Version classiqueVersion mobile

A Complex Polity

Anne-Marie Peatrik


Texte intégral

1The making of a comprehensive monograph is not dissimilar to navigating. In the course of various currents and trends, and diverging encounters, encouraging winds from various sides kick up, overlap, and allow one to stay one’s course.

2In France, the institutions and individuals who believed in this project, and supported it from start to finish, merit my sincere gratitude. First, I would like to thank the members of the African Studies Center (Cean Bordeaux) and the members of the Center for Ethnology and Comparative Sociology (Lesc-Cnrs and the University of Paris Nanterre), in particular Christian Coulon, Manga Bekombo, Annie Lebeuf, Roberte Hamayon, Raymond Jamous, and Laurence Caillet. Éric de Dampierre quickly understood the importance of the subject and constantly encouraged me to cultivate the contradictory virtues that are methodological rigor and investigative creativity. Serge Tornay aroused my interest in the populations of eastern Africa, and my curiosity concerning lesser known and highly original social organizations. Alfred Adler in political anthropology, Élisabeth Copet-Rougier in matters of kinship, and Thérèse Locoh and Dennis D. Cordell as demographers, all encouraged me to pursue my relatively unchartered waters. Kimeru became a much less inaccessible language under the guidance of Gérard Philippson.

3The study benefitted from the essential backing in the form of a grant from the Fondation Fyssen, and professional training fees and a Cultural Area Studies grant from the French education ministry. The Cnrs (National Center for Scientific Research) selected me for a secondment before offering me a position as researcher. The French publication as well as its translation into English was made possible with support from the Fondation Singer-Polignac, the University of Paris Nanterre, the French Institute for Research in Africa (Ifra Nairobi), the Cnrs and the Lesc. My thanks to Richard Crabtree, Matthew Cunningham, Francesca Devalier, Jesse Kirkwood and Anne McDowell, who translated the book into English and helped with its editing, and to Sophie Laporte, who carried out the e-copy-edition, with the help of Sandrine Soriano for the illustrations. A special thanks is also due to John Winthrop Aldrich and Dr. Pascal J. Imperato, who have granted us permission to reproduce photographs from the William A. Chanler’s collection kept in Rokeby Archives (Red Hook, N.Y., USA); to Pr. Dr. Walter Sauer (Universität Wien) and Dr. Franz Kotrba, in Austria, who made it possible to get in touch with J. W. Aldrich and to use F. Kotrba’s e-copies from Rokeby Archives.

4 In Kenya, nothing would have been made possible without the friendly and attentive guidance of Professor Richard S. Odingo, who accepted to sponsor me at a critical juncture. The University of Nairobi and, within it, the Department of Geography and Institute of Population and Development Studies were my secondment institutions. The warm welcome extended by Andrew Botta, the staff at the National Archives of Kenya, the MacMillan Library, the Library of the University of Nairobi, the Kenyan Historical Association and the National Museums of Kenya greatly facilitated my work.

5In Nairobi, precious support was brought by the network of researchers and individuals at the French Institute for Research in Africa (Ifra Nairobi), including Jean-François Médard, Jean Copans, Alain Ricard, Bernard Charlery de la Masselière, Philippe Bocquier, Colette Le Cour Grandmaison, Bernard Calas, Christian Thibon, Hervé Maupeu, Michel Adam, Hélène Roche, Lucy Shimechero, Aneesa Kassam, Francis Gichuru, Michael Kuria, and James K. Mururu.

6During periods of field research between 1986 and 1993 in the Nyambene Hills among the Meru Tigania-Igembe, Esther Kathure proved to be a faithful and capable research assistant.

7The following list names just a few of the dozens of people who helped me in one way or another:

8In Maua: Father Soldati, Joseph M’Kaura, Gerhardt. In Kiegoi: Ciokaraine M’Barungu, M’Barethi, Joerie M’Kaigîra. In Athiru Ruujine: Kiungaû M’Munoru. In Athiru Gaitî: Gedeon M’Ithali, Daniel Antûbakirû, Moses Muloru Anjarû, M’Therebe Thariamo, M’Imaniara Baimunchui, M’Dethi Antûambui, Moses Mbiti Antûambui, Jacob Ciebere Nscheme, Salome Malcau, Julia Karimi, Grace Mutiami, Maritha Atooma, Nkoroi Ciomûkendia, Mbura Cioithola, Margareti Ciobaithae, Rebecca Nkirina, Ciomerie. In Kianjai: M’Ithili, Esther Kathure, Mwontuune, Thiaine, Jeremie M’Arujaru, Kaneeru, Joseph M’ Kiambati, Jacobu M’Limongi, Charite Gîkûû, Mwarabu, Raphael Nkûri, Totia and Jitû, Hariet Kaliuntu, Munya, M’Imonyo. In Kîgucwa: M’Thirari and Ciominyori, Simeon M’Anbûine, Njau wa M’Chebere, M’Lichoro and Ciomutirimo, Celina Ciontwala, Regina Njau, Sabina Ciomwirabua, M’Imathio, Kirathi, M’Aritho, Cioanampio.

9Last but not least, Solenn and Philippe, who patiently endured all the inconveniences of this seafaring profession.

10To all, a heartfelt thank you.

© Africae, 2020

Licence OpenEdition Books


Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search