A political history of Meru 1750-1908
Njogu, Peter Mbae
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This study is an attempt to analyze the historical process of the genesis and development of Meru Political Organization from 1750-1908. The study asserts that the political organization of Meru was a function of the interaction of complex layers of inter-related institutions. It is evident that by about 1908 the Meru had evolved into a society in which political authority was not vested in any single individual or institutions; rather, political power and authority were diffused amongst various institutions and representative individuals. The thesis identifies and analyses these institutions including 'Mwiriga' (Pl.'Miiriga') 'Kiama'Biama') Age-set system and military units. The character and functions of leadership in these institutions is assessed. The study also examines the effects of internal forces like geographical environment, religion and the role of disputes in political evolution and organization. The impact of other communities including the Maasai, Kamba, Embu and Mbeere on the political institution is investigated. Throughout the study, an attempt is made to portray the role of various institutions on the day-to-day functioning of the society. Ultimately, the form of political organization, which emerged in the Meru pre-colonial society, is shown to have grown in response to the impact of diverse internal and external forces.