Samuel Lunn-Rockliffe

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Oxford, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9345

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Lunn-Rockliffe, Samuel P., U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Connecting Past and Present: Cherangani-Sengwer Foragers of the Cherangani Hills, Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Peter Mitchell

Preliminary abstract: The notion that people are integrally bound to their environment both physically and socially has become increasingly important in current debates surrounding ‘indigeneity’. Engaging productively with these discussions must involve investigating communities within their own social, historical and environmental contexts in order to develop more rigorous theories as to how identity is constructed in time and space. This project addresses the question of how the Cherangani- Sengwer foraging communities in the Embobut Forest of the Cherangani Hills, Kenya, conceptualise their ‘indigeneity’. This is especially relevant given recent attempts by the national government to move the Cherangani-Sengwer from the forest, prompting the community to re-assert their right to live in Cherangani by drawing upon a range of historical and cultural ideas that demonstrate the importance of the relationship they bear with their landscape. By using a combination of archaeological and anthropological methods and theories, this project aims to conduct a diachronic analysis of how Cherangani-Sengwer quotidian life is materialised in the landscape in order to ground discursive political rhetoric surrounding ‘indigeneity’ in the materiality and temporality of everyday tasks.