Continuity and change of kuria system of social control, leadership and governance, 1885-1995
Onserio, Wilfred Arori
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The Kuria have not been adequately studied and are still imperfectly understood. Besides the physical remoteness, the official reputation of the Kuria as "backward" "unsophisticated" and "litigious" had contributed to a widespread misconception of the area as a place of banishment. Often, they were viewed by the colonial state as timid and endangered by their more powerful neighbours hence amenable to pax Britannica. As such Kuria community became a headache to both the colonial and post colonial authorities by settlement of political issues through informal systems and non-police security organs in the process of attempting to enhance their system of social control, leadership and governance. This study therefore, was an attempt to examine continuity and change of Kuria system of social control, leadership and governance over time. The study is informed by Methodology based on both primary- oral interviews and archive and secondary data collection techniques were used through purposive sampling and snowballing technique. Three analytical frames were used to analyze data i.e. theoretical reflections, documentary review and content analysis. Two theories were used for analysis and interpretation. Conflict theory was used since it is concerned with causes and impacts of conflicts in the society. It was supplemented with political settlement theory which explains resolutions reached after conflicts to form acceptable political institutions. Literature review based on the objectives and research premises aligned to each chapter. The study found out that, the Kuria pre-capitalist and economic system has been substantially transformed, traditional elders who used to benefit social relations of subordination and obligation, have retained their ideological systems which they tactfully deploy to gain economic and other advantages from people who, under the traditional system, would normally be bound to them.And that conservationist policy of the colonial and postcolonial state facilitated elders' claims on their subordinates, and both operated together with a mutually reinforcing effect.