The Nandi of Kenya: Tribal Control in a Pastoral Society

The Nandi of Kenya: Tribal Control in a Pastoral Society

The Nandi of Kenya: Tribal Control in a Pastoral Society

The Nandi of Kenya: Tribal Control in a Pastoral Society

Excerpt

In 1948 I wrote for the Government of Kenya, under the auspices of the Colonial Social Science Research Council, a report which described the social organization, political structure, economic life, and general culture of the Nandi. The last two parts were published in 1951 by the Colonial Office under the title Nandi Work and Culture. The political structure of the tribe is the subject of the present volume. My personal knowledge of the Nandi goes back to early in 1921; and I was in close contact with them for the next twenty years. It should be understood that my research period ends with the year 1945, and that events and developments since that year are not included.

For many years the main source of information about the Nandi has been Sir Claud Hollis's book The Nandi, their Language and Folk-lore (Oxford, 1909), my debt to which I am glad to be able to acknowledge here. Sir Claud's clear and precise account of the material culture of the Nandi and his full and detailed grammar and vocabulary of their language are well known to all who have worked in the field of East African ethnography, and his book has been my companion ever since I first began to study the Nandi and their language. My present book is not an attempt to compete with it, for it deals with aspects of Nandi life which, owing to the nature of his duties, Sir Claud was not able to study in detail, and of which he has in fact written very briefly. His account of the matters which form the subject of this book runs to no more than about 25 pages. On certain points I have been compelled to differ from him; and . . .

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