Colonialism and Marginalization of African Indigenous Knowledge on land and Soil Conservation in Kenya, a case of the Kikuyu Community
Keywords:African Indigenous Knowledge, Kikuyu
African Indigenous knowledge covers many facets. One such area that enjoyed adequate knowledge and practices that were old age tested and applied was in conservation practice. Majority pre-colonial African society understood the importance of conserving land and soils since their livelihood depended on proper utilization of the land resource. The outcome was a diverse and a rich body of knowledge addressing land conservation within the specific of the communitiesâ€™ habitation. Africans and their way of life experienced a rude intrusion by the European colonialists. The process of colonization was justified on many grounds. Scientific social Darwinism was favored as it argued that the European race was superior to other races. With such an illusion, the colonial authority downplayed anything belonging to the colonized communities including the age old accumulated practical knowledge that guided conservation exercise. In Kenya, the kikuyu community underwent ruthless transformation where an identity of a culture was replaced by the perceived â€˜superiorâ€™ western culture. The ignorance of the Europeans to understand the local knowledge did not only lead to massive land degradation but also led to resistance against the foreign western concept and eventually armed conflict which aimed at restoring the African lost identities among them aspects of indigenous knowledge.
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