The Luyia, like other Africans subsumed by imperialist conquest,
are groping in the dark to find new meaning to their lives. By
emigrating from tribal territory to towns, Luyia tribesmen lost
strong communal links that bonded traditional society in which
security of the individual was assured. The real danger, however,
is the infiltration of neo-capitalism in the remotest villages,
sweeping away what little is left of the culture of a bygone era.
The need to preserve our cultural resources for future generations
is critical. Colonial institutions radically altered traditional
governance, economic and magico-religious structures. Clan elders,
hitherto the pseudo-legal centers of political authority, were
either conscripted into colonial administration as chiefs or simply
shunted aside. Supplication to cult of the ancestor was replaced by
Christianity where clergy rather than sacrificial priests became
principal representatives of the deity. And where men spent the day
hunting to secure a family meal, they now had to seek waged
employment and pay taxes. Although these forces of Western
acculturation introduced positive benefits to traditional
technological processes, they were largely responsible for
uprooting a people from an environment they had lived for
generations and adapted to suit their needs to one driven largely
by opportunism and uncertainty.
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