Traditional games of the people of mount Kenya region: a cultural education appraisal
Wanderi, P. M.
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The researcher was prompted into this study by two factors. These are, first, the continued disappearance of the traditional games in Kenya, and secondly, the apparent lack of their documented references for use in education. These were activities that existed and were highly educative in traditional Kenyan communities prior to colonial incursion. However, following the arrival of the Europeans, as well as the subsequent imposition of the Western lifestyles and their hegemony, these activities have ever since suffered a slow demise. The aim of this research therefore, was to avail these activities in written form as a cultural and an educational appraisal. Due to the detailed analyses and presentation of the activities required, it was however not possible to cover the entire country. Consequently, the study was confined to the Mount Kenya communities, namely, the Kikuyu, the Embu and the Meru. The data collection instruments in their order of usefulness to this study were, (a) interviews, (b) documentary analyses, and (c) questionnaires. The information obtained was subjected to thorough internal and external criticisms through which facts were systematically analysed, compared, and classified. Accordingly, most of the data presented in chapter four of this study originated from primary sources of information while the bulk of the data from secondary sources was presented in chapter two. The findings of this study include the establishment of a detailed written record of thirty nine (39) traditional games of Mount Kenya region. An analysis of each game is made in terms of its participants, facility and equipment, rules and procedure, as well as its cultural-educational value to the indigenous community. The games presented are categorized in a progressive continuum under three sub-headings ranging from the simplest to the most complex. The presentation is eventually summed up by discussions on, classifications of traditional games of Mount Kenya region, differences and similarities between traditional and modern games as well as on a scientific analysis of traditional games. In its recommendations, the study calls for the formalization of the games so availed. Possible approaches to be followed in the formalization of traditional games and the benefits of such an effort are also highlighted. This shall enhance promotion of Kenya's cultural heritage through the educational programme as stated in the pedagogical objectives of Physical Education. Finally, it was conclusively hoped that this research would herald a new commitment in games development in Kenya. Besides, the results of this study should inspire future researchers to focus their attention on other Kenyan communities and accomplish a similar task before their traditional games are forgotten and lost forever.