Kamba Proverbs from Eastern Kenya: Sources, Origins & History [Hardback]

Jeremiah M. Kitunda(Author); Jeremiah M Kitunda(Author)

ISBN: 9781847012807 | Published by: James Currey | Series: Eastern Africa Series | Volume: 52 | Year of Publication: 2021 | 352p, H9.25 x W6.25, 1 b/w. 1 line.
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Kamba Proverbs from Eastern Kenya


Not simply relics of the past, proverbs are an oral tradition containing historical and anthropological knowledge missing from conventional sources, and as micro-histories, provide a valuable source for the reconstruction of the manners, characteristics, and worldviews of societies. While only a few hundred Kamba proverbs have ever appeared in print, thousands have circulated over time, from the monsoon exchange era of the Roman Empire through the advent of Islam, European imperialism and colonialism to independence. Today, a resurgence of interest in the form has been generated via social media, songs and vernacular radio programmes.
This book provides the first, comprehensive collection of Kamba proverbs from Eastern Kenya in their original Kĩkamba language and in translation. Analysing 2,000 proverbs drawn from oral interviews, archival collections, museum artefacts and published sources, the author traces the origins of each and explores their meaning, interpretation and use. Covering a diverse range of subjects that ranges from plants, animals, birds and insects, to weather, land, the roles of men and women, cosmology, ritual and belief, healing, trade, politics and peacemaking, the book offers new insights into Kenya's rural world and the expansion of Kamba society, East African history, language and culture of vital significance for the social sciences. A valuable comparative work for societal change elsewhere in Africa and beyond, the book also suggests an innovative, alternative approach to the study of the African past.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 Atmosphere and Biosphere
3 Wild Plants
4 Wild Game
5 Wild Birds
6 Predators and Vermin
7 Insects and their role in Kamba History
8 Amphibians and Reptiles
9 Farm, Hearth, and Home
10 Crops and Other Plants
11 Domesticated Animals
12 Men and Masculinity
13 Women and Motherhood
14 Children and Adulthood
15 Place names and Ethnic names
16 Beliefs, Rituals, and Cosmology
17 Wealth and Poverty
18 Cuisine and Consumption
19 Health, Healing, and the Body
20 Trade, Markets, and Industries
21 Politics, Conflict, and Peacemaking

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