Kabras culture under colonial rule: a study of the impact of christianity and Western education
Shilaro, P. Muronji
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This is a study for the impact of Christianity and western education on the culture of the Abakabras in the colonial period. At the focus of the study are: the interaction between the indigenous Kabras religion, musambwa, and Christianity; the conflicts engendered through Christian evangelization; and the values inculcated through western education. The study shows that the introduction of Christianity and western schooling in Kabras came much later compared to such other areas of Buluyia as Maragoli, Wanga and Bunyore. Low population, physical inaccessibility, the marginal incorporation of Kabras into the colonial economy, and colonial administrative policies - all combined in bringing about this state of affairs. The role of missionaries and that of the colonial government in educational development are critically analysed. The initiatives and the struggles of the Abalabras for the betterment of their educational status is given special attention. The post First World War years and - more particularly - the period after the second world war witnessed intense involvement by the local population in the provision of funds, building materials and land for the establishment of educational facilities. This was accomplished through political associations and official channels, including the Local Native Council (LNC) the District Education Board (DEB) and the Locational Advisory Council (LAC) The study shows that the conflict between Christianity an the indigenous Kabras religion was intense. There was a great deal of rejection; but there was also adaptation. The former manifested itself in an attempt to revive indigenous forms of worship, while the latter was embodied in the syncretic religious practices that characterized the Dini ya Msambwa (DYM). The study demonstrates that the superimposition of the new social forces on Kabras society during the colonial period created an extraordinarily complex field do struggle between the indigenous Kabras ideology and the western imperialist one. The church and the school comprised arenas in which the struggle was fought out.