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Black Poachers, White Hunters: A Social History of Hunting in Colonial Kenya (Eastern African Studies (Hardcover)) Hardcover – 1 Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press (1 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821416634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821416631
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,685,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Edward Steinhart's new book invites Kenya's historians to expand our understanding of colonial political life. Steinhart convincingly shows that the control over wild animals was a key area of conflict between Africans, settlers and colonial officials. Where in precolonial eastern Kenya people developed a dynamic hunting tradition, white settlers and government officials presumed that they were naturally the owners of Kenya's wildlife. White hunters disparaged Africans' courage and skill, while post-Second World War conservationists regarded African hunters as poachers, illegally intruding on sacrosanct national parks. Debates over the ownership of Kenya's wildlife, argues Steinhart, were central in the definition of 'what it has meant to be Kenyan, what it meant to be male and what it continues to mean to be civilized'. Where scholars have often characterized colonial Kenya's history as a struggle over land and labour, this book enables us to see how debates over the control of animals shaped colonial political life. ...this readable book deserves attention both from Kenya's political historians and from the growing company of scholars exploring the problematic origins of conservationism. - Derek R. Peterson in JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORY The protracted struggle for control over African wildlife parallels the ongoing struggle over land, which has been far more thoroughly chronicled. This exciting, accessible and challenging book is a timely addition to the literature. ...Kenya today is rife with talk of who 'owns' wildlife and who has the right to manage and hunt it (let alone shoot poachers), within a broader context of debates over national heritage and the future of national parks. This book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to enter the fray, by first arming themselves with the historical facts. - Lotte Hughes in AFRICAN AFFAIRS --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Associate Professor of History at Texas Tech University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In May 1977, the government of Kenya banned all legal hunting of wildlife in its efforts to cope with a poaching crisis that was spreading across the African continent. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr S. S. Nagi TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In May 1997,hunting of wildlife was banned in Kenya. There were 3 kinds of hunting: (1)Hunting by african natives before and during colonial era, (2) Hunting by white visitors and settlers (3) Hunting by game keepers and conservationists.
Most hunters were men(black or white). Hunting was for (1) food (2) sport (3)trophies (4) clothing (5)medicine (6) rituals (7) trade (8) social reasons,passage to manhood (masai and samburu)(9)revenge (killing when cattle taken)
By 1900 ,elephant hunting parties were common, deep into the interior. In 1920's and 1930's, the Kamba tribe became " silent dark companions" in the great african safaris.
Then came the "big game hunters", "the pioneer hunters","ivory hunters",the "explorers"(Thomson, Lugard,Jackson,Patterson),"police"(Robert Foran).and "soldiers"(Meinertzhagen).Some had attitude"SHOOT everything,in case it is valuable". The "settler hunters" were to follow(1903 to 1939).They were Lord Delamere, Danys Finch Hatton, Ewart Grogan(who flogged his servants in Nairobi, hated asians)."Safari hunters" followed, with help from Kamba. T Roosvelt bagged 76 different species including 512 animals."Champagne and Royal Safaris" followed.
Cameras were used in safaris and then motor cars(1920) and planes (1930).
Mervyn Cowie, in 1946, helped to make Nairobi National Park, as a first Park. Coming of the war did not stop hunting. In 1948, Tsavo National Park was formed. The antipoaching campainwas slowed in 1950's, due to Mau Mau hunting. The days of Waata and Kamba hunters and those of Game Hunters were coming to an END.
This is an excellent, thorough, fully researched book of 245 pages. There is a good Map on page 8 and also 4 B/W photos in the book. The book has small print. The last chapter explains 'who owns the wild animals' and what has happened to Kenya and its wildlife since independence in 1963.
Read and ENJOY.
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