Overtly Muslim, Covertly Boni: Competing Calls of Religious Allegiance on the Kenyan Coast by Mark R. J. Faulkner

Overtly Muslim, Covertly Boni: Competing Calls of Religious Allegiance on the Kenyan Coast by Mark R. J. Faulkner

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This volume explores the way of life of the Boni community, a hunter-gatherer people that straddle the Kenya/Somali border in East Africa. The Boni converted to Islam some fifty years ago and the reasons for this, both internal and external to the community, are identified. The book argues that former indigenous religious activity, far from having died out, is now being renegotiated so as to reflect an evolving Boni self-identity in a multi-ethnic setting as well as allowing the fermentation of resistance in the face of attempts at cultural hegemony advanced by outside forces. Employing a phenomenological approach and a methodology based on participant observation, this volume identifies three contrasting spheres of religious activity – the bush, the village centre, and individual homesteads.

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