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This is a study of development and change on the local level in East Africa during the introduction and establishment of colonialism. Over the years the emphasis in African History has gradually shifted from the study of imperial policy and the Europeans' role to that of the African inhabitants. Until recently, this new focus has resulted principally in valuable studies of the precolonial life and migrations. Now it is the first decades of the twentieth century that are under scrutiny. This period, spanning the establishment of the colonial system, undoubtably had a great impact on independent Kenya.