Gulliver, P. H.. A preliminary survey of the Turkana: a report compiled for the government of Kenya

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part One: The Milieu Of Social Life

Chapter 1 Introduction



Chapter 2 General Distribution Of The People

Chapter 3 The Values Of Stock

The Dance-ox

Other Non-economic Values Of Stock

Economic Values Of Stock

The Techniques Of Husbandry

Chapter 4 Other Means Of Livelihood






A Note On Material Culture

Chapter 5 Environment And The General Principles Of Migration

Physiographical Survey

The Requirements Of The Types Of Stock

Survey Of Grazing And Browsing Areas

The Pattern Of Migration

Conditions Causing Variations From The Ideal Schema Of Stock Dispositions

(1) The Nature Of The Rains.

(2) Short Rains And Occasional Rains.

(3) Persistence Of Non-permanent Water Supplies.

(4) Variation In The Fertility Of The Soil.

(5) Density Of Stock Population And Over-grazing Locally.

(6) Location Of Gardens.

(7) The State Of Warfare With Other Tribes.

(8) Order And Privileges From The British Administration.

(9) Insects And Disease.

(10) Wild Animals.

(11) The Locations Of Government And Trading Centres.

(12) The Distances Between Occupied Pastures And Any Alternative.

Two Types Of Migration

The Frequency Of Movements

The Chief Social Consequences Of Turkana Migratory Pastoralism

Part Two: Social And Political Structure

Chapter 6. The Territorial Section

Chapter 7 Rights In Land And Water

Rights In Water

Chapter 8 Clan And Kinship

Chapter 9 Homestead And Nuclear Family

Description Of The Make-up Of A Homestead


Internal Organisation

Co — Wives

Moving A Homestead

The Sizes Of Herds Of A Nuclear Family

Division Of Labour Within The Family

The Homestead In The Lives Of Men And Women

Chapter 10 Rights In Stock

Theoretical Approach

Domestic Rights In Stock

The Nuclear Family, Extended Family, And Inheritance

Other Stock Rights Within The Extended Family

Opposition And Co-operation Between Brothers

Relations With Non-kinsmen Based On Common Stock Rights


The “best-friend”

The “god-father”

The “patron”

Society's Rights In A Man's Stock

Neighbourhood And Co-operative Community

Definition Of Neighbourhoods

Social Intercourse In The Neighbourhood

The Creation And Disintegration Of Neighbourhoods

1. Personal Opinions Regarding The State Of Pastures And Future Weather.

2. Personal Opinions Regarding The Location Of A New Homestead Relative To Pastures And Water Supplies.

3. The Relative Sizes Of Herds.

4. Number Of Workers Available In The Family Unit.

5. Basic Preferences Regarding Types Of Country.

6. Activities Other Than Pastoralism.

7. Individual Circumstances In A Homestead.

8. The Location Of Kinsmen, In-laws, And Friends.

The Co-operative Community

Chapter 12 The Age-set Organisation

The Alternations

Membership Of Age-sets

The Principle Of Seniority

The Creation Of New Sets.

What Membership Means

Chapter 13 Inter-tribal History And Relations

Turkana Myth Of Origin

The Turkana-speaking Group

Turkana Relations East And South

Chapter 14 Raiding And Conquest

The Technique Of Warfare

After The Raid

The General Meaning And Effects Of Warfare

The Causes Of Turkana Success In Warfare

(1) The Larger Population

(2) The Harder Country Of Turkanaland

(3) Advantages Of Terrain

(4) The Incidence Of Cattle Disease

(5) The Introduction Of Firearms

(6) The Influence Of Abyssinian-based Traders And Bandits

Turkana Conquest


Chapter 15 Contemporary Relations

British Administration


European Employment

Chapter 16 Judicial And Political

Judicial Ideas And Procedure

The Stock-group


The Process Of Obtaining Redress For An Injury

A Note On The Nature Of Law And Justice

The Range Of Political Action

The Nature And Scope Of Political Leadership And Influence

Qualities And Opportunities For Leadership

A Note On The Effect Of The British Administration Upon Turkana Judicial System

Part Three: The Development Of The Individual

Chapter 17 From Birth To Marriage

Pregnancy And Birth

Personal Names




Chapter 18 Marriage And Concubinage

The Range Of Eligible Marriage Partners

Preliminaries To Marriage.


The Wedding

After The Wedding

A Note On In-laws


Widowhood And Re-marriage

Extra-marital Sex Relations

Barrenness In Wives


Chapter 19 Adul/t Life

Achieving Independence

Middle Age

Old Age


Part Four

Chapter 20 The Magico — Religious

The Nature Of The Magico-religious In Turkanaland

The Constituents Of The Magico-religious System

The High-god — ‘akuj’

The Diviner — ‘imuron’ (pl. ‘ngimurok’).

The Diviner And His Public Functions

The Present Position Of Diviners

Private Magic


Animal Witches



Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: A preliminary survey of the Turkana: a report compiled for the government of Kenya

Published By: [Rondebosch, Cape Town]: University of Cape Town, 1951. 7, 281 p.

By line: by P. H. Gulliver

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Turkana (FL17)

Subjects: Domesticated animals (231); Pastoral activities (233); Production and supply (433); Territorial hierarchy (631); Household (592); Community structure (621); Property in movables (422); Kin relationships (602); Age stratification (561); Public welfare (657); Status, role, and prestige (554); Majority (884); Mode of marriage (583); Magicians and diviners (791); Sorcery (754);

Abstract: This source is the result of a preliminary survey of the social life of the Turkana undertaken as part of the Colonial research program of the Government of Kenya. A wide range of topics is covered, including the economic, social, and cultural dimensions of animal husbandry, alternative economic activities, the property system, social and political organization, international relations, justice and judicial organization, life cycle, and religion.

Document Number: 9

Document ID: fl17-009

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1948-1949

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Gerald Reid ; 1989

Coverage Date: 1888-1950

Coverage Place: around Lake Turkana, Kenya

LCSH: Turkana (African people)


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