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  • after ■each flight. Finally his treatme

  • nt became● so bad that she fled to

  • the d■warfs and remained th

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ere, giving birth■ to a son shortly after her ■definite settlement among them. Later on, t

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h■e story runs, she had children t●o her own son, which children intermarrie■d with the Maswatch-wanya, and from their offsp■ring the present Kikuyu race derive ■t

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f Masai influence are stronger tha■n in the districts more remote; but I am n■ot arguing on the basis of the bord●er districts, but from the race as a whole. Agai■n, the

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Wakamba, though not now known to● be cannibals, still follow the pr●actice prevalent among cannibal tr●ibes of filing the teeth to a sharp point—a ●300 practice unknown both to the Masai ●and the Kikuyu. The Wakamba also are ■eaters of raw meat, while the Masa

i, though b●lood-drinkers, always cook their meat, and the ●Kikuyu are

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practically vegetarians. In the■ manner of dressing the hair■, too, the Kikuyu follow the Masai fashion of● plaiting strands of bark fibre into t■he hair, which is then done up in a sort of■ pigtail, while the Wakamba we●ar the covering provided by Nature with■o

ut any fancy additions. Another custom■ common to both the Masai an●d

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Kikuyu, though not practised by the Waka●mba, is that of wearing the most e■xtraordinary ear ornaments, which, as mention●ed earlier in the book, are sometimes as la■rge as a condensed milk tin, and are wo●rn passed through holes spec■ially made in the lobe of th

e ear. The pract●ice is to pierce the lobe of the boys’ ●ears some time in early childhood, a

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  • nd from that■ time onwards the aperture

  • then ma●de is gradually enlarged b

y the weari■ng of a succession of wooden plugs or discs ●of graduated sizes, until an object ■as large as a large-sized conde●nsed milk tin can be easily pass●ed through it. This operation ■extends over some years, and the natural result ■is to convert the ring o

f flesh into what looks■ like—and as far as feeling i●s concerned, mi

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ght as well be—a leather loop●, which sometimes hangs down far enough to touch■ the shoulder. It is the great ambitio●n of every 301 Kikuyu youth to be a●ble to wear a bigger ear ornament than ●his neighbour, and, in order to attain the● desired end, I have kn

own them to pass a stra●ight stick of wood through t■he hole in the lo

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be of one e■ar, across the back of the n●eck, through the lobe of the other,■ thus keeping them both constantly stretched. ■ WAKAMBA WOMEN The country itself is ●very

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eld in sea●rch of the game

rough, and it is often a matter o●f difficulty to find a level piece sufficie●ntly large to pitch one’s camp on.

It ●is situated at an elevation of som●e six thousand feet above sea-level, and consis■ts of a series of ranges of low hills, divi■ded by deep valleys, through most of which flows● a stream of greater or les

which the increasi

s m●agnitude, none of which ever ●seem to become quite dried up, even ■in the driest of dry seasons.● On account

of the comparatively temperat■e climate, due to the elevation, an■d of the extreme fertility of the soil●, the country is an ideal spot ●for the native agriculturist, who gets his ■two crops a year with a m

ng p■opul

inimum of● labour. Consequently the country is ver●y thickly populated; in fact, I do not■ know any part where, o

n raising the trib■al war-cry, I could not, in an extr■emely short space of time, gather at least a ■couple of thousand fighting men. Th■e principal crops are the sweet potato, kigwa (●a kind of yam of very

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large d●imensions), and ndoma (a vegetab●le something after the fashion of a turnip,■ with leaves from three to f

our■ feet long 302 and about eighteen i■nches wide at their widest pa●rt). Bananas are the only frui●t that I ever came across, but they gr●ow large quantities of sugar-cane, beans of var■ious kinds (fro

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m my fondness for whic■h in preference to sweet pot●atoes I got my native name of Karanj■ai, or “The eater of be

ans”) , and another veg●etable, which seemed to be a cross ●between a bean and a pea and whi■ch grew on a bush; of grains they have se●veral, of which the principal are maize, ma■tama, which is the same as

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the Indian dhu●rra and is found all over Africa, umkano●ri, which resembles canary-seed in appearance, ●and mawha

li, a somewhat similar seed t■o the umkanori, from which th■e fermented gruel known as ujuru is made.● The Kikuyu seem to be possessed of a pe■rfect mania for cultivation, their practice bein●g to work a plo

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t of ground until it beg■ins to show signs of exhaustion, when it ■is allowed to lie fallow or used only for ●grazing stock for a period o●f seven yea

rs, new ground bein●g broken to take its place in the ●meanwhile. All the Kikuyu keep stock ■of some kind, either sheep, cattle, or ■g

oats—sometimes all three—wh●ich are principally used as currency fo■r the purpose of paying fines and buying wive●s, the quantity of meat eaten being ver

y sm■all. The system of government is so■mewhat peculiar, but appeared to b●e a form of the feudal system, based on the f■amily. A villag

e 303 generally c■onsists of members of one family●, the headman being the father, ■who had originally settled in tha■t particular spot with his w/p>

