Kenya is a migratory land where over 70 different tribes live from all over the world, Asian communities, remnants European settlers, recent expatriate communities. Kenya is a mixed cultural pot of world’s five continents. Kenya’s population is close to 40 million. Here we can see hindu and muslim ceremonial possessions, in cities mostly people follow their own african culture but some of them are converted to Christian or muslim framework according to their convenience. Culture and lifestyle in cities depend upon african tribes modernization. City life absorption of all presented culture in Kenya . Main cities in Kenya are:
Capital of Kenya, also known as “green city in the sun “. It is a business heart and powered by latest technology.
It is a business hub due to the presence of port , along with the indian ocean. It is industrial and cultural center , famous for its music and night life.
It is also known as educational center. Here are some of people from indian origin.
Here climate is cool throughout the year so agriculturally , it is best place. Here main attraction are airport and cheese factory.
There are 42 tribes dividend into three groups, Bantus, Nilotes and Cushites groups based on linguistic and cultural groups.
Five tribes are main in Kenya:
Lifestyle and culture of Kikuyu tribe
It is largest ethnic group, 23% of kenya’s population ,belongs to Bantu group. Traditionally they worship one GOD called NGAI. Gikuyu and his wife Mumbi are founder and common ancestor of this tribe who gave birth ( 9+1 ) daughters, arrived in Kenya during the Bantu migration. Linguistically they have almost same culture as people of East Africa.
Traditionally an industrious agriculture people ( grow bananas, sugarcane, maize, black beans and variety of vegetables) , raise cattle(sheep and goats ) . They are politically very active, the first President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta was a Kikuyu. Kenya became independent in 1963 under Kenyatta leadership. Kikuyus have great sense of justice (KIHOOTO). They follow capitalistic manner whatever they do, many things done by them at the same time.
They have reputation for astute management of money and hard work. In the society ,their role is retaining and domineering.
Gikuyu is the primary language, spoken by the older member of family. Normally speak in Bantu language, Swahili and English are also common.
They are very superstitious against whistling, it would call malicious spirit. According to them 10 number is unlucky , prefer to say (9+1). Even they don’t disclose about upcoming child, thought of behind is that evil spirit might take the child. In their society medicine man who save persons called (MUGO) but when they diminished someone’s life called Witchdoctor ( MUROGI).
There is an important ceremony known as LTUIKA in which the old guard would hand over the reins government to the next generation because of avoiding dictatorship. Circumcision ceremony for both boys and girls, done at about five year of age and then give them a age grade name , now which is not follwed strictly.
Their naming and identification factor is very strong. The first boy named after the father’s father, second boy after the mother’s father. The first daughter named after the father’s mother and second on the mother’s mother, still strongly follwed by them.
Boys and girls raised in different manner, girls works in Shamba ( farm) and after marriage moved to their clan while boys expected to care animals.
Their main cuisines are githeri (maize and beans ), Mumiko ( mashed green peas and potatoes), Irio ( mashed dry beans, corn and potatoes), roast goat, beef , chicken, cooked green vegetable (collard, spinach, carrots).
They have strong component in dance and music. They love popular and gospel music in their pentatonic scale and western music style.
Lifestyle and culture of Luhya tribe
It is also called ABALUYIA, LUYIA. It is the second largest group, belongs to bantu group. It is 17% of Kenya’s population. Their true origin is disputable. Worship one god NYASAYE. Now some are converted to Christians and other are in islamic religion. Each one of them speak different dialect of luhya language.
Common myth in this tribe that there are three types of soil black soil, intermediate soil (red), bottom soil ( white). black soil generates black man, red soil generates brown man, white generates white man.
They practice polygamy marriages. Male are respectable on the basis, number of wives. Though first wife has a prestigious reputation .Dowry is paid to bride’s family in the form of cattle or money. Wife inheritance is still in practice.
There is a village head of 10 to 15 families, called OMUKUSA. First son from first wife heir father’s post even if it is younger than other children from other wives.
Male circumcision is very important for them. Now mostly it happens in hospitals. This mark is initiation from boyhood to manhood. This ritual celebrates in every august and december .
Childern are named after climatic seasons and ancestors. In rainy season name for boys is Wafula and Nafula for girls. In harvest season boy name is Wekesa and Nekesa for girls. Having many children a virtue while childlessness is a great misfortune for them.
