The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.
This project will document audio and video episodes of narrations based on the process of male initiation among the Terik of Kenya. Terik is a Kalenjin (Nilotic) language spoken by some 20,000 people. Initiation entails one month of seclusion and mentorship whereby boys are taught diverse aspects of Terik way of life and cultural identity. However, this process is threatened by modern alternative rights of passage through hospital and church oriented options. Linguistic and cultural assimilation by the Nandi, Luhya and Luo neighbours has precipitated systematic loss of Terik culture and identity. Terik youth may not experience the folk wisdom transmitted intergenerationally during initiation.
Primary investigator: Benson Oduor Ojwang