Kikuyu

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Kikuyu

(kĭko͞o`yo͞o), Bantu-speaking people, numbering about 6 million, forming the largest tribal group in Kenya. The Kikuyu live in the highlands NE of Nairobi. Before the British conquest they were the most influential people in the country. During the 1950s, under the leadership of Jomo KenyattaKenyatta, Jomo
, 1893?–1978, African political leader, first president of Kenya (1964–78). A Kikuyu, he was one of the earliest and best-known African nationalist leaders.
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, the Kikuyu fought the British colonialists in what was known as the Mau Mau Emergency. Although the Kikuyu traditionally lived in separate family homesteads, most were moved into villages during the rebellion. After the removal of the colonists, a large number chose to remain in the villages. The Kikuyu economy centers mainly around agriculture, with little or no hunting or fishing.

Bibliography

See H. E. Lambert, Kikuyu Social and Political Institutions (1956, repr. 1965); R. M. Gatheru, Child of Two Worlds (1964, repr. 1972); J. Davison, Voices from Mutira (1989).

Kikuyu

 

(Akikuyu, Giguyu), a people inhabiting central Kenya. They number 2.2 million (1969, census) and speak the Kikuyu language. The Meru (554,000), Embu (118,000), and Mbere (49,000) are related to the Kikuyu in language and culture. According to legend the Kikuyu came from the east (northeast of the Tan River) about the 16th century. Christianity is widespread, along with traditional beliefs. The Kikuyu are mainly agriculturalists, raising coffee for export. A working class is emerging, and the ranks of the national bourgeoisie and intelligentsia are growing.

REFERENCES

Middleton, J. The Central Tribes of the North-Eastern Bantu (The Kikuyu . . . ). London, 1953.
Kenyatta, J. Facing Mount Kenya. New York, 1962.

Kikuyu

 

(Giguyu), the language of the Kikuyu people of central Kenya. Kikuyu, a Bantu language, is spoken by 2.7 million people (1970, estimate). The phonetic system is characterized by interdental consonants: voiced ð and voiceless λ; the Dahl law of the dissimilation of consonants is applicable to Kikuyu. A characteristic morphological feature is the relatively complete system of nominal classes (16). The class prefixes are monosyllabic. In addition to the three conventional locative classes with the prefixes pa-, ku-, and mu-, the locative prefix e- is used. Word order is subject-predicate-object, and class agreement is strictly observed at the syntactic level.

REFERENCES

Doke, C. M. Bantu: Modern Grammatical, Phonetical and Lexicographical Studies Since 1860. London, 1945.
Armstrong, L. Phonetic and Tonal Structure of Kikuyu. London, 1940.
Gecaga, B. M., and W. H. Kirkaldy-Willis. English-Kikuyu and Kikuyu-English Vocabulary. Nairobi-Kampala, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
I first went to Kamaandura missionary run, and then to another called Manguuu run by nationalists grouped around the Gikuyu Independent and Karinga Association.
For the critic, Ngugi's return to Gikuyu, and "his nativist or idealist notion of language was yoked to a Marxist or materialist theory of language that Ngugi had been espousing for over ten years", that is, Ngugi's perception of language as an instrument of social transformation disregarded the class divisions inherent to society, so that language could be taken as a vehicle of unification of disparate social strata:
See also Zablon Nthamburi and Douglas Waruta, "Biblical Hermeneutics in African Instituted Churches" 40-57; and Nahashon Ndungu, "The Bible in an African Independent Church" 58-67, referring to the Akurinu Independent Church of the Gikuyu in Kenya--both essays in The Bible in African Christianity: Essays in Biblical Theology, ed.
63) Jomo Kenyatta, Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Gikuyu (London: Heinemann, 1938; New York: Vintage Books, 1965), p.
Penderfynodd droi ei gefn ar Saesneg fel cyfrwng ysgrifennu ac ymrwymo i sgwennu yn Gikuyu.
His aim in Wizard of the Crow (written in Gikuyu and translated into English) is, in his own words, nothing less than "to sum up Africa of the 20th century in the context of 2,000 years of world history".
Initially written in his first language, Gikuyu (and later translated into English by him), the story is set during "our times" in the fictional African country of Aburiria.
Wa Thiong'o believes that the only way to truly capture the struggle against imperialism in Kenya is by using, for example, his own Gikuyu language.
Gikuyu readers in Kenya instantly appreciate the taboos associated with counting and enumeration.
Although Ngugi wa Thiong'o aims at a wider audience through the lingua franca of English, he studs his prose with unassimilated Gikuyu words to hint that his experience resists the effort of transposition: 'He took a jembe and a panga to repeat the daily pattern his life had now fallen into since he left Maguita, his last detention camp.
Race is a problematic issue for the characters in this novel: Victoria's father is ethnic Chinese, which complicates her identity as a Guyanese, and in Toronto she forms the strongest bond of her life with Kola, a Gikuyu activist from Kenya who becomes her lover.
Ngugi, though, a native of Kenya who began his career writing novels in English, ended up rejecting the colonial language as inappropriate for addressing his people and now insists on using Gikuyu as his primary instrument of literary expression.