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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Changing Perceptions on Wife Inheritance in the Bukusu Community of Bungoma District, Western Kenya
Authors:Wandibba, SimiyuISNI
Ikanda, Fred N.ISNI
Periodical:Mila: a Journal of the Institute of African Studies
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Kenya
East Africa
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Inheritance and succession
Bukusu (African people)--Marriage customs and rites
Abstract:Traditionally, among the Bukusu, a patriarchal ethnic group in western Kenya, widows have the option of being inherited by one of the deceased husband's brothers or of marrying anyone they like. However, this wife inheritance practice seems to be on the decline. Based on research conducted in 2001 in South Bukusu Location, Bumula Division of Bungoma District, this paper examines the factors leading to this decline. The main instrument for the study was a semistructured questionnaire, alongside observation. 48 women and 52 men were interviewed. Most informants (71 percent) were against wife inheritance, while only 18 percent supported the practice. The main reason for the change in attitude towards wife inheritance appears to be the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Economic reasons seem to account for the few surviving cases of wife inheritance, such as the need to take care of the children left behind by the deceased. In conclusion, the paper advocates community-based interventions to accelerate the decline of the practice of wife inheritance. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]