HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 16, 2013 – Dr. Larry Simpson, history professor at High Point University, recently published an article, titled “Becoming Samburu: The Ethnogenesis of a Pastoral People in Nineteenth Century Northern Kenya.” The article appeared in July-December 2012 edition (Vol. 3, No. 2) of the academic publication, “The Journal of the Middle East and Africa.”
Co-authored by Peter Waweru, a Kenyan historian who is a lecturer at Laikipia University College, the article is based on a paper Simpson presented at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, which was recognized as the “Best Paper-Africa” at the event. The article examines how an ethnic group came to assume a common, corporate identity in the second quarter of the 1800s.
“Waweru and I used archival records and oral histories as sources, as well as linguistic analysis and comparisons of the Samburu’s material culture with their neighbors to reconstruct the Samburu’s origins and early history,” Simpson notes.
The article has also served graduate students in HPU’s history department, he says. “I presented an earlier draft of the article to students in a graduate reading seminar on colonial Africa, and found that the material helped them understand some of the unique aspects of African pastoral societies in a historical perspective,” Simpson says.