Papers, 1933-1955, of Leslie Whitehouse, relating to the language and customs of the Masai, comprising a letter to Whitehouse concerning the proof of 'Masai Social Customs', synopsis of a chapter on the Masai by Whitehouse, and typescript notes, 1933; undated typescripts on Masai grammar and vocabulary; manuscripts on Masai vocabulary and grammar, c1953-1955.
Papers of Leslie Whitehouse
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 102 MS 380646
- Dates of Creation1933 - 1955
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialMasai English
- Physical Description3 folders
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Born in Suffolk, 1901; known as Wouse; emigrated to Kenya, 1920; became an education officer among the Masai; learned the language and became an expert on Masai culture; transferred to the Administrative Service; serving as District Commissioner of Turkana District when Jomo Kenyatta (later Prime Minister, 1963, and President, 1964, of Kenya) and other convicts of the Mau Mau organisation (which aimed in the 1950s to force the expulsion of white settlers) were detained there; became friends with Kenyatta, who influenced his views on African politics; retired at the time of Kenyan independence (1963) and became a Kenyan citizen, helping to demarcate the national boundaries and travelling long distances through wild terrain; continued to work as a magistrate into old age; awarded Kenya's highest decoration, Grand Warrior of Kenya; died, 1989. For further information see Elizabeth Watkins's biography, Jomo's Jailor: Grand Warrior of Kenya (Britwell Books, Watlington, 1996; first published in France, 1993).
Conditions Governing Access
The material was presented by Hugh Walker in 1995.
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