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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rich Man, Poor Man, Administrator, Beast: The Politics of Impoverishment in Turkana, Kenya, 1890-1990
Authors:Broch-Due, VigdisISNI
Sanders, ToddISNI
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
agricultural policy
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Economics and Trade
External link:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/nomp/1999/00000003/00000002/art00004
Abstract:This paper looks at the striking fact that the globalizing policies of both colonial and postcolonial interventions in Turkanaland, northwestern Kenya, led to similar results, namely the creation and perpetuation of a group of permanent paupers of Turkana people. Interestingly, whether outside interventions aimed at extracting resources (as did the Kenyan colonial administration with its emphasis on establishing labour markets and a viable class of tax-paying labourers), or providing resources (as with postcolonial aid donors) made little difference. Colonial efforts to commodify goats through taxation policies were matched by efforts to commodify Turkana labour. Colonial officials from an early date required labour for all kinds of activities. Postcolonial policies have forced increasing numbers of cattle owners into relations of dependence. The paper shows how, in various periods (1890-1920; the 1920s; the 1930s; the 1940s and 1950s), it was the historically impoverished sections of the Turkana (i.e. those with no cattle) that frequently took advantage of the new opportunities to earn their livelihood. In the 1980s greater numbers of Turkana were being forced from a pastoral existence and drawn into aid-run fishing and farming projects. But now it was not only the 'permanently poor' who engaged in these activities, but also the 'temporarily poor'. Bibliogr., ref., sum. in French and Spanish.