Kenya: The Eastern region of Africa, which is famously known as “The Pride Land” because of Its inspiration to Lion King.
It’s a part of Eastern Africa, that is famous for its scenic landscapes, vast wildlife, history, and culture. it’s one of Africa’s biggest tourist destinations and attractions.
Kenya shares a coastline with the Indian ocean, its inland is broad plains with numerous hills, bordering South-Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west, Somalia to the east, Tanzania to the south and Ethiopia to the north. There are three separate but geologically and ecologically related lakes in Kenya which are Lake Elementaita, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Bogoria. With seven major mountains with an elevation, namely, Mount Kenya, (which is the second-highest mountain in Africa) Mount Elgon, Mount Satima, Chepunyal Hills, Cherang’any Hills, Mount Kulal, and Mount Ng’iro, and amidst others. also, the Great Rift Valley is very significant in Kenya, it runs through server other countries.
Kenya has some of the finest beaches in Africa, It’s inland are populous highlands famed for its large tea plantations (Kericho tea plantation) is one of the major tea plantations in the region and among the largest in Africa.
Kenyan forests are biologically rich and harbor high concentrations of endemic species. These forests are cultural rather than natural entities. In Kenya, there are lots of varieties of animal species, such as lions, elephants cheetahs, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and many more.
East Africa including Kenya is known to have housed early human ancestors (hominid) it’s the earliest region where the modern humans (Homo Sapien) originated and believed to have lived about 320,000 years ago.
The first inhabitants of present-day Kenya were the Khoisan speakers, who were hunter-gatherers, and then the southern Cushitic or Rift speakers, they were pastoralists who kept their domestic stock, including cattle, sheep, goat, and donkey.
They are about 42 tribes in Kenya with different languages and cultures that merge to become the unique mixture of the Kenyan’s culture. The biggest six tribes comprise about half the Kenya population. The lives of the Maasai, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin, Mijikenda, and Kikuyu peoples, are the early generations. Kenya is a culturally and ethnically diverse country having a unique set of cultures and traditions.
Kenyan society is majorly divided into three linguistic communities the Nilotic, Bantus, and Cushitic speakers.
The Nilotes group is the other major community found in Kenya. It consists of the Maasai, Luo, Turkana, Samburu, and Kalenjin tribes. The people of this group are said to be warriors and hunters. The Nilotes are majorly nomadic in their living style. The Maasai people are recognized worldwide for their cultural heritage.
The Bantu group is the largest ethnic community in Kenya. It compromises of the Kikuyu, Akamba, Luhya, Kisii, Meru, and Mijikenda tribes. The Bantu people predominantly depend on farming of regular staple and cash crop foods including coffee and tea for a means of living. The Mijikenda tribe, on interaction with Arab and Persian traders, gave birth to the famous Swahili culture. Swahili is the most widely spoken language in Kenya that has earned the position of an official language alongside English.
Kikuyu is the most populous tribe in Kenya, having its own set of cultures and traditions. This Bantu group forms about 22% population of Kenya and mostly inhabits Kenya’s Central region. The community worships a deity named ‘Ngai’ who is believed to reside in Mt. Kenya.
Luhyas are the second-largest tribe, it forms about 14% of the Kenyan population. It is a group of over 18 sub-tribes, each practicing its own dialect of the Luhya language. Bukusu, Maragoli, Banyala, Banyore, Batsotso, Gisu, Idakho, Isukha, Kabras, Khayo, Kisa, Marachi, Marama, Masaaba, Samia, Tachoni, Tiriki, and Wanga. They reside in the fertile western region of Kenya and traditionally worship “Nyasaye” or Khakaba as their god.
Kisii is the 7th largest tribe in Kenya, it forms about 6% of the Kenyan population, the people of this tribe live in the highly fertile highlands in Nyanza in Western Kenya. Bananas are farmed on a large scale in their localities and this practice is called ‘Matoke’. This tribe worships a supreme god ‘Engoro’ and their ancestral spirits.
Mijikenda is a tribe in Kenya that comprises of nine sub-tribes whose culture revolves around clans and age-sets. Mijikenda includes Giriama, Digo, Chonyi, Duruma, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai, and Ribe. The tribe has about 1,960,574 million people and resides in the coastal region of Kenya.
Mijikenda is considered one of the important tribes in Kenya for having given birth to the Swahili culture. A Mijikenda clan is typically a group of several families that share a patriarchal ancestor. Each clan has its own sacred place known as kaya, which is a shared space to conduct religious rituals like prayers, and sacrifices.
The Mijikenda people, especially the Digos, are considered some of the best cooks. The staple food of this tribe is wali, a dish prepared with rice and coconut milk. Fish and other seafood are also common in Mijikenda cuisine.
The Maasai tribe is one of the most popular tribes in Kenya, renowned for their closeness to their culture and history, which they have harmoniously integrated with the modern ways of life. Although they have a small population of around 841,622 people.
The people of Massai tribe worship a supreme god called ‘Enkai’, Massai ‘Moran’ is a critical rite of passage for men who live for a certain period in isolation, learning tribal customs and developing strength, courage, and endurance to become the ‘warriors’ they are known to be. The people of this Kenyan tribe are known for their height.
The Luo community is one of the largest tribes in Kenya forming 13% of the total population. The ethnic group inhabits the western Kenya (Nyanza) region.
The Kalenjin tribe, forms 12% of the Kenyan population, 3rd most populous ethnic group in Kenya. The Kalenjin tribe is made up of eight sub-tribes namely the Kipsigis, Nandi, Tugen, Keiyo, Marakwet, Pokot, Sabaot, and the Terik. They practice large-scale farming for livelihood. The people of this tribe are renowned for their athletic superiority and are nicknamed ‘The Running Tribe.’
In the 18th century, German missionaries and explorers Johann Ludwig Krapf, and Johannes Rebmann, who entered Africa from the Indian Ocean coast, named the country “Kenia” which was later spelled as Kenya.
This was after difficulties in pronouncing the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words for Mt. Kirinyaga, which are, Kirinyaga, Kirenyaa, and Kiinyaa which mean “God’s resting place” in all three languages. the name was then abbreviated to “Kenia”.
When other Europeans arrive at the region, they spelled it “Kenya” and that’s how the name came to be.
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