After death , a man is buried in grave with a warrior’s weapon. They appease spirits through animal sacrifices.
They are very good sportsmen especially in rugby and soccer. Their team known as best soccer team in country. They also take part in bullfighting which attracts spectators annually.
Most of the sugar consumed in Kenya is produced in Mumias which is a Luhya land. Maize and wheat also growed by them.
Their staple food is ugali, known as obusuma which is made from maize flour or cassava or millet flour and served with chicken.
LIFSTYLE AND CULTURE OF LUO TRIBE :
This is the third largest ethnic group of kenya, 13% of entire population. luo were bulk of political power following year of Kenya’s independence.
The main livelihood of Luo is fishing but out of luo land they work as tenant fisherman. Sugarcane and cotton farming also done by them in rural areas, there is no electricity, drawing water from well, cooking over an open fire in daily life.
Luo’s language is Dholuo which belongs to Nilo-Saharan language. Other languages are Lango, Acholi, Padhola and Alur. They also have polished and eloquent command on english
Now most of Luo (urban workers) are in Christian framework but some of them are still stick to their traditions and customs. Their characteristics is flamboyant. They believe their supreme creator called NYASAYE and strongly doing ancestors cult.
They are in minority so they don’t do circumcision of males at initiation. Formly Luo childern had removed their six lower front teeth at an initiation, it is out of trend now.
In former time they do polygamy marriages but now it is undocumented , only first wife legally recognized. Marriages done through matchmakers.
Marriage ceremony called AYIE in which groom’s family give money to bride’s mother and cattle to father. In urban areas, they do marriage out of tribe in church which is still not supported by elders.
Major ritual is JUOGI, the naming ceremony of child, celebrates in any time of birth or in age of 2 years. According to their believe an ancestor comes in the dream of adult family member then he or she gives mannerisms to child and the ancestor becomes his or her throughout life guardian, this is reincarnate of ancestor. It only happens with good spirit.
They don’t name their child after name of bad people because they sent to hell after their death.
In family , all the sons should build their own house next to their parents according the seniority, oldest build right side , second son on the left side and other one alternately. Daughters get married and move to other families.
mourning ceremony is called TERO BURU which is widely practiced in a dramatic way , departure of loved one. After death of a man, his brother or any close relative inherits his widow to fulfill her all marital requirements.
Luo’s staple food are fish and ugali. They have special music for every occasion like for beer parties (DUDU, OHANGALA DANCE), victory of wrestlers from match (RAMOGI), chasing away evil spirits (NYAWAWA). Benga style of music in Dholuo, swahili, english language is very popular.
There are four practitioners in this tribe.
MEDICINE MEN: they had power to heal sickness.
Diviners (Goyagagi): they use methodology of rubbing wood block to another with the name of spirits , when block stick together that means spirit is available to deal with them to diagnose and cure illness.
WITCHCRAFT: it ia mystical power which is used to harm or kill their enemy.
SORCERY: It is the materialistic object or weapon for the same purpose.
Lifestyle and culture of Kalenjin tribe
It is the fourth largest group, belongs to both bantu and nilotes group. Their mother tongue is kalenjin language belongs to Nilo-Saharan language. This tribe known as running tribe, Kip Keino won a gold medal in 1968 for 1500 m race and in 2008 Pamela Jelimo was the first kenyan woman who won a gold medal in Olympics, both belong to kalenjin tribe.
Ugali, vegetable relish, mursik are staple food and other are roast meat (beef, goat ), fish, milk mixed with cow’s blood.
Lifestyle and culture of Kamba tribe
Fifth groub, 11% of Kenya’s population. In this tribe 60% people converted to Christians, 1% to Muslims and 39% still follow traditional culture.
Livelihood are agriculture, animal husbandry, trading and wood carving. Kamba’s crafts are evident in overseas like three legged stool, woven basket, pots, bows & arrows , metal chains, Calabashes. They are in large number in armed forces of country.
They wear blue calico as a headgear and women like to wear copper wire around the neck. Their dance is most spectacular manifestation.
There are too much divercity in religions, in traditions and culture but all are coexist in peace and harmony. Kenya has a great role in world civilization.