Living “in Line”

in Worries of the Heart

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226554198
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226554228 | DOI:
Living “in Line”

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter tells Shem Olovoga's story about his family's eviction from their house by Christians who sought to establish a village (“a line”) on his father's land. Olovoga was known in the village as a good storyteller. The evictions obviously bred ill will: the evicted felt their rights utterly violated, and those they went to live with felt infringed upon and, worse still, infringed upon by distant clan members to whom they felt they owed little. The family of James Keverenge was also evicted in a manner similar to that of Olovoga's parents. The parents of the young Christian men, especially the widowed mothers, felt wronged by their self-righteous and often imperious sons. In the eyes of the locals, the physical appearance of the Christian villages was dramatic. Christian masculinity cohered nicely with Maragoli masculinity. By the mid-1920s, the men who had moved to the Christian villages were flourishing economically.

Keywords: Shem Olovoga; Christians; James Keverenge; Christian villages; Christian masculinity; Maragoli masculinity

Chapter.  5859 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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