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Kenya Tribes

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Boni

The Awer people live in Lamu and Ijara districts. They are called Boni, meaning people of a lower caste system, by the Somali neighbors. They are hunters and gatherers and live in the Boni and Dodori Forest Reserves.

Turkana

The Turkana tribe is a nomadic pastoralist people that inhabit Turkanaland in northwest Kenya – a vast tract of land encompassing mostly thorn scrub and semi desert, representing one of the harshest regions of Africa.

Tharaka

Tharaka occupy the low plains between the slopes of Mount Kenya in the west and the upper Tana River in the east. Their history of immigration dates back to the spread of the Bantu people. There are about 100,000 in population.

Teso

The Iteso, plural are an ethnic group in Uganda (eastern) and Kenya (western). In Kenya they live in Teso District and are part of a group that migrated from Ethiopia around 1600 A.D. and split into two branches,

Giriama

The Giriama(Agiryama) people are Bantus living along the coastal areas of kenya mostly found in the Kilifi and Malindi district. They are of the nine ethic groups that makeup the mijikenda and they are the largest of

Taita

The Taita tribe (also called Wataita) is a Kenyan tribe that is located in the Taita-Taveta District. They speak Taita which belongs to the Bantu languages. The West-Bantu moved to the area of the Taita-Taveta district firs

Segeju

The Segeju are an ethnic and linguistic group based on the northeast coast of Tanzania, between Tanga and the Kenyan border. Segeju population was estimated to number fewer than 15,000 in year 2003 with less than 7000

Samburu

The Samburu are semi nomadic people who inhabit an arid region in northern Kenya they belong to the Maa speaking group of people. They have traditionally herdeded cattle, though lately some have taken up farming.

Rendile

The Rendille are a Cushitic tribe that inhabits the climatically harsh region between Marsabit hills and Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya where they neighbor the Borana, Gabbra, Samburu and Turkana tribes.

Taveta

The Taveta tribe is one of the Bantu ethnicities in south central Kenya in East Africa’s Taveta district inhabiting mainly the lands between Tsavo National Park, and the Tanzania border, up to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Pokomo

The Pokomo live along the Tana River in Kenya. Since arriving here from the north after being driven south by wars in the 17th century, they have made their lives within the flood plain, developing their agriculture and fishing

Orma

The Orma are semi-nomadic herders who live in the semi-arid bush lands of south-eastern Kenya. The tribe has a population of about 70,000 people .They are related to the Borana and other Oromo groups. The Orma language is

Ogiek

Ogiek people are classified under the Nilo-hamatic speakers Ogiek people have a language called Ogiek. Ogiek people have language considered to be having both Maasai and Kalenjin people words but with an absolute different dialect

Embu

It is a small tribe closely related to the Kikuyu and Meru tribes. The Embu tribe lives on the south-eastern side of Mount Kenya, and is very closely related to a nearby tribecalled the Mbeere. They are approximately half a

Duruma

The Duruma people are one of the nine Mijikenda (‘nine towns’) tribes of Kenya. They live on the Indian Ocean coast, along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway south to the Tanzania border. The Duruma tribe evolved in the 17th

Dahalo

Dahalo is an endangered South Cushitic language. They inhabit the Kenyan coast near the mouth of Tana River. They are about 400 people who are able to speak the language. It is unlikely that children are still being taught

Njemps

The Chamus (Njemps) people speak the Samburu language and are often counted as Samburu people. They are about19046 in population.The Chamus (Njemps) lives in Baringo. Njemps are unique people who are the only pastoral

Mijikenda

The Mijikenda tribe is a composite tribe. Mijikenda means “the nine cities” as this tribe is actually made up of 9 separate ethnic groups of people: the Kauma, Chonyi, Jibana, Giriama, Kamabe, Ribe, Rabai, Duruma and Digo.

Mbeere

The Mbeere people are a Kenya tribe very similar to the Embu the oral history indicates that the two tribes were originally one Embu tribe. The Mbeere split from the Embu after an inter-clan war which the Embu clan won.

Meru

Meru tribe or Merus are Bantu ethnic group who reside on the rich agricultural north eastern slopes of Mount Kenya in the Eastern province of Kenya since the 17 century. They are approximately 1.5 million in population.

Marakwet

It is a sub-tribe of the larger Kalenjin group with an estimated population of 200 000. It is made up of the sub-dialects namely; Almoo, Cherangany (Sengwer or Kimaala), Endoow, Markweta (the sub-dialect giving rise to the

Maasai

The Maasai are arguably the only ethnic group in Kenya that brings the real picture and symbol of ‘tribal’ Kenya. They are very famous and have a unique culture which has been preserved and conserved for centuries. They are

luo

The Luo people live in the west of Kenya on the shore of Lake Victoria. They form the third largest ethnic group in Kenya from Kikuyu and Luhya and dominate Nyanza province in Kenya and also can be found in Eastern Uganda and

Luhya

The Luhya (also Luyia, Luhia, Abaluhya) are the second largest ethnic group in Kenya, numbering about 5.3 million people. The Luhya are made up of about 16 sub-ethnic groups in Kenya, the most dominant groups being the:

Kuria

The Kuria are an ethnic and linguistic group resident in the Tarime and Serengeti districts of the Mara region in Northern Tanzania, and the west and east districts of Nyanza Province in southwest Kenya with 213,000 living

Kikuyu

The Kikuyu are Bantus. They came to Kenya during the Bantu migration. They include some families from all the surrounding people and can be identified with the Kamba, the Meru, the Embu and the Chuka

Kalenjin

The Kalenjins are estimated to have a population of about 2.7 million people according to 1993 census. They are an ethnic grouping of eight culturally and linguistically related groups or “tribes”. These include; the

Isukha

The Isukha are considered a smaller sub-group of the Luhya tribe, which is the 2nd largest ethnic group in Kenya. They speak Wanga language a dialect of the main Luhya language. They leave in western part of Kenya near

Gusii

Modernly known as the kisii people are Bantu together with the Kamba, Meru and Kikuyu. They speak the language of Kisii or as commonly known as ekegusii among the native speakers. The Meru in Eastern province are closely

Gabbra

The Gabbra are an Eastern Cushitic people related to the Somali-Rendille in their historical background having originated in the southern Ethiopian highlands about 1000AD. The Gabbra are closely related both historically

Elmolo

The little known El molo tribe is the smallest tribe in Kenya living on the southeastern shore of Lake Turkana. El molo’s total population is about 4000 people but pure Elmolo people are very few. The name El molo came from

Digo

The Digo are a Bantu tribe concentrated on the southern coastal strip of Kenya between Mombasa and the border of Tanzania and are actually grouped together with eight other tribes. Together these tribes make up the Mijikenda,

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