Representation of cultural tension and conflict among the Maasai in Henry Ole Kulet's works: A postcolonial reading of blossoms of the Savannah and Daughter of Maa
Wanyonyi, Khaemba Paul
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The study focuses on tensions, uncertainties and cultural conflicts among the Maasai occasioned by encroachment of "foreign" education and cultures as reflected in two of Henry Ole Kulet's fictional works: Blossoms of the Savannah and Daughter of Maa. Of interest to our critical examination is the representation of beliefs and cultural values held by characters that have received formal education and those who have not, against the backdrop of Maasai cultural practices in the selected novels. The study is guided by the tenets of postcolonial literary theory that addresses matters of identity, gender and racism with an aim of developing a postcolonial national identity. Postcolonial literary theory acknowledges that a colonised people's knowledge was used against them to serve the coloniser's interests, and that knowledge about the world is generated under specific relations between those in power and the powerless. Since the study was qualitative in nature, we undertook a critical analysis of Ole Kulet's selected texts in order to investigate the representation of the themes identified. The study found out that the introduction of Western education has precipitated change in the status of the Maasai women; a transformation that has created tension and conflict. The result of the change is characters who have a dual identity, a duality that has myriad challenges, but a duality that Ole Kulet seems to espouse.