Exploring Samburu Pastoralists’ Changing ‘Geomorphological’, ‘Ecological’ and Ethical Worlds

James Drew

Africa’s largest wind-farm is under construction in northern Kenya. Many pastoralists, including Samburu have grazed livestock in this landscape for generations. This paper explores the history of how one such Samburu community’s lives, including ethical perceptions and identities, are entwined with ways of knowing landscape. Lkirriti (the way of the sheep) and nkanyit (a ‘respect’ which encompasses all aspects of life) form a complex and diverse ethical web which guides the lives of many Samburus. This ethical web will be explored through a consideration of individuals’ perceptions, understandings and management of their ‘geomorphological’ and ‘ecological’ worlds, which are expressed in many forms, including ceremonies, song, livestock husbandry, and everyday talk and action. Lives and ethical constructions of various people will be narrated in the context of perceptions of changing political influences, conflict dynamics, and the wind-farm renewable resource management project.