- Mau Mau
a member of a revolutionary society in Kenya, established in the early 1950s, that consisted chiefly of Kikuyu and engaged in terrorist activities in an attempt to drive out the European settlers and to give government control to the native Kenyans.[ < Kikuyu]
* * *Militant Kikuyu-led nationalist movement of the 1950s in Kenya.The Mau Mau (the name's origin is uncertain) advocated violent resistance to British domination in Kenya. In response to actions by Mau Mau rebels, the British Kenya government banned the movement in 1950 and launched a series of military operations between 1952 and 1956. Some 11,000 Kikuyu, 100 Europeans, and 2,000 African loyalists were killed in the fighting; another 20,000 Kikuyu were put into detention camps. Despite their losses, Kikuyu resistance spearheaded the independence movement, and Jomo Kenyatta, jailed as a Mau Mau leader in 1953, became prime minister of independent Kenya in 1963. In 2003 the ban on the Mau Mau was lifted.
* * *▪ Kenyan political movementmilitant African nationalist movement that originated in the 1950s among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. The Mau Mau (origin of the name is uncertain) advocated violent resistance to British domination in Kenya; the movement was especially associated with the ritual oaths employed by leaders of the Kikuyu Central Association to promote unity in the independence movement.In 1950 the Mau Mau were banned by British authorities, and in October 1952, after a campaign of sabotage and assassination attributed to Mau Mau terrorists, the British (British Empire) Kenya government declared a state of emergency and began four years of military operations against Kikuyu rebels. By the end of 1956, more than 11,000 rebels had been killed in the fighting, along with about 100 Europeans and 2,000 African loyalists. More than 20,000 other Kikuyu were put into detention camps, where intensive efforts were made to convert them to the political views of the government—i.e., to abandon their nationalist aspirations. Despite these government actions, Kikuyu resistance spearheaded the Kenya independence movement, and Jomo Kenyatta (Kenyatta, Jomo), who had been jailed as a Mau Mau leader in 1953, became prime minister of an independent Kenya 10 years later. In 2003 the ban on the Mau Mau was lifted by the Kenyan government.
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