Community relation between the north Imenti and Tigania of Meru and the Masai
In this Dissertation I intend to show the relations between the Imenti and Tigania of Meru and the maasai from the Seventeenth Century to the close of the Nineteenth Century. To do this I begin by introducing a Chronology, which I have worked out for the Meru based on the age-set system, for placing data in historical sequence. Then I proceed to trace the origins of the Meru from Mbwaa, giving reasons for their migration from this place, and subsequent settlement in their present area. In this I shall try to argue why the Meru include the Plains Nilotes, specifically the Maasai and Turkana in their stories of migration from Mbwaa. This is followed by a whole chapter on cultural exchanges between the Maasai and the Imenti/Tigania groups comprising briefly of such aspects as marriages, circumcision, age-set systems, the institution of the Mugwe and finally the effect on language. This, although not historical as such, is intended to guide the reader in understanding the effects of contacts between these two groups with different ethnologies. From here I concentrate on the various wars between these communities in the Nineteenth Century and why they were fought. I also examine the contribution of the first white hunters in the deterioration of the mutual relations which had taken more than two centuries to create. Their impact on the Meru society is discussed in some detail. Lastly I re-examine and evaluate the whole set up including the early colonial era. This is important in that, in Meru, the colonial government was not actually responsible for the breakdown of the Maasai/Meru relations or the emergence of Inter Clan wars and rivalry in Meru. On the contrary, the first administrator, E.B. Horne did much to establish mutual cohesion between the Meru. The responsibility for the collapse of the relations is attributed to the .r.1aasai imigrants of the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, the white hunters and traders of the same period and lastly the Imenti and Tigania themselves.
CitationBachelor of Arts, University of Nairobi, 1972
University of NairobiDepartment of History