Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

African conversion from a world religion: religious diversification by the Waso Boorana in Kenya

  • Mario I. Aguilar
Résumé

Les Booranas des environs de Waso au Nord-Est du Kenya se sont installés dans cet endroit dans les années 1930. Après l'établissement des frontières administratives coloniales en 1934, ils ont été isolés du reste des Booranas du Nord du Kenya et d'Ethiopie. Par la suite, les Booranas devinrent plus proche de leur voisins somaliens et, dû à ce processus de “somalisation”, ils ont remplacé leurs rituels oromo par des pratiques islamiques. Lorsque les années 1950 sont arrivées la plupart des Booranas de Waso s'étaient converti à l'islam et depuis ce temps là ont été considérés comme musulmans par le reste du Kenya. Néanmoins, des recherches récentes ont montré qu'il y a eu un renouveau des pratiques religieuses traditionnelles parmi eux.

Cet article divise l'histoire des Booranas de Waso en deux pèriodes: 1) depuis leur colonisation de Waso jusqu'aux évènements conduisant à l'indépendance du Kenya (1932–62), et 2) depuis l'indépendance du Kénya jusqu'aux années 1990 (1963–92). C'est dans cette deuxième pèriode de leur histoire que Les Booranas de Waso commencèrent un processus de diversification religieuse. Les pratiques religieuses furent renouvellées dans ces colonies et il en ressorti un manque de confiance en l'Islam. Cet article suggère qu'il y a eu une reconversion aux pratiques religieuses traditionnelles, basée sur un principe local, la division des troupeaux des Booranas de Waso.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abbreviations. GTHT Garba Tulla Historical Texts [Aguilar], ISO Isiolo, KNA Kenya National Archives, KORmanyatta Koropu-Garba Tulla, MDO Garba Tulla Catholic Mission Development Office, SOAS School of Oriental and African Studies, MATmanyatta Matagari-Garba Tulla, TOWmanyatta Town–Garba Tulla, WAJ Wajir, WMMSA Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (London) Archives.
Aguilar, M. I. 1992. ‘A path of the Gospel in Garba Tulla: an experience of dialogue with Boorana religion’, The Seed 4 (10), 10–1.
Aguilar, M. I. 1993a. ‘Waso Boorana–Somali Interaction in Garba Tulla, Kenya (1932–1992)’. Unpublished paper presented to the Africa History Seminar, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 20 October.
Aguilar, M. I. 1993b. ‘The role of sarki dance in Waso Boorana/Somali symbiosis and conflict’, Anthropos 88, 184–90.
Aguilar, M. I. 1993c. ‘The Peace of the Boorana’, New People 27, 1011.
Aguilar, M. I. 1993d. ‘Nagaa: the forgotten quest for peace in modern Kenya’, The Month 26 (5), 183–7.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994a. ‘The Eagle talks to a Kallu: Waso Boorana ritual perceptions of Ethiopia’, in Marcus, H. (ed.), New Trends in Ethiopian Studies II, pp. 756–72. Lawrenceville, N.J.: Red Sea Press.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994b. ‘Waso Boorana women's theology: a silent journey’, Feminist Theology 5, 4057.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994c. ‘Anthropology and anomalies in kinship patterns’, Anthropology in Action 1 (1), 25–6.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994d. ‘The social experience of two Gods in Africa’, African Ecclesiastical Review 36 (1), 32–44.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994e. ‘Portraying society through children: play among the Waso Boorana of Kenya’, Anthropos 89, 2938.
Aguilar, M. I. 1994f. ‘God speaks Different Languages: diversifying religion in Boorana’. Unpublished ms, St Andrews.
Aguilar, M. I., and Birch de Aguilar, L. 1993. Women's Organizing Abilities: two case studies in Kenya and Malawi. Washington, D.C.: Organizing for Development International Institute.
Arberry, A. J. 1983. The Koran Interpreted. Oxford: University Press.
Bartels, L. 1983. Oromo Religion: myths and rites of the Western Oromo of Ethiopia—an attempt to understand. Berlin: Reimer.
