Oathing, Law and Order in Colonial Gusiiland


  • Jackson Maranga Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University




Gusii, Law, Oath-taking, Order.


Though looked upon as informal and backward, oath-taking practices were employed in the administration of law and order among the Gusii people of Kenya during the colonial period. This chapter examines the role of oath-taking in the maintenance of law and order in colonial Gusiiland. More specifically, the chapter examines (1) the various types of oaths among the Gusii people; (2) the contribution of these various forms of oaths to the maintenance of law and order; (3) the relationship between oaths and gender among the Gusii people and (4) the impact of colonial administration on Gusii oath-taking ceremonies. Data which informed this chapter was obtained from archival sources as well as secondary literature.  

Author Biography

Jackson Maranga, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University

Master of Arts


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Ezekiel Ochari (92 years) of Gucha South, Eyamarambe, etago, interviewed on 28th December 2014 at noon.

Mzee Omoke (90 Years Old) Of Magenche Division, Kenyenya Sub-County, Interviewed On 27th December 2014 at 3.00 Pm.