I. EAST AFRICA IN 1880 In 1880 the interior of East Africa had experienced little contact with Europeans. The area from the coast to the highlands of the interior, and the region to the north - about one-half of the total area of the country - was arid and sparsely settled. The land rose to the hills and plains inhabited by the Kamba, who were an agricultural people with some cattle. To the west lived the Kikuyu, raising both crops and livestock. In the Great Rift Valley, from Kilimanjaro to Mount Elgon, the pastoral Masai grazed their cattle on the rich highland plains. The Kavirondo area, around the north-eastern area of Lake Victoria was more densely populated by agriculturalists. The interior of the future East African Protectorate, now known as Kenya, excepting the arid lands immediately behind the coast and to the north, was suited for agriculture, because of its fertile soil and a warm, humid climate. For all the beauty and richness of the land, however, the inhabitants existed at a bare subsistence level, troubled by warfare and disease, living simply in little huts. Low productivity methods of cultivation provided meagre and uncertain returns. The variability of the rainfall led to recurring famines, causing great hardship for the peoples of this region of East Africa.