International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Land as Story and the Place of The Story: A Contemporary Kenyan Illustration of Landscape as Text
Michael Wainaina

The discussion of this paper seeks to contribute to the growing body of wide ranging studies which seek to analyse the diffusion of the core concepts regarding ‘places’ and ‘landscape’ as texts of social, anthropological and cultural analysis. These concepts according to Wilson and David (2002) are centered on experience through which social and personal expressions of place-marking signal a cultural presence and give the land social and cultural significance. This approach recognizes that the products of people’s engagement with landscapes are meaningfully constructed social texts involving spatial and bodily experience. These texts are constructed as people, landscapes and things are constantly involved in the process of inscribing place. It is therefore necessary to study the social cultural and political contexts that provide geographical landscapes their textual/narrative significance. This paper explores landscape texts by discussing issues that surround the Gikuyu cultural heritage site at Mukurwe Wa Nyagathanga. The paper seeks to discuss this landscape in regard to Gikuyu identity and the tensioned-narratives emerging from the need to preserve the old but also to inscribe a new contemporary con-text of a globalizing Kenya.

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