Davison, Jean, 1937-. Voices from Mutira: change in the lives of rural Gikuyo women, 1910-1995

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1 Introduction: Change In Mutira Women's Lives

Vignette From The Field, 1983

The Collection's Purpose

Perceptions Of Change

Organization Of The Collection

Major Changes Affecting Mutira Women: 1984–1994

Change In Women's Political Power

Structural Adjustment And Its Effects On Women's Production

Lessons Learned: Change In Sexuality And Reproduction

Life Histories As Documents Of Change

The Case For Life History Research

Person-centered Ethnography

Life History Production: Issues Of Genre

Life Histories Of African Women


2 Kenya And The Gikuyu: Social And Historical Contexts

The Setting: Mutira Location

The Sociocultural Context: The Northern Gikuyu

Gikuyu Economy

Gikuyu Social Formations

The Historical Context

The Early Twentieth Century: Land And Droughts

The Controversy Over Female Circumcision

World War Ii: The Impact On Gikuyu Nationalism

Mau Mau, Women, And The Struggle For Independence

Freedom, Independence, And Hopes For A Future

The Life Narrators


3 Wanjiku: The Life Of A Traditional Woman


4 Wamutira: The First Wife

5 Watoro's Story: Poverty Is Like Dust


6 Wangeci's Story: A Widow Among Women


7 Wanoi: The Many Facets Of A Midwife


8 Nyambura: Child Of Independence

9 Wanja: Forward-looking Woman

10 The Life Histories In Retrospect

The Impact Of Sociocultural Change

Changing Rites Of Passage

Changes In Mariika

Changes In Sexuality, Fertility, And Demand For Contraception

Changes In Women's Lives As Producers

Historical Changes Affecting Mutira Women


Women's Responses To The Liberation Struggle


Changes In Women's Personal Lives

The Challenge Of Life Crises

Conversion To Christianity

Other Life-altering Changes

Mediating Change Over The Life Span


Resistance To Change

Change As Opportunity

Women's Voices: Similarities And Differences


Publication Information

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: Voices from Mutira: change in the lives of rural Gikuyo women, 1910-1995

Published By: Original publisher Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. 1996. vii, 271 p. ill., map

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Jean Davison with the women of Mutira

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 Life history materials (159); Community structure (621); Household (592); Division of labor by gender (462); Techniques of socialization (861); Puberty and initiation (881); Gender status (562); Gender roles and issues (890); Family relationships (593); Marriage (580); Real property (423); Revolution (669); Inheritance (428); Research and development (654); Missions (797); Education (870); Cooperative organization (474);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This book documents and analyzes the lives of rural women in a central Kenyan locality called Mutira. It provides detailed biographies of seven women selected for representing diverse households from three generations, spanning several decades (1910-1995). The focus is not lmited to what these women experienced in their everyday lives. It also discusses the various strategies each woman pursued to benefit from broader political and socioeconomic changes brought by colonialism, missionaries, and, following Kenya's independence in 1960, goverenment designed development programs. By doing so, the book provides a critical analysis of social and historical changes that have occurred in the Kenyan highlands from the point of the women themsleves.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 10

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. fl10-010

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

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-270)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1983-1984, 1992, 1994

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. Teferi Abate Adem; 2008

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1910-1995

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

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Kikuyu (African people)/Women, Kikuyu--Kenya--Kirinyaga District--Interviews/Women, Kikuyu--Kenya--Kirinyaga District--Social conditions/Rural women--Kenya--Kirinyaga District--Interviews/Rural women--Kenya--Kirinyaga District--Social conditions


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation