[Treaty/Agreement of 10 and 15 August 1904]

Recovering the Histories of Land Treaties

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We, the Undersigned, being the Lybon and Chief (representatives) of the existing clans and sections of the Masai tribes in the East Africa Protectorate, having, this 9th day of August, 1904, met Sir Donald Stewart, His Majesty's Commissioner for the East Africa Protectorate, and discussed fully the question of a land settlement scheme for the Masai, have, of our own free will, decided that it is for our best interests to remove our people, flocks, and herds into definite reservations away from the railway line, and away from any land that may be thrown open to European settlement.

We have, after having already discussed the matter with Mr. Hobley at Naivasha and Mr. Ainsworth at Nairobi, given this matter every consideration, and we recognize that the government, in taking up this question, are taking into consideration our best interests.

Now, we, being fully satisfied that the proposals for our removal to definite and final reserves are for the undoubted good of our race, have agreed as follows:

That the Elburgu, Gekunuki, Loita, Damat, and Laitutok sections shall remove absolutely to Laikipia, and the boundaries of the settlement shall be, approximately, as follows:. . . .

And by the removal of the foregoing sections to the reserve we undertake to vacate the whole of the Rift Valley, to be used by the government for purposes of European settlement. Further, that the Kaptei, Matapatu, Ndogalani, and Sigarari sections shall remove into the territory originally occupied by them to the south of Donyo Lamayu (Ngongo), and the Kisearian stream, and to comprise within the area the Donyo Lamuyu, Ndogalani, and Matapatu mountains, and the Donyo Narok, and to extend to Sosian on the west.

In addition to the foregoing, Lenana, as Chief Lybon, and his successors, to be allowed to occupy the land lying in between the Nbagathi and Kisearian streams from Donyo Lamuyu to the point where both streams meet, with the exception of land already occupied by Mr. Oulton, Mr. McQueen, and Mr. Paterson.

In addition to the foregoing, we asked that a right of road to include certain access to water be granted to us to allow of our keeping up communications between the two reserved areas, and further, that we be allowed to retain control of at least five square miles of land (at a point on the slopes of Kinangop to be pointed out by Legalishu and Masakondi), whereat we can carry out our circumcision rites and ceremonies in accordance with the custom of our ancestors.

We ask, as a most important point in this arrangement, that the government will establish and maintain a station on Laikipia, and that officers whom we know and trust may be appointed to look after us there.

Also that the government will pay reasonable compensation for any Masai cultivation at present existing near Nairobi.

In conclusion, we wish to state that we are quite satisfied with the foregoing arrangement, and we bind ourselves and our successors, as well as our people, to observe them.

We would, however, ask that the settlement now arrived at shall be enduring so long as the Masai as a race shall exist, and that European or other settlers shall not be allowed to take up land in the settlements.

In confirmation of this agreement, which has been read and fully explained [to us,] we hereby set our marks against our names as under:

Lenana, son of Mbatian, Lybon of all the Masai.

Masakondi, son of Arariu, Lybon at Naivasha.

Signed at Nairobi, August 15th, 1904:

Lemani, Elmura of Matapatu.

Leteregi, ditto.

Lelmurua, Leganan of Kapte.

Lakombe, Elmura of Kapte.

Limgiseng, Elmura of Ndogalani.

Lisiari, ditto.

Mepaku, Head Elmoran of Matapatu.

Lambari, Leganon of Ndogalani.

Naivasha, representing Elburgu, Gekunuku, Loita, Damat, and Laitutok.

Legalishu, Leganan of Elburgu.

Olmugesa, ditto.

Olainomodo, ditto.

Olotogia, ditto.

Olieti, ditto.

Lanairugu, ditto.

Lingaldu, ditto.

Ginomun, ditto.

Liwala, Leganan of Gekunuki.

Lembogi, Leganan of Laitutok.

Signed at Nairobi, August 15th, 1904:

Sabori, Elmura of Elburgu.

I, Donald Stewart, K.C.M.G., His Majesty's Commissioner for the East Africa Protectorate, hereby agree to the foregoing, provided the Secretary of State approves of the agreement, and in witness thereof I have this 10th day of August, 1904, set my hand and seal.

Digital Publication Details

Title: [Treaty/Agreement of 10 and 15 August 1904]

Creator(s): Lenana; Masakondi; Lemani; Leteregi; Lelmurua; Lakombe; Limgiseng; Lisiari; Mepaku; Lambari; Naivasha; Legalishu; Olmugesa; Olainomodo; Olotogia; Olieti; Lanairugu; Lingaldu; Ginomun; Liwala; Lembogi; Sabori; Donald Stewart

Publication date: (1914) 2023

Digital publishers: One More Voice, The Ardhi Initiative

Critical encoding: Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri, Adrian S. Wisnicki

One More Voice identifier: liv_022001

Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Lenana, Masakondi, Lemani, Leteregi, Lelmurua, Lakombe, Limgiseng, Lisiari, Mepaku, Lambari, Naivasha, Legalishu, Olmugesa, Olainomodo, Olotogia, Olieti, Lanairugu, Lingaldu, Ginomun, Liwala, Lembogi, Sabori, and Donald Stewart. (1914) 2023. “[Treaty/Agreement of 10 and 15 August 1904].” Edited by Ng’ang’a Wahu-Mũchiri and Adrian S. Wisnicki. In One More Voice, solidarity edition; The Ardhi Initiative. https://onemorevoice.org/html/recovering-histories/kenya/liv_022001_HTML.html.

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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