Ecology control and the development of pastoralism among the Samburu of North-central Kenya: 1750-1909
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This study attempts to investigate the Samburu precolonial historical ecology. It inquires into the ways and means through which this pastoral community managed its physical environment and its resources at a period when it (community) was the master of its destiny. In a nutshell, the study critically examines the Samburu environmental perceptions and how those perceptions influenced the harnessing of the region's natural resources for pastoral production. The study's preoccupation with historical ecology of the Samburu stems from the realization that the economic, social and political development of any social group has a lot to do with what the physical environment has to offer. Indeed, as Ochieng’ (1974) states, human thoughts and actions have their springs, not in a spatial vacuum, but in some definite geographical milieu, which defines in varying degrees the characters and orbit of human effort. The study vies the development of samburu patoralism during the stated period, as a function of a successful environmental and resource management by the community. To further give support to this views, an effort is made in chapter five, to show that once this ecological management gets disrupted, all other aspects of the society fail to function. The study, being concerned with the resourcefulness and exigencies of nature and also the human action on it (nature), adopts, as its tool of analysis, a Marxian theory namely, "Dialectics of Nature". This theoretical framework ably weaves together the various ideas and concepts which deal with both human and natural history.