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Chuka Town Kenya

Chuka Town overview

Chuka town is located in Meru County of Kenya about 70Km South Of Meru Town. It falls within Eastern Province and the people of the area are Meru speaking. Chuka Town is on the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya.

Chuka Town is chiefly occupied by the Chuka people, one of the nine Meru dialect Speakers. They dwell on the south-eastern slopes of Mt. Kenya, and cover the area between the Thuci River in the south, and the Nithi River in the north. It is a common tradition with the Chuka that they have always been in the forests of Mt. Kenya hence they moved down to their present abode. Other versions of the Chuka migratory tradition say that they came out from Mbwa with the other Meru. The Chuka are believed to have sprung from the Tharaka,another of the meru subtibes. They have also a form of blood-brotherhood with the Igembe and the Tigania of the northern meru dialects. On the other hand there are some customs, as, for instance, the method of circumcision, by which the Chuka are similar to the Embu.

The Chuka are primarily Meru who, having climbed the first slopes of Mt. Kenya, clearing the forest for cultivation (even at present the fields of the Chuka are on the lower section of their country), mixed with the aboriginal inhabitants of the forest and established some kind of contact with the Embu. These aboriginal forest inhabitants seem to have been the Gumba, now only remembered by some traditions and described as very small people. It seems certain that they were a pygmy race. Some even say that the Chuka may have come from the Coast about A.D. 1300. Their exodus was provoked by an invasion from Somalia, which drove away the people living round Shungwaya, north of Malindi. Of the Meru District, the Chuka were those who have suffered most the impact and violence of Mau Mau rebellion. During the Emergency they were the only Meru to be forcibly settled into villages of the Kikuyu and Embu pattern. Later, they were allowed to return to their fields, as before.