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African artifacts : Kalenjiin study case

Written By:
(Baroswa) Francis kipchirchir Talam

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The objective of this work is to showcase the Kalenjin community cultural identity through their past activities; ARTEFACTS. 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: 1. DEDICATION 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, understanding. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Dedication. 2. Acknowledgement. 3. General introduction. 2.Social-Cultural History of the kalenjiin 3.Social Organization 4.Nandi Totems CHAPTER TWO;ARTEFACTS: 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 vi. Glossary vii.Bibligraphy

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(Baroswa) Francis kipchirchir Talam
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