The Untold Folklore Stories of the Bukusu Women of Western Kenya: A Vanishing Cultural Heritage



The Untold Folklore Stories of the Bukusu Women of Western Kenya: A Vanishing Cultural Heritage is about the traditional and cultural life of a Bukusu woman. This work provides a synopsis of the Bukusu traditions, customs, beliefs and practices from the perspective of a woman in the light of cultural syncretism. As is the case in most Kenyan communities, the traditional culture is under heavy pressure. Development, modernization and Christianity have a strong impact on most parts of traditional life. However, as it is with the Bukusu of Southwestern Kenya, quite a number of traditional customs have been maintained, some with adaptation. It can be argued that the Bukusu culture has also undergone some aspects of syncretism in the sense that some of the traditional practices are slowly being replaced by the new western culture. This notwithstanding, this book documents most of the Bukusu traditions, customs and taboos in regard to the life of a Bukusu woman. The symbolism in the traditions and customs is used to provide an insight into how the Bukusu people conceptualize the life of the woman in view of the norms, values and culture specifically, marital dyad, morality, and rituals, are all implicated in the manner in which the woman is perceived in the Bukusu society. The seasons of life in regard to women has not been captured in many cultures in Africa and in particular in Kenya. It is arguable that most women still live in the armpits of the men and little is known about their life apart from the norm of domesticity.

Margaret Nasambu Barasa is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Languages and Linguistics, Kisii University. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Laikipia University, and a Masters of Arts (English Language and Linguistics) and Bachelors (BED Arts) degrees both from Egerton University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who integrates the conceptual rigours of applied linguistics with language and society, political discourse and gender. She is actively in discipline, university wide, and departmental services in addition to teaching and supervision of postgraduate students. Within her discipline, she has published widely in scholarly or peer-reviewed journals and books.

John S. Akama, the current and pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Kisii University and a passionate academician with regard to publishing research, is a Professor of Geography whose scholarship begun at the University of Nairobi, and later at Ohio State and Southern Illinois Universities in the USA. His research interests are in tourism, wildlife, sociology, and culture. His wide experience in publishing his own research is a resource for researchers who engage in various types of research and who also wish to disseminate their findings through books, book chapters, conference proceedings, or through journal articles in peer-refereed journals.

Peter N. Mose, is a Lecturer of Languages and Linguistics at Kisii University and a Post-doctoral Fellow with Rhodes University in South Africa from which he obtained his PhD in African Languages. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Maseno and Kenyatta Universities respectively, and his Diploma in Human Resource Management (HRM) from the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM). His post-doctoral training, his publishing with peer-refereed international journals and his publishing of school textbooks with publishers in Kenya has equipped him as a researcher and writer. His specialization and research interest are in Language Literacies, Bilingualism, and Language Planning. His current research is in Epistemologies and Language and Academic Research Writing. He is currently a reviewer with four peer refereed international journals three of which are published with Routledge-Taylor and Francis Group.

Peter O. Gutwa holds a PhD in Anthropology, MA in Sociology (& Community Development & Project Management), MA in Monitoring and Evaluation (Ongoing), BA in Anthropology and Diploma in Project Management. He is a researcher, Programme Development Management Specialist and Lecturer with 9 years working experience at Local and National Development Organizations. As a consultant, he has consulted for County governments, National and International Non-governmental organizations and private organizations. He is also the founder of Genesis of Development Foundation and a patron of Seven Community Based Organizations implementing community based interventions supporting various vulnerable populations in Kenya.


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