Islam and Ethnicity in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

Islam and Ethnicity in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia

Günther Schlee, Abdullahi A. Shongolo


James Currey



A study of the longue durée of a marginalized part of northern Kenya, examining the process of territorialization and the role of Islam in politicizing ethnicity.
The recent ethnic violence in Kenya has been preceded by a process of territorialization and politicization of ethnicity. This study examines a marginalized part of Kenya, the semi-arid north inhabited by pastoralists of three language groups - speakers of Oromo, Somali, and Rendille. It spans different periods of time, from early processes of ethnic differentiation between groups, through the colonial period when differences were reflected in administrative policies, to recent times, when global minority discourses, particularly those related to Islam, are tapped by local political agents and ethnic entrepreneurs.
A companion volume to Pastoralism and Politics in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia, this book is based on over thirty-four years of field research and synthesizes findings from history and political anthropology.

Günther Schlee is director of the Department of 'Integration and Conflict', Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany; Abdullahi Shongolo is an independent scholar based in Kenya.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782042150), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


March 2012
22 black and white, 24 line illustrations
196 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Eastern Africa Series
ISBN: 9781847010469
Format: Hardback
James Currey
BISAC SOC002010, REL037000, SOC056000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Günther Schlee
Pax Borana - Günther Schlee
Non-Proto-Rendille-Somali Elements of Modern Ethnic Groups - Günther Schlee
Modern Trends - Günther Schlee
Ecology & Politics - Günther Schlee
The Impact of War on Ethnic & Religious Identification in Southern Ethiopia in the Early 1990s - Günther Schlee and Abdullahi A. Shongolo


A comprehensive summary of relevant anthropological and historical themes in the borderland of Kenya and Ethiopia. AETHIOPICA

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