Missionary Interactions with Cultural Issues on Marriage among the Nandi of Kenya

Mary M. Kobimbo


The missionary interactions with the Nandi people is an encounter of distinct, distant and powerfully dynamic cultural issues. These dynamics play out amid concerns of biases, conflicts, and concessions in marital rites and practices among Nandi Christians from the inception of Christianity in the missionary era, to modern Nandi Christianity today. In a descriptive and comparative survey, marriage dynamics among Nandi Christians from the colonial /missionary era to the present day are explored through a qualitative study of both primary and secondary data, which reveal that Christian missionary approaches and strategies conflicted with the dominant traditional Nandi marital, cultural values which the Nandi Christians continue to uphold. The observation is that the future of Nandi Christian marriage lies in a combined approach to Nandi practices and Christian practices on marriage, by blending and accommodating the positive relevant Nandi pro-family communal values and Christian practices that can be expressed within Nandi Christian marriage without sliding into syncretism.
Keywords: Nandi, Culture, Marriage, Polygamy, Missionaries, Christian

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