A militant nationalist movement in Kenya. Its origins can be traced back to the Kikuyu Central Association, founded in 1920, and it was initially confined to the area of the White Highlands which Kikuyu people regarded as having been stolen from them. It imposed fierce oaths on its followers. It was anti-Christian as well as anti-European. From 1952 it became more nationalist in aim and indulged in a campaign of violence, killing some 2000 Black Africans who failed to support its programme as well as some 230 Europeans. Jomo Kenyatta was gaoled as an alleged Mau Mau leader in 1953. In a brutally effective counter-insurgency campaign the British placed more than 100,000 Kikuyu in detention camps. Widespread political and social reforms followed, leading to Kenyan independence in 1963.