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Whitehouse, Leslie

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 MS 380646
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Whitehouse, Leslie
Date(s): 1933-1955
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 folders
Name of creator(s): Whitehouse | Leslie | 1901-1989 | colonial administrator | known as Wouse


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Suffolk, 1901; known as Wouse; emigrated to Kenya, 1920; became an education officer among the Masai; learned the language and became an expert on Masai culture; transferred to the Administrative Service; serving as District Commissioner of Turkana District when Jomo Kenyatta (later Prime Minister, 1963, and President, 1964, of Kenya) and other convicts of the Mau Mau organisation (which aimed in the 1950s to force the expulsion of white settlers) were detained there; became friends with Kenyatta, who influenced his views on African politics; retired at the time of Kenyan independence (1963) and became a Kenyan citizen, helping to demarcate the national boundaries and travelling long distances through wild terrain; continued to work as a magistrate into old age; awarded Kenya's highest decoration, Grand Warrior of Kenya; died, 1989. For further information see Elizabeth Watkins's biography, Jomo's Jailor: Grand Warrior of Kenya (Britwell Books, Watlington, 1996; first published in France, 1993).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1933-1955, of Leslie Whitehouse, relating to the language and customs of the Masai, comprising a letter to Whitehouse concerning the proof of 'Masai Social Customs', synopsis of a chapter on the Masai by Whitehouse, and typescript notes, 1933; undated typescripts on Masai grammar and vocabulary; manuscripts on Masai vocabulary and grammar, c1953-1955.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist and database.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The material was presented by Hugh Walker in 1995.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Oxford University, Rhodes House Library, holds Whitehouse's non-linguistic papers.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Revised by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: British Library OPAC;

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Apr 2002

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