Baum, R. M. 1990. ‘Graven images: scholarly representations of African religions’, Religion 20, 355–60.
Baxter, P. T. W. 1966. ‘Acceptance and rejection of Islam among the Boran of the Northern Frontier District of Kenya’, in Lewis, I. M. (ed.), Islam in Tropical Africa, pp. 233–50. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute.
Baxter, P. T. W. 1978a. ‘Boran age sets and generation sets—gada: a puzzle or a maze?’ in Almagor, U. and Baxter, P. T. W. (eds.), Age, Generation and Time: some features of East African age organization, pp. 151–82. London: Hurst.
Baxter, P. T. W. 1978b. ‘Boran age sets and warfare’, in Fukui, K. and Turton, D. (eds.), Warfare among East African Herders, pp. 6995. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnography.
Beidelman, T. O. 1974. ‘Social theory and the study of Christian missions in Africa’, Africa 44 (3), 235–49.
Beidelman, T. O. 1982. Colonial Evangelism: a sociohistorical study of an East African mission at the grass roots. Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press.
Braukamper, U. 1988. ‘The islamization of the Arssi-Oromo’,in Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies(University of Addis Ababa, 1984) 1, pp. 767–77. Frankfurt: Frobenius Institute.
Braukamper, U. 1989. ‘The sanctuary of Shaykh Husayn and the Oromo-Somali connections in Bale (Ethiopia)’, Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blatter 1, 108–34.
Braukamper, U. 1992. ‘Aspects of religious syncretism in southern Ethiopia’, Journal of Religion in Africa 22 (3), 194207.
Buchholzer, J. 1959. The Horn of Africa: travels in British Somaliland. London: The Garden City Press.
Chenevix-Trench, C. 1993. Men who ruled Kenya: the Kenya administration, 1892–1963. London: Radcliffe Press.
Cohen, A. 1969. Custom and Politics in Urban Africa: a study of Hausa migrants in Yoruba towns. London: Routledge.
Dahl, G. 1979. Suffering Grass: subsistence and society of Waso Borana. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press.
Dahl, G. 1989. ‘Possession as cure: the ayaana cult of Waso Borana’, in Jacobson-Widding, A. and Westerlund, D. (eds.), Culture, Experience and Pluralism: essays on African ideas of illness and healing, pp. 151–65. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
Dalleo, P. 1975. ‘Trade and Pastoralism: economic factors in the history of the Somali of northeastern Kenya, 1892–1948’. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Syracuse University.
Ensminger, J. 1992. Making a Market: the institutional transformation of an African society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Europa Publications. 1993. ‘Kenya’, in Africa South of the Sahara, pp. 437–62. London: Europa Publications.
Farris, N. 1984. Maya Society under Colonial Rule: the collective enterprise of survival. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Fisher, H. J. 1973. ‘Conversion reconsidered: some historical aspects of religious conversion in black Africa’, Africa 43 (1), 2740.
Fisher, H. J. 1985. ‘The Juggernaut's apologia: conversion to Islam in black Africa’, Africa 55 (2), 86108.
Fukui, K., and Markakis, J. (eds.). 1994. Ethnicity and Conflict in the Horn of Africa. London: James Currey, and Athens, O.: Ohio University Press.
Gregory, R. G., Maxon, R. M., and Spencer, L. P. 1968. A Guide to the Kenya National Archives. New York, N.Y.: Syracuse University.
GTHT/KOR/1992, f.n. 46–8. Interview with M. Koropu, 8 June.
GTHT/TOW/1988, m.a. Interview with Tommy Perera, May 1988.
GTHT/MAT/1992, f.n. 67–8. Interview with Godana Boru, 13 June.
GTHT/MDO/1992, f.n. 19–20. Interview with Abdulahi Bala, 3 June.
Hackett, R. I. J. 1990. ‘African religions: images and I-glasses’, Religion 20, 303–9.
Hefner, R. W. 1993. ‘Introduction: world building and the rationality of conversion’, in Hefner, R. W. (ed.), Conversion to Christianity: historical and anthropological perspectives on a great transformation, pp. 344. Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press.
