Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mau Mau and the Kikuyu by Louis Leakey

Mau Mau and the Kikuyu by Louis Leakey is a short anthropological study of the African tribe. The Kikuyu of Kenya are perhaps most famous for their membership in the Mau Mau insurgency against the British. This was responsible for the emergency in Kenya during the 1950s. The author was a member of the Kikuyu.

The book is quite short the first half dealing with the Customs of the tribe particularly those around land, marriage and oaths. These were the three major problems with fighting against the guerrilla campaign particularly the oaths that people were forced to participate in. The author explains the often confusing social system and how it can be countered by the government. He suggests a hearts and minds approach to deal with the guerrillas.

Recommended not only for those interested in the emergency but for those interested in the impact of colonialism on indigenous groups. The not always positive influence of Christianity is described.

For reviews take a look at My Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, Partisan and Guerrilla Warfare bookshelf.

No comments: