The Mau Mau Rebellion was an uprising against British colonial rule in Kenya that began in 1952.

During this time there was a long history of resentment caused by the appropriation of land, somewhat similar to the current unrest in Zimbabwe.

The British governing officials repeatedly ignored the grievances brought by the people of Kenya. The Mau Mau rebels formed as a grassroots effort to deal with the problem head on. Their methods often included violence, primarily against Europeans and their Black African supporters.

By the time the rebellion was ended in 1955 over ten thousand rebels were killed and nearly 80,000 of the Mau Mau's Kikuyu ethnic group were confined to detention camps.

The rebellion itself was a failure but it planted the seeds that would eventually free Kenya of British rule.

Interestingly, the father of Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine was a Mau Mau guerilla fighter.

The words 'Mau Mau' themselves come from the oath that was taken at the clandestine meetings.

Knowing full well that the white settlers would send their Kikuyu servants to spy on the meetings and report back to their masters, the attendees were bound never to repeat what they heard or saw to anyone else.

If asked about the meeting they were only to say, " Maundu mau, maundu mau" or in English, "those things, those things."

The resistance movement was headed by many veterans of the British campaign in Burma during World War 2 and the relative success of their campaign of guerilla warfare was as a direct result of their training in jungle warfare.

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