Hjort, A. 1979. Savanna Town: rural ties and urban opportunities in northern Kenya. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press.
Hogg, R. S. 1981. ‘The Social and Economic Organization of the Boran of Isiolo District, Kenya’. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Manchester.
Hogg, R. S. 1986. ‘The new pastoralism: poverty and dependency in northern Kenya’, Africa 56 (3), 319–33.
Hogg, R. S. 1990. ‘The politics of changing property rights among Isiolo Boran pastoralists in northern Kenya’, in Baxter, P. T. W. and Hogg, R. (eds.), Property, Poverty and People: changing rights in property and problems of pastoral development, pp. 2031. Manchester: Department of Sociology and International Development Centre, University of Manchester.
Horton, R. 1971. ‘African conversion’, Africa 41 (2), 85108.
Horton, R. 1975. ‘On the rationality of conversion’, Africa 45 (3), 219–35, and 45 (4), 373–99.
Horton, R. 1982. ‘Tradition and modernity revisited’, in Hollis, M. and Lukes, S. (eds.), Rationality and Relativism, pp. 201–60. Oxford: Blackwell.
Horton, R. 1993. Patterns of Thought in Africa and the West: essays on magic, religion and science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hoskyns, C. 1969. The Ethiopia–Somalia–Kenya Dispute, 1960–67. Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Public Administration, University College.
Ibrahim, M. K. 1992. ‘The checkered history of the Somali in Kenya’, Wajibu 7 (3), 1517.
Ifeka-Moller, C. 1974. ‘White power: social structural factors in conversion to Christianity in eastern Nigeria’, Canadian Journal of African Studies 8 (1), 5572.
Jordan, D. K. 1993. ‘The glyphomancy factor: observations on Chinese conversion’, in Hefner, R. W. (ed.), Conversion to Christianity: historical and anthropological perspectives on a great transformation, pp. 285304. Berkeley, Cal.: University of California Press.
KNA/ISO/1939. ‘Annual report by the District Commissioner’.
KNA/ISO/1952. ‘Annual report by the District Commissioner’.
KNA/WAJ/1923. ‘Annual report by the District Commissioner’.
Knutsson, K. E. 1967. Authority and Change: a study of the Kallu institution among the Macha Galla of Ethiopia. Gothenburg: Museum of Ethnography.
Larsson, Birgitta. 1991. Conversion to Greater Freedom? Women, Church and social change in north-western Tanzania under colonial rule. Uppsala: Textgruppen i Uppsala.
Lawson, E. T., and McCauley, R. N. 1990. Rethinking Religion: connecting cognition and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lewis, H. S. 1965. A Galla Monarchy: Jimma Abba Jifar, Ethiopia 1830–1932. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.
Lewis, I. M. 1955. Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho. London: International African Instiute. [reprinted 1994, Haan Associates.]
Lewis, I. M. 1961. A Pastoral Democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the northern Somali of the Horn of Africa. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute.
Lewis, J. R. 1990. ‘Images of traditional African religions in surveys of world religions’, Religion 20, 311–22.
Markakis, J. 1987. National and Class Conflict in the Horn of Afrrica. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McEwan, D. 1987. A Catholic Sudan: dream, mission, reality. Rome: Stabilimento Tipografico Julia.
Megersa, G. 1992. ‘Worldview and Systems of Classification: the case of the Oromo’. Unpublished paper presented to the Anthropology Research Seminar, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1 December.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 1988. Kenya: an official handbook. Nairobi: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Mol, F. 1978. A Dictionary of the Maasai Language and Folklore, English–Maasai. Nairobi: Marketing & Publishing.
Mudimbe, V. Y. 1988. The Invention of Africa: gnosis, philosophy and the order of knowledge. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press.
Oba, Gufu. 1994. ‘Kenya, Boran: sharing and surviving. Responses of impoverished pastoralists to food insecurity’, Rural Extension Bulletin 65, 1722.
Omar, M. O. 1992. The Road to Zero: Somalia's self-destruction. London: Haan Associates.
