Intra-ethnic relations among the Sabaot of Mt.Elgon Kenya, 1945-2010
Kedogo, Beatrice D. Imbuye
MetadataShow full item record
This study focuses on the intra- ethnic relations among the Sabaot community of Mt. Elgon Sub-County, from the period 1945 to 2010. The study only focuses on the Sabaot found in this Sub-County. It also picks out the Sabaot ethnic group in a multilingual area of study. The study took a historical analysis of intra- ethnic relations as an ingredient of conflict on one hand and peace building on the other. It is argued that inter and intra-ethnic relations in the area of study are not only complex but subtle to the extent that cooperation, unity and conflict occurred either within specific ethnic or sub-ethnic composition or as across ethnic confines. However, most analysts have focused on inter-ethnic rather than intra-ethnic conflict and resolution in the area under study. Whereas inter-ethnic relations deserve attention in their own right, their nature in fact depends on the character of relations within a community. The ethnic group also has its own intra-ethnic relations that deserve attention. The focus of this study was to add to the available but limited knowledge on the study of intra-ethnic relations in general and the Sabaot in particular, from a historical perspective. The historical periods illuminated the changes that took place in the community and how they influenced conflicts within the various clans. It also showed how these conflicts have been handled by the stakeholders. Evaluation of the study utilized Constructivism and Instrumentalism theories. Constructivism was helpful in interrogating the origin of Sabaot clans; thus tracing its identity construction or invention to the colonial authorities and emergent nationalism as well as emphasizing its historicity and fluidity. It demonstrated an evolution of an ethnic group that kept transforming its social, political and economic set-up that sooner became a precursor to conflicts at the same time offering insights of peaceful co-existence. Instrumentalism helped to analyse the role of politics and political class in intra-ethnic manifestations. This is an aspect that brews conflicts and can be looked at as one of the major tools to be used in promoting peaceful co-existence. The two theories complemented each other to fully analyse the topic under study. The study utilized primary and secondary techniques of collecting data. The primary data collection methods included oral interviews, which have mainly been used in reconstruction of African history and in qualitative research design that this study utilised. The oral interview questions were open ended to help gather a wider scope of information. Other sources of primary data included information from the Kenya National Archives (KNA) and governmental documents like the parliamentary Committee Reports. The study also drew information from secondary sources, which included; text books, journals, theses, and dissertations from across libraries; seminar and conference papers, Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO) reports and print and electronic media.The collected information coupled with the researcher‟s analytical contribution helped make useful conclusions to the intra-ethnic problem in the area of study.