordered to the east by the Indian Ocean, and to the west and south-west by Ethiopia and Kenya. Neighbouring tribes are: to the south, the Wardy Oromo (Galla), to the north and north-west the Afar and to the west the Oromo Itu, Ala, Aniya, Arussi and Boran. The territory was divided among the colonial powers into: British Somaliland, 68,000 sq. miles (about 75,000 sq. km); the United Nations Trusteeship Territory of Somalia administered by Italy, 200,000 sq. miles (518,000 sq. km); French Somaliland, 5,700 sq miles (about 14,800 sq. km) and those living in the Ethiopian territory of Ogaden and North Eastern of Kenya Province. I. M. Lewis in his book The Modern History of Somaliland: from Nation to State has written: Ethnically and culturally the Somali belong to the Hamitic ethnic group. Their closest kinsmen are the surrounding Hamitic (or as they are often called "cushitic") peoples of the Ethiopian lowlands and Eritrea the traditionally bellicose `Afar' (or Danakil), the Galla, Saho, and Beja. Their immediate neighbours to the north are the pastoral Afa with whom they share French Somaliland and who extend into Eritrea and Ethiopia. To the west, in Ethiopia, the Somali are bounded by the cultivating and pastoral Galla; and in the south by the Boran Galla of Kenya.1 This vast territory is occupied by an unevenly distributed population. Terrain and climate present a gradual progression from the extreme aridity and heat of the north-west corner, which lies in the former French territory, through the relatively less barren lands and milder conditions of the former British Somaliland. Comparatively, the former Italian trusteeship has arable soils and more temperate climate. The barren northern regions provide grazing for camels, sheep and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


goats, and some of the richer pastures of the plains have cattle husbandry. Arable land occurs in patches where temporary cultivation is practised by the nomadic people of the region. The Name Somali In classical times the Somali were known as "Berbers" a designation which survives in the name of the town of Berbera and found in the writing of the Arab geographers of the middle ages, who describe the inhabitants of the southern part of the Horn as `Zengi' (black). I.M. Lewis has written: The Zengi are to be identified with the pre-Cushitic Negroid precursors of the Hamitic Galla and Somali. The word `Somali' first appears in the Ethiopian hymn celebrating the victories of the Abyssinian Negus Yeshaq (1414-29) against the state of lfat (which later became the state of Adal), and occurs frequently in the futuh al-Habasha (1540-50). Various attempts have been made to establish the origin of the word "Somali"; it has been suggested that it is a combination of so (go) and Mal (milk) referring to their pastoral economy. Burton quoting from Kamus, says that "Samal" was the nickname given to a tribal chieftain who had thrust out (samala) his brothers' eyes. Wright suggest that "Somali"derives from the epithet samahe (heathens) bestowed upon the Somali after the campaigns of Ahmed Grafi in the 16th century. The 1945 military report derives "Somali" from Soma bin Tersoma Nagashi, "who was governor of the country from Zeilah to Hafun". Such a derivation is substantiated by the genealogies of Drake-Brockman and Hunt, in which Somale Rag (-ashi?) figures as the son of ram Nag (-shi?) who is currently represented as having been an immigrant Hindu. While cushitic philologists have not yet succeeded in establishing the etymology of the word "Somali" it seems extremely likely that its use to designate the noble inhabitants of Somaliland derives from its being the name of a tribal chieftain or partriarch. People The Somali who are closely related to the Afar and Saho and, according to Cerulli, with the Oromo(Galla) and Beja belong to the southern Cushitic peoples. The Somali, afar and Saho have traditions of common origin in the north-west corner of the Horn of Africa. All the three share a common culture with differences among the Saho attributable to Ethiopian influence and variations in ecology. Nomadism is the basic economy with camels as the beasts of burden, though among the Saho and in some parts of southern Somalia camels are few and oxen replace them as beasts of burden. All three peoples are extremely individualistic and this is consistent with their segmentary political structure. Power and authority with which particular chiefs are invested is a function of the segments involved in any given situation. I.M. Lewis has written: Although there is much variation amongst them, the physical features which immediately strike the eye and seem most generally characteristic of the Somali people as a whole, are their tall stature, thin bone structure and decidedly long and narrow heads. Skin colour shows a wide range from a coppery brown to a dusky black. In their facial features particularly, the Somali also exhibit evidence of their long standing relations with Arabia; and in the south, amongst the Digil and rahanweyn tribes, physical traces of their past contact with Galla and Bantu peoples in this region. Traditionally, however, Somali set most store by their Arabian connections and delight in vaunting those traditions which proclaim their descent from noble Arabian lineages and from the family of the prophet. These claims, dismissed by Somali nationalists today as fanciful, are

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


profound Somali attachments to Islam. They commemorate the many centuries of contact between the Somali and Arabian Coasts which have brought Islam and many other elements of Muslim Arab culture to Somaliland.3 The Kenya Somalis As has already been seen, Somali are an internationally strongly differentiated people forming one big segmentary system. Their genealogical system ultimately traces patrilined descent of every single Somali back to the Quraish, the tribe of the prophet Muhammad. African ancestry, which is obvious from the physical features of the Somali, is attributed exclusively to female ancestors. This genealogy does not perhaps describe history so much as make it. The diagram provided shows the position of Isaq, Degodia, Garre, Dulbahante and Ajuran in the genealogy of the Somali nation. Gunther Schlee on this has written: Apart from the agnatic links which all Somali claim to the Quraish, i.e. the tribe of the prophet and more specifically to his Fabr Abu Talib, the importance attributed to female links to Irrir, the son of Somale, should be noted. The Ajuran who are often referred to as Hawiyya claim to descend from Fadumo s/o Jambelle s/o Hawiyya. The whole Darood clan family is also Somali (in the narrow sense of descendants of Somaale) through Darood's wife Domberre d/o Dir s/o Irrir. Also Isaaq and Saransur are ascribed Irrir wives, Isaaq one of Dir, Saransur, the father of Degodia, one of hawiyya descent.17 The diagram also shows how the major Somali groups of northern Kenya fit into the total genealogy of the Somali nation. It shows the place of the garre and the Degodia in the genealogy and their relationship to the other major Somali clan families without going into details on the sub-groups of the latter. Before the Boran were removed from the position of dominance in the nineteenth and twentienth centuries by the northern Somali, mainly Darood and the British, Gabbra (Malbe and Miigo), Sakuye, ajuran, Warra Daaya and Garre lived in the area of Moyale, Wajir and Mandera under the boran tutelage. On the earliest inhabitants of this area, I.M. Lewis has written: After their defeat, the Ajuran and their allies, the Madanleh, to whom so many striking wells stone work are attributed, were hurried south eventually into what is today the North Eastern Region of Kenya where they appear to have been among the earliest recorded inhabitants. Here, they were joined later by the Boran and Warday Galla who established a local ascendancy which was only finally overcome by the massive wave of Somali migration in the nineteenth century.18 The Ajuran and Madanleh under the Boran were made to pay tribute. In this regard, Gunther Schlee has written: With regard to those Ajuran who paid tribute to the Boran in Northern Kenya, the Degodia (who on the threshold of the twentieth century came into hostile contact with them) report that they were pagans, indistinguishable from the Boran and unable to speak Somali. With which justification do both groups now claim the name Ajuran? The oral traditions are contradictory; on the one hand the present Kenyan Ajuran stress their Somali genealogy and their descent from Aqil Bin Abu Talib, the uncle of the prophet; on the other hand, they claim to descend from the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


legendary well-digging giants, Madanleh, the autochthons of the country. Both claims may have an element of truth and certainly contain one of ideology; the first proves Islamic legitimacy, the second justifies the territorial claim. It seems most likely that an older non-Islamic or only marginally Islamic group, which was originally called Madanleh and temporarily also Bal'ad, assimilated more and more Hawiyya Somali elements. Under Boran dominance the soil was not suitable for the flowering of Islam, so its practice became lax or forgotten. When, however, the Boran were replaced by muslim Somali as the dominant ethnic group, people remembered their share of Hawiyya and then in the main sailed under the flag `Ajuran' although this might have corresponded to genealogical truth only for a minority.19 The years between 1850 and 1910 saw the first wave of invasion by the Darod, who expanded partly at the expense of other Somali, the Hawiyya, who had preserved a higher share of pagan proto-Rendille-Somali culture and were allied to Boran. The Boran, profiting from the defeat of the Warra Daaya (Wardy Galla), acquired land and watering rights. Whatever the set-backs suffered by certain Somali groups, the final results are clear; that all Oromo groups suffered large territorial losses to Somali, and autochtonous (indigenous). Somali groups were culturally assimilated by the northern Somali, with the consequent unification of Somali culture in addition to territorial gains. Those of the Warra Daaya left after defeat. Some were sold by the Ogaden into slavery in the markets of Lamu and Zanzibar while others withdrew to the south-west, to the Tana River. The women captured from the Warra Daaya enriched the Ogaden with a mixed population. On this Gunther Schlee has written: These events changed the ethnic composition of northern Kenya roughly as follows: the Darood Somali, mainly Ogaden (Telemuggeh, Mohammed Zubeir, Maghabul, Habr Suleman), entered what is now Garissa District and later expanded into Wajir District.20 As the British were starting to administer Jubaland (after 1895) and the North Frontier District of Kenya which was inhabited by the Somali among others, another group under the umbrella of the Ajuran as second degree sheegad adoptees or alliants (sheegad is a derivative of the form ku-sheegada `I name you', i.e. `I name your ancestor when asked for my ancestor) of the Boran. They counted themselves as belonging to the Hawiyya, but claim like the Ajuran to descend only by a female link from Hawiyya. These were the Gelible, a sub-group of the Degodia. Gunther Schlee on this has written: The one group of the Degodia which went further in integrating itself into the Ajuran tribal community and which for decades was not generally regarded as Degodia at all but as Ajuran, was the Gelible. Because of a slightly discriminatory attitude on the part of the other Degodia against them when in anger, they call them kufaar or `unbelievers' and because of some cultural attributes the Gelible share with the Rendille and the Gabbra (elements of the protoRendille-Somali culture), I suggest that the Gelible are a relatively recent addition to the Degodia and that their ultimate affiliation to one of the major tribes at that time was still open.21 Also the other Degodia did not come from a different world, however, but from the region around the rivers Dawa, Parma and ganale Daria in south east Ethiopia and from El Ali in Somali, where fellow tribesmen of theirs are still present today. Rendille

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Rendille people are said to have broken, together with the Sakuye, from Garre Somali long time ago; both the Rendille and the Sakuye are said to have lived around Mt. Marsabit before the Sakuye left the Rendille. They now live west of the Somali clans, separated from them by a wedge of Oromo-speaking peoples. They roam the region of northen Kenya between lake Turkana to the west and Mount Marsabit to the east, between the Merille River and the Ndoto Mountains to the south and the Chalbi Desert to the north, an area of roughly twenty-two thousand square kilometres. The Rendille are a cushitic people whose culture and language bears some similarity to the Somali further east. According to traditions collected in the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Garre or some section of them began migrating several centuries ago from the area around down the right hand side of the river Juba towards Afmadu where they settled. The Oromo defeated and dispersed them, with one group moving from Afmadu to Lorian Swamp and then further north. It has been conjectured that it was from this group that the Rendille, Gabbra, Sakuye and Gabbra Miigo all have their origin. E.R. Turton has written: There is ample evidence that confirms this scattering of the Garre. In the first place, they seem to have left behind small remnants along the routes they took in their migrations. At Afmadu there are the Bon Garre and there are others at Gelib near the mouth of the river Tana of whom one group (for they are of mixed origin) spoke Somali in the nineteenth Century, not the Somali of their Darod neighbours but rather the southern Somali dialect of the Garre. H.C. Flemming who has noted this linguistic clue, could find no obvious explanation for it, though in the light of the traditions of the Garre an explanation suggests itself. Finally, there are some Rendille that claim a Garre origin, as well as some sections of the Gabbra.1 In economic terms, the Rendille depend primarily on camel herding. In this regard Fedders & Cynthia Salvadori have written: Rendille preoccupation with the camels undoubtedly is due in part to the fact that camels husbandry is such a demanding and arduous occupation, more so than herding cattle. A camel may stray as far as eighty kilometres from the herd, and may require a week or more to trace and retrieve. Any loss is a minor disaster, because a female camel yields far greater quantities of milk than does a milk cow. A herd of Rendille camels have the capacity to produce a quantity of milk equivalent to that of a herd of the neighbouring Samburu cattle four times larger in number, and two good female camels in milk may suffice for a Rendille couple and their children. Settlement In considering the economy of northern Kenya, the pattern of rainfall is of vital importance. There are two patterns of rainfall. The western part extending to the Leroghi plateau and the western side of Mount Ngiro experiences heavy and generally reliable rains during the warm and hot months. The eastern remainder of the area the low country experiences heavy but unreliable rains during the cooler months. The societies inhabiting these areas have either settled or live as mobile camps depending on the reliable availability of natural resourses especially water. The Rendille may be said to inhabit three different ecological zones, A, B, and C. The first, type A, is an area where there is a semi-permanent water point and a salt lick, usually in the same

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


area. Type B, is an area where there is a semi-permanent water point but no salt. Type C, is an area where there is neither semi permanent water, nor salt but with grass or browse. On Rendille settlement, camps and patterns of nomadism, Paul Spencer has written: The Rendille herds and population are divided between settlement and camp for the greater part of the year, especially during the dry season. In the settlement live the women, small children and most married men and they keep only enough milch camels for their immediate needs. In the camps, the older boys and the young active men look after the remainder of the herds. These camps are situated in areas where living is rough but browse is adequate (i.e. type A grazing areas where there is salt but browse is sparce during the dry season). The rigours of camp life with a general shortage of water are offset by the abundance of milk: it is not simply that browse is plentiful (it may not always be), but also that all milch camels' surplus to the requirements of the settlement are at the camps, and only a portion of the human population are there to live off them. The ability of camels to cover up to 30 miles or more a day in a two-day trek to and from the water point opens up a large part of the district to camps during the dry season. In these houseless camps the warrior age-set herdsmen, roughly aged between fourteen and thirty years, safeguard the family herds, with the assistance of uncircumscised boys. Water is often far away from the choice camel grazing areas and the treks to bring water can be difficult. Even at the watering points, the process of watering the stock is laborious as camels consume staggering volumes of water as container after container are passed up from hand to hand, from sometimes very deep wells, to keep the wooden drinking troughs topped up until the thirst of every camel has been slaked. Rendille clan settlements tend to be influenced by migratory tracts which do not imply ownership of the land. The Orare, Urwen and Nahagan clans tend to inhabit the more northerly areas of the district parallel to the shores of Lake Turkana. The other clans of the Rendille proper tend to concentrate in the dry season on Lamagaati. During the wet season, Gavana and Galdeelan remain in these areas while Nebei, Tubsha and Dibshai move in a north-westerly direction towards Mount Kulal and Lake Turkana. Uiyam, Matarpa, Gobonai and Rongumo clans migrate westwards into the Hedad. Social and Political Organisation The segmentary social system of the Rendille proper has four levels distinguishable primarily by associated modes of behaviour. A man normally inherits his position in this system through his father, although the belief in common ancestry for the more inclusive levels is diffuse. Rendille agnatic lineages extend typically to grandfathers and no further which is about one generation further than the generation of currently living young men. It is not always certainly clear how collateral (parallel) lineages of a sub-clan are descended from one putative supposed ancestor. As the groups grow larger, common ancestors tend to become forgotten as members disperse and the clan tends to fragment into smaller scattered units. Rendille exogamous clans are corporate groups mostly living in the same settlement. typically each clan includes 100 or more adult males who tend to rely on one another economically rather than on other Rendille, mobilising local resources, and taking important decisions through debate

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


and mutual consensus. Seniority in clans determines the order in which different families participate in certain ceremonies. Andrew Fedders & Cynthia Salvadori have described Rendille clan-based settlement thus: The clan is the basic Rendille social unit. Traditionally, although not today, an entire clan of which there are ten, lived together as one settlement, gob. Yet even today each settlement is a clan unit, an extended family unit of which each male acknowledges a common forefather. A settlement typically consists of about two dozen houses sheltering approximately ten dozen occupants. Each married woman and widow has her own house. Indeed, the term for marriage means house-building, because when a woman marries a house is constructed for her. Most of the building materials for the new house are taken from the house of the brides' mother. The Rendille moities, Belisi Bahai (upper Belisi) and Belisi beri (lower Belisi) consist respectively of five and four clans. Upper Belisi can claim ritual precedence because it is the first to perform age-set ceremonies; the Disbhai clan of the Belisi Bahai moiety chooses the incumbents for certain ceremonial offices in each age-set. Lower Belisi in certain respects may claim superiority because the most senior incumbents in ceremonial offices and the ritual leader must always be chosen from its Saali clan. The moieties have no significance outside these rituals. Brotherhood by descent assumes that the linked segments of different clans are descended ultimately from one ancestor although they may have since been separated by interclan and inter-tribal migrations. Bond brotherhood is a rather special form of brotherhood by descent, where behaviour and mutual obligations are prescribed by custom and it is believed that any breach of these would lead to severe misfortune. A man has powers of moral coercion over his bond brothers who should not refuse him any request. Ariaal The political alliance between the Rendille and Samburu is maintained through the mediating role of another group of the Rendille to the south known among the Rendille as the Ariaal and among the Samburu as the Masagera. Socially, economically and geographically, the Ariaal Rendille occupy a position somewhere between the two tribes. Many members of the Ariaal are either emigrants from the Rendille proper or second and third generation descendants of such emigrants. It is also generally assumed that at one time some Samburu gained camels in warfare and decided to take to camel management and of poorer Rendille who left their natal clans and gained camels by raiding or by trading small stock with the Somali. Paul Spencer has written: The Ariaal Ilturia clan are regarded by many Rendille as an epitome of the Ariaal. According to their myth of descent, a group of Rendille enticed their sisters' younger sons who were still living among the Rendille proper, to come and help them manage their herds. Gradually a tradition developed that inside the Ilturia, it was possible to build up herds of camels primarily by trading small stock with the Somali at Arbah Jahan or elsewhere. Rendille proper from many clans were tempted to join this clan: ilturia, in fact means literally a collection of people from all over the place ( a turit "to mix and grow" Samburu). Along with the other Ariaal, they live in the country which is better for small stock (even worse for camels) than the areas to the north inhabited by the Rendille proper. Although the Ariaal retain the culture and exogamous restrictions of their former Rendille clans, each Ariaal settlement is affiliated to one of the Samburu phratries. The youth grow their hair in

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


the style of the Samburu moran and form localised clubs maintaining considerable independence from Samburu clubs. Apart from those who claim descent from the Rendille proper, a large proportion of Ariaal claim Samburu descent and have cattle-owning kinsmen among the Samburu and they do not observe the age-set customs of the Rendille proper. However, they observe other customs associated with the well being of camel herds, including the soriu and almhato festivals and stock avoidances associated with the Rendille ritual (see Nomads in Alliance page 65 - 71) calendar. An Ariaal settlement normally consist of both ex-Rendille proper or ex-Samburu immigrant families and the language and material culture are essentially Rendille. A Rendille may go either to a linked Ariaal clan and continue living inside the camel economy or he may be tempted to consider a complete change and take up cattle raising among the Samburu. For this reason, about one-third of the Samburu claim ultimate Rendille descent and they assume that their immigrating ancestors were those that could not be contained within the camel economy. On this Paul Spencer has written: While the Ariaal do not own cattle in the strictest sense, they do have very close links with the cattle economy and live, as we have seen, in an area where they are interspersed with the Samburu. In many cases, one elder may own both camels and cattle. His first wife is often a Rendille girl who lives in one of the Ariaal settlements of his clan with his camels; and his second wife, who may be either Rendille or Samburu, lives in a Samburu settlement in the vicinity and looks after his cattle. In his Ariaal home, this man is an Ariaal speaking Rendille and observing Ariaal Rendille customs: and in his Samburu home, when he visits it, he is a Samburu, speaking Samburu and observing Samburu customs. The distinction between the two tribes is as slender as that. The Samburu and Ariaal are inextricably linked by economic and cultural ties that virtually preclude any possibility of radical separation between them. For many generations, the Samburu have claimed certain rights in Rendille-Ariaal camels and vice-versa. With every marriage and individual migration, these rights are fully exercised and the claims are made good. In spite of considerable cultural differences and towards critical attitude sometimes the adoption of one another, they are bound by ties which transcend cultural and political barriers. Ariaal are a particular social formation, distinguished from the Samburu by their bilingualism, camel keeping, and following certain Rendille customs in settlement organisation and rituals affecting livestock, and from the Rendille by their bilingualism, cattle-keeping and their inclusion in Samburu descent groups and age-set rituals. Elliot Fratkin in Maa Speakers of the Northern Desert has written: Ariaal share many cultural features with the Rendille including large lowland settlements (often thirty houses of five people each) as well as practising rituals associated with camel production including Sorio and Almhodo (schlee, 1989). However, Ariaal clans which constitute the core residential settlements are affiliated with the Samburu rather than the Rendille descent system, particulary with Lorokushu, Longieli, Lukumai, Masala, and the composite Turia descent sections. Ariaal age-set ceremonies follow the Samburu rather than Rendille ritual cycle, including the performance of five ritual ox-slaughters (mugit) over the fourteen-year period between age-set initiations (Spencer, 1973: 89-93). While Rendille also follow a fourteen year ageset cycle and indeed Samburu and Maasai may have borrowed this system from them (Beaman, 1981), their ritual structure is quite distinct from Samburu. Ariaal are not permitted to attend the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


large gaalgulamme ceremony following Rendille initiation which defines Rendille age-set inclusion and identity (Schlee, 1989:9).

CHAPTER SEVEN
Hunter-Gatherers ( Yaaku, Dahalo, Elmolo, Waata, Aweer, Lowland Nyika, Ngiwakinyang, IK, Ngibotok, Dassenech, Ogiek) Until about 5,000 years ago, all of the East African territory was peopled by hunter-gatherers who knew the behaviour and habitats of the animals that provided meat, skins and horns which they used for their daily lives. They also knew where and when to find the plants that supplied them with grains, tubers, nuts and berries for food and bark cloth, dyes, cosmetics, incense and medicines. The bands of people moved around the land with the sophisticated knowledge of where to find the stones for tools and whatever else was needed. For each ecosystem, the people adapted to the plants and animals found in the territory in which they found themselves living in. Their social and political organisation was as effective as any other. Daniel Stiles writing in the Past and Present Kenya Museum magazine on the hunter-gatherers in Kenya has written thus: From what has been seen and recorded, it would appear that hunters-gatherers in East Africa were not socially stratified. There were no chiefs nor headmen nor even wealthy people. Food and possessions were shared and distributed according to need. Strict social rules enforced compliance. The male elders, with advice from their wives, made decisions by consesus on community matters such as the next move. Certain individuals, both male and female, could gain prestige and influence within the band by having unusual skill in such things as oratory, wisdom, hunting or curing. Their reward was not material possessions, but favoured access for their families to food and other resources from the redistribution system. While the pre-history of Kenya is contained in fossils, rocks and stone tools in museums, in scholarly conjectures and archaeological excavations, the history of Kenya continues to live in its people and cultures. Andrew Fedders and Cynthia Salvadori in their book Peoples and Cultures of Kenya have written thus on the hunters-gatherers : The most prolonged past of any of the peoples of Kenya is that of the hunter-gatherer groups. It is not so much that some of them may be the survivors of the Stone Age, the direct descendants of an ancestral race once inhabiting parts of Kenya, but rather that elements of stone Age cultures have survived through them and their way of life. YAAKU (MUKOGODO) Yaaku are known as Mukogodo because they live in the Mukogodo forest near Don Dol on the Laikipia Plateau. They are called Dorobo by the Maasai and local European farmers. The Mukogodo themselves prefer to be simply called `Mukogondo' while the government groups them and their co-occupants of Mukogodo area, the Mumonyot, as `Mukogodo Maasai'.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Before the invasion of their part of the country by the Laikipiak Maasai in the mid to late nineteenth century, the Mukogodo lived as one people with a group called the Kirrimani. They lived mainly in the lowlands east of their current home where they herded goats, kept bees, hunted and gathered. The area of their habitation centred on a small hill near the Engare Ondare called Oldoinyo Sorge. At that time they spoke Yaaku, an Eastern Cushitic language (Greenberg 1963, Heine 1974). Daniel Stiles in Kenya Past and Present has written: Their linguistic ancestors moved to the central Highlands about 2,000 years ago. Since `Yaaku' is supposedly a Southern Nilotic term for hunter, they probably had some sort of contact with Okiek ancestors in the Mathews-Maralal area before migrating to the Laikipia plateau. There is linguistic evidence that the Yaaku were in contact with both Hadzan and Southern Cushitic speakers in the Central Highlands 2,000 years ago. In the past, some Yaaku were pastoralists as well as foragers. Stone cairn graves on the Laikipia plateau could have been built by their ancestors. When the Mukogodo were defeated by the Laikipiak Maasai, the part of the group called Kirrimani went north and intermarried with the Rendille, while those who became Mukogodo moved to Mukogodo Hills and began to live in caves. Although they may have kept some goats and sheep with them in their caves, it is certain that they did not have cattle. At that time Mukogodo lived as nuclear families, moving often from cave to cave. They lived on wild animals, honey and wild plants. Sometimes between 1910 and the 1930's, the Mukogodo began to obtain and keep increasing numbers of stock, including cattle and to adopt the Maasai language and cultural traits. Lee Cronk in a paper titled "A preliminary report on Research among the Mukogodo" stated: Still, during even the later years of this period Mukogodo herders were far from big-time pastoralists. According to evidence given to the Kenya Land Commission in 1932, the ratio of adult men to cattle among the Mukogodo was only 1:0.6, while those for their neighbours, the Digiri, Mumonyot and Ilngwesi, all labelled `Dorobo' by the British, were 1:21.26, 1:19.76 and 1:14.96, respectively. The ratio for Mukogodo small stock was 1:1.27, while those for the other groups were 1:28.15, 1:15.41 and 1:8.74 respectively. As they acquired stock, the Mukogodo moved out of the caves and constructed manyattas, similar to Maasai structures, near pastures. They obtained stock by marrying their daughters to herders in exchange for animals, by trading forest products and later, by earning cash from European-owned ranches and doing other work. By the 1940s or so, the Mukogodo had almost entirely changed from the old subsistence practices, save bee keeping. They saw the advantage of having a food source with them where they lived, instead of chasing animals in the forest. Before the 1920s or so when a Mukogodo man married a Mukogodo girl, he paid a few beehives as bride price. From the 1920s or so however, the Mukogodo began to marry their daughters off at a more considerable bride price to neighbouring pastoralists, who gave livestock, rather than beehives. Few fathers were willing to settle for beehives when they could obtain livestock and this encouraged Mukogodo to obtain and keep livestock in order to ensure that they and their sons would be able to acquire and keep wives. In the meantime, the British administration was established in the Mukogodo area in 1936 when Chief Silangei Le matunge was installed in the area. This reduced warfare in the area thereby increasing the rate of intermarriage, especially

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


between the Mukogodo and their former Laikipiak Maasai enemies and the mumonyot, who "became friends" henceforth. Alienation of much of the Laikipiak plateau and nearby mountain highland areas by the Europeans forced many people to move closer to the Mukogodo hills and hence into greater contact with the Mukogodo. Lee Cronk has written: This is certainly true for the Ilngwesi, who originated in Meru and who now border the Mukogodo on the south (worthy, no dates, Kenya Land Commission) and it is probably also true for the Mumonyot, who border Mukogodo on the west and northwest. The fact that two Mukogodo lineages' entire traditional territories were now in Ilngwesi and Mumonyot areas as defined by the government attests to this crowding. Natural population growth would have added to this effect. ELMOLO The Elmolo, numbering about 700 people and living in a small area to the north of Loiyangalani on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, at an earlier time spoke a cushitic language (as do the Rendille). Today they speak Samburu [Maasai] and have acquired a number of cultural features of Samburu society. They have also begun to acquire small numbers of cattle and small stock, though to all intents and purposes their livelihood is still rooted in the traditional fishing economy. In recent years, they were a community most socially cut off from their neighbours. By 1958, the only new-comers to the Elmolo in living memory had been three Turkana men. No women had been married off to other groups. Altogether there were 143 persons living in two villages 3 miles apart on the south eastern shore of the Lake. They comprised 36 adult males, 40 adult females, 37 unmarried boys, and 30 unmarried girls. On the Elmolo, Daniel Stiles has written thus: Today most Elmolo speak Samburu, but their original language was an Eastern Cushitic one most closely related to that of the Dassenech and Arbore people who dwell around the northern end of Lake Turkana in Ethiopia. Historically, they have lived from fishing and the hunting of hippopotamus and crocodiles. They represent a modern variant of the Late Stone Age `Wavy line' pottery people of 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. They keep a few goats, but an increasingly important business for them these days is selling trinkets and charging tourists for photographs. Eastern Cushitic linguistic ancestors of the Elmolo, called `Baz' are thought to have been around Lake Turkana from as early as 2,500 years ago. They subsequently split into Dassenech along the northern shore. Incursions of Gabbra, Samburu and Turkana have forced the Elmolo into a tiny area and the Dassenech into Ethiopia, though they still come into the Ileret-Koobi Fora area to fish and further in to raid the Gabbra. In the late 19th century the Elmolo absorbed many destitute Samburu following the cattle epizootics that hit eastern and southern Africa. That explains their superficial Samburu cultural traits and language. When Teleki, the first European to see Lake Turkana, visited the area in 1886, the Elmolo were living on offshore islands. They have little contact with the Samburu today. The Elmolo claim to belong to four Samburu clans (Lokumai, Masula, Lorogushu and Longeli) and their men of different ages claim to belong to the appropiate Samburu age-sets. In 1958, the oldest living men only remembered several words of their old language. Middle-aged men only

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


knew that there had once been another language, while a number of the younger men were not even aware of this fact. Paul Spenser on Elmolo cultural borrowing has written: Regardless of this cultural borrowing, the structure of Elmolo society is altogether different from Samburu. While one can speak of named age-sets and phratries followng the Samburu, one can hardly speak of an age-set system or a segmentary descent system. Among the Elmolo, association with any age-set or phratry does not regulate a man's behaviour towards others. There is no development and in no way does it regulate marriage. A number of Elmolo simply did not belong to any of the phratries. Although the Elmolo and Samburu have had contacts since the last part of the 19th century, relations have been distant, with the Samburu showing little interest or respect for the Elmolo and the Elmolo mistrusting the Samburu. In 1921, Samburu moran killed six Elmolo men, for which the Elmolo were paid 3,000 goats as compensation. Due to the obvious dependence on the Lake products exclusively and isolation from other neighbouring communities, Elmolo genetic health has not been encouraging. Paul Spencer on this has written: To any visitor, the most noticeable feature of the Elmolo is their diseased appearance: their lips are blotchy and their teeth discoloured; apart from those born with deformities, younger men complain of weak legs, middle aged men are distinctly bow-legged and older people can no longer walk. The high degree of inbreeding may partly be responsible for this, but it is generally accepted that a major cause is their unbalanced diet. One theory is that because of the low calcium carbonate content of the Lake, their bones suffer from a calcium deficiency; another is that alkaline lake water has caused a disease called `flourosis' and a third is that like the Eskimos, they have too much protein from their fish but too little calories. From the written records of Hohnel, Neamann and Maud, there appears to have been three principal groups of Elmolo: the Samburu Elmolo who returned to the cattle economy at the turn of the twentieth century, the Reshiat Elmolo who have been banished from Kenya into Ethiopian and an earlier generation of the group known as the Elmolo today.

WATTA (WAATA) There are two groups of Watta (Waata) hunter-gatherer communities, with one living in symbiosis with the Oromo-speaking (Boran) pastoralists in northern Kenya while another Watta group is found scattered in the coastal hinterland and is usually known as Waliangulo. The Watta living with the Boran are a case of complete acculturation, more complete than even the case of the Gabbra and Sakuye, although acculturation does not necessarily amount to assimilation. Boran traditions remember the Watta as the original inhabitants of the lands that the Boran occupy today. Among the Boran they are identified with practically every new thing that the Boran first came across including the sighting of new territories or new potential sources of grazing and watering. They are also identified with the founding of the original Qallu by the Boran. Hence to date during religious ceremonies commemorating the founding of Qallu, the role of the Watta is symbolically acknowledged by a gift of one leg of the bull that has been slaughtered for the occasion. The fact that the Watta were the first to see the Qallu is one important factor which has endeared them to the Boran over the centuries. On the cultural level

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


they are recognised as members of the various clans, moieties and sub-clans of the Boran. They perform and participate in most of the Boran ceremonies that are held from time to time. But despite the close relationship between the Watta and the Boran, Paul S.G. Goto has observed the following important point: But an important point to realize is that as a rule Boran proper do not intermarry with the Watta. They despise them as a people who eat practically anything that crawls, ranging from elephants to porcupines. The Boran themselves have very strong taboos regarding animals they may eat. On the coastal hunters and gatherers known as Waliangulo, Daniel Stiles in Kenyan Past and Present has described them as follows: There are several Oromo speaking (Eastern Cushitic) sub groups of Waata living along the western side of the Tana River and on the coastal hinterland down to northern Tanzania. They are called Ariangulo by the Giriama and Langulo by the Duruma and Digo, Waata by the Orma and themselves, Juan by the Aweer, and Oriothotanyi by the Dahalo. They are the famous elephant hunters recounted in Dennis Holman's The Elephant People, who together with the Aweer, were the main suppliers to the coast of ivory for export. The hunting (poaching) bands of the Taru-Tsavo area were broken up in the 1950s-1960s by the colonial government and today the Wata scratch out a living on small farms or work for Mijikenda farmers. They are being assimilated by the Bantu Mijikenda (Nine Tribes) through intermarriage, and have lost much of their interdependence with the Orma. The origins of the coastal Waata are not clearly known, but their ancestors are probably made up of a root group of southern Cushitic-speaking hunter-gatherers, referred to in oral traditions as Laa near the coast and Asi or Degere in the interior up to the Taita Hills, with additions from Waata who followed the Orma on their migrations south from the Tana. The Laa/Asi made a language shift to Oroma as they established trade and cultural relations with the more powerful pastoralists, and mixed with or became absorbed by the immigrant Waata between 17th and late 19th centuries. They also took in various Orma and Bantu people who were destitutes, outcasts or runaway slaves. According to the legend of Watta, their ancestors were Boran who became hunters when their cattle turned into wild animals. It is known that passage from pastoralism to hunting is a common process and that the ivory trade flourished in the Tana region and was largely under Oromo control from at least the 17th century. The ancestors of the Watta might have followed the Oromo traders as clients towards the coast or possibly could have been sold as slaves to Arab traders for use as elephant hunters before eventually being emancipated. As Giriama farming expanded, Watta were progressively pushed from the coastal fringe and followed the vanishing elephant herds into the Tsavo-Galana area. In the meantime they had lost contact with Oromo pastoralists who had left Tana/Galana area and established blood pacts with Giriama and Duruma. At the opening of the last century, the Watta were exchanging ivory for manufactured goods, iron, tobacco and flour and for goats and cattle which they slaughtered for food rather than keeping as wealth.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


AWEER (BONI) These people inhabit the area near the Dahalo in the forest hinterland between Lamu and the Somali border. Linguistically the Aweer (also called Boni) are related to the Somali and the Rendille. The Aweer and the Somali constitute the Eastern Sam speakers (Somali, Rendille and the Aweer). The ancestors of the Aweer were groups of migrants who for reasons yet unknown abandoned pastoralism and became hunter-gatherers. Whatever the origin of the Aweer, they too have been subject to the influence of a succession of dominant neighbours and the effect of these contacts and cultural influences are evident today. David Stiles in the Kenya Past and Present magazine has described the Aweer (Boni) thus: . . . these Eastern Cushitic-speaking people live north of the Tana River in lamu District and extend into Somalia as far as the Juba River, where they call themselves Kilii. There are about 2000 Aweer in Kenya and may be another 1000-2000 in Somalia. They are called Wasanye or Waboni in Swahili and by the Wata, Wata by the Orma, Boni by the Somali and Ogoda by the Dahalo. They were divided into 10-11 groups in Kenya and four dialect groups, which probably were territorial bands in the past. At least one of them, the Kijee, is of Oromo origin. Since the 1960s they have lived in Pandanguo and villages along the road to Kiunga. They practise slash and burn cultivation and seasonal labour in Kenya and pastoralism in Somalia. Daniel Stiles in the same magazine has also written: The Aweer were probably relatively independent up to the late 16th century, interacting with the Bantu-speaking Bajun and Swahili in an area called Shungwaya, but the expanding Oromo (Boran/Wardai, later called Orma) pastoralists then took over the Juba-Tana hinterland. The Aweer adapted to the new situation by adopting superficial Oromo cultural traits and establishing institutionalized exchange relations. In the 19th century the Aweer were again in contact with their Somali cousins, as these people pushed the Oromo south and west. The Aweer established trade relations with the Somali; but no institutionalized relationship appears to have developed in Kenya. LOWLAND NYIKA Lowland Nyika are found in very small number in the Acacia-Commiphora thorn bush area in the land from the coast which was traditionally the home of the Wata and Degere in the past. Before the Wata and Degere, various southern Cushitic groups who no longer exist, except the Dahalo lived there. Very little of these peoples' origin and history is known but they seem to be more of an Oromo caste than a separate cultural group. They appear to be distantly related to the Wata of the coast. Daniel Stiles who has conducted interviews in the area believes a link existed not long ago in the past, represented by the Garre and Ajuran pastoralists, both Somali/Oromo mixtures, to whom they could formerly have been attached. Linguistic evidence also suggests a connection between the northern and coastal Wata, as they share unique language features. The Acacia Commiphora thorn bush area inland from the coast was traditionary the home of the Wata and Degere described above, and before them various Southern Cushitic groups who no longer exist in Kenya, except Dohalo.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

NGIWAKINYANG Ngiwakinyang have been described by Daniel Stiles thus: Living along the west and southwest side of Lake Turkana, this small group of Turkana-speaking fishing people also hunt hippo and crocodile. They derive from a people that lived in the area before the arrival of the Turkana in the 18th century, and their ancestors might be related to the Eastern Cushitic Elmolo and Dessenech, who have the same lake adaptation. The Ngiwakinyang used to have a taboo against eating goats meat, but today they keep goats and eat the meat. Very little is known of these people. IK The IK are called Teuso by their Eastern Nilotic related neighbours (Teso, Turkana-Karamojong). Early colonial administrators called them Dorobo who noted that they were smaller than their Nilotic neighbours and that their skins were lighter. They live mainly in northern Uganda, but sometimes enter western Kenya to trade or herd the goats of the Turkana. Daniel Stiles on them has written: They are hunter-gatherers and practice a little sorghum agriculture and bee-keeping, an adaptation similar to the Okiek. Their language is Eastern Sudanic that is related to Nilotic, and classed in a tiny group with only another language, Nyangiya. They are remnants of a pre-Nilotic migration, which began in that area 3000 years ago. NGIBOTOK (NKEBOTOK) Ngibotok (Nkebotok) speak Turkana and are hunters and gatherers in the upper Turkwel river basin. Apart from foraging in the thick bush in the Turkwel Gorge area which they find more rewarding, they also practise some agriculture and pastoralism. Daniel Stiles has written: With the dam and reservoir now in existence, their life will change considerably. No study of them has ever been made, though their existence has been known since colonial times. DASSENECH (DASNACHI - SHANGIL) The Dassenech - Shangil (Dasnachi) who numbered 418 in the 1989 population census are an offshoot from Ethiopia at the Turkana border. Dassenech ancestors called `Baz' are thought to have been around Lake Turkana from as early as 2,500 years ago. The Dassenech lived along the north eastern shores of Lake Turkana. Incursions of Gabbra, Samburu and Turkana has forced the Dassenech into Ethiopia, but they come into the Ilet-Koobi Fora area to fish, and further in to raid the Gabbra. OGiek (Dorobo) groups The Ogiek, or Dorobo as they are popularly known are hunters and gatherers found in wide areas of Kenya and to a lesser extent in Tanzania. They inhabit areas of high altitude from about 6500 feet (2580 m) up to 10000 feet (3050 m) in forested environment. The marjority of the Ogiek

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


speak a Kalenjin-related dialect as their domestic language. Most local groups also live near one of the Kalenjin tribes such as the Kipsigis, the Nandi, the Tugen and the Marakwet, and their kalenjin dialect will tend to be more similar to that of the neighbouring tribe. Those who live in close proximity to the Maasai in Mukogodo and Narok speak Maasai dialects and not kalenjin languages but they claim to be of the same historic origins as the Kalenjin-speaking Ogiek. There are Samburu Dorobo who live on mount Nyiru, Laikipia Dorobo, the Digiri, formerly associated with the Agikuyu of Nyeri and the Purko Maasai. The term Dorobo is the Swahili-derivative of the Maasai term, i.e. Torobo, meaning a poor person, a person who has no cattle. The Swahili traders and Europeans were introduced by Maasai-speaking interpreters to Torobo as "Dorobo" and the term was appropriate enough i.e. for traders interested in the ivory which the forest dwellers could supply. The name has been perpetuated as the name of the community to date. The people themselves use Ogiek (Ogiotsingular) as their name. Ogiek history pre-dates the arrival and settlement of the Bantu, Maasai and Kalenjin in Kenya. They have been identified as a race which has for a long time ranged over East Africa high altitude areas hunting and gathering. Historians also acknowledge the proto-Dorobo's close contact for a period of time with the "Sirikwa phenomenon" prior to the arrival of the protoKalenjin and the pastoral Maasai. R. H. Blackburn on this has written: Most informants just say that Okiek were here before other known tribes, implying that they would not be related to any known tribe, since those tribes came to this area after the Okiek. They do assert that from time to time some Okiek who have acquired cattle have "become Maasai". . . Culturally, socially and technologically, the Mau Okiek have more similarities to the Kalenjin peoples, especially Kipsigis, than to any other tribes. Those who have lived near Maasai for a long time and speak Maasai as their domestic language, have proportionately more Maasai characteristics than do the other groups. These Maasai characteristics tend to overlie, not displace, basic Okiek characteristics, especially those relating to hunting and the cultural and social significance of honey. The main-stream Ogiek are divided into some thirty-six sub-sections as follows: (1) Cherenganyi, (2) Kinare, (3) Digiri, (4) Lalaroik, (5) Suiei, (6) Omotik, (7) Kipchornwonek, (8) Kony, (9) Kipkurerek, (10) Loliin, (11) Kinsankasa, (12) Kakimengirin, (13) Mediaki, 14) Kipsanan, (15) Masula, (16) Werkile, (17) Tinet, (18) Nosubukia, (19) Mosiro or Kisankasa or mediaki, (20)Koibate or Kaivatet, (21) Kaplelach, (22) Sisiyuet, (23) Kapsupulec, (24) Narianda, (25) Chepkurerek, (26) Kierisho, (27) Tembuet, (28) Merishionick, (29) Lorkumi, (30) Kipchowonekil, (31) Oldonyo Purro, (32) Longiye, (33) Kapsayon, (34) Lanat, (35) Saleta and (36) Degere. With the exception of the Omotik, the Mosiro in Tanzania and the Digiri in Narok and Don Dol who mainly depend on pastoralism, the Okiek groups live in or adjacent to high altitude forests in all the highland areas of Kenya over 7,000 feet (3,100 m). The Ogiek are geographically separated into local groups, most of which have lost knowledge of all other Ogiek except those with whom they live in proximity.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Lorkumi, Nosubukia and Salata are adjacent local groups who speak only Maasai and live a semi-pastoral existence in the East Mau area. They acknowledge (especially Saleta) a relationship to another contiguous local group, the Kierisho, who live farther up the Mau and who speak Maasai principally, but who sometime in the past spoke a Kalenjin dialect as their domestic language. Like the other three groups, the Kierisho are in the process of adopting Maasai-like dependence on cattle. About these ancient people, Daniel Stiles has written the following: Linguistically, the Okiek are remnants of the Southern Nilotic immigration into the Kenyan highlands some 2500 years ago. Until the arrival of Maasai speakers, including the now extinct Sirikwa, Okiek were Kalenjin speakers living in interaction with Kalenjin groups such as the Nandi and Kipsigis. It has been proposed that their way of life, and presumably some genetic input, reaches back to the Eburran Late Stone Age culture dating from about 9000 to 3000 years ago. The Eburran people might have spoken a click language similar to Hadzan. Over the millennia there has been intermixture with incoming Southern Cushitic, Southern Nilotic and Eastern Nilotic people. Social and Political Organisation All Ogiek people identify themselves not only as Ogiek in general but by their local group affiliation. The sense of identity which members of a local group feel in their daily interactions is reinforced by an awareness or knowledge of historical affinities which differentiated one local group from other adjacent ones. Within a local group there may be six to twelve lineages which are the principal social institutions of the Ogiek people. Huntingford (1951) reports that for the local group that he studied on the edge of the Tinderet forest, the clan (oret) was the most important social unit. R. H. Blackburn has written: For the Okiek on the Mau, the lineage is the land-holding unit, the social unit responsible for giving girls in marriage, negotiating and paying compensation in legal cases, and the unit of residence. Though the oldest male in the lineage acts as an informal spokesman for his lineage, decision making is a function of all adult male members of the lineage. Typically, a lineage will include a man and one or two of his father's brothers sons plus their children and children's children. If it is a large lineage it may include families of distant paternal cousins as well. Lineage size varies from 50 to 80 members in most lineages. Most male members tend to live in the general vicinity of each other, in or near their lineage territory, though some individuals live with their wives' parents. Land rights include rights to collect honey and natural materials, such as trees and bark for the manufacture of hives. A lineage has the option to bequeath the right of honey collection in its territory to other persons or lineages. On occasion, this would be for several reasons such as legal compensation or bride price payments. While rights over lineage territory do not extend to the exclusive use of the territory for residence or hunting by the owning lineage in all areas, there is a universal restriction on honey exploitation in another's lineage territory in all areas. In Ogiek culture and society, honey is by far the most important substance whose value exceeds that of any other commodity. It is the most valued food and medium of trade. The Ogiek have age-set systems similar to those of Maasai or the Kalenjin Ipinda. Their initiation ceremonies show superficial resemblance to both Kalenjin and Maasai initiation ceremonies and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


their initiated young men (muranik) act as the community police against feuding between lineages, and first line defence against attacks and raids by other local groups or tribes. The ageset system also acts as the basis for peer group relations among the men who grow up together as friends, sharing activities in hunting, honey collecting, raiding, dancing and socialising. The society even today has diffused authority and is devoid of centralised authority with such roles as those of chiefs or formal councils of elders. At no time do all the members of a local group, or representatives of these members, participate in formally organised activities, whether these be economic, political or religious.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

CHAPTER EIGHT
Urbanite Dwellers ( Waswahili, Abajuni, Arabs, Asians, Europeans) WASWAHILI The word Swahili is derived from the Arabic Sawahil plural of Sahel. Sawahil usually means `Coastlands' or land of the edge. Writing in their book The Swahili, Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800 - 1500, Derek Nurse and Thomas Spear have given a most appropriate and befitting description of the people referred to as Swahili in writing thus: Our basic point is that the Swahili are an African people, born of that continent and raised on it. This is not to say that they are the same as other African peoples, however, for in moving to the coast, participating in Indian Ocean trade and living in towns their culture has developed historically in directions different from those of their immediate neighbours. It is also not to say that they have not borrowed freely from others. Arabs have been trading along the coast for a long time and many have remained to settle and to become Swahili. They have influenced the development of coastal culture but the influence has gone both ways and the result has been a dynamic synthesis of African and Arabian ideas within an African historical and cultural context. The result has been neither African nor Arab but distinctly Swahili. The history of the people today known as Swahili and the Swahili language they speak is inseparable from the history of the Arabs and the Shirazi who originally came from Arabia and Siraf in Persia, some of them ending up settling permanently in the East African Coast. The Islamic religion is also a major integral part of this process in creating a new community transcending continental and racial barriers. The oldest known recorded history about the Swahili, long before the Islamic influence is The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea ( c. A.D 130 _ 140) and Ptolemy's Geography (c A.D 150). Many of the rest of the historical records were written by the Arabs in southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. In addition Al-Masudi who visited the coast c. 915, Ibn Battuta who stopped there in 1331 A.D added their voice to the record and a number of Portuguese writings from the early sixteenth century provide an important picture of Swahili history and society. All these point out to early trading and settlements of the people from Arabia and Persian Gulf in the East African Coast. On the first recorded Arab arrivals to the coast, A.H.J Prins has written: The first arrivals on the African scene are said to have been two princes, co-regents of Oman, belonging to the Julanda dynasty, who opposed themselves to the invasion of Arab troops under Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq, on behalf of the unmayyad Khalifs in Damascus. They were compelled to flee from their native country and left for East Africa, together with their followers, in A.H. 77 (A.D 696). This is the story of Suleiman and Said, victims of All _ Arab conquest of all

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Arabia. It may well have had many parallels of which we shall never hear. Even in their case the place of their new settlements is unknown. The same Khalif who ordered the conquest of Oman (i.e. Abd al-Rashid el-Malik bin Marwan, A.D. 685 _ 705) also sent Syrian colonists to Lamu, Pate, Malindi, Zanzibar, Mombasa, and Kilwa according to the (very late) town chronicles of Lamu and Pate respectively. The latter source also mentions the arrival of Persian colonists on the scene at the behest of the Khalif Abbaside Harun al-Rashid (A.D 786 _ 809). On this early migration of people from Arabia and the Gulf, Neville Chittick in an article in Zamani has written thus: The number of Muslims who had so far settled on the coast must have been small; as late as about A.D 1150 the towns of the mainland from Barawa South are described as pagan. This is according to al-Idrisi who, however, did not appear very reliable. We know from al-Masudi that in the tenth century the Island of Qanbalu (Comoros) had a mixed population of Muslims and Zenj pagans; the former, presumably Arabs, had conquered it long enough before for the Muslims to have adopted the Zenj language. The ruling family was of the Muslim group. There are other indications of Arab immigration in this period; there was a colony of Muslim at Merka, probably dating from the tenth century and also as we shall see at Manda near Lamu and at Unguja Ukuu in Zanzibar. Probably most of these migrants came from the Persian Gulf; those at Merka came from the great port of Siraf and de Barros tells us of the coming of a group of refugee people from Al-Ahsa near Bahrein on the oppposite side of the Gulf, who are supposed to have founded Mogadishu and Barawa. Shirazi The history of the East African Coast and the Swahili is closely related to the Shirazi who dominated early coastal trade, settlements and governance before the Omanis established themselves in Zanzibar. Some Coastal Swahili-speakers have long stressed the difference between themselves and their neighbours, emphasising their descent from migrants from Shirazi in Persia and Arabs from Arabia who had come to the East African Coast centuries earlier to trade and who stayed to settle, built coral towns and ruled the territories. When the Europeans visited the coast in the nineteenth century, Swahili towns appeared to be products of a Persian and Arabian diaspora that had spread along the coast. On the early migration from Persia, Neville Chittic has written as follows: Some of these immigrants came from Persia, as we know from two thirteenth century inscriptions in Mogadishu. Of outstanding importance was the group of people associated with the name Shirazi, although whether the immigrants were all or mainly Persians is doubtful Shirazi was the capital of Fars which controlled the eastern side of the Gulf, where there were many Arabs too; and the name of the capital town is often given for that of the province. There is evidence to show that a majority of the early traders and settlers along the so called Zanj coast at that early stage came from Persia, whether they were of Persian or Arab nationalities, but Persians seem to have been dominant. In the book The land of Zinj, G.H Stigand has written: Another story says that in 400 Hejra there were seven brothers, sons of Sultan Hassan: Of these one Ali was the son of an Abyssinian slave, while his brothers were sons of a Persian princess. He fell out with his step-brothers, and so left Hormuz in the Persian Gulf and set out for the African coast. He passed Mogadishu and Brava, at which places he found Arabs of different sects and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


continued his journey till he arrived at Kilwa. Here he bought land and fortified the place, gave it the name of Kilwa and subsequently enlarged it by annexations, and then called himself Sultan.5

Writing in the 1890s Justus Strandes observed: Shirazi Sheikhs are described as the earliest rulers and according to the History of Kilwa found by the Portuguese, Muhammad the son of Ali bin Hasan, the founder of Kilwa, is considered to be the first of the line. These written accounts are confirmed by the verbal traditions of the native inhabitants. Many buildings now lying in ruins are characteristic of Shirazi buildings. Even today the inhabitants of whole villages like to boast of Shirazi descent. The fact that it is generally the chiefs or the village notables, members of the ruling families of the past, who usually describe themselves as being descendants of the old Persian emigrants, confirms the credibility of the claim. As is natural, the centuries which have passed, and the continued intermarriages with the native Africans have done much to efface the characteristics of the original stock. The products of many centuries of intermarriages are not, however, pure Bantu and it is indeed remarkable how frequently the Aryan physiognomy and bearing distinguishes these people from the Africans amongst whom they live. The traditions of Mombasa recall the original ruler as Mwanga Mkisi, another woman and the Shirazi as Shehe Mvita. In Vumba the Shirazi are remembered as establishing Vumba Kuu and the eight Shirazi towns to the North, while on Tumbatu Island off Zanzibar, the first Shirazi married a local woman to give rise to the Timbatu people. Similar Shirazi traditions can be found elsewhere along the Mrima coast of northern Tanzania and on Pemba, mafia, and the Comoro Islands. All portray similar patterns of immigration, interaction and integration, with the Shirazi or their offspring emerging as dominant. Although the themes that run through these traditions are similar, it is not all clear what they mean. Was the coast really conquered or settled by people from Shirazi? What is the significance of the common patterns of gift giving, marriages and creation of new ruling dynasties that are portrayed? During the eighth through the eleventh centuries, Shirazi largely dominated trade to the coast through the port of Siraf on the Persian Gulf but most of the sailors were Arabs. By the eleventh century the centre of the Indian Ocean trade was changing to southern Arabia and the Red Sea. The paucity of Persian loan words in Swahili and general lack of Persian inscriptions on mosques and tombs along the coast cast serious doubts as to whether most of the East African immigrants came from Persia. A few of the traditions trace the immigrant influence to Arabs from Oman, Muscat or Syria but evidence of Arab influence along the coast before 1100 A.D is also little since the coastal people had not yet converted to Islam. In conformity with the African and Arab social practice of maintaining genealogies as proof of one's social status, people under the influence of Shirazi or Arab peoples who had assimilated to local communities seem to have changed their genealogy to reflect their new or desired social identity. Derek Nurse and Thomas Spear on this have written:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Arab names and genealogies also frequently contain a place name from which an ancestor came as a nisba or family name, but this too could be changed to reflect more prestigious origins if desirable. Thus, after the demise of Shirazi and Siraf, people of the successor town of Fal adopted the nisbas al_Sirafi and al_Shirazi even though they were from neither city. The situation in East Africa must have been similar, with Swahili adopting this nisba Shirazi, since many of the Arab traders with whom they dealt with, some of whom settled along the coast, had come from Shirazi. Despite having been so dominant in trading, Islamisation and governance of a very big area for a very long time, the Shirazi name and influence gradually declined to the point of nearly being forgotten. The original speakers of the Swahili language are the Bantu of equatorial and southern Africa. The earliest period of Swahili history lasted from the ninth to the twelfth centuries, when people speaking the Swahili language spread down the coast of eastern and southern Africa to found a number of small fishing, farming and iron working villages and established the basic foundations of Swahili society and culture. The second period includes the changes that took place in Swahili society and culture with the expansion of trade and foreign settlements from the twelfth century until coast commerce was destroyed by the Portuguese immigrants in the sixteenth century, by which time the primary structures of the Swahili society had become fully established. The fallacious perception that the most important feature of Swahili is its Arabic component is disapproved by Derek Nurse and Thomas Spear who have written: Swahili is clearly an African language in its basic sound system and grammar and is clearly closely related to Bantu languages of Kenya, northeast Tanzania and the Comoro Islands, with which it shared a common development long prior to the wide-spread adoption of Arabic vocabulary. Though some Arabic words were assimilated into Swahili before A.D. 1500, most are attributable to the post-Portuguese period. The Arab material is a recent graft onto an old tree.14 The two writers who are linguists have continued to state as follows: Let us take words of Arabic origin in Swahili, since they have given rise to such a variety of innacurate and misleading claims. Arabic loans are clustered in various fields of cultural vocabulary relating to jurisprudence, trade, religion, non-indigenous flora and maritime affairs. It is these specialized vocabularies that have led to statements that up to 50% of Swahili vocabulary is of Arabic origin. But the level of frequency of Arabic loans in basic vocabularly is very much lower. Some of the major sound changes that took place during the historical development of Swahili had already occurred by the beginning of the second millenium after Christ, and most were complete by A.D. 1500. Most vocabulary of Arabic origins has not been affected by these changes and thus is likely to have entered Swahili after 1500. The only sound change that affects Arabic loans to any extent is loss of the sound /i/. But loss of /i/ is very late in the sequence of Swahili sound changes and can actually be seen in progress in eighteenth and nineteenth century Swahili Literature. An apt description of the Swahili-speaking people or groups has been given by Professor Ahmed Idha Salim in an article appearing in Hadith 6 in which he has stated:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The Swahili speaking groups are a composite body which I wished (and wish again) to present as an interesting example of a people who are united by certain cultural and ethnic ties and who yet display periodic bouts of strain and disunity. Reluctance to separate them as "Arab and Swahili", because of these ties, is reflected in the use of the hyphenated term "Arab-and-Swahili". The word "Arab" is maintained in the term to express the persistence of certain sections of the Swahilispeaking people to be regarded as such during colonial times, although they had a strong strain of African blood and could not speak Arabic. As has already been seen, the Swahili language developed out of the close relationship through trade and intermarriages between the indigenous Bantu population, Persians mainly from Shirazi and Arabs from Arabia and the influence of the Islamic religion. Many modern Swahili are of Arab/Shirazi descent, either wholly or in part. Arabs were absorbed in the Swahili communities just as non-Swahili Africans were and it is known that Arab immigrants settled in the East Africa coast from the fourteenth century onwards. Shirazi Islam was introduced during c. 1050-1075 and triumphed in all the major settlements within fifty years. However, Persians who settled may have been few until an influx of them migrated into Zanzibar in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Swahili Social Life A Swahili is principally a person who lives in or around a traditional Swahili settlement, mji or its modern equivalent, majengo. The typical mji was small with a population of between 1500 and 5000 or even fewer people. Before c.1800 the population of the large settlements such as Lamu Town and Siyu in the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries could have been about 10,000 with Pate topping 20,000 inhabitants. The sparseness of the total Swahili population which was spread out along some 2400 kilometres of coastline and offshore Islands and its lack of military zeal may have had implication for the coast's economic history. Swahili settlements drew their income largely from trade between the interior and the outside world but a large number of Swahilis throughout the ages must have made their living from agriculture or herding, or by being craftsmen. Swahili caravans trading into the interior came to an end when Indian merchants began to move and settle in the interior in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Perhaps the most important consequence of the smallness of most Swahili settlements was a parochial Swahili life. A Swahili might perceive himself as an urban creature and quite different from the rural dwelling villagers around him, but he resembled them much more closely than he resembled town dwellers in other countries. Like all other people the Swahili have their peculiar traits. Swahili sub-culture in terms of dominant themes has been described by A.H. J Prins in a study of the Sub-culture of maritime Northern Swahili and analysed in terms of ten `basic traits' or `dominant themes' isolated from the empirical data gathered from the life and literature of the Swahili. According to Prins: The more important themes are: pragmatism, inquisitiveness, looseness of structures, adaptability, absence of norms, ambivalence, inclination towards risk and competitiveness. Names for Swahili social and political institutions, segments of them and sub-segments from mji include kabila, the taifa, the mlango, and the mbari; also the ukoo, the ahali, the and the utanzu; and still more, other localised terms and usage. The meaning of many of institutional terms is deliberately vague, permitting a flexibility of practice over apart uladi these time