Orwa, K. 1989. ‘Foreign policy, 1963–86’, in Ochieng, W. R.’ (ed.), A Modern History of Kenya, 1895–1980, pp. 219–44. London and Nairobi: Evans Brothers.
Parkin, D. 1970. ‘Politics of ritual syncretism: Islam among the non-Muslim Giriama of Kenya’, Africa 40 (3), 217–33.
Parratt, J. K. 1969. ‘Religious change in Yoruba society: a test case’, Journal of Religion in Africa 2, 113–28.
Peel, J. D. Y. 1967. ‘Religious change in Yorubaland’, Africa 37 (3), 292306.
Peel, J. D. Y. 1977. ‘Conversion and tradition in two African societies: Ijebu and Buganda’, Past and Present 77, 108–41.
Peel, J. D. Y. 1987. ‘History, culture and the comparative method: a West African puzzle’, in Holy, L. (ed.), Comparative Anthropology, pp. 88118. Oxford: Blackwell.
Perkins, R. C. 1968. ‘Independence for Kenya: a study in the development of British colonial policy, 1955–1963’. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of South Carolina.
Rechenbach, C. W. 1967. Swahili–English Dictionary. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press.
Reyes-Cortez, M. 1994a. ‘Tracing the lost path of Wagga’, Photographic Journal 134 (3), 102–5.
Reyes-Cortez, M. 1994b. ‘The lost path of Wagga’, New African 317, 3841.
Reyes-Cortez, M. 1994c. ‘Drought without frontiers: the Waso Booranas of Kenya’, Divine Word Missionaries, spring, 69.
Rigby, P. 1966. ‘Sociological factors in the contact of the Gogo of central Tanzania with Islam’, in Lewis, I. M. (ed.), Islam in Tropical Africa., pp. 268–95. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute.
Schlee, G. 1985. ‘Interethnic clan identities among Cushitic-speaking pastoralists’, Afrrica 55 (1), 1737.
Schlee, G. 1989. Identities on the Move: clanship and pastoralism in northern Kenya. Manchester: Manchester University Press for the International African Institute.
Shaw, R. 1990. ‘The invention of African traditional religion’, Religion 20, 339–53.
Simensen, Jarle, 1986. ‘Religious change as transaction: the Norwegian mission to Zululand, South Africa, 1850–1906’, Journal of Religion in Africa 16, 82100.
Skorupski, J. 1976. Symbol and Theory: a philosophical study of religion in social anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sobania, N. 1993. ‘Defeat and dispersal: the Laikipiak and their neighbours at the end of the nineteenth century’, in Spear, T. and Walker, R. (eds), Being Maasai: ethnicity and identity in East Africa, pp. 105–19. London: James Currey.
Stevens, Lesley. 1991. ‘Religious change in a Haya village, Tanzania’, Journal of Religion in Africa 21, 225.
Strayer, R. W. 1978. The Making of Mission Communities in East Africa: Anglicans and Africans in colonial Kenya, 1875–1935. London: Heinemann.
Tablino, P. 1992. ‘An ignored Church of northern Kenya’, The Seed 65 (6), 23–4.
Thurston, A. 1991. Guide to Archives and Manuscripts relating to Kenya and East Africa in the United Kingdom I, Official records; II, Non-official Archives and Manuscripts. London: Hans Zell.
Turton, E. R. 1972. ‘Somali resistance to colonial rule and the development of Somali political activity in Kenya, 1893–1960’, Journal of African History 13(1), 117–43.
Ubah, C. N. 1988. ‘Religious change among the Igbo during the colonial period’, Journal of Religion in Africa 18, 7191.
Van de Loo, J. 1991. Guji Oromo Culture in Southern Ethiopia. Berlin: Reimer.
Wambutda, Daniel Nimcir. 1991. A Study of Conversion among the Angas of Plateau State of Nigeria with Emphasis on Christianity. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
WMMSA/SOAS/580/79 B. J. Wolfendale, ‘Extracts from the Annual Reports of the United Methodist Missionary Society concerning the Meru Mission’, 1912–62.
WMMSA/SOAS/586/236 Rev. George Martlew, ‘The Methodist Church in Kenya: notes and recollections’.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed