Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Inscribing Identity and Agency on the Landscape: Of Pathways, Places, and the Transition of the Public Sphere in East Pokot, Kenya

  • Michael Bollig, Clemens Greiner and Matthias Österle
Abstract:

Drawing upon the dynamic interrelationship between human agency and space, this article sheds light on the constitution of and relation between “place” and “path” among the pastoral Pokot of East Pokot District in the Kenyan North Rift Valley. It discusses the transformation from a more mobile pastoralist model of spatialization, which relies on a flexible network approach combining paths and places, toward a more “place-making,” postpastoralist model linked to increasing sedentariness, privatization of land, a clearer definition of external and internal boundaries, and a rapid emergence of schools, churches, and other physical structures.

En s’appuyant sur la relation dynamique entre les espaces occupés par les hommes et l’activité qui s’y déroule, cet article met en lumière la constitution de la relation entre la notion de “lieu” et celle de “chemin transitoire” dans le contexte de la vie pastorale des Pokot du district Est “Pokot” dans la Vallée du Rift au nord du Kenya. Il étudie la transformation d’un modèle pastoral mobile d’utilisation de l’espace, reposant sur une approche de réseau flexible en combinant les chemins transitoires et les lieux, en un modèle “postpastoraliste” plus enclin à l’installation d’un lieu, lié à l’augmentation de la tendance sédentaire, de la privatisation des terres, à une définition plus claire des frontières internes et externes, et lié à l’émergence rapide d’écoles, d’églises et autres structures physiques permanentes.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Bollig, Michael. 1992 Die Krieger der Gelben Gewehre: Intra- und Interethnische Konfliktaustragung bei den Pokot Nordwestkenias. Münster: Lit-Verlag.
Bollig, Michael. 2000. “Staging Social Structures: Ritual and Social Organisation in an Egalitarian Society: The Pastoral Pokot of Northern Kenya.” Ethnos 65 (3): 341–65.
Bollig, Michael. 2006. Risk Management in a Hazardous Environment: A Comparative Study of Two Pastoral Societies (Pokot NW Kenya and Himba NW Namibia). New York: Springer.
Bollig, Michael, and Österle, Matthias. 2007. “‘We Turned Our Enemies into Baboons’: Warfare, Ritual and Pastoral Identity among the Pokot of Northern Kenya.” In The Practice of War: Production, Reproduction and Communication of Armed Violence, edited by Rao, Aparna, Bollig, Michael, and Böck, Monika, 2351. New York: Berghahn Books.
Bollig, Michael. 2008. “Changing Communal Land Tenure in an East African Pastoral System: Institutions and Socio-economic Transformations among the Pokot of NW Kenya.” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 133 (2): 301–22.
Bollig, Michael. 2013. “The Political Ecology of Specialisation and Diversification: Long-term Dynamics of Pastoralism in East Pokot District, Kenya.” In Pastoralism in Africa: Past, Present and Future, edited by Bollig, Michael, Schnegg, Michael, and Wotzka, Hans-Peter, 289315. New York: Berghahn Books.
Broch-Due, Vigdis. 1999. “Remembered Cattle, Forgotten People: The Morality of Exchange and the Exclusion of the Turkana Poor.” In The Poor Are Not Us, edited by Anderson, David and Broch-Due, Vigdis, 5088. Oxford: James Currey.
Broch-Due, Vigdis. 2000. “Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa: An Introduction.” In Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa, edited by Broch-Due, Vigdis and Schroeder, Richard A., 952. Stockholm: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet.
Conant, Francis. 1965. “Korok: A Variable Unit of Physical and Social Space among the Pokot of East Africa.” American Anthropologist 67 (2): 429–34.
Cresswell, Tim. 2004. Place: A Short Introduction. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell.
Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Félix. 1997. Tausend Plateaus. Berlin: Merve Verlag.
Dickhardt, Michael, and Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta. 2003. “Eine Theorie kultureller Räumlichkeit als Deutungsrahmen.” In Kulturelle Räume—Räumliche Kultur: Zur Neubestimmung des Verhältnisses zweier fundamentaler Kategorien menschlicher Praxis, edited by Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta and Dickhardt, Michael, 1342. Münster: LIT.
Dyson-Hudson, Rada, and Meekers, Dominique. 1999. “Migration across Ecosystem Boundaries.” In Turkana Herders of the Dry Savanna: Ecology and Biobehavioral Response of Nomads to an Uncertain Environment, edited by Little, Michael A. and Leslie, Paul W., 303–14. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Feld, Steven, and Basso, Keith H., eds. 1996. Senses of Place. Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research Press.
Fratkin, Elliott, and Roth, Eric A., eds. 2004. As Pastoralists Settle: Social, Health, and Economic Consequences of Pastoral Sedentarization in Marsabit District, Kenya. New York: Kluwer Plenum Press.
Galaty, John. 1993. “Maasai Expansion and the New East Africa African Pastoralism.” In Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa, edited by Spear, Thomas and Waller, Richard, 6185. London: James Currey.
Galaty, John. 1994. “Rangeland Tenure and Pastoralism in Africa.” In African Pastoralist Systems, edited by Fratkin, Elliott, Galvin, Kathleen A., and Roth, Eric A., 185204. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner.
Galvin, Kathleen A. 2009. “Transitions: Pastoralists Living with Change.” Annual Review of Anthropology 38: 185–98.
Greiner, Clemens. 2012. “Unexpected Consequences: Wildlife Conservation and Territorial Conflict in Northern Kenya.” Human Ecology 40 (3): 415–25.
Greiner, Clemens. 2013. “Guns, Land and Votes: Cattle Rustling and the Politics of Boundary-(Re)Making in Northern Kenya.” African Affairs 112 (447): 216–37.
Greiner, Clemens, Alvarez, Miguel, and Becker, Mathias. 2013. “From Cattle to Corn: Attributes of Emerging Farming Systems of Former Pastoral Nomads in East Pokot, Kenya.” Society and Natural Resources 26 (12): 1478–90.
Holtzman, Jon. 2005. “The Drunken Chief: Alcohol, Power and the Birth of the State in Samburu District, Northern Kenya.” Postcolonial Studies 8: 8396.
Ingold, Tim. 2000. The Perception in the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. New York: Routledge.
Lamphear, John. 1993. “Aspects of ‘Becoming Turkana’: Interactions and Assimilation between Maa- and Ateker-Speakers.” In Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa, edited by Spear, Thomas and Waller, Richard, 87104. London: James Currey.
Lamphear, John. 1998. “Brothers in Arms: Military Aspects of East African Age-Class Systems in Historical Perspective.” In Conflict, Age, and Power in North East Africa, edited by Kurimoto, Eisei and Simonse, Simon, 7997. Oxford: James Currey.
Lesorogol, Carolyn K. 2005. “Privatizing Pastoral Lands: Economic and Normative Outcomes in Kenya.” World Development 33 (11): 1959–78.
Lesorogol, Carolyn K. 2008. Contesting the Commons: Privatizing Pastoral Lands in Kenya. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Low, Setha M. 1996. “Spatializing Culture: The Social Production and Social Construction of Public Space.” American Ethnologist 23 (4): 861–79.
McCabe, J. Terrence. 1997. “Risk and Uncertainty among the Maasai of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania: A Case Study in Economic Change.” Nomadic Peoples 1 (1): 5465.
McCabe, J. Terrence. 2004. “Cattle Bring Us to Our Enemies”: Turkana Ecology, Politics, and Raiding in a Disequilibrium System. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
McCabe, J. Terrence, Leslie, Paul W., and DeLuca, Laura. 2010. “Adopting Cultivation to Remain Pastoralists: The Diversification of Maasai Livelihoods in Northern Tanzania.” Human Ecology 38 (3): 321–34.
Österle, Matthias. 2007. “Armed Economies, Militarized Identities, Excessive Violence: Automatic Rifles and the Transformation of Nomadic Pastoralism in Northwest Kenya.” In Aridity, Change and Conflict in Africa, edited by Bollig, Michaelet al., 193222. Köln: Heinrich-Barth-Institut.
Österle, Matthias. 2008a. “Innovation und Transformation bei den pastoralnomadischen Pokot (East Pokot, Kenia).” Ph.D. diss., Universität zu Köln.
Österle, Matthias. 2008b. “From Cattle to Goats: The Transformation of East Pokot Pastoralism in Kenya.” Nomadic Peoples 12 (1): 8191.
Pike, Ivy, et al. 2010. “Documenting the Health Consequences of Endemic Warfare in Three Pastoralist Communities of Northern Kenya: A Conceptual Framework.” Social Science and Medicine 70 (1): 4552.
Schlee, Günther, and Shongolo, Abdullahi A.. 2012. Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Woodbridge, U.K.: James Currey.
Shipton, Parker. 1984. “Lineage and Locality as Antithetical Principles in East African Systems of Land Tenure.” Ethnology 23 (2): 117–32.
Spencer, Paul. 1998. The Pastoral Continuum. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Watson, Elizabeth E. 2010. “A ‘Hardening of Lines’: Landscape, Religion and Identity in Northern Kenya.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 4 (2): 201–20.
Weintraub, Jeff. 1997. “The Theory and Politics of the Public/Private Distinction.” In Public and Private in Thought and Practice: Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy, edited by Weintraub, Jeff and Kumar, Krishab, 142. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Recommend this journal

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

African Studies Review
  • ISSN: 0002-0206
  • EISSN: 1555-2462
  • URL: /core/journals/african-studies-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 48 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 365 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.