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


characteristic of much else in Swahili political culture. James de Vere Allen in this regard has written:

The Swahili settlement is called in Swahili mji, plural miji, miji-kenda, like Makayachenda, basically means `Nine Settlements', have `Nine tribes,' and the Swahili mji or its Northern dialect equivalent mui can sometimes also be translated `tribe' or `clan'. All we need to note here is that they, too, had fingo charms buried beneath their gateways: they too had regalia items including either a drum (ngoma) or a side blown horn (siwa, but also in some contexts, baragumu, mbiu, jumbe or zumbe), and a broad bladed spear (fumo); that they too from an early date had graves both inside and outside the settlement, including those of important and unimportant people in both places; and that they too were regarded as sacred, as basically pre-Islamic rituals such as the Zinguo demonstrate. It is important to understand that as a result of the population movements during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Swahili expanded by assimilating other peoples giving them the Swahili identity. The lowland pastoralists were gradually absorbed, with Katwa and Garre becoming the Bajuni and most Segeju were absorbed into communities in other Swahili settlements. However, when the Shungwaya successor states which had sprang up north of Mombasa eventually collapsed and most trade-routes to the interior disappeared, all traces of kinship between the Swahili and inland peoples were lost. Today the Swahili area consists of a coastal belt and a number of islands extending from the mouth of the Juba River in the north to Lurio River beyond Cape Delgado in the south. The 1,800 kilometres stretch extends to a depth of between five and ten kilometers inland from the shore line except for two areas at the Kenya-Tanzania border south of Mombasa inhabited by the Digo and Segeju respectively. The Swahili are divided into three main groupings on a combination of cultural and geographical considerations as follows: 1. The Northern (and Middle) Swahili include those Swahili living north of the Tana River Lamu Island, Bajuni and the splinter group of Amarani in the Benadir. Closely associated to this grouping are the Swahili living south of the Sabaki River who include those of Malindi, Mombasa and Vumba. 2. The Southern Swahili are the watu-wa-mrima of the Tanzania coast including Tanga and watuwa-Rufiji. Next to them are the mgao Swahili and those living north of Mozambique and the island of Kerimba. 3. The third group consists of the Island Swahili of Pemba and surrounding islands, Zanzibar and Tumbatu as well as the Mafia archipelago. Others are the Swahili of the Congo, Islamised and often detribalised Swahili-speaking interior communities such as in Dodoma or Tabora and Comoro archipelago.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

ABAJUNI The history of the Abajuni people is similar to that of the Waswahili to the extent of being almost the same in origin and composition. Briefly, Abajuni are a coalition of Cushitic-speaking pastoralists with Bantu-speakers. Both groups history extends to the Juba history of Africans, Shirazi and Arabs who have intermixed to form Abajuni community or tribe. According to Mijikenda history, they lived in Shungwaya close to people they call Kilio who are also known as Segeju or Katwa. The Segeju/Katwa people were the first to leave Shungwaya travelling towards the south and were followed by the Digo before other Mijikenda also migrated to the south. Traditions collected in 1920 are that some of the Abajuni were in origin Garre (Gerra, Gurreh, Gare etc). An unpublished Garre tradition collected at Mandera in 1930 by a British colonial administrator J.W.K. Pease touches on the Garre-Katwa link.1 In what is now northern Kenya, Garre were defeated by the Borana and they fled eastwards to Rahanweyn country near the lower Shebelle. Two sections are said to have been left behind; the Gabbra and Rendille. Both the Gabbra and Rendille are acknowledged to have a Garre component. On this James De Vere Allen has written: The ancestral Garre fled at first as far as Afmadu (on Lac Dera near where it joins the Lower Juba an established junction for various long distance routes). There they spent some time and dug the famous wells. Then they split, the majority crossing the Juba and moving on to Audegle and other places. But a small party from the Kilia, Bana and Birkaya [sections] . . . turned aside at the Juba to make for the Coast between Kisimayu and Lamu where they settled with the Bajuni. Here we have an unmistakable reference to the Katwa or `Eight of the Bana', although it may be significant that the Kilia (the Aweer Kilii and the Wakilio or a-kilio of Bajuni, Swahili, Digo and Segeju traditions) are mentioned separately from the rest. Bana, Birkaya and Kilia sections still exist among the Garre. According to A.C. Hollis, (Hollis, AC, `The Wasegeju', typescript, Rhoes House Library, Exford, M.S. Afri. 1272 (B)-)2 the Kilio clan first arrived `in Shungwaya', to which it had been led by its leader, Avruna. In Shungwaya they encountered sixteen other clans of their own tribe who had arrived at an earlier date. In time, Avruna became hakim or `arbitrator'. At first all went well but in time Avruna began to make sexual claims upon his female subjects. His two brothers deserted him, each leading a separate group of Kilio out of Shungwaya. James De Vere Allen has written: One settled with his descendants in Barawa while the other took his followers to Chovai, a small island settlement (now Swahili-speaking) near the Bur Gau inlet. The leaders of the Autila clan rebelled against Avruna and slew him, forcing the remaining members of his clan into exile. (The Autila are still the senior clan among the Bajuni Katwa). Leadership of the Kilio refugees passed to a younger brother of Avruna, Bole, who took them first to Mwathi and Emethi (now known as Mea and Emezi on the mainland opposite Lamu) and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


then to nearby Dondo, where they split. Bole's own group lived for a while at Magogoni (opposite Pate Island) as `guests' (or clients) of the ruler of Pate Town, but later crossed to Siyu to help defend it against Pate. As a reward they received half the settlement of Siyu and an equal share in its government. A second group took to the forest and became the Aweer, while a third moved inland to Maranga, in Mount Kenya area and hence to Kiluluma, from where they went to become the Segeju. On the above referred defence help to Siyu by Wakatwa/Segeju, James De Vere Alen has written: . . . but Burton, describing the rout of a mid-nineteenth century Zanzibari force sent to bring Siyu's leaders to heal, mentions among the defenders `Bajuni warriors . . . [who] charged in a firm line, brandishing spearheads. Like those of the Wamaasai a cubit long, and shouting as they waved their standards wooden hoops hung around with the dried and stuffed spoils of men . . . Although later traditions were somehow less detailed, they made the same point that the Segeju and all the northern groups referred to especially the Katwa, were somehow the same. The Swahili of Vanga and some Digo still call the Segeju Wakilio. The Abajuni confederation of communities claim to consist of eighteen clans (Kamasi, although the term is unknown in other Swahili dialects save that of Siyu). The eighteen are known as the `Ten of the Miuli and the eight of the Bana (Kumi za Miuli na Nane za Bana)'. James De Vere Allen has written: The non-Bajuni (Northern Swahili) Katwa are very probably also former pastoralists. They live mostly in the settlement of Siyu but some may also have lived in Pate Town. (Neither Siyu nor Pate Town is or ever has been a Bajuni settlement, though the other two principal places on Pate Island, Faza and Kizingitini, are now effectively Bajuni, and, although it is a bare hour on foot from Siyu, its Katwa have little connection with the non-Bajuni Katwa of Siyu and seldom intermarry with them. However, many Katwa now also live in Mombasa, where one of the Tisa Taifa or `Nine Tribes' is the a-Katwa, including both Bajuni and non-Bajuni Katwa and distinct from another Taifa known as Bajun. The Arabs and Shirazis component of the Abajuni community came to fore in the early twentieth century when the question of the "native" and "non-natives" was introduced by the colonial government through introductions of the 1934 ordinance. There were the non-native (Waungwana) or "free men" and natives who were taken to be of slave descent. The non-natives (Arabs, Asians and Europeans) paid the high status personal tax of Kshs. 20 instead of the Native Poll Tax of Kshs. 15. The Arab/Shirazi element of the a Abajuni organised themselves into racially exclusive National Union of Abajuni under the leadership of Ahmed Jenneby to fight for recognition of higher status for themselves. On this subject, Professor Ahmed Idha Salim has written: Arabs (WAARABU) The Arabs can be classified in four groups in the East African coastal area. The first group consists of those Arabs who have not yet become Swahili-aised and includes descendants of those who have established themselves on the coast since the rise of the Omani dominion over Zanzibar in the 18th century. It also includes those who may not have emigrated from Arabia in remote times but who nevertheless have come not very long time a go and claim Arab descent and consider them Arabs.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The second group of Arabs is made up of remnants of once powerful families and "tribes" that arrived before the advent of the Portuguese. Where such remnants were weak in numbers, they coalesced to form new tribes such as the Mvita of Mombasa or the "Three tribes" of Kilindini. When they lost `tribal' identity, they remained Wa-ungwana, "the noble people", and as such they are still clearly distinguished in places like Lamu. Neville Chittick on class stratification among the inhabitants at the coast has written thus: The inhabitants can be considered as falling into three classes in most of the important settlements. The ruling clan (except where a recently arrived immigrant group had succeeded in making itself dominant) was of mixed Arab and African ancestry, brown in colour, well read in the faith of Islam. Such would probably be also the landowners, the skilled artisans and most of the religious functionaries and merchants. Inferior to them (in many cases in a state of slavery) were the pure-blooded Africans, some of them recently arrived who performed the menial tasks and tilled the fields. Apart from both were the transient or recently settled Arabs, still incompletely assimilated into the society. The third group is the one known under the name Shihiri, from Shehr on the Hadhrami coast. This group consists of, among others, petty traders from Hadhramout known under the name Shihiri (from Shehr). They are generally not regarded as equals by the second category of the `true' Arabs who, although they speak Swahili, and hardly speak any Arabic, still consider themselves primarily as Arabs. However, they possess genealogies showing their lines of descent from forebears in Arabia and many can still name the first ancestors who set foot in Africa. Professor Ahmed Idha Salim has written thus: The third group, the Hadhrami Arabs, have had a long association with the coast that can be traced back before Islam. Some Hadhrami Arabs integrated themselves over these centuries becoming part and parcel of the coastal people hilst others remained a fluid factor coming seasonably for trade or at best settling down for some years to earn a livelihood before returning to retire in Hadhramout, their original home. The fourth category of Arabs consists of Africans who may have quite an amount of Arab blood and who refer to themselves as Wa-Arabu (not Wa-Manga, a name reserved for the second group). The Bajuni are a case in point; they have gone as far as to identify their original "clans" which bear the unique names mostly of historical sites on the coast of Jubaland, being connected with the authentic names of tribes in the interior of present-day Arabia. Social and Political Organisation Before the Portuguese came to East Africa a number of independent states existed in the East African coast. They struggled to preserve their independence against the Portuguese and later against the Arabs of Oman. Portuguese officials deposed local princes at will. The 17th century of Portuguese supremacy, was preceded or in some cases accompanied by the downfall of the leading Shirazi dynasties. Joint action by local Swahili and allies called in from Oman terminated Portuguese rule. In return for their aid, the Imams of Oman were recognised as sovereigns of the coast. The local Omani dynasty at Mombasa emerged for a time as the leading power on the coast and its last decade merged almost imperceptibly with the sultanate of Zanzibar's ascendancy. However, civil wars in Oman and Persian invasions kept the Imams occupied for nearly a century and the Swahili towns were again free to forge their own independent destiny. In the meantime, Oman political influence of a local kind was not entirely extinguished even during the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


century-long gap between the war with Persia and Omanis' Yarubi dynasty and the creation of a Busaidi realm centred on Zanzibar. F.J. Berg has written:

The Mazrui, a clan of Omani Arabs in the service of the Yarubi Imams, established themselves as hereditary rulers of Mombasa soon after the brief Portuguese reoccupation and presided over yet another revival of this famous old city state. Under Mazrui rule Mombasa power reached its zenith, outstripping that of the Shirazi and Malindi dynasty. For many years, Pemba and the mainland from Tanga past Malindi owed allegiance to Mombasa. Even Pate passed briefly under Mombasa influence, first as an ally and later as a virtual protectorate. The political history of the coast from 1750 to 1840 can in fact be read mainly as a struggle between two Omani dynasties, the Mombasa based Mazrui and the Muscat-based busaidi, with all but the very best last victories going to the Mazrui. The Mazrui during their rule entered into an alliance with an amalgam composed of two hostile groups of Swahili tribes which acknowledged members of an Omani family as heads of state because of the impossibility of coming to an agreement among themselves. This served Mombasa well enough to dominate most of the northern coast for several decades after 1750. In the meantime, Britain signed the first consular agreement with the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1839. Thereafter, with a British naval freet ordered to proceed to Zanzibar as a signal for a British blockade of the Island, on 5th June 1873, Sultan Barghash signed the treaty forbadding the maritime export of slaves from the coast of the mainland to other parts of the Sultan's dominions or to foreign countries. The treaty ordered the closure of all slave markets in the Sultans' dominions and forbade British Indians from possessing or acquiring fresh slaves. On 24th May, 1887, Sultan Barghash accepted Mackinnon application for a concession on behalf of his company, the British East Africa Association (BEAA) to administer, in the Sultan's name and develop the coast between Vanga and Kipini. This is what later became the ten mile strip of Kenya Colony and Protectorate after the British government took over from the British East Africa Company in 1895. The ten mile strip remained Zanzibars' territory under British protection until after Britain paid off the Sultan of Zanzibar and an agreement of territorial surrender to Kenya was signed by the Prime Minister of Zanzibar Mr. Shamte and the Prime Minister of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1962 just before Kenyas independence in 1963. Entrenchment of the Islamic or Khadhi Courts in the Kenya Constitution was part of the settlement reached, without which Kenya would have become independent without the ten miles strip territory. The British government paid an anual of sterling pounds ten thousands to the Sultan as rent for the ten mile strip of land. The Sultan maintained a permanent representative at Mombasa with the tittle of Liwali of the Coast until at independence. The last Liwali was Sir Barrak Hiwawy and his deputy was Salim M. Muhashamy. Emigration from south-eastern and southern Arabia in the meantime took place in the early eighteenth century and by the end of the century, a process of re-Arabisation seems to have began on the coast, in which Arab kinship, values, and elements of material culture gained prestige at the expense of Swahili culture. Swahili society in the long run was considerably modified by this process, which took roots after the Omani authority was reasserted in the 1820s and 1830s. The Omani Arab period thus ranks with the era of Shirazi colonisation as one in which

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


the impact of the middle East upon the coast was remarkable. Migration from Shungwaya by the Mijikenda people and others due to gradual dessication of the area between the Tana and the Juba, Somali pressure and attacks by the Galla had taken place by 1700 or earlier and they were settled in approximately the same areas where they now live. Because of widespread insecurity on the mainland the seventeenth century was also a time of resettlement and migration for people into towns. F.J.Berg has written: Inhabitants of Swahili settlements on the north coast fled south, sometimes accompanied by Nyika. Pemba, the Bajun Islands and Mombasa absorbed some of the refugees. Most of the Twelve Tribes which comprise the present Swahili population of Mombasa occupied the Island in this period, including those which formed the Thalatha Taifa, larger of the two Swahili federations which reconstituted the old Shirazi city state. And it is possible that many of the little Swahili towns along the Mrima of Tanzania were founded as part of the same shift of population. In the meantime, people from places as far distant as Kilwa and Barawa had gradually moved into Mombasa after the fall of the Shirazi dynasty. Their presence in the city made it the unofficial capital of the Northern Swahili. F.J.Berg has written thus: When the Mazrui first arrived, native and immigrant Swahili had sorted themselves out into two antagonistic federations. One the largest, though comprising of only three tribes, the Thalatha Taifa had its headquarters at Kilindini Town on the western side of Mombasa and occupied a few villages on the mainland. The smaller group made up of nine tribes, the Tisa Taifa was identified with the oldest and most resent Swahili population and lived mostly in Mombasa Town or Mvita. The first task of the Mazrui was to make peace between the federations, something they achieved while still representing the Imam of Oman. By 1746 they asserted and successfully defended their independence from Oman and were acknowledged by the Swahili as heads of state at Mombasa. Though often strained, the unity of the Mombasa polity never broke down under their rule. Quarrel among Thalatha Taifa and Tisa Taifa and succession disputes between rival Mazrui claimants sometimes flared, but never so long or so divisive as the civil wars of Pate. British colonial administration and colonial laws and regulations introduced another dimension in the society provoking reactions and acting as a catalyst for increased divisions on the basis of social status or class consciousness among the citizens. These regulations more broadly also divided the people in the East African protectorate and later, the colony of Kenya into `Natives' and `Non-Natives', with the former having an inferior status and being subjected to underprivilege, so that the term completely lost its basic meaning of "being indigenous" or belonging to the country. The people affected by these laws and regulations were mainly the twelve tribes. Because of the extremely mixed ethnic composition of these groups, it was extremely difficult to draw a line and divide the various groups into "Natives" and "Non Natives". When the line was drawn, it proved to be arbitrary and provoked a hostile reaction from those who felt they were categorised as "inferior" (the twelve Tribes, Bajunis and Shirazis). They therefore presented arguments of similarity of culture with the more `superior' Arabs, with Zanzibar Arab rulers testifying to their past high status and privileges and giving genealogies linking them with Arabia. Professor Ahmed Idha Salim has written the following about them:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Briefly then, the twelve tribes are made up of two `confederations' the Three Tribes (WaChangamwe, Wa-Kilindini and Wa-Tangana) and the Nine Tribes (Wa-Mvita, Wa-Jomvu, WaKilifi, Wa-Mtwapa, Wa-Pate, Wa-Faza,Wa-Shaka, Wa-Bajuni and Wa-Katwa). Tradition has it that the Wa-Mvita and the Wa-Jomvu are the descendants of the original `Shirazi' settlers among indigenous African people, whose last Sultan, Shehe bin Misham, was defeated by the Sultan of Malindi, who also could claim Shirazi blood. Asians (WAHINDI) Coming of Asians to East Africa The Kenyan people referred to as Asians or Indians originated in places which are now in India or Pakistan. Many people wrongly believe that all of them came to East Africa and Kenya in particular as indentured labourers and artisans for the construction of the Uganda Railway. In this book an attempt has been made to identify some of the individuals who arrived and settled in this part of the world long before the British came to East Africa and thereafter. Indian ships were calling at East African ports centuries before the British even knew East Africa existed. AlBiruni, the Arab historian, wrote ca. 1000 AD. The reason why in particular Somanat [Somnath in Kathiawar] has become so famous is that it is a harbour for seafaring people, and a station for those who went to and from between Sofala, in the country of Zandj [East Africa], and China. Ibn Battuta, the great Arab traveller who visited East Africa in the 13th century, noted that Indians as well as Arabs were trading there. When Vasco Da Gama sailed into Mombasa in 1498, he noted the presence of "four vessels belonging to Christians from India", and it was an Indian Muslim captain, Kana Maalim Mohamed, from cutch whom da Gama found in Malindi who showed the pioneer Portuguese navigator the way to India. Indian masons were used in building Fort Jesus in the 16th century. Bohra pioneer were settling in Lamu by the middle of the 19th century, while Ismailis' records shows that their settlement in Zanzibar began in the 16th century, and that by the 18th century there were already 450 Ismaili families living there. Kirk, the British consul in Zanzibar, wrote the following in 1874: The head of the principal Bhatia [Hindu] house here, that of Wad Bhima, is 5th in descent from the founder of the Zanzibar firm; and several khojas [Ismailis] can show a still longer ancestry. In 1838, the Ismailis built their first East African Jamatkhana; and in 1839, since all the Indians were British subjects, the British government signed a treaty with the sultan whereby [Britishderived] Indian law was introduced into the Sultan's realm. Cynthia Salvadori has written thus: Encouraged by the Sultan, many more traders and a multitude of artisans followed: by 1857 there were 5-8000 Indians in Zanzibar mostly Ismailis (2,725), assorted Hindus (814) and Bohras (543). Under the pax sultannica, business strife-torn Mombasa began to improve, too, with Zanzibar-based traders branching out and other merchants coming directly from India. When Burton visited Mombasa in 1850, he noted 50 Hindus and 30 Indian Muslims. The memons [religious sect] record that their two pioneer families arrived about that year; in 1867 the first (known) Ismaili landed. In 1870, the Sultan posted a Bhatia Hindu as his chief customs controller in Mombasa and by 1880, the Parsi firm of Cowasjee Dinshow had an agent at Lamu. Settlement

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


was not transitory: in 1880, the Memon merchants and Cutchi Sunni artisans were building a mosque in Mombasa and in 1882, a Khoja Ithnasheri moved from Zanzibar to open a real estate agency there. In 1887, Sir William Mackinnon who already had vested interest in the Indian Ocean through his shipping business based in Bombay founded the British East African Association. In 1888, the association was given a royal charter and its name was changed to the Imperial British East African Company IBEAC. Mackinnon through his Bombay-based company brought qualified Indian personnel to implement his IBEAC undertaking to develop and administrate the Sultan's coastal strip leased for 11,000 per year by an Agreement signed between His Highness Seyyid Hamed bin Thwain, Sultan of Zanzibar and Her Britannic Majesty's Government signed at Zanzibar, 14th December 1895. The Agreement provided among others "that as regards his possession on the mainland and adjacent islands, exclusive of Zanzibar and Pemba, the administration shall be entrusted to officers appointed direct by Her Britannic Majesty's Government, to whom alone they shall be responsible. The Agreement shall not affect the sovereignty of the Sultan in the above mentioned territories of the treaty rights of Foreign Powers." The Agreement created the 10 miles coastal strip and hence the bases for entrenchment of the Kadhi Court in the Kenya's Constitution at independence as a requirement for ceding the territory from Zanzibar to Kenya. IBEAC which had its base in Mombasa, brought from Bombay its own guards and police, clerks and accountants and many of the latter were goans. The Company entered into treaties with many native African leaders with a view to trading with their people but in the process, it over extended itself. In 1895, the British government cancelled the IBEAC's charter and assumed responsibility for the territory and officially created the British East African Protectorate. The Protectorate administration took over most of the IBEAC's assets, including its personnel and hence its Indian orientation. The Indian Rupee continued to be the currency and the money was banked in Bombay banks, often by Parsi bankers and the legal system was an extension of Indian law, often practised by Parsi lawyers. All of the lower ranks and some of the higher posts in the protectorate administration were filled by Indians. The ranks of the British (mainly ex-India) officered police and army were filled predominantly by Punjabis, primarily Muslims and Sikhs. At that time, the protectorate was, for all practical purposes, a province of British India, administered from Bombay. C. Salvadori has written: Thus it was only logical that, when the decision was made to build the IBEAC-surveyed railway west into the interior of Africa, the foreign office should look east to India for help. British engineers were seconded from the India government, "old hands" familiar with the complex ways of Indians, fluent in Urdu/Hindustani. The contract to supply material, labour and personnel was given to Karachi based Indian entrepreneur, A. M. Jeevanjee; the Punjab was his recruiting ground. He despatched the first dhow-load of 350 men from Karachi in 1895. The following year over 2,000 more men disembarked at Mombasa; by 1899 there were 18,000 Indians working on the Railway. By the time (1901) the Railway finally reached Lake Victoria, it had taken a total of 31,895 Indians to build it. Although the majority were simple coolies, there were thousands of skilled employees, artisans, mechanics and drivers; storekeepers, accountants and clerks; surveyors, draftsmen and engineers; and medical officers too.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

In addition to the Railway builders, many more Indians came on their own, the majority being shop-keepers, barbers, tailors, etc to serve the Railway workers' hordes while others trekked into the bush together with the first British administrators. These adventurous traders supplied not only the few Europeans, but also the increasingly import consuming Africans who began congregating around the government administrative outposts. In 1902, a (Kenya) government notice inviting Indian farmers to come and take land in the protectorate was published in India and a number of farmers, particularly Patels came. When the Railway was completed, the great majority of Railway employees returned to India but about 6,000 elected to stay on. Some continued as employees of the Railway, others joined government administration and others became business people, professionals and independent artisans. By 1905 there were about 7,000 Indians in the protectorate who it has been estimated accounted for 80% of its capital investment and business activities. To appreciate the pioneers' times and patterns of their arrival and settlement, individual persons have been picked as case studies. The stories of their movements and encounters have been narrated so as to enable the reader to form a clearer picture of how these people became part of the history of this country and the very important part they played to open up the country for modern economic, cultural, social and political development. Obviously, these are not the only individual Indian/Asian people who came and settled in the country during the time in reference, they are only a representative sample. Lieutenant Emery From "The Diaries of Lieutenant Emery" in The British in Mombasa 1824-1826 by Sir John Grey (Passim) and quoted by Cynthia Salvadori in the book We came in Dhows, we find that Asians (Indians) had been working in Mombasa for such a long time that the British Government had appointed Indian officers in its service to senior positions as early as before 1825. Salvadori has quoted Lieutenant Emery thus: (March 19, 1825 ) "This forenoon I gave the appointment of collector of Customs (vacant by the death of Mr. George Phillips) to Ladhu, the Banyan, for his services in that department since the English took the place, which office he has filled with the strictest attention. According to form, I invited him to the customs house accompanied by several of the chief Banyan and (Muslim) Indians and (on) our arrival there the guard belonging to the establishment fired three volleys. I then read his appointment and according to form presented him with a shawl and a turban purchased by the establishment. On our leaving three volleys were again fired. We returned to the house accompanied by all the Banyans and Indians of the place. I then read the instructions to Ladhu and he took his oath according to his religion.

Manackjee Aspiandiarjee Nanabhai One of the other earliest Indians in East Africa, but whose name is not remembered, was in Zanzibar in 1842 when Queen Victoria sent a dismantled state coach as a present to the Sultan. He is the one who put it together. However, the name of another one of the earliest Indians is

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


remembered. His name is Manackjee Aspiandiarjee Nanabhai Mistry (alias Wadia of Surat). He hailed from Bombay (Mumbai) and arrived in Zanzibar sometimes between 1845 and 1850. Hosheng Kased in his book Parsee Lustre on the Emerald Isle of Zanzibar (ms) has written: There he established himself, carrying on trade and local business. According to census records in the official archives of Zanzibar, it appears that until the year 1861 Mr. Manackjee was the only Parsee resident of Zanzibar. In that year he returned to India and brought back his wife and children to Zanzibar and fellow Parsee. By 1875 they were numerous enough to warrant the formation of the Zanzibar Parsee Zarathoshti Arjuman. (In 1884 the name Shapoorji Pestonjee Talati appears as one of the eight members of the Arnjuman's managing committee; we believe this was the father of Dinshow Shapurji Talati of Faza see "Like Sugar in Milk". Haji Dewji Jamal The great-grandfather of the late Hussein Jaffer of Mombasa, Haji Dewji Jamal, owned sailing dhows in India and opened his first African branch at Zanzibar in about 1860 where he moved to, trading under the name "Dewji Jawal & Co.". In about 1870 he opened a second branch in Lamu which was then the principal port of Kenya and in about 1880 he established another in the Comoros Islands. His son, Sheriff, helped him to run the business, mostly in Zanzibar, while Jaffer and Nasser on maturing managed the Lamu business and Nazerali looked after the Mombasa branch. While Pirbhai was managing the Comoros branch, his other son, Jan Mohamed, remained in the Bombay office. All the sons were involved in the family business. Their fleet of dhows transported timber, textiles and foodstuffs from India and exported cloves, copra, ivory, sea shells and boriti etc, from East Africa. Haji Dewji Jamal died in 1905 and his great, great, great grand-children are traders in Kenya today. Abdulla Dattoo Abdulla Dattoo sailed from India to Zanzibar in 1870 looking for business opportunities. He worked as an employee there for years before he moved to Mombasa in the early 1880s. Abdulla Dattoo went back to India in 1883 and married Sakinabhai who came to live with him in Mombasa and all their children were born there. Their first born was a son, Gulamhussein, born in 1884 followed by Mohammedali, Akbarali, Sherbanu, Fatma and Kulsum. The eldest son, Gulamhussein, was sent to India for studies where he learned to speak fluent Persian, Arabic, Cutchi, Gujarati and English in addition to the Swahili which he already knew. On return, he became a court interpreter at Mombasa law courts and dressed very elegantly, in the western style. After sometime, he resigned and started his own business in the style of "Dattoo Auctions' in 1920. His brother Akbarali went to Nakuru and started an auctioneering business there in about 1937. Mohamed was employed in Uganda and settled there. During the interviews of Gulamali Dattoo of Mombasa by C. Salvadori, Gulamali gave the following account: But my father stayed in Mombasa and became a notable member of society here as you see from this photograph where he's with Zaghloor Pasha and his comrades, and the Sultan's Liwali in Mombasa, Mbarak Ali Hinaway. Zaghloor Pasha and the other four Egyptians had been fighting for "Uhuru" in Egypt. During World War I the British Government had deported them to the Seychelles. They were released in 1923 and were going back to Egypt by sea via Mombasa, where

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


this photograph was taken. They stayed here for about a week at Visram Villa, the residence of Seith Allidina Visram (Seith Allidina had died but the Villa was still there). Kassim Abdulrasul A. Kassim Lakha of Nairobi has traced his family history back seven generations, to a forebear named Sumar and then down through his son Teraj and his grandson, Manji to Abdulrasul's grandfather's grandfather Lalji who had four sons: Punja, Virji, Lakha and Kalyan. Lakha had only one son, Kassim, who was born in the year 1852. Kassim at the age of 18 years came to Zanzibar where he was employed by the Sultan Sayed Bargash. When he felt settled, he called his family over who included his mother (his father had died) and wife, Ratanbai Pradhon and they arrived in Zanzibar in 1871. In 1880, Kassim and Ratanbhai's daughter Kursha were born and in 1884 a son, Mohamed, was born. When Kassim was working for the Sultan he got to know many parts of the Sultanate which included Pemba and the coastal strip towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu. After about ten years, Kassim, his mother, his wife and the two children moved to Lamu where he opened a small shop selling rations and other trade goods. The family increased with the birth of Fatma, Alibhai, Hussein, Sikina, Rahimtulla and Jena. After he had been in Lamu for some years, Kassim was appointed Mukhi of the Jamat Khana and he served for many years. British Consul in Zanzibar From the Letters of John George Haggard, vice consul in Lamu 1884-1885, as quoted by C. Salvadori, we find that Sir John Kirk, the British Vice consul in 1875, visited Lamu and interacted with the Indian community, thus: At Lamu the fifty Indian traders asked him for the protection of the British Government, pointing out that they had been obliged to follow the British anti-slavery policy at a great loss to themselves and had made no claim for compensation for freed slaves and considered, therefore, that they were entitled to expect the British to uphold their just rights.18 Partly because of this, Sir John Kirk decided to post a vice-consul Mr. Jack Haggard to Lamu. Two months later Mr. Haggard wrote the following letters mentioning Indians for the first time: Lamu, May 1, 1884 I pitched my tents outside the town on the other side of the creek and after doing all the honour went into town to see the British subjects. There are five in Sizu [Siyu], all Indians . . . Lamu, July 6th 1884 In view of the approaching scarcity the Hindi traders here by my advice ordered down a lot of rice from India . . .

