Tribes in Kenya: Kenya‘s most important natural heritage is her people – they are skilled, educated, experienced and productive.
Kenyan People are the force behind Kenya’s vibrant economy and they have spread to all parts of the world – East Africa, the rest of Africa, Europe and the Americas have felt the impact of Kenyans. They are in business, academia, professions, entertainment and sport, among others.
Their diversity, traditions, customs and practices create a totality of the distinct people that are Kenyans. They work together compete and interact in many ways.
Kenya is multi- cultural, multi – national and multi – ethnic with many languages, religions and lifestyles. What is more?
Ethnic Groups in Kenya
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For many Kenyans tribal ethnicity is the single most important part of their personal identity. Although the average Kenyan may outwardly have drifted away from tribal customs, the language he or she speaks (their “mother tongue”) is a mark of ethnic distinction. Many Kenyans also follow traditional practices, which manifest themselves in all kinds of ways, from the manner in which the festive roast goat is served, to the names they give their children.
Tribes in Kenya – Cultural Practices
Increasingly, the more contentious rituals, such as female genital mutilation, are largely outlawed, although circumcision still remains the main rite of passage for boys entering adulthood.
Tribes in Kenya and Politics
The advent of multiparty politics in 1992 put an end to much of the political tribalism that was so prevalent during the Kenyatta and Moi eras, both of whom tended to favor their own tribes economically. Nevertheless, Kenyan politics is still divided along tribal lines and will probably remain so for a few generations yet. Socially, however, overt demonstrations of tribalism are increasingly frowned upon, and the now fashionable code of “Corporate Social Responsibility” insists that tribal links should have no bearing on the job market.
Tribes in Kenya – Black and White
Racial discrimination based on the color of one’s skin is largely unknown. The average Kenyan is more than happy with the color of his skin and wouldn’t want it otherwise. Many find the pinkness and ungainly gait of white people slightly amusing. To describe someone as “black” is usual in Kenya. Indeed you’ll often hear people from, say, Western Kenya, being called “very black.” This is purely descriptive and recognizes the fact that the people around Lake Victoria are much darker than, say, their Kikuyu neighbors. “White” people are generally referred to as Wazungu, Asians (Indian and Pakistani) as Wahindi, and all other non-Kenyans as Wageni (guests), occasionally as “you people.” Despite the history of British colonization, the Kenyan attitude toward the British is generally benevolent; they are viewed as dependable, and as having contributed positively to national development. Old wounds regarding colonialism and the Mau Mau rebellion are rarely opened.
Tribes in Kenya – Ethnic Makeup
There are over 40 tribal groups distinguished by two major language groups: Bantu and Nilotic. The largest tribes of the Bantu are the Kikuyu, Meru, Gusii, Embu, Akamba, Luyha and Mijikenda. The largest tribes of the Nilotic are the Maasai, Turkana, Samburu, Pokot, Luo and Kalenjin. A third group made up of Cushitic speaking people includes the El-Molo, Somali, Rendille and Galla. The coastal region is the home of the Swahili people.
Kenyan Tribes – Here is a list of Ethnic Groups in Kenya
- Dahalo Tribe
- Digo Tribe
- Duruma Tribe
- Edo Tribe
- El Molo Tribe
- Embu Tribe
- Garreh-Ajuran Tribe
- Giryama Tribe
- Kalenjin Tribe
- Kamba Tribe
- Kikuyu Tribe
- Kisii Tribe
- Kuria Tribe
- Luhya Tribe
- Luo Tribe
- Masai Tribe
- Meru Tribe
- Mijikenda Tribe
- Ogiek Tribe
- Rendille Tribe
- Samburu Tribe
- Somali Tribe
- Swahili Tribe
- Taita Tribe
- Teso Tribe
- Tharaka Tribe
- Turkana Tribe
- Yaaku Tribe