Accepted paper:

Festival for Kenyan Cuisine.


Lydia Timona (Leipzig University)

Paper short abstract:

“The Festival for Kenyan Cuisine” exhibition is an opportunity to both address the food issue and celebrate our diversity. A family that eats together stays together. The festival aims to foster national unity, pride & cohesion by focusing on things that bring us together, the most basic being food.

Paper long abstract:

Food is a must and very essential of all human activities than sex as it satisfies human hunger urge every day. Food is always shared among African communities and people eat together. Anthropologists accord food the central place in their ethnographic that it occupies in human existence. Therefore this abstract examines a variety of issue around food and eating cultures. Such as: food and social change; food security; eating and rituals; eating and identities. Societal changes on eating patterns are associated with variety of economic and political changes. People on the move have brought about the change in diet. War is also an agent of dietary change (Vargas 1992). In Kenya 2007/2008 post-election violence affected the economy badly attributing to an increasing inflation of prices making food unaffordable thus affecting the diet. Food security remains a challenge in Kenya as it experiences frequent droughts; some of them are so dire. Food in African cultures is connected to rituals, symbols, and belief. Food binds people to their faith. Food itself is sacred through its association with supernatural beings and processes (Bloch 1985). Cow meat is prestigious in all communities in Kenyan. Luhya and Mijikenda communities belief that once a very close person in the family has died, a cow need to be slaughtered, cooked and eaten as a symbol of resting the dead spirit in peace. Mijikenda communities go to the Kayas (sacred site) to pray during calamities like drought. A cow is slaughtered and cooked alongside with other food and shared.

panel P110
Food cultures in Africa: food production, consumption, and prestige ranking in the age of development