Influence of Colonial Policies on Isukha Marriage, 1894-1945


This paper examines the Isukha marital institution before the establishment of colonial rule and the transformation that occurred when it interacted with colonial economic policies.  Specifically, the paper explores and highlight how colonial rule generally conflicted with and undermined Isukha traditional practices including the institution of marriage. In particular it looks at the various explanations behind British occupation of Isukha land, forceful encouragement of male labour migration, the introduction of taxes and how these affected Isukha marriage system and family relations. It is therefore important to provide a synopsis of the early contact between the Isukha and Europeans as examined in the paper. Methodology for this study involved data collected from secondary and primary data derived from archival and field research. The conclusion drawn from the study is that before colonialism in Isukha there existed stable marriage system. This stability was guaranteed by the kinship system and community interest. All social and economic security system gradually collapsed, with introduction of colonialism exposing men and women to any eventuality. Consequently, colonial rule drove more able men out of their localities, as forced labour and taxation became the words to describe localities of Isukha during this period. With frequent absence of men, who left their villages to seek paid employment in urban areas or settlers farms and the decline of traditional institutions and uncertainty arising from changes in society, more and more women ran away from their marriage to urban centres because they could not cope with the general deprivation in the rural areas.

Keywords: Colonial Rule, Isukha, Marriage

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 1-24 (Download PDF)

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