Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya: the tribal life of the Gikuyu

Table of Contents

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Untitled Section: ...

Chapter I Ttribal Origin And Kinship System

Relation Between Children And Their Father's Relatives

Grandparents On Both Sides

Mother's Relatives

Relatives By Marriage

Chapter Ii The Gikuyu System Of Land Tenure

Buying And Selling Of Land

Land Inheritance

Pasture Land And Public Places

Ceremony Of Marking The Boundary

Land Tenure And The Coming Of The Europeans

Mogo Wa Kebiro And His Prediction

Chapter Iii Economic Life

Division Of Labour


Children In Economic Activities

Seasonal Calendar

Preparing Fields For Planting

Clearing Weeds



Economic Value Of Sheep And Goats And Cattle

Sheep And Goats As Standard Currency

Trading With The Neighbouring Tribes

Chapter Iv Industries



Type Of Weapons Used By The Gikuyu




Gikuyu Musical Instruments

Chapter V System Of Education ( Prior To The Advent Of The European )

Chapter Vi Initiation Of Boys And Girls

Name Of The Custom

Preparing For Initiation

The Great Ceremonial Dance (matuumo)

How The Girl Is Operated On

Healing Of The Wound

Chapter Vii Sex Life Among Young People

How Ngweko Is Organised

The Rules Governing Ngweko

Sexual Taboos

Chapter Viii Marriage System

Choice Of Mate

First Stage

Second Stage

Third Stage

Fourth Stage

Wedding Day

The Gikuyu System Of Polygamy

The Management Of A Polygamous Household

Duty Of The Wives


Chapter Ix The Gikuyu System Of Government

Ndamathia And Itwika Ceremony


Religious Sacrificial Council (kiama Kia Maturanguru)

Military Organisation

The Cause Of Tribal Warfare


Civil Procedure

Criminal Procedure

Chapter X Gikuyu Religion, Ancestor Worship, And Sacrificial Practices

The Conception Of A Deity

Asking For Blessing

The Naturistic Aspect


Sacrifice Or Prayers For Rain

The Planting Ceremony

The Ceremony Of Purifying The Crops

The Harvesting Ceremony

The Ceremony Of Fighting And Chasing Away Epidemic Or Illness

“ancestor Worship” Or Communion With Ancestral Spirits

Chapter Xi The New Religion In East Africa

Chapter Xii Magical And Medical Practices

Charm Or Protective Magic

Love Magic

Healing Magic

Hate Or Despising Magic. Monuunga Or Roruto

Defensive And Hypnotising Magic. Itwanda

Destructive Magic (witchcraft). Orogi. Poison

Chapter Xiii Conclusion

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Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Facing Mount Kenya: the tribal life of the Gikuyu

Published By: Original publisher London: Secker and Warburg. 1953. xxv, 339 p. ill., map

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by Jomo Kenyatta ; with an introduction by B. Malinowski

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Gikuyu (FL10)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Mythology (773); Real property (423); Inheritance (428); Marriage (580); Family (590); Kin relationships (602); Kin groups (610); Community structure (621); Disasters (731); Revelation and divination (787); External relations (648); Division of labor by gender (462); Tillage (241); Mutual aid (476); Metallurgy (325); Techniques of socialization (861); Transmission of cultural norms (867); Infant care (854); Body alterations (304); General sex restrictions (834);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This book was first published in 1938. The author, a Kikuyu himself, was the grandson of a seer and a leader of his own age group. He was the General Secretary of the Kikuyu Central Association and the founder of the first Kikuyu journal, 'Mui gwithania', and acted as the spokesman of his people in dealing with the British government on tribal land matters. Kenyatta studied anthropology under Professor Malinowski. His strong feelings against European encroachments upon his native land and institutions are forcefully expressed in this book. Later, he participated actively in the Mau Mau movement which led to his capture and imprisonment. 'Facing Mount Kenya' is a description of tribal life with special emphasis on the interdependence of various social, economic, and religious institutions in giving the Kikuyu society its organic unity. The disintegrative influence of European missionary and political efforts upon tribal life is trenchantly commented upon. This source is particularly useful for the understanding of the Kikuyu kinship system, land tenure, handicrafts, the education of the young, initiation rites, age groups, political and legal organizations, and finally religious and magical practices. The presentation is sometimes marred by the misapplication of European terminology to native institutions.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 4

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fl10-004

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document no date

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Anthropologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Robert Lee ; 1958

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1920-1938

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Kenya

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Kikuyu (African people)


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