Lamu, July 10th 1884

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

The Hindus are glad I have come for many things, but they bitterly complain of my having stopped swindling. In their opinion, I have done them a cruel wrong . . . Lamu, July 30th 1884 I was successful in obtaining a new interpreter . . . a first rate man, speaking and writing sufficiently well Arabic, Swahili, Hindustani and English. By race he is a barstard between a Hindu and a Swahili . . . Lamu, Sept. 3rd 1884 The smallpox is raging terribly . . . only yesterday a Hindu came to complain to me of two dead bodies burned in front of his doorstep . . . Lamu, May 11th, 1885 Not long ago a British Indian here received a native newspaper from Bombay via Zanzibar . . . (95) Gurdit Singh Gurdit Singh came to Kenya at the age of 32 years as a cashier employee of the Bank of India, reaching Mombasa from India after forty five days by dhow. As a cashier with the Bank, he travelled to remote areas of the country, living in tents and keeping his money bags under the bed. When later on he reached Nairobi, he saw good business prospects and he left the Bank to return to Lahore to recruit artisans such as carpenters, masons and blacksmiths. He returned to Nairobi with about fifty people and capital for the business. Among the people he brought were Labh Singh Sagoo, Bulaka Singh, Bhawal Mal, Bhawani Shankar and Nauhria Ram Maini who later became important personalities in the Indian community. From an interview with Trilok Singh Nayer of Nairobi by C. Salvadori we find the following account: My father established his own furniture business in Nairobi and did very well. He made good quality furniture and was the first person in Kenya to import teakwood from Burma. He did so well that by 1913 he had enough money to build one of the most prestigious buildings in Nairobi, the Nayer building, now known as Kipande House and occupied by the Kenya Commercial Bank and considered as one of the "historic" buildings in Kenya. and of course he owned other notable properties in town.20 After he got settled in Kenya, Gurdit Singh brought his wife Danyanti to Kenya and all his eleven children were born in Kenya. Trilok Singh Nayer who was the sixth child was born in 1919 and has continued to say the following about his father: He was also a prominent person amongst the Indian community at large. People like Allidina Visram, Suleman Virjee, they were my father's friends I saw them in our house. At one point he was chosen by the Indian National Congress here to represent the Indian communities to the Governor of those days. And then he had a disaster in his business. He lost all his wealth. How

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


he lost it I can't say. I was too young to understand what was going on, so I never thought to ask him. I just know that he became very worried. What I regret is that I was so young that I didn't realise what was going on, and that I wasn't old enough to help him. But even in those bad times my mother told me he would do what he could to help other people. In 1932, when I was only thirteen, he took us all back to Lahore. This photo [appearing in We came in Dhows] of my father was taken early that year, here in Kenya, shortly before we left. Soon after we got to India he died. He was 75 years old. The mother and children remained in India for five years and then returned to Kenya and settled. Kapur Singh Kapur Singh was the first Indian Inspector of police in Kenya. He joined the police force in India and served in Baluchistan before he was seconded to Kenya in 1895 to work with the Kenya Police. In an interview with Mohinder Kaur Sandhu of Nairobi by C. Salvadori, the granddaughter of Kapur Singh gave the following account: Kapur Singh became greatly respected, not only because of his rank in the police force but also in his community. He had the honour of laying the foundation stone of the first Sikh temple in Nairobi. Although the building, the Singh Sabha Gurdwara, has been greatly altered, the original plaque with his name is still there. He also laid the foundation stones of mosques in Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa. That shows not only how respected he was but also how good intercommunal relationships were in those days.24 Kapur Singh was already married before he came to Kenya but his wife stayed in India except for one brief visit to Kenya. They had three sons and a daughter. The daughter died, one son stayed in India, but two sons followed their father to Kenya and also joined the police. One was Laxman Singh and the other was my father or Satbachan Singh, who was born in 1900. On Satbachan Singh, Shah Niwas Awan of Nairobi/Chicago has made the following comment: "Satbachan Singh was not at all what one thinks of as a typical policeman. He was a very gentle man. He never raised his voice, never got angry." Abdul Wahid He came to Kenya in 1897 and was employed by the Railways as a train guard. After some years, he resigned and started his own business supplying wood fuel to the Railway and he made good money. Before and during the World War I he spent a lot of time in the forest supervising the cutting and transportation of trees where he saw many wild animals and developed love for them. He first settled in Nakuru where he built his business. Afterwards, he moved his headquarters to Nairobi before World War I where he bought many properties and built for himself a mansion on Ngara Road where he had a zoo with many animals. He kept lions and even a Bengal Tiger and trained elephants for riding. The monkeys and chimpanzees were kept in cages and so were the big carnivores. The herbivorous wandered freely in a big field where there were lots of trees. In an interview with Cynthia Salvadori, the retired chief Justice of Kenya, Abdul Majid Cockar, a grandson of Abdul Wahid gave the following account: He had two elephants, local elephants trained to be ridden. He had those special seats made for them. My younger brother Hamid and I used to ride them down to the river, the Nairobi River which flowed below the house. He had trained the elephants himself, with the help of local

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


people. He didn't have any Indian elephant men. His staff were all Africans. He had one man, Mami, a Maragoli, who worked with him for forty years. Mami had been like a parent to my father in the forests, and he was like a parent to us kids. Abdul Wahid lived like a Maharaja, concludes the former Chief Justice. Pherozeshow Nowrojee He came from Bombay (Mumbai) and joined Uganda Railway as a fireman. In 1902 he became a shedman, and on 1st November, 1903 he became an engine driver. As an engine driver he was posted to Voi, Makindu and finally Nairobi. Makindu then was a bustling station and marshalling yard where passengers disembarked for dinner; it had a police post, and an estate of railway quarters. Train crews were changed there, engines took water and passenger meals were taken on board. The Sikh temple was then built of wooden beams and corrugated iron sheets. Engine driver Nowrojee was posted there for a number of years. E.P. Nowrojee, the father of Feroze Nowrojee, a Nairobi senior advocate and a fearless campaigner for democracy, was born there on 16th May, 1905. Driver Nowrojee's engine was always immaculately clean and his trains ran on time and within two years of becoming a driver, he was one of those chosen to drive the Duke of connaught's special train (1906) on sections from Mombasa to Nairobi and back. The Duke officially opened the Jevanjee Gardens that month, and the East African Standard in its report of the occasion also recorded: "The Duke's special train was driven up by drivers Pinto and Nowrojee". His grandson Feroze Nowrojee has given the following account: Perhaps his work fueled his independence. He did not take kindly to tyranny, petty or otherwise. On one occasion he was awaiting a train at Nairobi station. Grandpa passed the time pacing along the edge of the platform. A government official (European) was doing the same. The two eventually overlapped. The official, confident by virtue of his pigmentation of right of way said, "Get out of the way." He must have been taken aback, but we could have predicted it, when Grandpa replied, "Get out you." On another occasion, famous in family history, Grandpa disagreed with the governor's assessment of the effect of the injuries that Grandpa had suffered in a war time (1916) train collision. Each side persisted. The governor finally insisted that his position be accepted by Grandpa. Again we could have told Sir Henry Belfield. Predictably, Grandpa resigned from the Railway and went away. He came back three years later (1919). In all, Grandpa remained an engine driver for thirty years. He retired from the Railway in May, 1933. He died as he had lived on the Railway. On 18th August 1936, while travelling as a passenger from Nairobi to Mombasa, he died mid-journey on the train. His contribution to the fact that the working railway man had built and run a monument that still serves our country, he left to the Railway. His independence of mind and spirit, he passed on to his son.26 Peter Zuzarte Peter Zuzarte, a goan, came to Kenya via Aden and Zanzibar and arrived in Mombasa in 1897. He then walked to Baringo which was at the time in Uganda Province of the British East Africa Protectorate. In Baringo he served as a district clerk under Geoffrey Archer, the District officer, who later on became Governor General of the Sudan. He was then posted to Naivasha which was also in Uganda Province on the border and from there he was transferred to Eldama Ravine.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


While there, he resigned and started his own business and also met and married a Maasai woman who gave birth to Joseph Murumbi in 1911. He later on moved to Londiani where he again set up a shop. From an interview by Anne Thurston with Joseph Murumbi in Kenya Past and Present, Joseph Murumbi who became the second Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya said: My mother grew up in Eldama Ravine area. She was the daughter of Murumbi, the Laibon of the Uasin Gishu Maasai. He, my grandfather, never was able to come to terms with the British. Sir Fredrick Jackson, in his book Early days in East Africa, called him "the one-eyed Cyclops an evil man" (in fact, Jackson was describing another local leader). On one occasion my grandfather incited the Maasai warriors and the Sudanese, who had been stationed in Eldama Ravine by Lord Lugard, to be moved to Uganda when needed, to rebel against the British. They nearly killed the district Commissioner and afterwards a nine foot stone wall was built around the District Commissioner's house for protection. My grandfather was deported to Narok then and on two other occasions. The third time he died there. Peter Zuzartes' shop was situated in an area reserved for European shops, away from the main Indian trade area. Mr. Murumbi recounts that: "By some wangle his father set it up on a plot which was in the name of an American lady whom he did not know." The only other shop in the European area was the post office. He has further stated: My father's shop was a corrugated iron building, rather a large shop, and attached at one end was our residence, behind was a kitchen. It was the only shop in the area where one could buy drinks and a good range of supplies. I remember as a child seeing the Boer settlers, arriving in wagons pulled by teams of oxen, stop at my father's shop to buy their supplies. After Londiani, where there was a railhead, there was no other real source of supplies until Kitale or Eldoret. When there weren't many customers, I would sit in the shop with my father and he would teach me the alphabet . . . Although I don't remember the incident as I must have been very young, Teddy Roosevelt (he later became president of America) once came to Londiani and, my father's shop being the only place where he could buy supplies, he called there and saw the roses. He and my father exchanged information about grafting roses. My father was a keen gardener; it was a skill he developed himself. Asked if there were children he played with, Mr. Murumbi said: "there were several Indian shopkeepers, although as I've said they were in another section of Londiani, and there were two children. However, I don't remember playing with anybody other than our dogs, my mother and my father. The dogs, Jack Russels, were called Roddie and Spot, and were very important to me as a child." Those of us who knew Murumbi at the family level know that he exhibited reserved traits and love for dogs to the end of his life, a sure heritage from his upbringing. Allidina Visram For more than twenty years before the construction of the railway, Allidina Visram had already established business outposts in East Africa including Uganda. According to his business letterhead in a letter written in Mombasa to the Mombasa District commissioner dated 2nd

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


September, 1912, and published in We came in dhows, he had altogether sixty six (66) branches of his business. Allidina had come to East Africa as a penniless immigrant boy and was employed at Bagamoyo in present Tanzania and yet managed to build an astonishing business empire. Although Allidina lived most of the last years in Uganda, prior to that he lived for some time in Mombasa. His only son Abdul Rasul by his wife Sonbai was born in Mombasa. He was born into incredible wealth and was not interested in business. He seemed to spend much of his time playing cards. He was a very generous person and the Aga Khan gave him the title of "Vazir" most probably for his contributions to the Aga Khan rather than any actual work he did for the community. Abdul Rasul who seemed to be sickly died, some say, of tuberculosis and others thought due to alcohol drinking in Mombasa in 1922 and is buried in the Ismaili cemetery there. He only outlived his father by a few years. Although at one time Allidina Visram was probably the best known person in East Africa, now even his name is virtually unknown to the average Kenyan. There are just two physical reminders of his presence in Mombasa. One is a bronze bust of him that was commissioned and erected by Allidina's chief agent in Mombasa, who was the son of Allidina's original employer in Bagamoyo, Sewa Haji Paroo. It was originally in Pigot place but it was moved and now is hardly noticeable amongst the trees in Treasury Square Park. The other reminder is much more conspicuous. It is Allidina Visram School, a huge, ornate building overlooking the sea, close to where the old Nyali Bridge used to be. In colonial times each community Europeans, Indians, Goans and Africans had their own schools. The Indian community had a small school in a warehouse near the centre of Mombasa. The Indians were eager for their children to be well educated and as their number grew it was obvious that better facilities were needed. And so, around 1920, the Allidina Visram school was built. Seth Ibrahim Karimbux He landed in Mombasa in the year 1896 with two rupees in his pocket. He was accommodated and given food by Indians living in the town but he had to find his own way of making a living. When he could not find employment, he decided to set up a small sweet meat business and he spent the two rupees on the ingredients and utensils and sat down by the road side and made his first halwa which was spoilt and he lost his two rupees. Fortunately, one of the shopkeepers agreed to give to him on credit flour, sugar etc and he started his little business again and little by little he made a success of it. He later on built a small kiosk and succeeded in business by selling fruits and a few essential commodities as well as sweets. In those days credit was freely given and a lot of bad debts were experienced and almost all his hard-earned money was lost this way. With the little he had remaining, he decided to travel to Nairobi with a group of people travelling by ox-carts. On the way he met an acquaintance who borrowed money from him promising to pay back in Nairobi. He never saw the "friend" again and once more became financially stranded. In Nairobi he approached various shopkeepers to let him sell their goods on a commission basis and he made a reasonable amount of money for himself. In the meantime, the merchants directed him to go and market the goods in Nakuru. He joined a small party of Indian transporters on their way to Nakuru using donkeys and ox-carts. The journey passing through wild jungles was long, tedious and dangerous. At that time he wondered if he had made the right decision in coming to this strange land but took courage to explore the future.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

At that time Europeans were settling in Kenya, many of them Dutch people who stopped by the side of Lake Nakuru on their way to Eldoret. He opened a small shop there in a small tent. At night, the lions would kill their transport animals and within their hearing from the tents, they would drink water out of their drums. As transportation using donkeys and ox-carts was a very fast growing business, he started his own transport caravan going from Nakuru to Eldoret, Kisumu, Lake Baringo and other places. When together with his African employees he ran out of food on the way, they would barter things like umbrellas and beads for goats which they would eat. Sometimes they were caught in between tribal fighting and would be ordered by European administrators to stay where they were for days or months, until the situation was brought under control. Eventually he stopped relying on Nairobi merchants and went for goods from Mombasa by his own ox-carts which took between six and eight months to bring goods to Nakuru. In an interview, published in We Came in Dhows, the grandson of Seth Ibrahim Karimbux, Tehsin Karimbux who is also a member of the fourth generation of the family living in Nakuru, Tehsin Karimbux quoted his grandfather as having said: It was my business to travel on foot from place to place and I learned this land of Kenya inch by inch, by day and by night. The local inhabitants would run miles away when they saw strange people, white and brown. They were much frightened by us. Life became so interesting that now I could see the light and hope for the future in this land. The small settlement called Nakuru was growing. The land around Lake Nakuru was being allocated freely to the new settlers. The railway line was coming up behind us and bringing in more settlers. In 1900 the railway reached Nakuru on its way to Kisumu. Business picked up so fast that it was impossible to even close my eyes and rest for five minutes. I was a happy young man with a comfortable amount of money. Osman Allu He arrived in Kenya between 1894 and 1896 aged about 17 years and died here in 1973 aged 96 years. He told his history to his grandson Yakub Allu who was born here in 1938. Osman Allu worked for Allidina Visram as a salesman and bookkeeper before he started his own business. He always said that Allidina Visram was a great merchant and an enterprising man, the kind who would take risks. He gained a lot of knowledge about business by working for him. Osman Allu went into partnership with a man called Mohamedally Ratansi and they walked up to Nyeri where the European settlers were starting a station; there, they started the first shop in 1901 or 1902. Nyeri then had only that shop and the government station. Thereafter they put up a shop in M[rang'a (Fort Hall) and a sawmill in Karatina from where they supplied the sleepers for the track when the railway line was being laid to Nanyuki. Osman Allu and his wife Jomabai had three sons and five daughters, all born in Nyeri. He helped to build a proper Indian school in Nyeri in the late 1920s and he was a big contributor to the building of the present Nyeri Mosque at about the same time. He contributed to the building of the Catholic Consolata Mission Hospital at Nyeri, and to the Tumutumu Hospital, which was run by the Church of Scotland. His grandson Yakub Allu of Nanyuki in an interview has recounted:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


My grandfather had started doing business in Nairobi with insurance (with "Pioneer" aptly named) and property. He built a large building on Bazaar Street you can see the OA [Osman Allu] Logo and the date 1938 on the front and back. When my uncle Abdul married he took over the shop in Nyeri and in 1945 my grandfather moved to Nairobi. He bought a big house near the Suleiman Verjee Gymkhana on Forest Road. I think that the main reason he went to Nairobi was to provide a family base there, where all of us grandchildren could live while continuing our schooling. That house was like a family boarding house, supervised by my grandfather, and because of that I grew up with him and knew him so well. Dharamshi Kala He opened a shop in Mombasa in 1898 before moving to Nairobi and then opening a shop at the Rift Valley escarpment where his first child Gordhan D. Kantaria was born. He then moved to Limuru where many Europeans had started settlements. One farmer, a Mr. Caine who had a mixed farm growing coffee and other crops, had leased plots to Indians to build shops on. There were about twelve dukas (shops) built of iron sheets all in a line in the then usual shop-in-front and dwelling accommodation behind pattern. The shop like the others sold rations and supplies to the Africans working for Mr. Caine's farm and other farms nearby. They were all Ag]k[y[. Then in 1921 a law was promulgated forbidding the Indians to live in the White Highlands except in townships. In 1922 all the Indians moved to the site where the old Limuru was and about fifteen shops were built and opened for business. In these shops, the goods sold included sugar and salt, maize and maize flour, beans, millet, blankets, clothes, shuka (cloth sheets), beads, utensils and tools. Before the Indians opened shops, the Ag]k[y[ had markets (nd[ny[). Each settlement, about ten kilometres apart, had a weekly market day or two on different days from the others nearby where barter trading took place. By the time Indians opened shops at Limuru, Africans were using the Indian rupee until 1922 when it was replaced by the shilling. Goods came from Nairobi by train and then to the shops by ox-cart pulled by two oxen. The ox-carts would collect goods from the train and also fetch water from Mangu[ swamp near-by. Otherwise, Limuru had no water and water brought by the Railway to Limuru cost fifty cents for a debe (tin). In an interview the late Dharamshi Kala's son Gordhan D. Kantaria recounted: In time the government realised it had made a mistake and again allowed the European farmers to have Indian shops on their land so as to supply their labourers. In 1929 we rented a plot on Mr. W.E.D Knight's farm at Redhill and built a shop, another G.I sheet building with wooden floors. Ours was the only Indian shop on his farm. For several years we had the two shops. Then in 1932 our father retired and turned the business to me and my three brothers. We phased out of Limuru town and moved completely to Mr. Knight's farm. Mr. Knight had a very big farm, all coffee. He was a very tall man, he must have been about seven feet tall. He was nicknamed "Ndegwa" by the Africans, their word for "bull." We didn't know him very well as there was no socializing between Indians and Europeans, but in our business dealings with him we found him to be a very nice man. From that base on Mr. Knight's farm we expanded, building a posho mill and a sawmill as well. In 1948 I and my first brother and our parents moved to Nairobi, leaving the two younger brothers, one of whom died very recently, to develop the place as it is now. However, it was not until after our parents' deaths (our mother in 1952, our father in 1959), not until after Kenya became independent, that we were finally able to purchase our land.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Dharamshi Kala's grandson Rasik Kantaria is a prominent businessman in Nairobi and the owner of Prime Bank. The other grandson, Rajni Kantaria, besides being a prominent businessman takes a lot of interest in social work for the Asian community. In addition to being chairman of Lohana community, he has also served as chairman of the Hindu Council of Kenya. Dr. Mary De Souza She was born in May 1890 in India, a granddaughter of a Bomby doctor. She studied medicine at the Grant Medical College, Bombay where she met a young man who later became her husband. They both graduated in the same year, 1914. While Dr. A.C.L. de Souza left for Kenya to work for the Government, Mary took employment in India. Dr. A.C.L. de Souza returned on leave to India and the two doctors married in Bombay in 1919 and came to Kenya. Dr. Mary de Souza was the first lady doctor to come to East Africa, and possibly to the continent from India. She worked at the maternity hospital at Ngara and she became the darling of the Indian women in Nairobi and outside Nairobi. From up-country, it took three or four days to come to Nairobi to see Mary which many women did. Synthia Salvadori on her has written: Dr. Mary was a great friend and colleague of Mr. Manilal Ambalal Desai who came to Kenya in 1916 as a law clerk in a European firm and left the firm to fight for the political rights of the Asian community. Desai was born in India in the year 1879 and died on 15th July, 1926 in Bukoba, Tanganyika. This great Indian who had sacrificed his life and time for his fellow down trodden Indians for a long time unfortunately died a dismal and pathetic death. He died in an uninhabited hut, with no one near him to give him even a drop of water or to note his last words. Mary wept bitterly when she heard of his death. Dr. Mary at once thought of a memorial to him which her husband and many others helped erect in Nairobi, the Desai Memorial Hall. The foundation stone was laid by Shrimati Sarojini Naidu on 5th December 1929 when she was invited to Kenya to preside over the 9th session of the E.A. Indian National Congress. The opening ceremony was performed by Seth Nanji Kalidas Mehta of Uganda on 23rd May, 1934. Every year on the anniversary of Desai's death, Dr. Mary organised a flag Day, until ill-health isolated her from social services to which she had dedicated her life. Desai called her the ambassador of India, and so she was! Highly educated and used to the western way of life, she nevertheless preserved until the last the Indian traditions of her family. She was a happy blend of both. Manilal Ambalal Desai M.A. Desai came to Kenya in 1915. A bold and selfless person, Desai founded the East African Indian Congress and brought all Asian associations under one banner. He began the battle for basic rights for Africans and Asians. He remained in touch with Harry Thuku and also a number of Asian leaders of the time. He launched the East African Chronicle to propagate his ideas and to create a forum for people to demand their rights and fight against injustice. He put more emphasis on Africans rights than those for Asians and Europeans. Desai's fiery writings in the East African Chronicle, published in English, did not go well with the colonial authorities. He was jailed in 1924 for six months.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Desai was released from prison in early 1925 and immediately the government appointed him to the Legislative Council. While in Legco, Desai initiated several resolutions against colour bar but all were defeated as his resolutions could not muster majority support in a predominatly white Legislative Council. In 1926 Desai travelled with his friend Sita Ram to Bukoba in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). He died in Bukoba on 11 July the same year. The news of his death was received with horror and sorrow by the Kenyan population both Asians and Africans. The Asian community decided to create a memorial for Desai and a fund raising was initiated for this purpose and soon the Desai Memorial Hall and library were established. On 31 May 1930, the world renowned poetess and Indian national leader Sarojini Naidu officially layed the foundation stone of the Desai Memorial Library. Desai Memorial Hall and library building has now been demolished and shops and office building erected on the plot as private property in the land grabbing orgy of the recent past. Premchand Popat Shah Premchand was the eldest son of Popat Hira Chandaria. The Chandarias lived as an extended family and engaged in farming. The family split and Premchand at a young age had to work in a farm to look after his parents, brothers and sister. Premchand was too young to handle the work in the farm and wanted to go overseas and earn sufficient money, return to India and set up a shop so that he could look after his family. His parents allowed him to travel to Kenya in 1916. He arrived at Mombasa where he was employed as a shop attendant and worked from morning to midnight for a salary of 20 rupees. He felt at that rate he would never be able to make sufficient money to return to India and set up a shop. He borrowed some money from his friends, got some from his parents and started (in partnership with Khimasia Family) a shop in Ngara area of Nairobi under the name of Premchand Popat & Company. By 1928, their business was rated among the big Asian businesses during that time with business like Alibhai & Co., Ahmed Bros. and Karman Mepa. The specialty of the business was to cater for provisions for the European community which were mainly imported. During 1928, the partnership with Khimasia split and the family set up Premchand Bros. Between 1916 and 1928, Premchand invited his family, his two younger brothers Maganlal and Chaganlal, and later on he invited a number of his cousins and relatives to Kenya. Initially all of them worked with him. Later on, he arranged businesses for them while keeping his own family together in business. In her book Mercantile Adventures: The World of East African Asians, Dana April Seidenberg has written thus: In 1928 the group split up and the Chandarias became Premchand. Brothers; all Premchards were called to East Africa brothers, cousins and uncles of the Chandaria family. In the same year Premchand Raichand set up an aluminum manufacturing plant in Mombasa and a milling factory in Thika and in 1930 he set up the Kenya Tanning Extract Company, also in Thika, where leather was tanned for export. Between 1941 and 1949 the family ventured into a number of areas of industry setting up all manner of food processing plants from peanuts to salt manufacture. The Chandarias also entered into the manufacture of paints and textiles on a very large scale. In 1949, moreover, they took control of Kenya Aluminum, making pots, pans, kettles and sufurias [cooking iron pots]. They added roofing sheets, hurricane lanterns, stoves, nails and barbed wire. Later, with the Khimasias, they set up the East African Match Company, providing most of the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


matches for the whole country. The Chandarias' most spectacular endeavour, however, was probably the Kenya United Steel Company, set up in Kenya in partnership with another family, to produce all sorts of steel used in building construction. Today (2005) the Chandaria group of companies has fourteen large companies in Kenya, directly employing more than 5,000 people. The family businesses are spread across more than 50 countries in the world stretching from Brazil to Papua New Guinea and from Toronto Canada to Singapore. In total, they employ more than 50,000 workers world-wide. Some of these companies are in Africa including Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The reason behind this spectacular growth and expansion of the enterprises in reference is due to the joint family system and involvement at any one time of three generations of Chandaria family members. The principal personality in the family behind this expansion was Devchand son of Premchand who joined the business in 1935. He had gone half way through high school and could read and write English. (Premchand and his brothers only read and wrote in the Indian language Gujarat). Devchand had the vision to initiate the family business move from trading to industry. During 1938, the two groups, Premchand Brothers and Premchand Raichand, joined hands and became one of the largest Asian business houses in Kenya. In 1945, Ratilal, the second son of Premchand joined the business. In 1947, the joint company split and the Chandarias took over the control of Premchand Brothers and Kenya Aluminium Industrial Works Ltd. (Kaluworks Ltd.). Premchand Bros. operated in Nairobi and Mombasa while Kenya Aluminium was in Mombasa. Kaluworks was a very small plant employing 40 people. In 1950/51, four young Chandarias, namely, Kantilal, Kaporchand, sons of Maganlal, and Keshevlal and Manilal, sons of Premchand, joined the business after their university education. The first two studied engineering and commerce at Bombay University respectively and the other two studied for Science degrees in Bombay University and went to the United States to study food technology and engineering respectively. Kaluworks expanded in a major way by setting up production lines for aluminium rolling, hurricane lanterns, kerosene stoves, nails and barbed and fencing wires. By 1958, it employed 800 people. During this period, a remarkable man by the name of Sir Ernest Vasey came in contact with the family. He became the principal advisor of the family. He used to be the Minister of Finance in the pre-independence Kenya government. After retiring, he became the first Minister of Finance of Independent Tanzania. He then was appointed the country representative of the World Bank in Parkistan. After his retirement from the World Bank, he joined the family business full time as its chairman. He worked with the family as a member of the Chandaria family until his death in 1981. As a chairman of the group he helped the family to diversify and establish itself in various countries and directed the collective effort of the family business in creating a multinational group. The expansion in various countries was through take overs of existing businesses and the establishment of new operations. All the businesses of the group are professionally managed and the family supervises the businesses with the assistance of professionals. The Chandarias have five family centres, namely London, Geneva, Nairobi, Singapore and Toronto.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


