Siaya
Title Details

168 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

8 colour. 5 b/w. 5 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastern African Studies

Imprint: James Currey

Siaya

The Historical Anthropology of an African Landscape

by D.W. Cohen and E.S.Atieno Odhiambo

  • Description
  • Reviews
A book written both for and about the Luo.
The authors use stories to reveal Siaya, the Luo-speaking area of western Kenya, bringing together ideas and debates which Luo express about their past and present with findings, arguments and questions produced by scholars. For the Luo, what constitutes culture, what is correct behaviour, what is history, are questions that are heavily fought over. This is one of those rare books that makes students and other interested readers question their own culturalpreconceptions and re-examine the concerns of academic disciplines.

North America: Ohio U Press; Kenya: EAEP
"... grassroots social history at its very best." ANTHROPOS
"This is the sort of book that many of us would like to have written. -" Richard Waller, JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY
"Africa is so difficult for the outsider to understand, so easy to oversimplify or misinterpret. If more of it were revealed through the revealing and highly readable technique of this book, the world would have a far clearer picture of why Africa is the way it is. -" Richard Dowden, THE INDEPENDENT
"...one of the most refreshing and important works of East African history for many years... . The beauty of the book is the way in which it shows how the landscape of Siaya, in western Kenya, near the Lake, is simultaneously fixed by Nature in that place, yet is carried as a frame of reference in the minds and hopes of the migrants who flow to the compounds of the cities. Their chapter entitled 'Forms in the Siaya Landscape' is a vital new element in the debate about migration: The presumption that migrations reveal a social topography of broken relations deserves challenge (p.17) . It leads naturally to a discussion about the construction of boundaries which are in both space and time (through invented history) - and to the multiple forms that the landscape of Siaya takes in the minds of people of Siaya, whether at home or away. Home is where the placenta is buried. As for Martin Luther, it is ein feste Burg (in Luo gunda bur - the ancient fortified village site), both visible and invisible. It is all music to this reviewer's ears. -" Gwyn Prins, AFRICAN AFFAIRS

Paperback

9780852550359

February 1989

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Title Details

168 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

8 colour. 5 b/w. 5 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastern African Studies

Imprint: James Currey