The objective of this work is to showcase the Kalenjin community cultural identity through their past activities;
As defined, culture is that whole complex of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features
characterizing a society or a group. This may involve art and literature, lifestyles, way of living together, value
accepted systems, traditions and beliefs.
Culture gives people identity and is passed from generation to generation. THUS, CULTURE IS DEFINED AS
TOTALITY of a people’s life. Artifacts being the heritage, the sum total of all creativity in all forms preserved,
enhanced and handed over to future generation as record of human experience and aspiration. In other words,
artifacts are exhibits of past lifestyle(s). They are exhibits showing activities in the past; artifacts were made from
different materials e.g. wood, skin, material artifacts amongst others. Artifacts were in form of utensils, weapons,
wear and clothing, leadership symbols, furniture etc
The artifacts in the book are African artifacts’ study case, specifically for the Kalenjin speaking ethnic
community found in East Africa.
In a research project on-ETHNICITY AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN KENYA: A case study of the
Nandi 1962 -2012 by FREDRICK KIPKOSGEI MUTAI-R47/81 412/2012 he writes:
“Their dialect is Kalenjiin and is classified in the Nilotic branch of the Nilo Saharan language family. In Kenya
they inhabit the western highlands counties of Nandi, UasinGishu, TransNzoia, Nakuru and parts of Narok.
Before British colonization they were sedentary cattle herders. Their settlements were more or less evenly
distributed rather than being grouped into villages. Like other Nilotic peoples they were noted warriors. The
community affairs were run through the council of elders in consultation with the community members of
cabinets spread across the administrative units called PORORIOSIEK. The nation state of the Nandi was not
only a territorial entity associated with nation of Nandi. It was sovereign as well. They had all the attributes of
any state. The coming of the British interfered with this simple Cultural infrastructure to their advantage. Fifty
years of British Nandi coexistence overshadowed the cultural ambitions of the Nandi for armed political freedom
from the British.
The incomplete dominance by the colonialists allowed the Nandi some room for their economic
subsistence through herding in the native reserves. A coerced social change”
Other writer addresses on same note. This pseudo conflict cultural heritage management demonization rendered
the community semi naked. Sandwiched in between social change and past cultural echoes made modern
Kalenjiin community in social dilemma.
Topics goes thus:
My greatest dream in joining Nandi Elders at my teenage was to acquire knowledge and nuggets of wisdom
of my community; To get to know and capture the past social, cultural and political set-up of Kalenjiin that’s
disappearing very fast in the current social change. This work is dedicated to my late dad John kiptalam
koech and mum Christine koech, Belated wife Josephine Talam, Mrs. Mercy Talam, my daughter Glorious
Talam and my son Emmanuel kipchumba Baroswa, who gave me support, inspiration, encouragement,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3. General introduction.
2.Social-Cultural History of the kalenjiin
i. Definition of artifact(s)
ii. Table of classifications
iii. Significance of artefacts
iv. Ethnographic collections and literature table
v. Photos of artifacts in ethnographic collection table