The man behind the spectacular growth and expansion of the enterprises in reference is Dr. Manilal Premchand Chandaria, popularly known as Manu who started working for the company in 1951 upon his return from the United States of America where he acquired a master's degree in Engineering from Oklahoma University. The Chandaria Foundation in Kenya which Manu is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, has given away hundreds of million of shillings in scholarships, construction of medical facilities, help to the disabled, among numerous other charities. The Chandaria Foundation pays school fees for 100 secondary school students including deaf children and 25 university students every year. Recently it donated Sh. 20,000,000 for the construction of the Chandaria Accident and Emergency Centre at the Nairobi Hospital and Shs. 6,000,000 for a similar project at Pandya Memorial Hospital in Mombasa. For his philathropic and business accomplishments, Dr. Manlal Premchand Chandaria was honoured by the University of Nairobi in 1997 with a doctorate of science degree (honoris Causa) Awarding him the degree, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, professor Francis Gichaga, quoting Franklin Roosevelt, American president during the great depression said: "Do what you can with what you have, where you are." the professor went on to say: In our midst is one person who did just that. Manu Chandaria did what he could, with what he had, where he was, and achieved what many will for ever only dream of. It is in recognition, in particular, of the outstanding contribution to industrialization and business growth in Kenya that the University of Nairobi is proud to bestow upon Mr. Manilal Premchand Chandaria the degree of Doctor of Science in Engineering.38 In his acceptance speech, Chandaria told the graduating students to embrace hard work, honesty and integrity and to be prepared to get their hands dirty in the course of their employment. By accepting to take any job that comes their way, they would grow and mature with time. Munshi Ram and Kala Singh The two were friends and they came together to Kenya and established a joint business in River Road in the name of "Munshiram Kalasingh & Company" selling steel bars and hardware. They later opened a construction hardware business in Eldoret. They were also supplying ballast to the Railway from a quarry they had in Limuru where they employed a large African labour force and some Indians. Kala Singh was a brave man and travelled to far off places from the Railway where his turban and beard were strange. Later Kala Singh and Munshi Ram brought many Sikhs from India who settled in Kijabe area including Keha Singh Dillon. Kala Singh's name made an indelible mark on the African minds and henceforth Sikhs came to be known as Kalasings Kalasinga. Building of Khoja Mosque in Nairobi In a contribution by Hassanali H.S. Verjee of Mombasa in his book manuscript A Family History on building of the Koja Mosque the following account has been given: My father Hussein became president of the Ismailia provincial council in Nairobi. In 1920, he instructed the architect Naran Virji to prepare a plan for a new stone mosque to replace the old wood and corrugated iron one on Government Road [Moi Avenue]. The Ismaili community raised 150,000 rupees towards the cost of the building but this was insufficient, so Hussein and Madatali went to Bombay to meet the Aga Khan. He gave them his blessing and approved the plans but turned down their request for financial assistance, telling them that they must raise the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


rest of the money themselves. They returned to Nairobi and carried out his instructions. Hussein personally supervised the building operations from dawn until dusk until its completion in 1921. Five Men Hanged for One Rupee One man owed another one rupee. When they met at a restaurant at Pigott place in Mombasa they fought and one man stabbed the other in the stomach and he died. Hassan Khan who saw the man stab the other grabbed the knife. By the time police arrived, the man who had done the stabbing had already run away and they arrested Hassan Khan because he had the knife in his hand and they charged him with murder. Although lawyers were brought from the United Kingdom by the defence, the judge found him guilty and he was condemned to be hanged. One of his brothers said: "Why should he alone be hanged? We are five brothers [and cousin brother] and he is no more guilty than we are. So we should all be hanged." So the judge heard them and made his final decision. All five brothers were to be hanged. And so they were hanged, at Fort Jesus in Mombasa and the story goes: You can check the records at Fort Jesus, which used to be used as a prison. Then there was a big quarrel between the Muslims and the gaolers who did not want to give the bodies for burial. But finally the bodies were released and the Muslims collected them from Fort Jesus and cleaned and washed them ready for burial. They made a big procession to take them to the Cutchi Suru Muslim Cemetery, near the Railway station. While the procession was passing along Makadara Road, a Baluchi woman who was nine months pregnant saw them. She screamed and died on the spot. Her body was picked up and taken to the cemetery and buried there too. Their graves are all together in one line. Indar Singh Gill He came to Kenya in 1922 aged 20 years to join his maternal uncle Nahar Singh Pangli who had come to Kenya in 1915. He got him admitted to the Railway school where he was trained as a telegraphist after which he was employed by the Railway at Shs. 20 per month. After four years, he was promoted to become a station master grade one at a monthly salary of Shs. 250 and worked at Njoro, Muhoroni, Kibos, Kipikori and Kisumu before he was transferred to Uganda where he began doing other business on the side. He worked for the railway for over forty years. In an interview with Cynthia Salvadori he said the following: I went into saw milling and had cotton ginneries. I settled in Jinja and built a fine house which I called `Lakeview.' The rest is well known: I became one of the three multi-millionaires of Jinja, along with Mehta, Madhvani (both of whom made their money in sugar). And then I was one of the thousands of Asians thrown out by Idi Amin in 1972. Fortunately I had kept ties in Kenya. I'd laid the foundation stones of both the old and the new Singh Sabba temples in Nairobi, and in 1948-50 I had built Gill House, the first 5 storey building in town a skycraper in those days which I rented to the colonial government for offices. Sawmills, too (see An Indian's gift to a South African) so in 1972 I came back to Kenya where I had started my career as Bauji. It was all because of my uncle Nahar Singh that I am what I am today. I still keep his portrait in my office. Yes. Although I am 90 years old I still go to the office every day.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


In the Indian's Gift to a South African, Inder Singh Gill has the following to say: I had started the Sikh sawmill in Jinja. One day I was driving from Jinja to Nairobi. As I passed the forest department near Timboroa area I saw the sign for the burnt forest saw mill. I stopped. The owner came up and said, very unfriendly, "what do you want here?" I explained I had sawmills in Uganda and wanted to have a look around his, just to compare notes. He was a South African, Bobby Ball by name, and was not willing to show me around. So I said I'd buy his saw mill, what did he want for it? He thought a minute and then said, Shs. 400,000 for everything except his personal effects, assuming of course that I wouldn't possibly afford such a high price. I said, "Only I don't have my cheque book with me. Could you give me a leaf of yours? He looked startled. "Which bank," he asked. "Any," I said "Barclays, Standard, whatever you have. I have accounts in them all!" He gave me a leaf from his cheque book and I wrote him out a cheque for the sum he'd asked. Now, he had several horses at the mill. I left him with a couple but as I used to like to ride (my father had horses on the farm in India), I took three or four for myself, took them to Jinja. We agreed that saddles were personal property so he charged me for the saddles. That was fair. Those people were very good to do business with, those hard-headed settlers. Then Mr. Ball said he wanted some timber and some nails, to build himself a new house. He offered to pay. "You charge me," he said. No, I said. "This will be a gift from an Indian to a South African." Sheth Alibhai Mulla Jevanjee Since Sir William Mackinnon, the promoter of the Imperial British East Africa Company's shipping business was Bombay based, he had knowledge of and access to a vast pool of qualified Indian personnel and business people with whom to implement his Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) business. This business included administration of all the East African territory (Kenya and Uganda) including the Sultan's ten miles Coastal strip leased for 1,000 per annum from Zanzibar. The IBEAC was based in Mombasa and brought over from Bombay its own guards and police, clerks and accountants. Many of the latter were Goans [ex-Portuguese] who had distinguished themselves in Bombay as its best bureaucrats. The British government took over the company including its personnel and hence its Indian orientation. Currency continued to be counted in rupees and banked in Bombay. The legal system was an extension of Indian law. All of the lower echelons and a number of the higher posts in the protectorate administration were filled by Indians, still mainly Goans. The ranks of the British officered police and army were filled predominantly by Punjabi Muslims and Sikhs. For all practical purposes, the Protectorate was a province of British India, administered from Bombay. Alibhai Mulla Jevanjee arrived in Mombasa in 1890 with a letter of introduction from B.T. Finch, superintendent of Eastern Telegraphs in Karachi, to Sir Francis de Winton, Administrator General of the IBEAC and a shareholder and director of the company. Jevanjee found in Mombasa about 550 Indians and a small number of Europeans. He stayed with a well-established Bohra family known as Namaji in Ndia Kuu. The Hindus (generally known as Banyan) controlled trade. Mombasa had close ties with the Indian Ocean and other outside traders and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


had access to credit through the merchant capital networks on the Indian Ocean. IBEAC had obtained permission from the Foreign Office and the Government of India to recruit some 300 men in the vicinity of Delhi on a three year contract. They were to be used to police the whole of the company's territory. Jevanjee was given that contract and was also called upon to supply rations and labour to the India contingent under the command of captain Rogers, which he did. In the following year. the company decided to build a narrow-gauge light railway to pass through the thorn bush and the tsetsefly belt. Jevanjee supplied the Indian labour, which proved to be highly competent in construction work but only seven miles of rail had been laid when the company ran short of funds. In 1891, Jevanjee opened a branch of his Karachi-based firm, A.M. Jevanjee & Co., and started the business of stevedoring and dubashing, the first in that line on the East African Coast. His company's efficient services proved to be of great value to Sir William Mackinnon's shipping line, the British Indian Steam Navigation Co. through its Mombasa agents, Smith Mackenzie & Co. However, in 1902 after the death of Mackenzie, Jevanjee had a misunderstanding with the management and he closed down his stevedoring business in Mombasa. In the meantime Jevanjee was conducting satisfactory business with IBEAC and receiving commendations from the company. The earliest was made at Mombasa and dated 10th May, 1892 and signed by the superintendent and the Accountant:

This is to certify that Messrs A.M. Jevanjee & Co. of Karachi provisioned our Indian Military Forces here per contract for one year, at the end of which time their agent left for Karachi. The rations were delivered promptly and found to be satisfactory . . . The Indian railway coolie labour which you supplied, have given every satisfaction and the rations for Indian and native workmen have always been of uniform quality and punctually and regularly supplied. . . . Messrs Jevanjee & Co. have discharged a cargo of general goods for the Uganda Railway containing a large number of heavy lifts from two to ten tons weight, and all work without the least accidents and very satisfactory indeed. The construction of the Railway started in 1896 after the first batch of 350 workers arrived from India on 24 January 1896. The work force included surveyors, draughtsmen, masons, carpenters, blacksmiths and clerks. Following Jevanjee's earlier success in recruitment of Indian labour, he together with one Hussein Bux, was the major contractor for labour recruitment. By 1900 the Uganda Railway construction authorities had brought in about 25,000 men from India and procuring their rations and other supplies from Karachi became a problem. The contract was finally awarded to Jevanjee who was able to supply the rations and boots for 25,000 men in the required manner and at 20 per cent less cost than the Railway's own agents in Karachi by taking advantage of the economics of scale. Jevanjee made a fortune from railway construction and afterwards built many of the stone buildings in Nairobi. At the time, there were three major firms in Mombasa, those of Allidina Visram, Shariff, Jaffer & Co. and A.M. Jevanjee. The first Nairobi District Commissioner John Ainsworth's house was built by Jevanjee on the hill where the university lecture hall at the Nairobi National Museum is. His offices were later built

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


on the site of the present Moi Primary School on Moi Avenue. Jevanjee Gardens was laid directly opposite the District Commissioner's office, and a small section of the Gardens was carved out to allow for a rickshaw stand. Jevanjee installed the statue of Queen Victoria in the Gardens, which he had built and donated to the Nairobi township authority in trust for the people of Nairobi and Kenya. John Ainsworth measured the city limits to be within a radius of one and one half miles from his office, and the Nairobi City limits remained so until 1920. Zarina Patel writing on the establishment of the city has written thus: A group of Indian merchants and Coastal traders erected a small market area in 1889, and what started as a large encampment of tents was developed, largely by the Indians into a township. By 1900, Nairobi had a flourishing Indian bazaar situated between the present Tom Mboya Street and River Road and was more of an Indian than a European township. As we have seen, the protectorate was governed by Indian legislation, the judicial powers of officials were modelled on the Indian precedents and in May 1893, the Indian rupee coinage was introduced, replacing the German, English and Indo-Portuguese currency. Even the settlers chose to organise races under Calcutta Turf Club rules. In 1903, Ainsworth reported that "full 80 per cent of the capital and business energy of the country is Indian!" Nairobi Township committee had been setup on 16 April, 1900 and municipal regulations were established. The first meeting was held on 24 July, 1900 and included Allidina Visram and Amir Singh. The committee had more Indians than Europeans, who served as "unofficials" on it, but in June 1901 the committee resigned and the District Commissioner took over. By December, a new committee was formed, and this time the Europeans were in the majority, ensuring that local legislation would be in their own interests. Nairobi Municipal Council was formed in 1919 but did not have African councillors in it until 1930s. Early colonisers depended on the Indians since not a single white owned company in the country was in a position to undertake contracts for building, earthwork, rationing or labour supply. Allidina Visram, who had a chain of shops in British East Africa, was requested not to close his shops in Uganda though they were not profitable to him. Jevanjee developed many properties which he rented to the government including the Nairobi Town Hall which was also used as a court house. Another major structure built was the conspicuous purple and yellow Jevanjee Market, the only building not constructed of corrugated iron sheet in Nairobi in 1904 and built at a cost of Rs. 100,000 of his own money. Later, Jevanjee Market was bought by the town and in 1932 the current city market was built 500 yards further south. A.M. Jevanjee & Co. built many houses which the East Africa Protectorate Government rented, including the former survey department, now part of the Central Police Station next to the Nairobi University. In 1909 a group of amateur naturalists, including the governor Sir Frederick Jackson, formed the East African and Uganda Natural History Society. Zarina Patel has given the following account on the housing of the Natural History Society: On 16 August of the following year the society occupied the small two-roomed stone building that would house the data and material its members had collected and would make them available to a wider public. The rent was Rs. 37.50 per month and the tenancy was yearly, terminable by six month's notice on either side. In 1913 an extension to the building was

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


requested and a further Rs. 150 per annum was added to the rent. This first museum building was at the site of the present Windsor House at the junction of Muindi Mbingu Street and University Way and was used until 1920 when it was moved to Kirk Road (now Nyerere Road) near the Young Women's Christian Association Headquarters. In 1929 the Coryndon Museum was built on 15 acres of land on Ainsworth Hill; it is the present National Museum. Jevanjee had his first foray in politics very early in 1902 after the European press published an insulting letter about Indians written by a settler woman leading him to establish his own newspaper The African Standard. When he sold the newspaper, he kept the printing press and this was later used by Manilal Desai, Harry Thuku and Sitaram Acharya for political purposes. Synithia Salvadori has written: AMJ was instrumental in setting up the early Indian political organisation in East Africa, from the Mombasa Indian Association to the E.A. Indian National Congress. In 1909 he was the first and only non-white member nominated to the legislative council but "seeing the futility of a single person being able to achieve much in the teeth of the anti-Indian policy in force he soon resigned (by forfeiting his seat through non-attendance) and plunged himself into organising political movements outside the council. Through them he, with others, played a leading role in promoting Indian interests. He maintained close contact with the leaders of the Indian National congress in India and travelled to South Africa where he met with Mahatma Gandhi, General Smuts and others. He led and was part of several delegations to the colonial office in the U.K. where his speeches received wide press coverage and roused considerable concern about Indian rights. Hussein of the Indian Congress In A family history by Hassanali H.S. Verjee of Mombasa, it is recorded that in 1920, the Indians living in East Africa formed an Indian congress (inspired by the political organisation in India). His father Hussein was elected the first president. The first meeting was held in the Suleiman Verjee building on First Avenue and the Governor Northey was invited and attended. In his inaugural speech, he openly criticised the colonial regime for its policy of social injustice and racial segregation. Prophetically, Hussein concluded: "Sir, allow me to tell you, one day all Europeans and the colonial government will have to leave this country. But we Indians will continue to live and trade in the country." Hussein was arrested and taken to the high court. Hassanali H.S. Verjee has written: Justice Sheriden, who tried the case, evidently admired Hussein and this is revealed in his words to captain Bristow, the superintendent of the prison: "Mr. Hussein has not committed any crime. He is under a charge of political activity, of causing unrest . . . Mr. Hussein is not your prisoner. You will have to treat him as the guest of the British government." consequently, Hussein was placed under house-arrest and treated with respect and courtesy. He was released a few days later. Mr. Hussein soon after his release called an emergency meeting of the congress and moved a resolution to form a delegation to visit the British Parliament in London to present the Indian case for equal rights. The delegation consisted of M.A. Desai, A.M. Jevanjee, B.S. Varma, Mr. Shamsudeen and Abdul Wahid. They arrived in London in July, 1923 and stayed at the First Avenue Hotel in the Strand. They met a number of British M.Ps who gave a lunch in their

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


honour. Hassanali H.S. Verjee who was a student in London was invited by his father to attend the meeting and has written thus: I sat there in the Hotel dining room amongst the members of the delegation, feeling very proud of my father. The meeting began cordially enough. Then the Indian leader began to criticise the government, demanding the abolition of racial segregation and advocating equal rights. Their demands were categorically rejected and an insulting offer proposed as an alternative. The response from the delegation was unanimous and echoed the sentiments of all campaigners for human rights: "We have come to you for justice and equal rights for our people." We have not come to you to sell our people. With this defiant rejoinder they all walked out. And I walked out with them. Achroo Ram Kapila Achhroo's father Saling Ram, an advocate, followed his other three brothers who had come to Kenya starting from 1920 and set up a law practice in Nairobi in 1930 in a two roomed office in what is now Moi Avenue. They lived in Ngara and behind their home lived the Indian named Abdul Wahid who had a private zoo. Achhroo Kapila attended Government Primary school which was near the railway station. When he finished secondary school eduction in 1942 at the height of the war, his father wanted him to travel to India for further education as there was no university in Kenya. Although he had applied for admission for a course in civil engineering at a university in India, it was not possible to travel by steamship or by air because of the war. The only way to reach India was by dhow. A close friend, Abdul Qayum, had travelled by dhow and on reaching Bombay, he sent an urgent telegram telling him not to dream of travelling by dhow. He said it had taken them over forty days to cross the ocean, that the hold was like a dungeon, that there was a great shortage of water and that he had not had a bath the whole voyage. Many passengers had been seriously sick because of exposure to the sun and rain. His description of the latrine was very graphic it consisted of a `long drop' where you crouched over the edge of the moving and heaving ship. Just about that time the council of legal Education in England made it possible for overseas residents of the commonwealth to study law and sit their examination in absentia. Achhroo Kapila passed his final law examination in October 1945 but had to wait for the war to end in Europe to sail to England and attend lectures before being called to the bar in 1947. He returned to Kenya in the same year and joined his father in his practice. In a contribution published in they came in Dhows, Achhroo Kapila has recounted thus: Almost immediately, I was involved in a number of "political" trials. There were many persecutions of courageous publishers and editors such as Vidyarthi, [father of the owners of colour print press], D.K. Sharda, Haroun Ahmed (see "Eunotos good for Business") and others, some of whom went to prison for speaking out against the injustices of the colonial system. I defended Makhan Singh (see Unadulterated idealist), Jesse Kariuki, Fred Kubai and others, and successfully prosecuted chiefs and headmen like Makimei who had a habit of "disciplining" their subjects, sometimes by administering brutal punishment to them while the government conveniently looked away. Many people defied the rampant colour bar which was enforced by law at the time and were charged and tried in court. During this period, I formed a close friendship with Mzee Kenyatta and others who were actively involved in Kenya's struggle for freedom. In October 1952, a state of emergency was declared in

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Kenya and Mzee Kenyatta and his colleagues Kubai, Achieng Oneko, Paul Ngei, Bildad Kaggia and Kung'u Karumba were arrested and prosecuted at Kapenguria. I was part of their defence team. There were a great number of Mau Mau cases too that had to be defended all the way to the Privy Council in England. I suppose my contribution to our history can be attributed to the fact that I decided not to travel by dhow. I am glad that I missed the boat. Lila and Ambu Patel In 1943, Lila married Ambu Patel at the age of 16 years. He was involved in the Indian independence movement for some years. He sent her to one of Gandhi's ashrams in Gujarati. That experience and marriage politicised Lila and made her determined to fight for justice for the poor and oppressed. They first came to Uganda but then shifted to Nairobi where they ran a printing press and book binding business. She and her husband named their three sons and one daughter after renowned Indian nationalists. They lived plainly but their generosity was unlimited. When the struggle for Uhuru was gaining momentum, Ambu and Lila became part of it. During the Mau Mau war of liberation, Lila used to feed freedom fighters in her house, hide them in her charcoal shed and store their guns and ammunition. After the detention and imprisonment of Jomo Kenyatta in 1952, Lila looked after his daughter Margaret Wamb[i for eight years, hiding her from the colonial authorities. She helped advance her education and Ambu taught her the craft of bookbinding. On the founding day of KANU (27 March 1960), Lila and Ambu in cooperation with several hundred Africans participated in a demonstration in K]ambu town for the release of Jomo Kenyatta and his colleagues. Lila and Ambu knowing that they faced possible arrest, bravely carried anti-colonial placards in solidarity with the others. In a contribution published in they came in Dhows, the following account is given: Lila and the family made great sacrifices in furthering Kenya's struggle for liberation. Yet at the time of independence, she and Ambu refused to accept any favours or rewards, saying that they had struggled for the good of the country and not for personal enrichment. As they were so immersed in the Kenya nationalist struggle and gave everything they had to it, they could not afford to pay the school fees for their children. Lila returned to India for several years where she educated her children with money she earned from cooking food for other students. "I have always felt that money is just a means and not a motto in life," wrote Ambu. And to his son Subash he said: "I want you to have an education such as will make you the humblest of the humble and a real soldier in life". In 1973 when they moved to Parklands they had no furniture or crockery and barely enough food to eat. They slept not on beds but on sheets spread on their trunks. Lila spun yarn, sold food in tiffins and even sold her recipes written out in Gujarati.65 Ambu died of heart attack in 1977. Margret Kenyatta offered Lila some financial assistance but Lila, after expressing her gratitude refused it and asked Margret to use it for a good cause. Lila also died of heart attack in 1979 and like her husband was cremated in Nairobi. Unfortunately the time had changed so radically that the passing of these two great Kenyans went almost unnoticed. The writer knew them personally and the couple was an epitome of devotion to Kenya and its people. Makhan Singh

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


He was born in Kenya and went to school in India returning in 1943/44. While in India, he had openly joined the communist party and the colonial government did not intend to allow him back into Kenya, which he knew, but he managed to slip out of the ship and travelled up to Nairobi. He immediately started organising the trade union movement with Fred Kubai. In 1947 he was arrested and by 1952 he had been in detention for seven years when Dr. Fitz de Souza, an advocate, returned from his studies in England and took employment with the law firm of `Madan & Shah'. (Madan later became Chief Justice of Kenya and Dr. Fitz de Souza Deputy speaker of the Kenya Parliament). Makhan Singh's father Sood Singh used to visit Madan in the office many times in his attempt to get his son released. As Madan was often very busy, he would send the old man to talk to de Souza. In an interview published in We came in Dhows, Dr. de Souza has stated: In an effort to get Makhan Singh released, Madan and I had been to see the Governor about some documents, and had gotten his agreement to release Makhan Singh if he apologised for his more radical policies. This I thought Makhan would do, for basically he was a man of law and order, against the use of violence. So at the old man's request I drafted a petition addressed to the Governor in the father's name. In it we pleaded for leniency, saying: "Please have sympathy for my son who is very decent, though perhaps a little misguided, person." I was very proud of the way I had worded the petition for the old man and I made the mistake of sending a copy to Makhan Singh. He immediately sent a telegram stating unequivocally; "Not misguided will not be released under those conditions." I was sorry that my carefully worded petition had been so unappreciated but I had to admire Makhan Singh for sticking to his principles. Because he refused to compromise his stand, he was kept in detention (in Maralal) for several years more. Dr. de Souza in the same interview has given another example of what a principled person Makhan Singh was. No concern for himself would sway him from his stand: Jomo Kenyatta used to ask after him. One day I invited Makhan Singh to lunch with me at Parliament. I had been trying to persuade him to make an effort to get a job where he could contribute to the development of the country. While we were talking, Jomo (it was only later that we all began calling him Mzee) passed our table and stopped and embraced Makhan Singh before moving on to another table. I was very friendly with Jomo that time I used to write most of his speeches so I thought this would be an opportune moment to get Makhan Singh back into action. I asked him what he would be willing to do. He said, "Anything worthwhile. But I don't want you to ask anyone on my behalf for a job. Never in my life have I asked for anything, begged for anything:" I told him that you were never `given' a job in this world, that you had to fight to get it, and I told him that I was going to ask Jomo on his behalf. I stood up to go over to Jomo and Makhan Singh grabbed me by the arm and pulled me down. He was really angry and said, "I'll never accept any job that's been asked for, any offer that is not spontaneous recognition of my usefulness." I was quite staggered by his vehemence and of course made no further move towards Jomo, or to helping Makhan Singh get any job. It wasn't that he was arrogant, for he wasn't arrogant at all. He just felt that if people didn't appreciate what he had done, what he had to offer, he didn't

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


want to work with them. He never did get a job. He died a few years later. He was a total, unadulterated idealist. He wouldn't compromise on anything. Pio Gama Pinto Recently a lot has been written about Pinto through the Nations' newspaper serialisation of a story about his life and death at the hands of a political assassin. His dedication and suffering in the struggle for Kenya's freedom and thereafter is now well known in the public domain. In an article by his wife Emma Gama Pinto of Willowdale (Canada), dated June, 1972 and published in We came in Dhows she has said the following: I met Pio about September 1953 and we married in January, 1954. Pio was honest in a funny way he told me he did not make much to support me (he was then editor of the Daily Chronicle and secretary of the Indian congress in Nairobi) and I should therefore start thinking about getting a job myself! No frills just a blunt statement with a wide smile. Since my first weeks as a bride were akin to being a grass-widow, I felt it might be best I did not stay home and twiddle my thumbs. Home, to Pinto, was a one-room bed sitter with minimum furnishing. A small portable one burner stove was all the 4ft x 4ft kitchen could boast of. My parents who had flown in from India for the wedding were shocked. They presented us with a car, a washing machine, a sewing machine and a substantial cash cheque for the wedding. Early in June, my husband was arrested under the Emergency regulations. He was the editor of the Dairy Chronicle and Secretary of the India Congress in Nairobi. As the situation in Kenya was getting from bad to worse, Pio sent information to friends abroad in England and the U.A.R [United Arab Republic now Egypt] Joseph Murumbi and Mbiu Koinange. They pleaded the cause from their vantage positions where there was freedom of press and speech. He smuggled releases to important people in many countries so that they could be appraised about the true conditions in Kenya. In February 1958 Pio was released from detention but was put under restriction at Kabarnet town in Baringo. His wife was allowed to join him in the place of restriction where he had been given a two bedroomed house with sparse furniture and less than Shs. 50 to live on. They were not permitted to speak to anyone except the administration staff of the district, many of whom were not interested in the ex-detainee. Mrs. Emma Pinto has further recounted: At the recommendation of my doctor, Pio was allowed to travel to Nairobi for the birth of our first child in case of the need for blood transfusion due to my Rh negative condition. Oh the joy of being with the people again! Pio visited me briefly at the Nursing Home and finding that all was well, kept intouch by phone for the rest of his short leave, and spent his time catching up on the true nature of the situation in the country. That was Pio! The leopard hadn't changed its spots or even blurred them. Fortunately during the years of his detention, I had read avidly about the struggle in South Africa, and the aspirations of the Africans had given me an understanding of my husband's fervent desire to exert his utmost energies on their behalf. To the utter consternation of my friends, I refused to lift a finger to change him. His ideals were high and I admired his courage. I

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


was happy to share him with the country that needed him. The assassin's bullet in February 1965 took away a husband and father, but more so much more, a patriot of Kenya. This author who knew and worked closely with Pinto during the last years of the struggle for independence (uhuru) and after agrees with her entirely. Shamsudin Raweno Otieno Raweno Otieno was born in Kisumu and became the first African Ismaili Muslim. He first worked as a house boy for an Ismaili, Hassanali Rahimtulla, who lived near the Khoja Mosque. The head of the Ismailis, the Aga Khan Sultan Mohammed Shah, told his people that since they were living in Africa they should try to convert African people to their Ismaili religion. With Raweno Otieno's consent, the Hassanali family started to take him to their Jamatkhana to learn their religion for nine months. Because he was not an Ismaili, he studied outside the Jamatkhana. After some months the teacher took him to the Ismaili council to discuss his admission and the chairman said, "Right, the boy can be an Ismaili!" Shamsudin Raweno Otieno in an interview with C. Salvadori has given the following account: I joined the Jamatkhana on December 16, 1954. That was a Friday. You know Fridays are the best days in our religion. It was a lovely occasion. I was twelve years old and they took me in like I was a president. They gave me a suit and tie to wear at the Jamatkhana (No, they didn't give me any money.) They had arranged the place very nicely. I was escorted in by four people, including my teacher and the chairman and other important people of the community. That's when I got the name Shamsudin. No, I don't have any photographs of the occasion. I also became an Aga Khan scout. In Kisumu I was a junior scout. When I moved to Nairobi I was a Rover Scout for about five years. There was one other African Ismaili in the A.K. Scout troop. I moved here in 1959 to work for Hassanali's daughter Kulsumbai. I came with my papers so I could attend the Jamatkhana here. No-one stopped me. Many wanted me to marry an Indian wife, but I married a Luo girl and took her to join the Jamatkhana. She was given the name Zenaz. Our nine children are all Ismailis. After me some other Luos, about five or six became Ismailis. Some Luhyia became Ismailis too. I don't know about Nairobi or Mombasa, but I know that I was the first African to join Ismailism in Kisumu. There are some other African Ismailis here, there used to be about 48 of us, more here than in Kisumu. No, there aren't any Kikuyu or Kamba Ismailis, the Kikuyu and Kamba don't want to understand Ismailism. The other African Ismailis here mostly are from western Kenya, Luo and Luhyias. We do not meet much because we go to different Jamatkhanas here. Premchand Vrajpal Shah Premchand had only had a basic, primary education but he was intelligent, innovative and visionary. He started working as an accounts clerk at a basic salary of rupees 30 per month which was considered good at that time. He came to be known as Mehta meaning Accounts Clerk. Being ambitious, honest and hard-working, in a few years, together with his brothers, he started his own business trading in local produce. His younger brother, Juthalal, joined the business later on. Although townships in Central Province were just starting to develop, including Fort Hall, transport links with Nairobi were poor. Roads were made either dusty or muddy by ox carts. mules and bicycles were often used and sometimes people walked for miles. Educational and medical facilities were non-existent and diseases such as plague and malaria were rampant. The

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


local African people were stripped of their fertile land which became part of the White Highlands reserved exclusively for European farmers. Local Africans were left with small parcels of land only suitable for subsistence farming. They were not allowed to grow cash crops such as tea, coffee or wheat, all of which were reserved for white farmers only. As his produce business prospered, he opened offices and depots in all places in the Province and became one of the biggest produce dealers. His advice in respect of crops and production figures was sought by the Government authorities and heeded. Later on, in the early twenties, he moved to Thika which he saw grow from a dusty town to the well-laid-out industrial town it is today. He established the first major industry of the town, the Kenya Tanning Extract Company, in 1933/34, together with his brothers, and partners M P Shah and others. As a man of vision, he knew that the country could only be developed if the local people progressed. He visualised that to improve their economic prospects and thus their standards of living, farmers should be able to grow cash crops suitable to the area and easily marketed and processed locally. He moved around in local reserves with the chiefs to educate and encourage them to grow wattle trees; later on he did the same for cotton in the Sagana and M]]r[ areas. starting with a wattle-extracting factory in Thika, he moved on to cotton ginneries and maize-milling plants in Sagana and M]]r[. These activities gave a great economic boost to farmers and he was nick-named by the Ag]k[y[ Mehta Magoko (Mehta Wattle-Back), some of whom gave the name Mehta to their children. Together with his brothers and partners, he established trading companies and manufacturing plants including the following;

