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Facing Mount Kenya

Facing Mount Kenya, first published in 1938, is an anthropological study of the people of the Kikuyu ethnicity of central Kenya. It was written by native Kikuyu and future Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta. Kenyatta writes in this text, "The cultural and historical traditions of the Gikuyu people have been verbally handed down from generation to generation. As a Gikuyu myself, I have carried them in my head for many years, since people who have no written records to rely on learn to make a retentive memory do the work of libraries"[1]

Facing Mount Kenya
AuthorJomo Kenyatta
CountryKenya
LanguageEnglish
GenreNon-Fiction, Anthropology
PublisherSecker and Warburg (London)
Publication date
1938
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages339

The book's introduction was written by anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, who mentored Kenyatta while both were at the London School of Economics. Malinowski wrote 'As a first-hand account of a representative African culture, as an invaluable document in the principles underlying culture-contact and change and as a personal statement of the new outlook of a progressive African, this book will rank as a pioneering achievement of outstanding merit.'

Book sectionsEdit

  • Tribal Origin and Kinship System
  • The Gikuyu System of Land Tenure
  • Economic Life
  • Industries
  • System of Education
  • Initiation of Boys and Girls
  • Sex Life among Young People
  • Marriage System
  • The Gikuyu System of Government
  • Religion and Ancestor Worship
  • The New Religion in East Africa
  • Magical and Medical Practices
  • Conclusion

ReferencesEdit

Heinemann Kenya Ltd ISBN 9966-46-017-9

External linksEdit


  1. ^ Kenyatta, Jomo (1938). Facing Mount Kenya. Kenya: Secker and Warburg. ISBN 0435902199.