Legacies of Kenya Essays

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Many different tribal communities inhabited Kenya, during its pre-colonial period. Today there are about 42 different tribes in Kenya who are all different from each other ("Safari in Africa”). The Agikuyu and the Miji Kenda were farmers, the Maasai and the Samburu lived off of livestock, and the majority like the Luo and the Abagusii practiced a mixture of crop cultivation and pastoral work. Subsistence production was the norm and manual labor came from the family. Classes were mostly non-existent and poverty was not much of an issue either as reciprocity was largely practiced. Relations between other tribal communities were for the most part were good as they traded, married with each other, and had limited and sporadic conflicts…show more content…
Where the separation of tribes created most trouble was in politics. Today Kenya is troubled in a political sense, as was proved by the violent and uncontrolled elections of December 2007, in which somewhere around 1,000 people were killed and over 300,000 made homeless ("Kenya Profile") Targeted ethnic violence directed towards the Kikuyu people, the community that the controversially elected president Kibaki belonged to. Although Kenya has had surprising political stability despite having issues like at one point having only one legal political party, alliances and disagreements begin with tribal loyalties and disagreements. This history implies that tribal identity is more important than creating national identity in a country where the notion of tribal identity is challenged by western government systems. Just as political issues and violence arose from detrimental demarcation of boundaries, the corrupt political leadership during colonial regimes created a weak and dependent economy. The British exercised indirect colonial rule, meaning they entrusted the government and administration to traditional rulers while having something like advisors for them. Despite this, the British instituted colonial policies in Kenya like Land alienation for European settlers, African taxation, and forced African and migrant labor. With these policies came the rise of settler dominated
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