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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Revisiting the roots of Gikuyu culture through the sacred 'Mugumo' tree
Author:Karangi, Matthew M.ISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Volume:20
Issue:1
Pages:117-132
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:cosmology
Kikuyu
trees
symbols
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696810802159339
Abstract:Using methods such as oral history, historical archaeology and anthropologically informed historical analysis in order to construct knowledge about people who had previously been left out of academic histories, this paper examines the Gikuyu culture by exploring a central aspect of their traditional cosmology and worship. The 'Mugumo' (Ficus natalensis/Ficus thonningii) is taken as a sacred tree among the Gikuyu of central Kenya and is the key to understanding the cosmology of this ethnolinguistic community. The paper explores the characteristics of this sacred tree and how the rituals associated with it express the Gikuyu claim to land, political power, religious hegemony and identity. The paper also explores the contribution of the sacred 'Mugumo' to the contemporary studies of religion and politics. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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