|Kikuyu man on a Sunday afternoon (photo: Jens Finke)|
Karibuni - welcome to the Traditional Music and Cultures of Kenya, a multimedia encyclopaedia dedicated to Kenya's tribes and people. Twelve of a planned forty-two Kenyan tribes are currently covered in detail, each with extensive sections covering their history (written and oral), culture, society and customs, way of life, religion and cosmological beliefs, fables and legends, riddles and proverbs, and - of course - music and dance. The five hundred pages of text are accompanied by over two hundred and forty photographs and seven hours of music.
The great news, especially for those who have been following this site's (lack of) progress over the last few years, is that I finally saved up enough to fund the year of work required to complete this website. Updates will be coming fast and furiously throughout 2007, hopefully ending up with full coverage of each of Kenya's officially-recognized 42 tribes (plus those ignored or forgotten by the census) in something like 2000 pages, 1500 photos and at least 35 hours of music. Oh yes, we'll have some videos, too.
Right now, I'd like some help in two areas. Photographs and texts relating to any aspect of Kenya's traditional cultures are always welcome, and I'd also really appreciate some hints for setting up a database, initially for the site's new bibliography. It's got to be simple, but so far I've had no joy – would be good to chat with a human about this, rather than trying to understand obtuse websites on the subject. So, if anyone has a working knowledge of php/mysql databases, please get in touch!
Lastly, seeing as I'll be recoding the site over the next month or so, if you want to suggest changes to this website's design, structure or useability, please let me know now rather than later.
That's it for now - do enjoy the site.
Getting there, I promise... After one too many years of having the website unchanged (thanks to the need to work for a living, rather than indulge my passion for this website), the great news is that I've finally managed to save up enough money to be able to spend all of next year getting it on with the site's long-delayed completion. Once the coding behind the scenes has been given a revamp (primarily to separate coding from content to ease the updating or adding of pages), first in line are probably the sections on Luo, Luhya, Mijikenda, Kalenjin and Borana. Things should be moving pretty quickly from January onwards, with updates posted every week or so.
New pages The Kenyan internet links page has been completely updated; there are many more (always useful!) links than previously, all fully reviewed, and of course they all work. Or at least they did this morning. Other new pages: thanks to David Akombo for letting me reproduce his thought-provoking paper Use of Drumming as Cure for Children with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and to Brandon Judge for his outstanding thesis about The Ngoma Healing Ritual of the Taita People. Both are housed in the section about Kenya's Taita tribe. On the technical side, the help page for playing the sound clips has been thoroughly revised, although additional feedback - especially from Mac and Linux users - is still very welcome. Lastly, continuing apologies to Brandon, Hans, David and the Muellers for being so slow in uploading their new material (especially the sound and video clips, for which I'm hugely grateful) - it will be done, all in good time, so please just a tiny little bit more patience! Thanks.
Coming soon Coming up soon is a brand new tribal section about Kenya's Mijikenda - Kenya's "Nine Tribes" - who comprise the Chonyi, Digo, Duruma, Giriama, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai and Ribe tribes. It will include a welter of hitherto unpublished material about Shungwaya, that much revered and still very mysterious Somali homeland of several Kenyan tribes, including the Mijikenda, Taita, Pokomo and Segeju, and indeed some sections of Kenya's Central Bantu.
|also by Jens Finke
Chasing the Lizard's Tail - across the Sahara by bicycle
Planosphere.com - fine art photography