Marakwet Heritage Project

This website has developed out of the Marakwet Heritage Project which is a community based initiative that builds on decades of social anthropological research in Marakwet conducted Professor Henrietta Moore. Since 2011 the project has combined archaeological research led by Dr Matthew Davies with social anthropology and cognate disciplines to explore the history and heritage of the Marakwet. The Project is located in the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity and UCL African Studies Research Centre.

Research topics have been diverse and involve a number of collaborators and students. Work has particularly focussed on extensive mapping of the Marakwet landscape with special focus on agricultural features including an impressive pre-colonial irrigation network, alongside field systems and patterns of kinship and land-tenure. Other research trajectories have focussed on base-line archaeological survey, historical demography, vegetation and soils, crop and cultivation histories, oral histories and changing ceremonial practices, local and national politics and the market economy and exchange. The project operates through the Marakwet Research Station based in Tot in the Northern Kerio Valley and relies on the station’s team of expert staff headed by Mr Timothy Kipkeu Kiprutto and Ms Helena Chepto. The local team of researchers currently conduct most of the data collection independently and have a significant hand in project design and development. We also work closely with the National Museums of Kenya and are grateful for research authorisation from the Kenyan ministry for science and technology. The Marakwet Heritage project is a major component of the British Academy funded African Farming Network and works closely with the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). Further information on the range of people involved with the Project can be found via the people page while links to collaborating institutions can be found via the links and other resources tab.

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