Dr. Robert Maxon is Professor of History at West Virginia University. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University. Among his publications which focus on Gusii history are Conflict and Accommodation in Western Kenya: The Gusii and the British, 1905-1963 and Going Their Separate Ways: Agrarian Transformation in Kenya, 1930-1950.2006 0-7734-5801-8
This book represents a contribution by scholars, who are primarily social scientists, addressing various aspects of the traditional history and culture of the Gusii people of southwestern Kenya. Today, the Gusii are the fifth largest ethnic group in that East African nation, but their past and cultural heritage have not been featured very prominently in recent scholarly studies. This book sets to redress this through contributions which range from a detailed summary of traditional history to an examination of pre-colonial social and political organizations to chapters which focus on such diverse topics as language, music, folklore, witchcraft, and land tenure practices. Particular attention is paid to detailing the indigenous Gusii system of education, including an account of initiation rites. This book fulfills a crucial function in setting out and analyzing the values and practices of the Gusii for the edification of contemporary readers in Kenya and outside.