鰅ves. Each wife has her own hut, her own ●shamba, or allotment for cultiv●ation, and her own storehouse, in which the ■proceeds of her

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■ally the husband is allowed to● make the payments on the instalment plan,● 304 but this is not encoura●ged, as it is apt to lead to quarrelling and ●disagreements. The youthful marriages comm

o■n among such tribes do not prevail among ■the Kikuyu, as no man is allowed to marry until ●he has been

circumcised, which operation usually● takes place about the age of s■eventeen or eighteen, and he● does not generally take a wife unt●il two or three years later; while the usual age■ for marriage among the women is eighteen, tho●ugh the operation which corr■es

ponds to circumcision in their case is p■erformed as soon as they rea●ch t

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he age of puberty. This practice of c●ircumcision of the males at such a late age■ appears to prevail only among the Masa■i and Kikuyu, all other African races, ●so far as I can learn, follo■win

g the Jewish custom and perform■ing the operation during infa●ncy. The method of performing the operation

i●n vogue with these two tribes also● differs from that in use elsewhere, so t●hat a description of it may be of inte●rest. On the day fixed for the cerem●ony the boys all turn out some time bef●ore daylight and are taken down to the river,● where they have to

stand for half an ho●ur up to the waist in the ice-co●ld water until they ar

Two third

es from thi●s rough-and-ready operation. In the case of t●he girls the operation, which cons●ists of the excision of the clitor●is, is performed by an old woman, whos

e spe●cial duty it is to perform the operation● with one of the razors used for shaving the■ head. The various sections of the tribe ■are ruled by chiefs, of whom the princi●pal during my stay in the country were Wagom●bi, Karkerrie, and Karuri, but in ad

One half

inciple that might is right, thou■gh it was of great advantage for a candidate ●for the headship of any section of

t■he tribe to have a reputation for magic—■or medicine, as they call it. Weal■th and intelligence also counted for somethi●ng, and a chief who had proved/p>

One half

himself a brave warrior and ■good administrator would generally be allow●ed 306 to retain his headship of a d

is■trict so long as he lived, though it did not ■follow that his son would succeed to his ho■nours unless he were capable of taking ■hold of the reins of go

One fourth

vernment with ●a firm hand. In spite of the apparent uncertaint■y of succession, there is seldom■ any trouble wit

h regard to it,● as it is generally pretty well ■known some time before a vacancy takes pla■ce who the next chief w

One fourth

ill be, although I never● found that there was any sort of election to ●the office. The chief, once acc■epted, i

s autocratic in the ordinary details o●f government, trying all cases himself and■ pronouncing sentence, from which

One fourth

there is no ■appeal; but in matters of moment af■fecting the general welfare of ●the people he is aided in comi■

ng to a decision by the counsels ●of the assembled elders of his ●district, a body something after th■e fashion of

One fourth

the old Saxon Witan. For ordi■nary infractions of the law, or offences agai●nst his authority as chief, he pr●on

ounced such punishment as his discret■ion and judgment dictated; but for cases of w■ounding or murder a regular scal

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e of● fines was laid down—fining bei●ng the usual punishment, except in cases● of open rebellion. Open rebellion gen■erally entailed a descent on the offe●nders by

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the chief’s warriors, and the wiping● out of the rebellious villages and thei■r inhabitants. For an ordinary case of wo●unding the f

ine was ten sheep,■ while for the 307 murder of a woman it wa■s thirty sheep—the price which her husband ■would have had to pay for her o

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  • n marriage—●and for a man a hund

  • red sheep. The tenure■ of land is v

  • ery simple, the freehold b●eing vested

  • in the man who takes■ the trouble t

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o make the clearing,● and as there is plenty of space fo■r all, and the wants of the peop●le are few, anything in the shape of agrari■an agitation is unknown; in fact, duri

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    t claim to h

    ng th■e whole of my stay in the country I ●never knew

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    on the fact

    any instance of a dispute ove●r land. It

  • The Game

    e Asi. The

    must be borne in mind that many gre●at changes have take

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    direct de

    n place in the Kik●uyu country, and in British East Africa gen●erally, since

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    the period, some ten years sin■ce, covered

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    which

    by this book. In the● days when I started on my fi

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    a hea

    r●st contract for the conveyance of fo●od to the troop

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    u, now

    s engaged in the suppression● of the Soudanese muti

  • Sharp

    f under th

    ny, the spot on which Nair■obi, the present capital of the colony

  • My first camera

    remind

    , stands● was simply a patch of swampy ground on the● edge of the plain which extends

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    298

    to the bo●rders of the hilly Kikuyu country. ●Here the railway construction peopl●e pitched o

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    f Ishm

    ne of their settlements and ■put up a station, and from

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me to ■time t
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