Identities on the Move: Clanship and Pastorialism in Northern Kenya, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Identities on the Move

Clanship and Pastorialism in Northern Kenya, 1st Edition

By Günther Schlee


286 pages

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Hardback: 9780367001407
pub: 2018-08-06
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Originally published in 1989, this book examines how the inter-ethnic relationships of the clans of the pastoral Rendille, Gabbra, Sakuye and some Somalis of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia came about. It also examines the uses to which these inter-ethnic relationships are put: for example in managing herds. Oral history is combined with cultural comparison and the analysis of social structure. Blending synchronic and diachronic perspectives, the book synthesises historical ethnology in the Continental tradition with social anthropology. Historically it overturns some established ideas about how the Horn of Africa was settled. Anthropologically it shows how relations may exceed the bounds of the ethnic group as the conventional unit of study.


'…this book has shed light on cross-cutting ties or overlapping identifications and has inspired research demonstrating their importance for theories of conflict and integration.' Günther Schlee, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Clan, Phratry, Tribe, Ethnic Group as Defined by Empirical Findings 3. The Historical Frame 4. Elements of a Proto-Culture: a Comparative Approach to History 5. The Inter-Ethnic Clan Clusters 6. Conclusion. Appendix: Interviews and Their Locations

About the Series

African Seminars: Scholarship from the International African Institute

Originally published between 1986 and 1989 the 8 volumes in this set reflect the research and debate surrounding many issues for the African economy, society and culture and as such make a vital contribution to effective development, both rural and urban. They re-issue key titles from the International African Library and the International African Seminars and address themes of direct relevance to contemporary Africa on topics as diverse as medicine, migration, housing, pastorialism and marriage.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography