The Nandi Experience in the First World War

  • Lewis J. Greenstein


It is difficult as yet to say what will be the ultimate effect on the minds of the many thousands of natives who have been demobilized and returned to their homes … So far [1919] nothing has occurred to incline one to the idea that the native has been through anything other than a normal state of existence, at the same time we know that he has gone through experiences such as no mortal native has gone through before. The collective result of all this will become evident in another year probably by which time all the various points that have made an impression on his mind or have in fact influenced him will take shape. (John Ainsworth, Chief Native Commissioner) 1


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  1. 2.
    The Nandi are an age-graded society with initiations for men held on a roughly 14-year cycle. Almost all of the veterans were from a single age grade. The standard sources for anthropological material are: A. C. Hollis, The Nandi: Their Language and Folklore (London, 1909 );Google Scholar
  2. G. W. B. Huntingford, The Nandi of Kenya (New York, 1953);Google Scholar
  3. G. S. Snell, Nandi Customary Law (London, 1954 );Google Scholar
  4. A. T. Matson, Nandi Resistance to British Rule,1890–1906 (Nairobi, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Also see Diana Ellis, ‘The Nandi Protest of 1923 in the Context of African Resistance to Colonial Rule in Kenya’, Journal of African History 18(1976) 555–75; and my article, ‘The Nandi “Uprising” of 1923’, Pan-African Journal 9(1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. Moyse-Bartlett, The King’s African Rifles (Aldershot, 1956) p. 301.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    W. Lloyd-Jones, KAR (London, 1926) p. 147;Google Scholar
  8. R. S. Cholmley, Uganda Volunteers and the War (Kampala, 1917 ) p. 62.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    G. W. B. Huntingford, Nandi Work and Culture (London, 1950 ) p. 73.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    For examples, see Carl G. Rosberg and John Nottingham, The Myth of Mau Mau: Nationalism in Kenya (Nairobi, 1966) pp. 26–7;Google Scholar
  11. Bethwell A. Ogot, ‘Kenya Under the British, 1895–1963’, in B. A. Ogot (ed.), Zamani: A Survey of East African History (Nairobi, 1973 ) p. 265.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Melvin E. Page 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lewis J. Greenstein

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