Maize milling in Thika 1923; Kenya Aluminium Works in 1928 (now know as Kaluworks and owned by the Comcraft Group of Companies); Premchand Raichand & Co trading and later a holding company in partnership with M P Shah and others; this used to be the flagship of the Group; Wattle bark harvesting first in Thika in 1929 and then in Maragua in 1931; Kenya Tanning Extract Co in Thika in 1933; Purchase of Limuru Tanning Co in 1935; Founded cotton ginneries and maize milling plants in M]]r[ in 1935/37; Purchase of Muhoroni Sugar Mills in 1941. He left for India in 1941 for a holiday during the Second World War and, being an entrepreneur, found plenty of scope there and became a big operator in precious metals and commodities markets. He also became established in textiles, oil milling and refining, shipping, etc. He retired from active business in 1955 and lived in Jamnagar where he died in 1961. He was very much a family man and his descendants are spread throughout many countries in the world. Their main activities are in Kenya and include Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd, Insteel Ltd,

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Galsheet Kenya Ltd, Steel Africa Ltd in partnerships with the Comcraft Group of Companies. The family also has businesses in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Hong Kong and Canada. To perpetuate the name of Premchand, the family has started a charitable foundation under the name of the Premchandbhai Foundation which does a lot of social work in Kenya. Sanrdrar Singh Vohra Sardrar Singh Vohra arrived in Kenya in 1914 from his village of Sayed in the district of Rawalpindi in the Punjab which is now in Pakistan after the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. He was already married to his wife Amrit and they had a son Anaop who was already born in India. Other nine children were born in Kenya including Gurcharan popularly known as Chani, Mohinder, Kughi and Satinder. All the children attended primary and secondary schools in Kenya. Sardrar Singh Vohra's first business in Kenya was in transport using bullock drown carts and wagons using unpaved foot-paths. A memorable occasion occurred at Limuru when both the carts and bullocks got bogged down in the mud which upset him so much that he decided to opt out of transport business. Mr. Vohra's next initiative was more lasting and involved wheels too. He opened a bicycle selling shop in Nairobi River Road where his trading reputation attracted the business interest of the Raleigh Industries in the United Kingdom which gave sole agency for their `Humber' bicycles which he imported directly from the company. Humbers were the first choice for the African market, superior to all others because they had a double fork, making them stronger than the other bikes of the Raleigh range. To own a Humber was every male African's ambition being the only affordable means of wheeled transport when cars were not only at unreachable premium, but after the First World War, also in short supply. As a result of increased sales of Humbers in the Kenyan market, he started re-exporting them to Uganda and Tanganyika. The business developed to be large when Mohinder, the Vohra's third older son took over business from the father in 1958 and extended the imports to include bicycles manufactured in India and China. The Vohra's first Nairobi home was in River Road close by their place of work. They later on moved to Park Road not very far away. Bicycles were not the Vohra family's only business. They owned Sevo Limited which developed housing for a long time. Sardrar Singh Vohra became well known and was appointed president of Nairobi's main Sikh Temple, the Siri Guru Singh Sabha and remained its president for many years. The Sarda Singh Vohra Charitable Trust was set up in his memory after his death in 1984. Trust funds and the Foundation have generously supported and continue to support deserving human causes covering a wide field including the education of orphaned children. When an operating theater became an urgent need in the last years of the last century for Kenya's first and only National Spinal Injury Hospital, it was Chani, as an appointed member of the hospital management board since 1997 who solicited the financial help from his influential clients, business associates and friends to turn the need into a reality. Substantial funds

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


contributed by the Vohra Foundation keep the much loved name of their patriach alive. The hospital serves all the countries in East Africa. The five Vohra girls married and settled in the UK and India. Anaop travelled to the Middle East and India and ultimately settled in Dubai looking after the familys' various international interests. Chani studied law in England and qualified in 1955. He returned to Kenya and set up a legal practice in 1957 from which he retired in 1996. With Mohinder continuing to run the original business, Chani, Anaop and Mohinder jointly managed the family financing and acquisition of properties and spearheaded the foundation of Sarova Hotels as a company. The two youngest sons, Kughi and Salinder, settled in London in the 1960s after completing their education there and were responsible for managing and operating the family hotel business in the United Kingdom which started with the acquisition of the 22-room Kensinghton Lodge in South-West London, a bed and breakfast establishment. Sarova Hotels commenced operation in 1974, formed by Chani, Mohinder, their nephew Khushant Mahindru (who later joined the group in Dubai to form an independent trading company) and John Ngata Kari[ki who was born in K]r]nyaga district on 3 April, 1937; his father an administrator at K]r[g[ya district Hospital and his mother a nurse. He was educated at Catholic Primary School, K]r[g[ya; Nyeri High School and Makerere University (Uganda) from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Approached by Chani when Ambassadeur Hotel came up for sale, he joined the formation of Sarova as a new company and took on the role of the Executive Director in charge of day-to-day operations. Over the years, Mr. Kari[ki has served for six years as Chairman of ASTA the American Society of Travel Agents; Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Host Committee (hosting travel agents and travel writers visiting Kenya under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism); Chairman for four years of the organising committee of the BTF (Brussels Travel Fair); Chairman of the Skal Club for two years in the 1980s; Vice-Chairman of Kenya Utali College (1982 - 1987) and Chairman of the Catering Levy; a director of Kenya Airways (1984-1987) and Chairman of the Kenya Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KP & T) (1987-1993). Sarova Hotels in Kenya own the Five Star Stanley Hotel in the central business district of Nairobi. Four Star Pan-Afric Hotel also in the city; Five Star Whitesands Beach resort in Mombasa North; Sarova Mara Tented Camp; Lion Hill Camp at Lake Nakuru National Park and Sarova Shaba on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River in the Samburu Wildlife Park. They also have hotel investments in Uganda. By the end of 1999, Sarova Hotels and Sarova International were operating thirteen hotels in the UK and East Africa. A third Vohra generation has already joined Sarova management and a fourth generation Sardar and Amrit great grandchildren have been born and are growing up. Mr. Kari[ki's son James born in 1967 joined Sarova Hotels in 1992. Girdhari Lal Vidyarthi G.L. Vidyarthi was born on the 30th August 1907 in Mombasa. He was the son of Shamdass Bootamal Hora who arrived in Kenya in 1889 from Pujab in India. He worked for the Railway in many stations in Kenya. Shamdass Hora later worked in Nairobi where his son Girdhari was enrolled at the Indian Primary school, then a makeshift temporary structure at the site where Kencom building on Moi Avenue (formally Government Road) stands. This was followed by a

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


stint in India before returning to Nairobi where he enrolled at the Duke of Gloucester Secondary School (present day Jamhuri Secondary School). As he was an exceptionally gifted student, a special class was created at the Duke of Gloucester for Girdhari Lal and two other exceptional students to sit for the London Matriculation Examination which was the highest available education in Kenya at that time. He passed the examination with distinction, a remarkable achievement for an Asian during an era of racial segregation that pervaded Nairobi Society from the cinema halls to the classrooms. On leaving school Girdhari Lal took employment with the Ministry of Transport. During his spare time, he started practising journalism under the pen name "Vidyarthi," a Hindi word meaning "student" or "scholar". He began producing a handwritten and trilingual (English, Hindi, Urdu) newspaper called Mitrom (Friendship). At the age of twenty two he was already displaying signs of nationalism against the injustices of the colonial rule and developing a philosophy of liberation. He channeled his exuberant fight against British colonial rule into militant journalism leading to the birth of The Colonial Times Printing Works and the Colonial Times Newspaper in 1933. In the meantime, Vidyarthi became his popular name. Vidyarthi begun his publications with a team of zealous Asian writers and editors that included Prandal Seth, D.K. Sharda, Haroun Ahamed, Chanan Singh who later on became Assistant Minister, office of the President under Kenyatta and a judge of the High Court, Fitz de Souza (who later on became Deputy Speaker of Parliament after independence), Nathoo Amlani and Pio Gama Pinto. The Colonial Times which consistently aired the grievances of both Asians and Africans became very popular and achieved a circulation of over ten thousand copies; a very high number at the time. Vidyarthi established two other newspapers in African languages which followed the radical tradition of the Colonial Times. The publications were Habari za Dunia (News of the World) edited by F.M. Ruhinda, which was the first Swahili newspaper in East Africa to be printed by a private press. The other one was the Luo Weekly Paper Ramogi edited by Ramogi Achieng Oneko. Vidyarthi's Times Printing Works put him at the centre of anti-colonial journalism clearly producing a substantial impact upon the Kenyan society in providing a forum for Asians and Africans to form a united front and disseminate their criticism to the masses. As a result, the colonial authorities swiftly acted to quell the nationalist fervor that Vidyarthi's publications were steadily arousing. On colonial governments reaction, the Voice of EACA magazine Awaaz has written thus: In April of 1945, Vidyarthi was convicted for sedition on two separate occasions. His first sentence earned him a one hundred pound fine. The second sedition charge was earned after Vidyarthi published an article criticizing the British occupation of Burma and the subsequent conscription of African soldiers to fight British wars around the empire. Vidyarthi brought to light the injustice where wounded African soldiers returned penniless to Kenya whereas their white counterparts were rewarded with land and property throughout the country. The story resulted in his being sentenced to four months of hard labour in a Nairobi prison. Vidyarthi's unwavering devotion to nationalism and participation in Kenya's freedom struggle was such that only a few months after his release he was once again at the centre of a growing journalistic crusade.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


In September of 1946, Girdhari Lal invited one Johnstone Kamau wa Ngengi, who was to become Kenya's first President as Jomo Kenyatta, to his home in Westlands. Over tea, Vidyarthi offered to reserve a section of the Colonial Times as a special forum for the Kenya African Union. This association with one of Kenya's most prominent African anti-colonial agitator made Vidyarthi's second arrest practically inevitable. He was arrested again in May of 1947 and sentenced to eighteen months in prison after an allegedly seditious letter was printed in Habari Za Dunia. On his release from prison, Vidyarthi continued to publish the Colonial Times. He also escalated his interest to promote a variety of vernacular newspapers published by militant Africans. Between 1935 and 1958, these included Swahili and G]k[y[ publications like Fred K[bai's Sauti ya Mwafrika (Africa Voice), Francis Khamisi's Mwalimu (The Teacher), Henry Mwan]ki Muoria's M[menyereri (The Care Taker), and Henry Gath]g]ra's Jicho (The Eye). In concluding the article on Girdhari Lal Vidyarthi pioneering role to secure Kenyan Press Freedom, the EACA magazine in reference has written thus: Unfortunately, some might argue that post-independence Kenya has treated the issue of press freedom in a reactionary fashion that is not remarkably different to experiences under colonial rule. Vidyarthi's sons and their printing press [Colour Print] have suffered in recent times under similar circumstances that had afflicted the Colonial Printing Works. In March of 1988, Beyond Magazine, a Christian publication, was banned and thousands of copies were found and destroyed. In January of 1994, the press was raided at night by two hundred armed policemen who confiscated 15,000 copies of an opposition publication. In April of 1995 the printing press was again raided, copies of Finance Magazine confiscated and several machines were disabled. Anil Vidyarthi, former Nation photo jounalist and Girdhari Lal's second born son and last person to be charged for sedition was tried in a case that lasted two years in the High Court of Kenya. He was acquitted after the sedition law was repealed [IPPG Inter Parties Parliamentary Group reforms in 1997] from the statutes and Kenyans looked forward to a future free from the laws of censorship. It proved to be a false dawn, however. In 1997, the Vidyarthis were the victim of an arson attack that almost crippled their entire press. KRISHAN CHANDER GAUTAMA The Late Honourable Gautama was born in Mombasa on 25th August 1932. In the 1979 General Elections he was elected Member of Parliament for Parklands (now Westlands). This was no accident. By then Krishan Gautama had been serving the people of Kenya for nearly 30 years. From the beginning, Krishan Gautama stood for freedom and democratic process. As a student he was secretary, and then the president of the East African Students Association. He wrote for The Tribune, till it was banned with the declaration of the state of Emergency in 1952. Krishan went to London (Lincoln's Inn) to study law. There he was deeply involved in the PanAfrican Movement for freedom in all the colonies and particularly in South Africa. In 1959 he returned home as a barrister. He joined the Kenya National Party, which supported immediate independence for the country. In the lead up to 1963, Krishan was in the thick of the KANU efforts as campaign manager for Joseph Murumbi in the Karen Langata Constituency. After independence, he was busy with his legal practice, and worked for the Kenya Hockey Union as Chairman and the Law Society of Kenya as Chairman (1977 - 1979).Throughout his life Krishan Gautama represented the best of Kenya. He was someone to whom there were no

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


boundaries between human beings. In forty years of public life, no one ever heard him describe either himself or any other Kenyan in tribal, racial, or any other type of compartment terms. The measure he preferred to use was the democratic well-being of our country and our continent, and one's contribution to these goals. Krishan Gautama died on 5th June, 1992. Europeans (wazungu) Other than the ancient Greek traders who visited the Kenyan coast in ancient times and the Portuguese who established themselves in Kenya coast towns in the 16th century, European contacts with Kenya by the ancestors of the present-day Kenyan Europeans may be said to go back to 1823 when the Arab rulers of Mombasa implored the captain of the passing British survey vessel, the Barracouta, to take the town under British protection. Mombasa was being threatened with a further attack by the Imam of Muscat who had already taken Pemba. As the captain was uncertain as to the correct procedure to adopt, he waited for a few days when captain Owen, his superior, arrived at Mombasa and agreed to the Arabs' request. He left Lieutenant Reitz, a young South African, in Mombasa as resident representative. When he reported the incident, the admiralty and the foreign office hastily repudiated his temporary treaty and rebuked him for his precipitate action. As Lieutenant Reitz had already died of malarial fever by then, the matter came to an end. Port Reitz at Kilindini is named after the young man who died aged twenty two years. In the meantime, Rev. Johann Ludwig Krapf of the Church Missionary Society (present Anglican Church) settled in Mombasa in May 1844 and was joined there by Rev. Johannes Rebmann in 1846 and thereafter by Jacob Erhardt. All these missionaries were Germans. The Church Missionary Society had been founded in 1799 as a small association of evangelical clergymen and laymen formed in England "to promote Christian missions to Africa and the East". Rev. Krapt and Rev. Rebmann established the CMS mission at Rabai. Dr. Ludwig Krapf saw mount Kenya from a far distance in 1849 during his visit to the land of the Akamba people. From the local Akamba leader named Kivoi, Krapf learned that the mountain was called "K]nyaa" (K]r]nyaga in G]k[y[). Later the country was to take its name Kenya from this mountain. In 1873 Sir Bartle Frere, a British civil servant, came to Zanzibar to arrange with Sultan Bargash a treaty to outlaw the slave trade. He obtained permission to establish a freed slave settlement in Mombasa. The site on the mainland just opposite Mombasa Island (Kisauni) came to be called Frere town (after his name). In 1874 CMS sent out the Rev. W.S. Price who had worked among the freed slaves at Nasik in India and the settlement opened the following year with extra staff. Other missionaries arrived thereafter to serve in the "new" East African Mission. Eleven years before Imperial British East Africa Company came into being, Sultan Bargash of Zanzibar had offered its founder, Sir William Mackinnon of the British India shiping line, a seventy years lease of Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland colony stretching from Kismayu to the Ruvuma river. When Mackinnon tried to secure the Imperial backing necessary for him to accept the offer, the foreign office declined to consider the proposition, which consequently lapsed. Soon after the British Government rebuffed Sir William Mckinnon, the German Emperor in 1885 granted a charter to a colonisation society and Carl Peters, the society's agent, trekked indefatigably through the interior of East Africa making treaties with native chiefs. German action forced the British hand and in 1888, a royal charter was granted to the Imperial British East Africa Company to administer and trade in all the country between Uganda and the Coast. The

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


IBEA made treaties with native chiefs and encouraged trade between its agents and African peoples all the way to Uganda. It overextended itself and the British Government agreed in 1895 to cancel the IBEACs' charter and assumed responsibility for the territory on the basis of direct rule through the foreign office, thereby creating the British East Africa Protectorate which became Kenya colony and Protectorate in 1920. The government took over the structures and individual administrators of the IBEAC in the protectorate. A game of hide-and-seek between the Germans and the company had already been ended by the Anglo-German agreement of 1890, which defined the "spheres of influence" and assigned Uganda to the British zone. The Holy Ghost fathers, from Zanzibar who were also known as Spiritans, founded stations in Mombasa in 1891 and Bura in 1892. Just one year before the turn of the century, they founded St. Austin's (Simonisdale) station in Nairobi in 1899. They were joined by the Consolata Mission from Turin in Italy in 1902. Missionaries of the Church of Scotland Mission which had left London for British East Africa arrived in Mombasa on 6 July 1891. On 18 August 1891 they left for Kibwezi where they arrived on 16 October 1891 and the first temporary Church at Kibwezi was opened by Dr. James Steward on 10 March 1892. The first school, with two pupils, was opened at Kibwezi on 28 September 1894. On 11 September 1898 Mr. Wilson, the only representative in Africa of the East African Scottish Mission, arrived in G]k[y[, having left Kibwezi for good. On 28 January 1900 the church missionary society Bishop conducted the first Anglican service in Nairobi, which was then little more than a maintenance camp for the railway. The foundation stone of the first St. Stephen's Church was laid in 1903. His Majesty's government in 1900 appointed Sir Charles Eliot the East Africa protectorate's commissioner and the headquarters were simultaneously shifted from Zanzibar to Mombasa. With the transfer of the commissioner to Mombasa, a fresh orientation was given to Kenyan affairs and Eliot became the head of the government and the progenitor of white settlement in the country. The British Government had built 580 expensive miles (933 kilometres) of railway line, and now every train that ran along it did so at a heavy loss. Somehow the railway had to be made to pay. The British taxpayer could not go on making good the deficit for ever. The only way the railway could be made to pay was development of the hinterland. Between the G]k[y[ escarpment and the lake, the country seemed potentially rich and it was here where development had to be introduced. The pastoral tribes' economy was perceived as of little value, their only products being small, badly cured and almost valueless hides. The agricultural tribes grew no crop that the world wanted. The commissioner concluded that the only hope was to fill up the empty land along the line with settlers who would turn the fertile soil to useful account by growing crops for the railway to carry and who would buy machinery and other goods for it to carry in. Elspeth Huxley has written: Settlers must somehow be found, attracted, encouraged, started off. There was no other alternative but economic stagnation and a perpetual bleeding of the British Treasury. East Africa could be transformed from a liability into an asset only if the Government could succeed in getting a thriving white population established to add to the wealth that the world still wanted and was prepared to pay for; to feed the railway; to buy goods from Britain's factories; to provide the outlet of employment for the surplus energies of idle young tribesmen whose only

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


occupations of raiding and fighting were being barred to them by the spread of law and order; to start the wheels of trade by employing natives and so circulating among them money with which they could buy imported goods and pay hut-tax; to bring capital into the country; to pay taxes; to improve now useless land by watering, draining, grazing, cultivating; to give permanence and stability to British rule in East Africa in short, to build by their efforts a self-supporting colony. European Settlement in Kenya The Kenyan European community originated from agricultural settler community, government administrators, railway workers, missionaries and their foreign support workers and business operators who remained in Kenya after independence and took up Kenya citizenship. As has been seen elsewhere in this book, children born in a country where parents are recognised residents or citizens are natives of the host country and therefore automatic citizens by birth. This is the law and practice all over the world. In an introduction to the book Pioneers' Scrapbook, Reminiscences of Kenya 1890 to 1968, Elspeth Huxley has described the country and people found in occupation of the country at the close of the nineteenth century and the opening of the twentieth century thus: When a British protectorate was declared in 1895, the East African interior was occupied by peoples whose way of life had changed little for centuries. Some, nomads like the Maasai, herded their hump-backed cattle over enormous plains which they shared with the greatest concourse of wild animals the world has ever seen. Others cleared areas of bush, and burned clearings in forests in order to grow their plots of beans and millet, and herd their goats. There were neither roads, nor towns; no kingdoms or principalities such as existed in [some] other parts of Africa; no carts or wagons for transport, only the backs of women or donkeys; no ploughs, only digging sticks. Skins were these people's clothing; beads or shells were their currency; herbs and spells were their medicines; the art of writing was unknown. It is against this background and perception that the colonial authorities, European farmers and traders commenced occupation of the country towards the end of the 19th century and thereafter. The first Commissioner (Governor) of Kenya Sir Charles Eliot, in his book the East Africa Protectorate wrote: We have in East Africa the rare experience of dealing with a tabula rasa, an almost untouched and sparsely inhabited country, where we can do as we will, regulate immigration, and open or close the door as seems best . . . Whatever East Africa will be in ten years' time will be the result not of circumstances or of things beyond our control, but simply of what we do now. If we administer the government with foresight and rectitude, if we avoid crazy projects and execute the dictates of common sense without muddling, few who know the country can doubt that it will shortly be a flourishing European colony. And it will be more than this. As a European colony in equatorial Africa it will have in virtue of its position a more than national importance: its development will mean the opening of a new world and its destinies will influence a whole continent. Lord Delamere who became the foremost leader of the white settlers in the meantime was stressing the deference between the true settler and the planter. He always stressed that the planter comes to earn a living, to make fortune if he can, and to retire as soon as he is able to

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


some remembered corner of the British isles. "He comes to a country to exploit it for his own benefit. His children belong to England; they are not colonials." Elspheth Huxley in her book white man's country has written thus about the settler: But the settler who means to live and die there is thinking of the future. He has his children to consider. When he makes the colony his home he ceases to be a mere exploiter; he becomes, for good or ill, a builder. He transfers to the country of adoption many of those loyalties and emotions which bound him before to the country of his birth. The colony becomes his; he is making it, and his descendants will inherit it. Soon a generation grows up that knows no other home, whose earliest childish experiences have been drawn from the colony alone, whose bones are of that country's earth. This generation loves the country as its own. Among the early Europeans who came to Kenya, some attained shocking racial arrogance and notoriety in their behaviour as others settled permanently and their descendants are or have been prominent Kenyans in farming, commerce and public affairs. These individuals include Hugh Cholmondeley Lord Delamere; Lord Galbraith Cole, the Earl of Enniskillen; Reverend Harry Leakey and the Leakeys and Sir Michael Blundell. Their histories are appropriate mirror images of the origin and history of the Kenya European ethnic community which has played a major part in moulding Kenya to what it is today. Canon Harry Leakey and the Other Leakeys Canon Harry Leakey of the church Missionary Society arrived in Kenya in 1900 and settled at Lower Kabete where he bought eighteen acres of land from Chege wa M[themba, the late Chief Josiah Njonjo's wifes' father and opened a mission. A record appearing in the book pioneers' scrapbook Reminiscence of Kenya, 1890 to 1968 states: In 1904 Canon Leakey took 12 boys into a Mission hut to be educated. One of them was to become Chief Josiah Njonjo, the father of our present Attorney General. Another was Paul Likimani, the first Maasai to seek education after working for Lord Delamere at Gilgil. He was the father of Dr. Jason Likimani, former Director of Medical Services.5 His wife Mary and baby Gladys joined him after four months of his arrival. They settled in a small mud and wattle hut which had been built by Harrys' predecessor, Rev. A.W. Mcgregor, and it and a couple of canvas tents constituted all that there was of Kabete mission. Mary and two of her sisters had previously worked among the Moslem women and children of freed slaves on Mombasa Island in 1892. She also started a boys' school there called the Buxton High School which is now defunct. She contracted malaria fever, which nearly killed her, and she was sent back to Europe. Her doctor advised her never to return to the steamy tropics, but serving as missionaries together had always been the dream of Harry and Mary Leakey. When she arrived, Harry Leakey was then thirty-four years old, a wiry, energetic man with dark sparkling eyes, and a bushy black beard that earned him the nickname "G]teru" or the bearded One, among the Ag]k[y[. When the European settlers arrived, all the land in Nairobi and other G]k[y[ settled areas, even that lying uncultivated, was owned by individual G]k[y[ families, although the early colonial officials did not realize or care to know. The G]k[y[ used the virgin land for grazing and browsing their livestock and parcelled out sections of it to their children when they came of age. Virginia Morell writing on the dispossession of the G]k[y[ people of their land has stated:

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Of all the tribes in Kenya, the Kikuyu were the most affected by the arrival of the Europeans. The Kikuyu farmed the cool central highlands that extended from the outskirts of Nairobi north and west to the aberdare mountains, and east to the slopes of Mount Kenya. It was and is rich agricultural land, and its gentle, misty climate reminded many of the British settlers of home. Much of the region seemed to be unfarmed bush "good land lying uncultivated," as one settler phrased it and in 1904 a government surveyor simply drew a line through it, dividing the inhabited from the supposedly uninhabited land. Four thousand square miles were opened up to white settlers in this first survey. Those Kikuyu who lost their property had to find new homes, either as "squatters" on European farms or in one of the three Kikuyu reserves. By the time Louis and Mary returned to Kenya in February 1937, a total of twelve thousand square miles of Kikuyu land had been appropriated by the British and sold to white settlers. Canon Leakey who was friendly and sympathetic to his G]k[y[ neighbours helped as much as he could and on this Virginia Morell has written: The Kikuyu Association was founded under the guidance of Canon Leakey, Louis' father, after he assisted one of his mission families in a land dispute with the Government. The family of Stephen Kinuthia had lost most of their land in 1908; subsequently, in 1919, the government marked off their remaining sixty seven acres. Kinuthia then "asked Canon Leakey to write a letter from us (the Kinuthia clan) to the government saying that 240 acres of our land had been taken in 1908 and now the government was taking some more and we had nowhere to go. The letter was written . . . and it was sent to the government. They listened and the land was not taken and we all thought the power of this letter a most wonderful thing". based on this success, Canon Leakey suggested that the chiefs band together to protest other land appropriations. In 1920 the Kikuyu association was born with Chief Koinange serving as Chairman.7 Their son, Louise Seymour Bazett Leakey was born at the Kabete Mission on August 7, 1903. His father, after suffering from insomnia, dizzy spells, and tinnitus (a severe ringing in the ears) and troubled about their wretched living quarters, took the family home to Reading, England one year short of their full four year missionary term. As Harry intended to return to Kabete and in order to keep his G]k[y[ alive and to continue his work of translating the Bible, he took with him Stefano K]n[thia, one of the G]k[y[ boys he had baptized. Just before Christmas, 1906, the Leakey family returned to Kenya. The Leakeys were great friends of Chief Koinange, and he warmly welcomed Louis and Mary to his home in 1937. He provided them with a guest hut behind his house. He then called a meeting of nearly one hundred elders from the K]ambuu reserve. They gathered in the shade of a sacred fig tree (M[gumo) and Louis presented his case. There were further discussions among the elders and after a week, the elders granted his request. They also appointed a panel of nine of their senior members to act as his advisers. A three volume book The Southern Kikuyu before 1903 was written and later published. of all the tribes in Kenya the G]k[y[ people had lost most land to the settlers. More than a million Ag]k[y[ were confined to three overcrowded reserves and another quarter million was either without land or living as squatters on European farms. Virginia Morell has written: For Louis the plight of the Kikuyu presented a dilemma. He had grown up among them, spoke their language, was an initiated first-grade elder, and considered them his people. "I am in so many ways a Kikuyu myself," he often said. Like his father, who had helped senior Chief

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Koinange and others try to regain their property, Louis sympathized with the Kikuyus' land grievances. As early as 1929, he had served as their interpreter on a government committee inquiring into the Kikuyu system of land tenure, and had done his best to persuade the colonial government to grant Kikuyu property owners the title deeds to their land. In his 1936 book, Kenya: Contrasts and Problems, Louis had further aligned himself with the tribe by asserting that Kenya would never "really be a white man's country", and advising the Europeans "to work towards co-operation (with the Africans) instead of domination". These sentiments had not endeared him to the settlers. They considered him pronative which was tantamount to being a traitor in their eyes. Dr. Louis Leakey in his writings appealed to the government and settlers to open the "white Highlands" to the Africans, abolish the squatter system, raise African wages, and work towards a multiracial government. He called for independent Christian churches that would accept the Kikuyu customs of polygamy and female circumcision, and for changes in policies on African education, housing and agriculture. He envisioned a time when Kenya would exist as "a state of inter-racial harmony and co-operation". Louis Leakey was appointed honorary curator of the Kenya museum in January 1941 and although the position was unsalaried, it included the use of a furnished wooden bungalow on the museum grounds. For Louis and Mary, the rambling curator's cottage under the pepper trees on the Museum Hill was a godsend. At the time, the Leakeys were living in a tiny rented house, full of dogs and artifacts, on the outskirts of Nairobi. In 1945 Gordon College in England offered Louis a full time appointment worth 1,500 a year and free housing. At about the same time, the museum trustees offered him an appointment as full time curator at an annual salary of 750 half the sum he would have received at Gordon College, to whom he wrote to state: "It is perhaps hard on my children not to accept much better pay but scientific work must come first in my opinion." Louis Leakey also wrote to the Museum trustees thus: While I have agreed to accept the appointment . . . I have only done so for the reasons set out in this letter and not because I consider that the terms are satisfactory or that they are commensurate with my qualifications . . . I feel it is my duty to science to remain in Kenya for the present . . . After assuming the curatorship, Louis opened the museum for the first time to all races which previously was only for Europeans and this caused considerable outcry from the whites. The museum was the first public institution to be opened to non-whites, and the Europeans disliked the idea of viewing the exhibits side by side with Africans, who they claimed were `smelly' or Asians, who were `overscented' For a while the number of white patrons dropped off, but Louis ignored this, choosing instead to welcome the Asians and Africans whose visits "increased by loops and bounds". Within a few months' time, Europeans accepted the change, and the museum soon became one of the few public places in Nairobi where everyone could mingle freely and equally. Jomo Kenyatta's first wife Grace Wahu had been educated by Mary Leakey, Louis' mother. When Kenyatta was preparing to leave Kenya in 1929 for his first visit to England, Louis' father, Rev. Harry Leakey, tried to dissuade him from going. He disliked Kenyatta's political radicalism and considered him a troublemaker and Louis shared his opinion. Since he was in England at the same time, he kept an eye on Kenyatta there. One day when Kenyatta was addressing a seminar

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


on the Gikuyu custom of female circumcision at the London School of economics, Louis made a point of attending. He had also written a paper on the subject and thought that Kenyatta was distorting the nature of the custom for political reasons. In the end, the two men shouted at each other in Gikuyu in a discussion lost on the rest of the class. Dr. Louis Leakey ended-up becoming a government interpreter during Kenyatta's trial at Kapenguria where, according to David Throup, he was "upto his neck in government preparation of evidence for the trial. He was an integral part of the prosecution's team". Dr. Louis Seymour Bazette Leakey died in London on 1 October, 1972 and was buried at Limuru where his parents had been buried. As his son Richard put it at that time, "Louis was a Kikuyu and they greatly admired and loved him, and it seemed to me absolutely essential that his body be brought back and buried in Kikuyu land". In his lifetime, Louis, the great son of Kenya, a natural historian, anthropologist and archaeologist achieved for himself and Kenya highest possible fame all over the world through his archaeological discoveries. He left for the G]k[y[ and posterity the unparalleled legacy of the three volume book, The Southern Kikuyu before 1903. His burial was attended by many including President Kenyatta's representative Peter Mbi[ Koinange. Richard Erskine Leakey Richard Erskine Leakey, like his father became in his adult life interested in archaeology and on his own right became a world famous paleonthropologist who made many important discoveries. From childhood, Richard impressed his mother with his toughness as is recounted by Morell: Mary was thirty three now, trim and pretty, with her hair combed smooth across the crown, then fluffed softly around her face. Though dressed in plain, unstylish tweeds, she retained the cool, confident air of her youth. She was also a concerned and attentive mother, and although years later she would say that "babies are boring", she had been almost bewitched by Richard. He was a particularly winsome baby, with full, round cheeks, large brown eyes, and an impish smile. "I don't wonder you have fallen for your baby," Mary's Aunt Kathleen wrote to her after receiving photographs of a four months old Richard. "(H)e is perfectly sweet . . . (and) most adorable." He was also fearless, unafraid of wrestling with his older brother, or taking flying leaps from his mother's arms. She called him her "tough guy" and watched his every move with school was run on a strict colonial regime. At that time in 1956, Richard's sympathy for the Africans made him an instant social outcast. On his very first day at the Duke of York, another boy pointed him out as a "Niger lover", prompting a gang of older students to grab him. "Before I knew what had happened," Richard wrote in his autobiography, "I had been placed inside a wire cage some three cubic feet in size . . . Then the hinged lid was closed and padlocked. I was crouched like a monkey in this tiny cage, with no way of escape". Delighted with their prize, several hundred boys took turns poking him with sticks, spitting and even urinating on him until they left for the morning assembly. Richard remained huddled in his cage, "very miserable and frightened," but was eventually spotted by one of the teachers, who had to use a hacksaw to cut through the lock. "He had no doubt I was to blame" Richard wrote, "and so wet through, filthy and stinking, I began my first day of school . . . The school's many rules were further aggravation. Richard found himself caned for letting his knee socks slip to his ankles, and for missing morning chapel [a punishment that led him to decide he would never be a Christian]. At that early age, Richard was taking more interest in his own business of small scale trapping and supplying wild animals to the photographer Des Bartlett for nature films. The money paid to

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Richard gave him a "marvelous degree of independence" from his parents. In 1960 he dropped out of Duke of York without finishing high school when he was sixteen years old and felt that his independent life could begin. He told his father he was not returning to school and asked to borrow pounds 500 in order to purchase an old Land Rover; the money was provided. He continued to trap animals for Bartlett's films as well as for overseas Zoos and then started to collect animals' skeletons for sale. Finally, Richard started a safari company. In January, 1960 Britain's colonial office declared that the colony would become independent as soon as possible with black Africans running the country, thereby limiting the role and career opportunities of the whites. In Africa, Britain had granted Ghana independence in 1957; the French were preparing to grant independence to Algeria and the French West African colonies and the Belgians would do the same to the Congo. Britain had scheduled Tanganyika for independence in 1961, Uganda in 1962 and Kenya soon thereafter. Dr. Louis Leakey feared some type of retribution from Kenyatta. Beside the role he had played as translator at Kenyatta trial, Louis' activities as a spy and an informer against G]k[y[ nationalists during the Mau Mau Emergency had poisoned relations between him and the G]k[y[. This was not the case with his sons and in particular, Richard whose business activities were politically neutral. Virginia Morell has written: The issue was less problematic for his sons, who never considered leaving. "Kenya was my home and I'd always thought of myself as Kenyan," said Richard, voicing a sentiment shared by Philip and Jonathan. "It never entered our heads to leave. It was absolutely inconceivable that I couldn't have a future here because of the colour of my skin." With the money he had made trapping animals and marketing skeletons, Richard formed a safari company, first guiding members of the National Geographic Society and then other wealthy clients who thought that because of the Leakey name, they might be meeting Louis. "They were appalled to find an eighteen year old in charge," Richard said, "but by then it was too late. I had their deposit and we were off.14 Finally Richard did leave for England to complete his high school education with the intention of attending university later, about which Virginia Morell has written: At the same time, Richard was working frantically at his studies, determined to complete his last two years of high school in six months. "I had lots of catching up to do," Richard said about this period of his life. "I was fairly impulsive, fairly insensitive. I think I could perhaps be best described as an angry young man. I didn't believe that anybody but i knew what was going on in the world. I had lots to do in a hurry." Jonathan Harry Leakey and Philip Leakey Richard's elder brother Jonathan Harry Erskine was born on November 4, 1940 when the Leakeys lived in a tiny rented house full of dogs and artifacts, on the outskirts of Nairobi. When Louis was appointed honoray curator of the museum, they moved into the curator's cottage on the Museum Hill. Jonathan, who finished secondary school (and who Louis hoped would pursue a career in prehistory), decided instead to live in the bush, collecting the venom of poisonous snakes (which is used to make antivenin) for a living. Jonathan became one of the world's major suppliers of snake venom for the antivenin market, and an expert on African snakes. He lives a private life in the lake Baringo area.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Philip Leakey, the third son was born on June 21, 1949. Like his elder brother Richard he was not keen on schooling. His parents had hoped that by sending him to a secondary school in England they might change his mind which was not to be. Virginia Morell has quoted Philip saying: Because I was a Kenyan, the British wouldn't let me into their country without a return ticket," he said. "so at the end of the first term, I just got on the plane and came home. And that really upset everybody. It was like coming into winter in Nairobi; the chill had set in our relationship. And I was given an ultimatum by my parents: either I went back to school, or I got out of their house.20 In 1964, Philip who was fifteen and a half years old at the time, took a tent and moved south of Nairobi on a plot of land along the Mbagathi River. There he staked a mining claim, built a hut where his closest neighbours were nomadic Masaai cattle herders. From there he roamed the country prospecting, buying and selling gem stones, living with the local people and picking up their languages and culture. He lived a life of hit or miss on which Virginia Morell has quoted him thus: "I rushed around, all over East Africa," said Philip, "and I made money, and I didn't make money, and I made money again. And when I made it, I spent it. And I lived some of the most invigorating years of my life." Where, at the same age, Richard had been serious, anxious to be seen as an adult and given adult responsibilities, Philip was wild and carefree. His dimpled, roguish smile seemed to charm everyone, and he had an uncanny ability for blending with whoever was at hand. "that one is like a chameleon: he can be anything he wants," said Teresia Ng'ang'a, Richard's secretary at the museum. "When he is with the Kikuyu, he is just like a Kikuyu. When he is with the Maasai, he is a Maasai. Whatever he needs to be, he can be; he can change just like that," she said, snapping her fingers. Philip charmed voters in Lang'ata constituency in Nairobi and was elected a member of parliament in 1979, after which he also charmed president Moi to appoint him an assistant minister and full minister thereafter. He became the second European full cabinet minister in independent Kenya since Bruce Mackenzie in Kenyatta's government. Lord Delamere He was born Hugh Cholmondeley at Vale Royal, first son of the second Baron Delamere by his second wife, Augusta Seymour. He went to school at Eton which he left before he was seventeen with the idea of entering the army. In 1891 at the age of twenty-one he first visited Somalia on a hunting trip. In 1896 Delamere left England for his first visit to Kenya through Aden, Berbera and northern Kenya. Towards the end of the first half of 1897, Delamere entered the present North Eastern Province of Kenya and passing through the Boran country, he saw and took note of the Boran cattle. Delamere also for the first time witnessed cattle raiding warfare. A large column of Samburu warriors, on the way to raid the Boran, filed past the zariba (thorn bush fence) in which Delamere's camels were guarded. Elspeth Huxley has written thus on this incident: About 1897 an army of Samburu moran marched north to raid the Boran, whom they had never attacked before. They reached the escarpment dividing the galbo [a Gabbra group] from the Boran grazing grounds and surrounding the stock herded on the lower slopes. But disaster overtook them. Boran horsemen galloped down from the top and fell upon the invaders. The Samburu had never before encountered mounted warriors. Panic seized them, and not a single man returned alive.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

In November 1897, Delamere's caravan reached Ravine where they were received by James Martin, his Majesty's Collector (District Commissioner) of Baringo district of Uganda (Uganda protectorate boundary at that time was at Naivasha). James Martin was probably the only administrative officer who has ever been in charge of a large district who could not read or write. He was a Maltese sail-maker whose real name was Antonio Martin. Elspeth Huxley has written thus on this D.C.: When the British Government took over the company's territory as a Protectorate two years before Delamere's arrival at Ravine, James Martin like many of the company's employees, including such well-known provincial commissioners as Ainsworth, Hobley and Bagge became a civil servant, rising to the rank of collector. F.J. (later Sir Frederick) Jackson, taught him to sign his name but that was the limit of his literary skill. All his letters were written for him by da Silva, a Goanese cousin. He used to disguise his inability to read by pretending to have bad sight, though it was as keen, in reality, as his native wit. Delamere trekked across Laikipia early in 1898 to the Uaso Nyiro. From the river, he went up to Marsabit by way of Laisamis. He camped by Marsabit crater lake which the local Samburu people he made friendship with named the Delamere Njoro. (Njoro is the Samburu/Maasai word for water). He continued south to M]]r[ on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya. Delamere camped below the borders of their cultivation and sent Somalis (in his caravan) to buy food. The M]]r[ refused to speak to the messagers and summoned their warriors. Delamere went unarmed with only two of his men to the elders' village and he eventually persuaded them to come out and talk and discussions continued for three days. In the meantime, the Somalis were growing more and more impatient and longing for a fight. Delamere alternatively argued with the Somalis, who urged him to attack the M]]r[, and with the M]]r[, who refused to sell food to him. In the end the M]]r[ brought him food and allowed him to pass through their country. Even then, troubles were not over. The Somalis refused to eat the local food. They would touch nothing but rice and durrha. They became surly and rebellious when they were told to make the best of bananas. Again, Delamere had to bring his persuasive powers into action. From M]]r[ he passed through the G]k[y[ land. When Teleki had passed through G]k[y[ country ten years before, they had been reluctant to trade and had been regarded as considerably more hostile and dangerous than the Maasai. Von Hohnel talked about "the shunned and dreaded Kikuyu country." The last stage of the long journey took the caravan through Machakos and they met the advancing railway at Tsavo, then the railhead. At Mombasa he embarked on a ship for England via Aden where he paid off the Somali helpers. He arrived back in England in 1898 with a thick black beard, and his mother, who had not heard from him at all for two years, failed to recognise him on the station platform. In July 1899 he married lady Florence Cole, a daughter of the Earl of Enniskillen. He then made arrangements to collect birds for the British Museum from East Africa and took with him his wife and a qualified taxidermist and collector. On arrival at Mombasa in October, he employed sixty Swahili porters and went up country by train. It took Delamere and his party three days to journey from Mombasa to Athi River. They remained at Athi River for one month due to the smallpox outbreak which raged in 1899 and attacked the Swahili porters. They then moved up the Athi River collecting birds and spent a week in Nairobi before moving to the railhead at the escarpment from where they sent to Britain 386 birds of 178 varieties. They then moved to Kedong and Kinangop and were in Naivasha for Christmas. From Naivasha Delamere and his wife marched to Nakuru and thence along the Molo River to Baringo. With the first experience of

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


malarial fever behind him, he returned to England with his wife in May 1900 to settle down at Vale Royal. Four months later, his first born and heir, Thomas, was born. In December 1902 Delamere and his wife sailed again for Mombasa, leaving their eighteen month old son behind. They arrived in January 1903 and he led the porters to his old camp on the edge of the thick cool forest on the far side of the Nairobi river. A few days after his arrival Delamere went to call on the commissioner in his wood and iron bungalow on the hill. Sir Charles Eliot told Delamere of the difficulties of getting anyone to take any interest in his little country. He had hoped that the new land ordinance would have attracted settlers; but it had not done so. Only very few applications for land had been received. Elspeth Huxley on this has written: Before its publication there were less than a dozen Europeans cultivating land on the edge of Kikuyu. Paterson was growing tobacco along a creek and had some healthy three-year-old coffee trees. Dr. Atkinson, who had taken up some land at Karura, five miles outside Nairobi, had imported a shorthorn bull this was Delamere's present and a Berkshire boar. Macalister was raising potatoes, but he lost the whole of his first crop from a bug. A blacksmith, McQueens, had taken up land at Ngong, and Caine had settled at Limuru. Stuart Watt was combining fruit farming with missionary work at Machakos. That was about the sum total of the settlers at the end of 1902.24 The land ordinance of 1902 was followed, in November, by a set of regulations to govern the disposal of land issued by the acting commissioner, Mr. F. Jackson, while Sir Charles was in England on leave. Delamere remarked in a pamphlet he published that such rules as these "made the taking up of land by men of a free race almost an impossibility. Men in the country posted these regulations all over the world as a warning to people to stop away." He further wrote thus: After all, what did the settler buy? Water rights, rights to make roads, timber, the right of grazing for caravans, common grazing for natives, were all reserved to the crown; and all this in an area not to exceed, if a freehold, 1,000 acres, or if a homestead, 640 acres. The key of the whole situation of the difficulty of obtaining settlers was the desire of the Foreign Office to treat the country as a private estate, and settlers as small tenant farmers kept under the thumb of the Government by conditions of tenure. Sir Charles Eliot quickly on return withdrew Jackson's harsh regulations and replaced them with some less impracticable ones. The price of free hold land was fixed at two rupees (four shillings) an acre. These more lenient rules had an immediate effect and settlers began to arrive at the beginning of 1903. By the middle of 1903 there were over one hundred settlers in the country of various nationalities and types. Around Nairobi there were men from England, Scotland, America, South Africa, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany and Romania. Delamere, the settlers and the `Jewish' Proposal In the effort to obtain settlers into Kenya, the Foreign Office started having ideas. One of them was to establish a colony of Finns which did not take off. The other was to hand over a large part of the country to Russian and Polish Jews. The idea originated in the first place not among the Jews but from Joseph Chamberlain who had always been sympathetic towards the Zionist movement and who was the colonial secretary. As

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


the Sultan of Turkey was not ready to allow Jewish home rule in Palestine, a section of the Zionists, led by Dr. Herzl felt attracted to the alternative of finding temporary sanctuary while deferring the return to Zion rather than the Russian and Polish Jews continuing to endure indefinitely the squalor of ghetto life and periodic persecutions. In Dr. Herzl's words, there was a need to obtain an antechamber to the Holy land, a place of apprenticeship that would serve to fit the Russian Jews to enter later into their inheritance for an equivalent to the wilderness in which the followers of Moses spent forty years preparatory to the settlement in the land of Canaan. Joseph Chamberlain visited Kenya in 1902 and on his return to England, a definite offer was made, at his instigation, to the Zionist leader by the British Government. It comprised the free grant of about 5,000 square miles or 3,200,000 acres probably on the Mau Range, full-self government with a Jewish governor, and guarantee of complete freedom to establish and practise Jewish customs and religion under British Government protection. The offer was laid by Dr. Herzl before the Zionist Congress at Basle in August 1903 and was accepted by 595 to 177 votes of the delegates. As the following report shows, opposition was intense and bitter: "This simple proposition," Mr. Zangwill, another Zionist leader, reported, "produced passionate speeches . . . after a tense hour of voting, in which each delegates' `yes' or `no' sounded like the hammer strokes of destiny forging the future of the Jewish people. The proposal was accepted by 595 to 177 and the minority, mostly Russians, left the congress . . . curiously imagining that they had been robbed of Palestine, which they had never possessed. Some of the Russians burst into hysterical tears, wrung their hands, and even rolled on the floor. Women fainted, wept and wailed that now was their Tisha-bear, and he [Mr. Zangwill] was surrounded by a sobbing crowd begging comfort". In Nairobi the proposal was resolutely opposed. To settlers whose title deeds had been delayed a year or more, to others who were told that they must wait indefinitely even for an occupation licence while some doubt about native rights was being investigated, to all who had to pay for or to rent their farm, it seemed a little hard that the very land they were anxious but unable to occupy and a great deal more that had not even been opened up by Government but which was ideally suited to white settlement should be suddenly handed over, free and in toto, to Jews from the ghettos of Russian and Polish cities. An angry public meeting of settlers was held in Nairobi and a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Delamere was elected to combat the proposal. A resolution of protest was passed and cabled to the foreign office. Delamere on his own also took immediate action by sending a cable to the Times newspapers written as follows: August 28th, 1903 NAIROBI. Feeling here very strong against introduction of alien Jews. Railway frontage fit for British colonization 260 miles. Foreign office proposes give 200 miles best to undesirable aliens. Is it for this expensive railway has been built and large sums spent on country? Flood of people of that class sure to lead to trouble with half-tamed natives jealous of their rights. Means extra staff to control them.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Is British taxpayer, proprietor of East Africa, content that beautiful and valuable country be handed over to aliens? Have we no colonists of our own race? Country being settled slowly surely by desirable British colonial settlers. Englishmen here appeal public opinion, especially those who know this country, against this arbitrary proceeding and consequent swamping bright future of country. Publication of Delamere's cable aroused strong public interest in the matter and heated controversy ensued as follows: "A British Lord has cabled a protest and dogs are barking in the manger at Mombasa", Mr. Zangwill cried. But Lord Delamere should know that the Zionists are not going as undesirable aliens, but as the most desirable working population on the face of the earth. Several Jews supported the colonists' protest as the matter continued to raise antagonism towards the project. The world Jewry split into two parties the East Africans and the true Zionists. The chief of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of England issued a manifesto denouncing the scheme. The Russian Zionists decided to ignore the commission which was to be sent to East Africa. The funds of the Zionist congress were not allowed to be drawn on, and the expenses of the commission were paid mainly by an American. Dr. Herzl died largely, it was said, as a result of the stormy meeting at Basle and distress caused by the reception of the scheme he had sponsored. Sir Charles Eliot suggested the Uas Nkishu plateau, including Trans Nzoia, as a suitable location for the Jewish settlement. In a dispatch, he wrote the following: It is [he wrote in a dispatch] practically uninhabited owing to tribal wars and not to any defect. The position is sufficiently isolated to protect the Jews from any hostile demonstrations of other races and to admit the free existence of whatever autonomy is given them . . . A three men Jewish East African commission arrived in Kenya in November, 1904 to view the offered site and was escorted to the Uas Nkishu by an officer sent out with them by the Foreign Office and a couple of settlers. The commissioners, who were not used to walking, nevertheless trekked from Londiani railway station, climbing the escarpment on foot and suffered feet blisters. The next day they walked into a part of the New Zion where they encountered a column of Maasai. Elspeth Huxley has written: They were dressed in full war kit, with tall ostrich-feather plumes waving in the wind above their curiously painted faces, barbaric anklets of black and white colobus monkey fur, bare limbs glistening with castor oil and red ochre, and naked-blades glittering in the sun. the moran surrounded the party with every demonstration of ferocity, brandishing their spears and long narrow shields painted with heathenish emblems, and shouting hideous war-cries. The settlers reasoned with them and they drew off, but only to perform a war-dance. As the rhythm quickened their gestures grew fiercer and their faces became distorted with apparent rage. The commissioners gazed with distaste on this savage medley of red, fat smeared whirling limbs, demented ostrich plumes and flashing spears. Finally, the Maasai retreated, but a double guard was placed round the camp that evening and the settlers took it in turn to sit up all night with a rifle over their knees. There was little sleep in the camp that night either. Although the Maasai did not attack at night, the lions were grunting outside the rings of fire around the tents, and next morning the commissioners were shown paw-marks approaching

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


very close to the tents in which they had slept. The Jews were also told the story of the maneaters of Tsavo for effect by the settlers. The commission remained there for about three days and returned to England and reported the district to be unsuitable for the settlement of fugitives from Russia and Poland. In August 1905 the Kenyan commission reported to the Zionist congress at Basle and the offer of the British Government was, "with sincere thanks," rejected. They preferred "to continue to risk massacre and mutilation rather than to endanger the attainment of their ideal by permitting the movement to be shunted into a siding. Zion, and Zion alone, was their goal. Delamere's Leadership It is now (in the year 2005) a hundred and one years since Delamere took up land in the highlands of Kenya and became one of the earliest settlers, and the most remarkable, both in the scale of his enterprise and the vigour of his personality. In recognition of his unique contribution, Elspeth Huxley has written: This orientation of Delamere's ideas had a far reaching effect on East Africa's colonization [read Kenya]. It is difficult, probably impossible, to say how much the development of white settlement was influenced by Delamere. He did not originate the experiment the Government did that; he was not even the first settler. But he was the first man to put into practice the conception of East Africa as a colony for genuine settlers instead of for planters cast in the mould of Australia instead of Ceylon in short, again, a white man's country. Only a man like Delamere with an exceptionally strong personality and magnetism of leadership could coerce a homogeneous settler front as he did for nearly thirty years. He stepped naturally into the position of leadership. His standing was such that he could meet Governors on equal terms and they could hardly refuse to listen to him. There was prestige attached to being a peer. He was autocratic, truculent and determined, and sure enough of himself to ignore other people's claims to deference. He believed in individualism, private enterprise and the survival of the fittest, tenets of the system into which he was born. In settlers' opinion, he was the man best suited to deal with the more autocratic among the Government officials. He had a quick intelligence and the brain of the debater, which seizes points in a flash and uses them to its own advantage. As a member of the House of Lords, he could gain access to the secretary of state. Delamere assumed the leadership of the settlers when he became the first president of the farmers' and planters' Association formed with twenty three members in January 1903. until the formation of the first legislative council in 1907, the colonist Association was the only voice for settlers' opinion. These related to land, stock thefts, railway policy and labour. After the Governor Sir Donald Steward, died in office suddenly from pneumonia aggravated by alcoholism, Colonel Hayes Sadler, the Governor of Uganda, was appointed to fill the vacancy. On taking the office he announced the formation of a legislative council with six official and two unofficial members nominated by the Governor. The opening meeting was held on August 16th, 1907. The council's first business was to pass a formal bill abolishing the legal status of slavery in the coastal strip leased from the Sultan of Zanzibar. The council had only been in existence for four months when Delamere submitted his resignation, the first of many. One of the reasons was to force the Government to bring down government expenditure commensurate with the revenue as well as to force the Native Affairs department to increase labour supply to settler farms among other issues. Lord Delamere said it was wrong for young men to "loaf about in red paint watching their women work" while coffee was literally blackening on the trees for lack of hands to pick it, and while farmers could not break new land because men could not be found to clear the bush.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

Delamere's Personality One day Lord Delamere was travelling up country from Mombasa on the same train as a senior and important official. He woke up in the morning to find the train shunted on to a siding and deserted in the middle of the veld. He was told the senior official wanted to shoot a lion and together with the Indian driver had gone some distance away to look for one. Delamere lost his temper. He walked up and down the siding cursing all officials and their ways. As the morning dragged on and the heat became unbearable in the stuffy coach, he became more and more enraged at the arrogance of the official. In anger he asked whether any of the natives knew how to drive a locomotive. One of the firemen said that he had never actually done so, but had often watched from the foot plate and knew all about it. Elspeth Huxley has written: "All right," Delamere said, "get up and drive the train to Nairobi." The native was doubtful about the propriety of this. But it was the very early days, when anything a white man said was looked upon as an order, regardless of who he was. The fireman eventually agreed and climbed on to the foot plate. Others were enlisted as stokes. The engine got up steam, backed on to the main line and pulled out for Nairobi. It arrived in safely, leaving the senior official stranded down the line until he was rescued by a special train on the following day. In accordance with the thinking of his times, Delamere's views on the native question were far liberal. He believed in "absolute justice" in punishment of Europeans for offences against natives and treatment of the native population in a "just and liberal manner", but by 1905, what was known as native rights had been but little recognised. Delamere's opinions were even heretical. In his views on the native question he was in advance of his time. An extract from a letter he wrote to the president of the colonist association Mr. Frank Watkins reads: Of course no two people agree as to the best method of settling the native question. I have always strongly held the belief that a strong hand on the Government's part combined with absolute justice for the native is the best method. When I say justice I mean in a case between black and black or between white and black. I cannot myself subscribe to the belief that it is bad for a white man to be punished if he breaks the law in this country any more than at home, nor do I believe that it is bad for the native. I quite agree the Indian penal code was made for a conquered race and is unfitted for white men, but a country to do any good must help its Government to uphold the laws. No country can afford to uphold tampering with justice. Lord Delamere and Sir Charles Eliot held that the inherent sense of justice of "our own people" meaning the tradition of justice among men and women of the British race was the greatest, and ultimately the only safeguard for the native peoples. After Eliot's resignation the policy of creating a Maasai reserve was accepted by Lord Lonsdowne and Eliot's policy of interspersion abandoned for ever. Elspeth Huxley has written: The Maasai question was one important issue on which Delamere disagreed with the commissioner. As a rule he opposed the rigid segregation of natives and Europeans. He believed that close contact between the two races was ultimately the only way to civilise the African. He used to refer to the relegation of natives to reserves as the "zoological gardens policy". It was not good, he held, trying to shelter them from the force of progress and change that were sweeping

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


over the world, keeping them away from the march of civilisation so that only the distant echo of hurrying footsteps reached their ears. The third Baron Lord Delamere died in 1931. He had sold all his property in England and invested in Kenya where he ran into trouble with banks over huge loans which he was unable to repay. By the time he died, he had spent all his money and owed the National Bank of India (now Kenya Commercial Bank) sterling 500,000 or Kshs. 64,000,865 at the current rate of Kshs. 129.73 (2005). His estates remained under receivership until 1951 when the bank managed to recover the capital it had loaned Lord Delamere. In 1951, the bank sent a telegram to his son Lord Thomas Pitt Hamilton Cholmondely Delamere (the fourth Baron) in London where he had long returned after differing with his father. The telegram read: "in view of your father's services to Kenya we have pleasure in remitting you the interest." The fourth Baron Lord Delamere returned to Kenya upon receiving the telegram and borrowed sterling 100,000 which he used to develop the Ol Pajeta ranch. He later sold Ol Pajeta and developed the 2,000-acre Manera farm in Naivasha and the Soysambu ranch in Elmenteita. Lord Delamere the Fourth Baron's son, Hugh George Cholmondeley Delamere, attended Magdalene College in Cambridge where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in agriculture in 1955. On returning to Kenya, he was employed at Ndabibi Farm in Naivasha as his father could not accept to let him work in their farm as he wanted him to gain experience elsewhere because he did not want him to become spoilt. He left Ndabibi Farm for Solio Ranch owned by Lord David Cole where he was employed as farm manager, looking after thousands of sheep and beef cattle, before finally joining his father's farm. When Kenya attained independence, Hugh was employed by the government as a settlement officer in charge of Kinangop area where more than 24,000 Kenya Africans were being settled. His duties included teaching modern farming. He has written: I had a difficult time convincing the African farmers to plant potatoes using fertilizers. By then there was a myth that European farmers had few children as they fed on potatoes which were planted using fertilizers. However, the Kenyan farmers changed their mind after they saw a local British farmer who had eight children and yet he was using fertilizer to plant his potatoes. Since Kenya law so far does not recognise dual citizenship, Hugh who was born in London renounced British citizenship in 1964 and became a Kenyan citizen, forfeiting the privilege of participating in debates in the prestigious House of Lords in London. When his father died in 1979, he inherited the Delamere Estates and lives in Soysambu. Hugh who is married to Lady Ann, a daughter of the late Sir Patrick Renison, the second last governor in Kenya. They married on April 11, 1964. She was born in 1938 in Sri Lanka where her father worked. They have a son, Tom Cholmondely Delamere who assists in running the family business. Tom's wife, Dr. Sally Chomondeley, heads a health unit that serves workers within the 50,000 acre Soysambu Ranch. The couple has two children Hugh and Henry. Hugh and his son have developed Manera Farm where they have more than one thousand Holstein dairy cattle which produce 4,000 litres of milk a day which is processed at their plant in the farm. This milk together with its byproducts is sold in Nairobi and other parts of the country. They have installed on the farm the Central Pivot Irrigation system, the latest technology which uses little water. They use power to irrigate about 800 acres from 12 boreholes and the cost of electricity is overwhelming. He blames corruption and bad governance in the past for the collapse of both the Kenya co-operative

