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By: Martin S Shanguhyia(Author)
435 pages, 16 b/w illustrations
Population, Tradition, and Environmental Control in Colonial Kenya examines the social history of the politics of land management in colonial western Kenya from 1920 through 1963, a period of rapid economic and social change. It focuses on two related aspects of land management programs pushed by the colonial government (soil conservation initiatives and land consolidation) and analyzes how those programs were negotiated or contested by the local community. The area of focus is the present-day Vihiga County (formerly the Vihiga district) of Western Province, mainly inhabited by the Luyia sub-ethnic communities of the Banyore, Maragoli, and Tikiri.
Martin Shanguhyia analyzes the government's efforts to enforce certain land management programs in light of its initiatives to revive and co-opt African "traditions" in soil conservation and land consolidation programs in Vihiga. Looking closely at these land management initiatives and various community responses to them, the author argues that the politics of colonial environmental regulation that pitted the state and the local Luyia communities in Vihiga were largely of a social nature.
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Martin Shanguhyia is assistant professor of history at Syracuse University.
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