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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:'Singwaya Was a Mere Small Station': Islamization and ethnic primacy in Digo oral traditions of origin and migration
Author:Park, J.K.
Year:2012
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Volume:24
Issue:2
Pages:157-170
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:History - General
Subjects:Digo - ethnic group
Islam
Oral Tradition
Abstract:The oral tradition about Singwaya as a place of origin and the subsequent migration from there is a frequent topic in discussions of the ethnic orientation of the coastal people of Kenya. As these people have undergone social change over time, their oral traditions concerning Singwaya have similarly seen changes and shifts. This article aims at interpreting how the dynamic realities of social transition undergone by the Digo of the south coast of Kenya are articulated in their oral traditions of origin and migration. The analysis centres on the effects of Islamization and the claims of ethnic primacy observed in the present versions of Digo oral traditions. While the vast majority of the Digo have become Muslims, their socio-economic and political status has been marginalized in post-independence Kenya. Their experiences and sentiments in the shifting conditions of the coastal society have been reflected in their oral traditions. [Journal Abstract]
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