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


creameries (KCC), which his grandfather helped to establish in the 1920s, and the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA). He has lamented: If you want to run a shop you must get a good shopkeeper to do it and if you want a good parliament you must get good politicians. Kenya had a wonderful economy but it took 10 years to pull down what had taken more than 20 years of hard work to build. It will now take us another 20 years to rebuild all the institutions that have been destroyed. Seven years ago, Hugh and Lady Ann donated 20 hectares on Soysambu Farm for the establishment of the Lady Delamere Girls Secondary School at Mbaruk, Nakuru. The couple donated one dairy cow for teaching purposes to the school, built with British assistance through their patronage. The first batch of students sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination in year 2000. Michael Blundell Michael Blundel was born in England in 1907 and attended Wellington College from where he qualified for admission to Magdalene College at Oxford to study law. The headmaster of his college announced that he had an interesting opening for a boy in Kenya to work as an assistant to an old wellingtonian there and learn farming. About the same time he had attended the empire exhibition at Wembley and saw at the Kenya pavilion large photographs of the great rolling plains and mountains, the immense variety of wildlife, the pictures of the African people with their spears, drums and humped cattle which seized his imagination and he decided to go. One afternoon, walking up the village street with his father, he told him, he wanted to go to Africa. His father, who had planned a legal career for him, stopped, looked at him disappointingly and said, "Well, my son, you shall go." Equipped with two tin trunks, a shot-gun and 100, in October 1925 he set out for Africa in the British India company's ship Matiana. Twenty-five days later he arrived at Kilindini port, Mombasa. The 100 he was given had to last him for one year as he was not to receive any salary for a full year. At Eldoret he was met by his future employer, captain Tim Brodhurst Hill also known as Bronco Bill. After what he calls a hurried meal, he was taken down a badly paved road to a hut "built of mud and wattle, hexagonal in shape with rough earth walls. A centre pole that held up the rafters and poked a hole in the poorly thatched loose grass roof through which the rain fell." Michael Blundell has described the house thus: The two windows were square holes in the wall covered with large mesh chicken wire. The rough door made of tongued and grooved box timber had no hinges, only fencing wire wound it, top and bottom, and threaded through holes in the doorposts. The bed was a frame of four by three-inch cedar wood through which were laced rawhide ropes that supported a flimsy mattress. The floor was rough beaten earth, infested with jiggers and fleas. The only furniture was a rickety chair costing three shillings and made of withies, and four petrol boxes nailed together and covered with an old piece of curtain, the whole masquerading as a chest of drawers. Blundell says the farm was more than 5,000 acres and he was told to ride around it to "drive off any poor Africans who were using a traditional footpath as a short cut." Bronco Bill never understood African ways and customs. He would shout at them when they failed to greet him on a walk or ride, oblivious of the fact that it is good manners for the older or senior person to make the first greetings. In the farm were four Maasai families who between them owned more than

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


800 head of cattle. Bronco Bill did not like the Maasai and called them lazy and indolent, but could not understand that they had their own proud customs and traditions. The farm practised monoculture and maize was the only crop as coffee and wheat did not suit the area and dairy cattle were killed off by East Coast Fever and other diseases. At that time, the majority of the settlers had simple grass roofed huts often joined together with small connecting verandahs. Furnishing was simple and animal skins were used on the floor instead of rugs. Blundell has written: No one walked in the house barefoot as jiggers and fleas were everywhere. The jigger was a horrible flea-like creature, which burrowed into and fed on one's toe or any other part of the human anatomy. I always knew when a jigger had gone for me because of the intense itching. The form then was to get a needle, sterilize it and an African who knew more about them than we did would pick out the little bag in which the jigger lurked and destroy it. It was quite a painful process. At that time young girls could be seen who had part of their budding breasts eaten away and it was quite common to see men with half a toe gone. This was largely because after initial itching the jigger flourished without much irritation, and as Africans did not wear boots or shoes, the skins of their feet was tough and thick and hygiene had not reached the standards of today. Michael Blundell's Leadership When war was declared, Kenya already had a registration system by which individuals were directed to the services or into non-military jobs according to the demands of the war at that particular time. At 32 years old, blundell was rather old for the immediate military intakes and was ordered to continue farming and to manage several other farms in the district whose owners had been taken into the army. However, in January 1940 he was ordered to report immediately to the General Officer commanding East African Forces in Nairobi and he travelled to Nairobi the same day. Next day he saw GOC (General Officer Commanding) and was told that a battalion had mutinied in the Northern Frontier District, that the situation was still very unsettled and that he should assume command of this battalion. To give him some idea of what command of a battalion was like, he served four weeks with the 1st Battalion, Kings' African Rifles, before he was sent to go and command the mutinous battalion. This transformation of Blundell from a farmer to a soldier happened upon a recommendation made by Joss Errol (of the white Mischief fame) who had met him previously. At that time Errol was a personal assistant to Lord Francis Scott, the military secretary at command Headquarters. When the appointment of a new commanding officer for the battalion was discussed he is reported to have said: "There's a fellow called Blundell up at Solai near Nakuru who speaks their language, he'll probably be able to settle them." Blundell went to the1st KAR with the rank of Major. I found this sudden translation to high rank embarassing especially when young farmer friends saluted me and when I had to shout out battalion orders. On one occasion when we were returning from a long training exercise and marching into Battalion H.Q., I was leading with the adjutant, a good friend of mine, Richard Miers of the South Wales Borderers. He had encouraged and helped me, and as the guard turned out, a group of my old farmer neighbours who were now in the army but in junior positions shouted out in great glee, "Look at old Mike, how are you Michael" and so on. The adjutant turned on them in fury and said, "Where are your salutes, gentlemen?" at which they rather sheepishly saluted. While I wished the ground would swallow me up.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


As soon as Major Blundell had taken over the command of the Battalion at Garba Tula, he realised why the men were so digruntled. They had all been recruited in luo Nyanza by the Provincial commissioner and had joined the forces as a would-be fighting force. Instead, they had been poorly equipped in a forward area, many had no rifles and their officers treated them as labourers and not as soldiers. Worst of all they were distinguished from combatant troops by a ridiculous-looking hat with a flap down the back. A major cause of discontent was the fact that all the men's family remittances to their homes had vanished. Blundell has written: The reason for all this lay at the feet of the adjutant, an insouciant irresponsible figure with a wonderful trim "de reszke" military moustache and a fondness for parties. Often he failed to appear on parade on grounds of ill-health. When I visited him he would complain of having eaten a bad prawn (in semi-arid desert around us), but after the first two occasions of prawn poisoning, I realized the whisky bottle loomed too large in his life. Despite several courts of inquiry and much correspondence with H.Q. in Nairobi, I never got to the bottom of the loss of the men's money and mess funds. In the end I refunded it all from my own pocket and the adjutant left us. As a result of the mutiny the vital link between officers and men had been broken and in the next six months Blundell managed to re-establish that. His new officers were a wonderful lot as they were elderly and keen to work. "Through regular `square bashing', meticulous attention to drill, strict discipline and the adoption of an infantry atmosphere, the morale of the men was greatly improved," he has recounted. His first hit of luck came when his brigade commander visited the Battalion to see how it was getting on. Blundell told the brigade commander that his troops must have slouch Australian bush type hats like the KAR. There and then the Brigadier contacted the head of ordinance in Nairobi and instructed him to send immediately a thousand hats. They duly arrived together with more rifles which he had also pressed the Brigadier on. When all these had arrived, the men put on the hats, took the rifles and morale rose high. In the meantime, Blundell had come to the conclusion that real worthwhile discipline could not be imposed on men; it must grow out of them as a natural wish to serve and accept. Uphill Climb In 1938 Michael Blundell had been elected as one of the members representing the Western Kenya Coffee areas, to the coffee Board of Kenya, from which he resigned when he was called up for service in the Army. His support for the change from monoculture to mixed farming had brought him in contact with farms and settlers over a wider area than the solai Valley. this and his unusual army career in a way propelled him into politics. The member of the legislative council in 1947 for the Rift Valley, was Walter Trench, a Molo farmer. He asked him to represent the constituency as a nominated member for six months while he was away on leave in Ireland. In 1948, Trench who didn't wish to stand again for election to the legislative council asked him to seek election instead of him. Blundell asked for advice from a neighbour, major H.F. Ward, a successful businessman (known widely as Freddy Froud) as to what he should say in his election campaign. He replied, "All you need say is that you support the sanctity of the white highlands, the communal roll and separate education for each race and you will be elected." On polling day while visting the polling stations near elementeita, he has written: I came upon a car broken down with a South African family of five in it. Their name was death which seemed very appropriate in the light of what happened later.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


I asked them whether I could help and they requested a lift to the polling station as their car had packed in. In due course we reached the polling station and all five trooped in and voted. I heard afterwards from one of my organizers that they had all voted against me on the ground that I "drink tea with Africans." The younger settlers who had fought in the war alongside Africans had an entirely different outlook on African political advance and on Africans generally from those who had remained behind and were still cocooned in the old colonial prejudices. Those who had been in the war saw the African as an individual with whom they had shared much hardship, and above all much comradeship. The colonial relationship between governors and a subject race had been eroded. The change in European attitudes, which at first was almost imperceptible, was matched by the changes taking place in the minds of the African people due to the impact of the war on the soldiers who had fought in Africa and overseas. Blundell has written: This change is clearly shown in a letter which I censored from an askari [soldier] in south East Asia in which he wrote, "long hair has stolen my country away," and in a speech by President Julius Nyerere in his early political days when he indicated that "long thin nose" should not govern his country. Apart from the changes which participation in the war by both Europeans and Africans brought about, Blundell says that Kenya experienced exceptional economic and agricultural development after the war. Industry expanded and farming production in European areas was intensified. He has written: This in itself put intense pressure on the African people, particularly the Gikuyu, and precipitated the open conflict with the colonial Government known as the Mau Mau movement, which led to the declaration of an emergency in 1952. In 1956, with the arrival of the first African Elected Members representing the wishes of all the African people, the seeds of manhood which the war had sown in the minds of the askaris [soldier's] and which had been disseminated almost universally throughout Kenya, sprang into vigorous growth and begot the dynamic force of African Nationalism. Apart from the view of the British Government almost the first of these strands leading to independence was the outbreak of the Mau Mau movement. Blundell in his book considers that after more than thirty years of independence, it is possible to look at the causes of the terrible events of the Mau Mau war much more dispassionately and unemotionally than in the early days of independence and has written thus: The Gikuyu are an exceptionally gifted people, industrious and intelligent, with a great sense of fairness and a wonderful commercial and financial acumen. In the early days of the British administration the one security available to them was land, and the ability to own land or to have the use of it was a major factor in their lives. Originally they had met this need for security by advancing to Thika and then to Kiambu areas largely covered by forest which they cut out and in which they secured their small plantations. With the coming of the British administration, Blundell has written, boundaries were circumscribed with reservations of forest and the water catchment areas and mountains for national needs. About 12,000 square mile of prime land were alienated to Europeans which rightly belonged to the Ag]k[y[. In the Rift Valley were carved large farms for the new European settlers whose farming, it was hoped, would make the recently built Uganda railway a paying

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


proposition. 100,000 acres went to the 3rd Baron Delamere at Njoro, nearly 200,000 acres to Pawys Cobb at Molo and Mau Narok, 500 square miles to the E.A. syndicate at Gilgil including innumerable ten to twenty thousand acre blocks in the Rift Valley itself from Mount Margaret and on the Kinangop through Gilgil to Solai near Nakuru. The Ag]k[y[ who were hard-pressed for land in Central Province in exchange for part-time employment were allowed to cultivate or graze considerable acreages of land in the European farms. This symbiotic system continued to the onset of the second world war. All this suddenly changed after the war from 1916 onwards. The European farming community, alarmed by their isolation as an enclave amongst increasing numbers of Africans, sought safety in closer settlement. Farms were broken up, surveyed and new settlers poured in upon the land. To quote Blundell again: The colonial Government in pursuit of what was known as the Dual Mandate encouraged the process and provided the finance for closer settlement schemes. In this process the old Gikuyu families were pinched and squeezed. Owing to the sub-divisions their extensive acres were not reduced to tiny holdings of one to one and a half acres, nor were their wages increased commensurately. With all this new development the dairy and animal industry made a major contribution to the incoming small-scale European farmers. The right of African resident workers to hold stock was first greatly reduced and then eliminated, on the grounds that badly tended livestock and illicit movement brought the danger of disease to well-managed high quality dairy herds and flocks of sheep. Without realizing it at the time, this widespread effort to increase the numbers of European farmers destroyed the very basis on which the lives of the Rift Valley Gikuyu settlers were based. The issue among European farmers became an intense, almost fiery one. I remember arguing fiercely with an extremist woman farmer near Nyahururu who wanted all the resident forest Gikuyu workers reduced in their acreages so that her workers would not be attracted to work elsewhere. I asked her why everyone should be reduced to the lowest economic common denominator, but she was obsessed with the ideas of reducing land cultivated by Gikuyu in what was considered an area of the White Highlands. The resentment and economic pressures which these events created among the Gikuyu farm workers sowed the seeds which led to Mau Mau.78 Blundell has also written about repressed economic and social aspirations as contributing to the revolt by the Ag]k[y[: Of all the African peoples of Kenya they were first to realise the benefit of education, sensing that what appeared to be the superiority of the white man in every sphere was largely a matter of education. As a result of 50 years of British administration, an elitist educated class had arisen who naturally wished to take part in the administration and commerce of their country. For various reasons the administration in the provinces was enormously increased and new educated Africans were excluded and were often called agitators while the maladministration and exclusiveness of the colonial chiefs continued. Thus like in the Rift Valley, in G]k[y[ reserves, the seeds of Mau Mau found fertile soil to grow. Blundell has further written: The Gikuyu, as I have written, are an extremely able people and at that time had a head start in education and commercial expertise over many other areas in Kenya but here again their natural wish to advance tended to be stultified. In Nairobi and other towns many new small European businesses started up. The older long-established commercial concerns grew in size as the economy of Kenya developed and more Europeans and Asians were employed. Owing to the

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


racial structure of the salary scales, top levels for Europeans, middle grades for Asians and the lowest for Africans, the new embryonic Gikuyu businessmen and degree-holders became convinced that the very economic heart of their country was denied to them. Thus the discontent of the Rift Valley and Central Province seeped into the shops, the shanty towns and the lower levels of Government service in Nairobi. Sir Michael Blundel has written about the contrast between typical happy Ag]k[y[ people at the opening of the 20th century, when colonial administrators and white settlers were arriving and settling in the country, and the harshness of the Mau Mau revolt as witnessed by one of the leading whitesettler, Colonel Ewart S. Grogan: In 1902 Ewart S. Grogan, one of the great pioneers of East Africa, was camped in the forest and bush of what is now the elite residential estate of Nairobi, Muthaiga gossiping and laughing, often singing gaily, Gikuyu warriors and young women passed by his tent offering him vegetables, fruits and beans on their way to the markets closer to the new town of Nairobi. The men carried spears and shields, rough brown cloth thrown over their shoulders, and when the weather was cold and damp, the older ones wore robes made of sykes' monkey skins. Round their waists were beaded belts from which hung a small snuff box made of goat's horn and the traditional long-bladed simi or sword. their hair was intricately plaited and covered in clay of a red ochre colour and on the ankles of the young warriors were small bells which jingled as they walked. The women were clothed in folds of heavy goat or sheepskin leather. Massive earrings, made of small red and blue beads through which thin wire had been threaded, adorned their ears. At the height of the emergency rather more than 50 years later, Grogan in a speech in the Legislative council, the tears springing from his eyes, recalled those happy laughing scenes, the pleasantness and friendliness of the Gikuyu and contrasted this early memory with the ruthlessness and indiscriminate slaughter of the panga and the garrotting rope of the emergency period. These were the same people who in response to economic and political oppression by unjust and unfeeling colonial rulers took up arms and resorted to violence to change and improve their lot and liberate their country. Blundell in full sympathy with them, albeit belatedly has written: When a people who feel their whole security and the possibility of advance and fulfillment in a rapidly changing world is endangered, and who realize that change by evolution is almost impossible, take to the arbitrary action of the grenade and firearm, arson or explosives, or in the case of Mau Mau, the swift glint of the panga, they are castigated as terrorists. We should, however, ask ourselves how else, if political and economic advance is denied to them, can they demonstrate their feelings? The challenge of panga forced changes in the thinking people in Kenya. The extremists, both black and white, remained in entrenched opposition to each other but many others realized that co-operation between the races was essential and in many ways their interdependence was underlined. The Wind of Change The arrival of Macmillan as Prime Minister was a major factor which influenced the British Government in deciding to rid itself of colonial responsibilities, a significant change which took place in the thinking of the Tory Party. The old patrician rulers were largely replaced by members of the new egalitarian society of Britain with middle and lower class backgrounds and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


from humble families. These new leaders had no great affection for empire building and its worries. Upto the time of the Lari Massacre, Michael Blundell says, the British people and world opinion on the whole were sympathetic to Agikuyu activities which were perceived as oppressed colonial subjects fighting for liberation. The massacre set in motion a resistance movement organised and armed by the Government of Home Guards and Loyalists. This group, also called "Christian Kikuyu", believed independence could be achieved by evolutionary and constitutional means rather than revolution and warfare. The Lari Maasacre brought the difference between Mau Mau and Loyalist positions into sharp focus as the colonial Government used the Massacre for antiMau Mau propaganda to maximum benefit. Basically the massacre was directed against the local chief who had, in the eyes of the Ag]k[y[ supporters of Mau Mau, allied himself too closely with the colonial rulers and in the process created much wealth for himself, owning 1,000 acres of land and more than ten wives. In the course of the massacre, a whole village was razed to the ground, with more than 100 people killed and 26 severely cut and slashed with pangas, all in the space of one and a half hours. Chief Luka Kahangara, had been summoned before the local Mau Mau committee to answer charges of collaborations with whites against less fortunate African people but he refused to appear. East African Standard reported his fourth wife, Rachael Wanjir[ and his sixth wife M[thoni as saying among other things what took place before the attack commenced thus: Then in the afternoon 3000 freedom fighters met in the forest and recited the oath of unity. The crowd raised their faces towards Mount Kenya, saying: Leader: Let us swear that . . . Crowd: . . . Those who conducted the case of Jomo Kenyatta, those who stood up to be counted and bear witnesses against our beloved leader, those who abettend the white man put handcuffs on him . . . they shall be destroyed. (Raising swords to the air and making chopping gestures) Leader: We swear that . . . We shall never slow down or sleep. Crowd: . . . We shall never slow down or sleep or rest, day or night, from dawn to dusk until we catch them and until we tie their hands with sinews taken from their own ribs. Leader: Let us swear that . . . Crowd . . . Those among us who have left our ways . . . Those who assist the whiteman hunt us down as we fight for our land . . . those who stand as obstacles to our fight for freedom . . . shall be destroyed. Leader: We shall destroy them . . .! Crowd: They shall be destroyed, they shall be destroyed . . . and they shall be destroyed . . . and they shall be put to death as they enjoy sleep in comfort of protection beside the bosom of the colonialist with their spouses and descendants of that bad blood. Leader: Those who gave and sold our land . . .

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Crowd: Land that was ours from agu and agu [from long ago]. We shall castrate them, gouge their eyes out, hold them out for seven nights and days, cut them on the hands and legs with our own two hands . . . drink their blood . . . cut their hands off . . . and let us wait and see if the Whiteman will raise them from the dead. Leader: We reject them . . . Crowd: . . . and may this soil reject them like they rejected their own blood and sold it to the whites as slaves for money . . . By 11.45 pm of the same day, Chief Luka Kahangara was under arrest of the Mau Mau freedom fighters and was executed by being cut into pieces one after the other, thereby fulfilling the oath undertaken earlier. By March 1954 there were about 16,000 freedom fighters in the forests of Kenya and by October 1955 there were about 3,000. At independence, achieved under the leadership of Jomo Kenyatta, there were only a few hundreds in the M]]r[ forest. Blundell has written as follows: The forest fighters were courageous, tenacious and suffered immence hardships for the cause they believed in. the whole movement was at first well-organised, had the benefit of several years of secret planning and was divided into the active wing of the forests and the passive wing in the towns and villages which supplied information, recruits, supplies and firepower. On occasions great successes were achieved such as the attack on the Naivasha Police Station where the authorities were taken by surprise and guns and ammunitions captured by the attackers. It is, however, a mystery why the movement did not disrupt the activities of government on a much wider and more serious scale, through the use of arson and the destruction of the railway line and telecommunications at vital points. Never once were guerilla tactics of this order used, and though separate areas such as the aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya had good local command structures, overall direction on a countrywide scale was weak and gradually faded away. Sir Michael Blundel who was very active on the side of the colonial Government of Kenya in supressing Mau Mau says that field officers and those in the secretariat (housed in the present old Jogoo House) were almost unanimous in judging that Jomo Kenyatta was the main fount and inspiration of the Mau Mau movemement. He was in the years leading up to the declaration of a state of emergency a popular leader who had the charisma and oratorical force to cash in on the grievances and discontent of the G]k[y[ people, especially on matters related to land. Immence crowds flocked to hear him at rallies and he was able to frustrate all Government measures conceived to improve land usage amongst the G]k[y[. Blundell has written thus: Seen from the perspective of today the Government had only two courses of action open to them. Either to contain him, or to incorporate his energies and the political support which he enjoyed into the actual act of Government. This meant political advance for the African people at a pace which was not acceptable to the colonial Government of the day and the European opinion in Kenya at that time. Throughout his life he had never come out clearly on the side of extremism, for instance in such a crisis as that of female circumcision in 1923, when the Christian churches in Central Province launched a campaign against the custom which was then almost universally practised. We know now that the more extreme Mau Mau leaders were prepared to eliminate him if he had not gone along with them. He thus became identified with the movement but it is

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


significant that the movement itself became more extreme, the oath more repellent, the murders and garrottings more dreadful and frequent after he was detained. When he became prime Minister, and then President of the Republic of Kenya, this was the background against which he had to repair not only the divisions among his own people, much as france had to overcome the wounds between the vichyites and the maquists, but also the fears of the other racial communities in the country. Although Jomo Kenyatta had the support of the new younger African leaders, like James G]ch[r[ and Tom Mboya, the extreme Mau Mau leaders who had survived the warfare in the forest were putting great pressure upon him to declare all European farms forfeited to the new Goverment without compensation and to accept the elimination of the local European interest in Kenya. The moderates and realists under Kenyatta prevailed and the extremists were forced into a minority position. However, this did not satisfy the hopes and expectations of the thousands of Ag]k[y[ who had suffered in the Emergency, or who had experienced hardships in their support of the Mau Mau movement, and who had in the rush to obtain land in the former white Highlands failed in their demand to be given it preferentially. Blundell concludes his remarks on the Mau Mau subject by stating thus: Though sympathetic to the idea of independence for the African people, many of the Gikuyu and Kenya people in general were opposed to much of the militancy, and the horrors which were generated in the Emergency period. Nevertheless, the indication which the movement gave of the power which could be exerted by Africans generally who were not prepared to accept Colonial status, must have added weight to the general wish of the British electorate to be free of what was to some an Imperial burden, and to others troublesome peoples they no longer wished to rule. Perhaps a fair analysis would be to record that the Emergency in Kenya, mainly initiated and sustained by the Gikuyu people, underlined or emphasized how necessary political changes were in Kenya, and how imperative it was to meet the wishes of the African people to be masters of their own destiny. Epilogue Lancaster House Conferences Sir Michael Blundell says that unknown to the European or Indian representatives, Oliver Lyttelton, then secretary of state of the Colonies, had agreed with the African leaders' demand for direct elections for the African people in 1956. As has already been seen, the decision to give the Africans a vote was the most important step on the road to Uhuru (independence). Equally important were the emotions of the conservative European electorate and the movement in Britain against the idea of continued colonial rule. In the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) the Africans were denied the vote; no one knew what their real thoughts were until an explosion occurred and as a result, trainloads and cars full of distressed Belgian refugees passed through Kenya, many of them having lost all their possessions or seen their friends and relatives killed. Blundell has written: At once, overnight from the highlands near Mount Elgon and the shores of Lake Victoria, through the great nomadic areas to the Coast, the real feelings of the African people could be expressed. They wanted a full say in the Government of their country, to be first-class citizens in their own right, and above all to be free to carve out their own destinies. Some of us were lucky

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


to be able to hear and understand this enormous flood of political emotion and adjust our ideas accordingly. In 1920s, a law had been passed which made it a capital offence for an African to have sexual intercourse, with a European under consent or through rape. The more conservative European leaders opposed the suggested repeal of this law, but Blundell was among those who thought that in the light of the social advance which had taken place in Kenya, the legislation was outdated. A conservative colleague of his, Lawrence Welwood, believed that individuals with blue eyes were better equipped to govern the empire than those with dark ones. During debates in the Legislative Council when he strongly disagreed with the Colonial Government's view, he would point out to Blundell that most of the senior officials had brown eyes. At last in the Cabinet discussion it was agreed that the offending clause, Section 25, should be deleted from the Penal Code as part of a block incorporating a considerable number of other sections. It was hoped that in that way the particular emotive issue of interracial sexual intercourse would not be noticed by fiery right wing voters. However, racial feelings against the Africans were so strong that even the mere deletion of the racially offending clause from the Panel Code evoked very strong reaction from a white legislator and a colleague of Michael Blundell who has written thus: Welwood and I, after the meeting, walked down the passage from the cabinet room and he gripped my arm with intense pressure as he said, "What have we done, God, what have we done? Don't you realize that now every African in the street of Nairobi will open his fly buttons and wave his doo-hickey at our women. When the British Government announced a constitution which would be the basis of African majority rule and independence as soon as it could be organised, African leaders who had been united in the desire for political advance immediately split and two political parties were formed: the Kenya African National Union (KANU) representing in the main the G]k[y[ and Luo people with large numbers of the Akamba and some Abaluyia, and the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) composed mainly of the smaller communities of Kenya who, encouraged by local Europeans feared domination by a potential G]k[y[-Luo axis. This division in African leadership caused a delay in the achievement of independence and in convening of the second Lancaster House Conference. On the European front, Blundell has written: Arising from the pressures of the Emergency and the increasing thrust of African nationalist thinking from 1956 onwards, when the first African elected members came to the Legislative Council, the European electorate which, hitherto, had been dominant in Kenya politics and largely united on a pressure basis vis-a-vis the Colonial Government, became divided. Six of the fourteen European elected members formed a non-racial party which some Asian elected members joined and in which Africans played a part, and eight remained united on a policy based on the maintenance of racial entities and authoritative colonial rule. The non-racial party, called the New Kenya Group, asked me to be their leader, and thus at the two Lancaster House Conference apart from the African groupings there were other influences; the one advocating advance on a one-nation and non-racial basis and the other seeking to maintain the status quo of colonial rule with a minimal advance for the African people.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


Sir Winston Churchill Sir Michael thought that the earlier leaders of the European community in Kenya had not realized how deep the feeling in the British political parties was, that Britain was in a position of trustee for the African people. Pressure from the local European settlers sometimes appeared to weaken this sense of trusteeship but it was always there, and was a major factor in the colonial Political scene at Westminster. In the early stages of the development of Kenya, the concept that a colonial country was there to provide raw materials for industry in the mother country was strong, but the basic idea of advance for the African people was always present. From an interview he had with Sir Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Britain, on 10th December, 1954, Blundell has recorded the following: I sat on a horse chair rexine sofa and suddenly a small frail figure came round a screen and walked towards me saying, "Good afternoon, Mr. Blundell." This was the Prime Minister, who was smoking a cigar around which an inch from his mouth was a large fat sort of blotting paper absorbent band. I was stuck by the frailty of the Prime Minister and he walked with a certain amount of unsteadiness. The hand which he gave me to shake was slightly stiffened for reasons which he told me at the end of our interview. We entered the Cabinet room; he sat in the Prime Minister's seat and I on his right. He ordered two whisky and soda and we sat down to discuss the situation in Kenya. He had allotted 15 minutes and I was released after . He began by mentioning that he had been in Kenya in 1907, and reflected that it was a beautiful country and the Gikuyu a happy, naked and charming people. He was astonished at the change which had come over their minds. I was immensely struck by the range of his mind and the imagination which he still showed in trying to deal with a problem such as ours. He begun by saying he had been there ages ago and had been all over the place in a motor car and in Uganda on a bicycle. He thought it was a wonderful and beautiful country. He was amazed by the tenacity which the Gikuyu had shown. He did not believe that the troops which he had out there were not sufficient to deal with the trouble very quickly. He did not think that we needed more troops. The problem really was to get at their minds, because he felt if it was merely a military problem we had sufficient strength to deal with it. He was amazing over phrases. He said, "There you are all our ideas, our modern thoughts, democracy and all that. I suppose that is seeping through your country." I said it was. His eyes filled with tears and he said to me that he felt it was a terrible situation and was getting Great Britain into very bad odour in the world; that we, the home of culture, magnanimity of thought, with all the traditions of our country and democracy, should be in a situation of using power against these people . . . "It's the power of a modern nation being used to kill savages, savages? Not savages, they're savages armed with ideas much more difficult to deal with." He was most interested and kept returning time and time again to the necessity of negotiation, his argument being that the tenacity of the hold of Mau Mau on the Gikuyu showed one that the Gikuyu were not the primitive unintelligent, gutless people we had imagined. That they were persons of considerable fibre and ability and steel, who would be brought to our side by just and wise treatment. He kept returning again and again to devices to secure their co-operation and

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION


cease the slaughter. He agreed entirely with me that negotiation must be from strength, but he said, if you have the strength then you must eliminate bitterness and be magnanimous. At all cost you must not let bitterness ride deep into the people. He said you can negotiate from strength with ease, with the power of flexibility and with magnanimity. You can only negotiate from weakness with a basis of cowardice and appeasement. He kept returning again and again to this necessity to find a solution. He said, "I am sure that you need negotiation. Is there anyone you can negotiate with? What about that man who failed at your pow-wow." (That was General China leader of the forest fighters.) I said, "Well, he's in detention." He said, "Well, there must be somebody. You must find someone to negotiate with. I'd like to come and do it myself." He also emphasized the bad odour that the shootings, the brutalities and the detention camps gave to Britain in the world and in particular he asked about the conduct of the KAR (King's African Rifles). I told him that they had done very well and we had stamped out, I thought, any real trouble there such as that of the black and tans in Ireland, and I thought credit be given to Erskine (Major-General George Erskine, G.O.C. East Africa) for that.

KENYA ETHNIC COMMUNITIES: FOUNDATION OF THE NATION