Tribes of Kenya Facts
Facts About Kenya
Kenya has one of the most culturally diverse populations in Africa. Kenyan tribes include, the Kikuyus, also known as Gikuyu, Luhya, Luo tribe, Kalenjin, the Kamba tribe, also called the Akamba, Kisii, Maasai, and the Meru.
Tribes of Kenya Eight Interesting Facts
Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture
There are over 40 Kenya tribes; indigenous tribes of Kenya fall into three ethnic groups, namely: the Bantus, the Cushites and the Nilotes.
Kenyan Tribes Facts
Area: 580,367 sq. km (slightly more than twice the size of Nevada)
Population: 45 million
The Kikuyus, also known as Gikuyu or Agikuyu, make up Kenya’s largest ethnic group around 22%.The Kikuyu tribe is a Bantu tribe that neighbors the Embu, Mbeere and Meru tribes around Mount Kenya. Kikuyus speak the Kikuyu language, and most of them live around the fertile central highlands and Mount Kenya where they mainly grow tea and coffee. The Kikuyu tribe dominates leadership and politics in Kenya.
Luhyas are Kenya's second largest ethnic tribe making up around 14% of the population. The Luhya tribe, also known as the Abaluhya, Baluhya, or Abaluyia, are neighbors to the Luo, Kalenjin, Maasai and Teso tribes. Although considered one tribe, the Luhya consist of over 18 small tribes, each speaking a different dialect of the Luhya language. The Bukusu and Maragoli are the two largest tribes within the Luhya tribe. Traditional bullfighting is a popular sport with some of the Luhya tribe. Luhyas are mainly agriculturists, growing sugarcane and other crops; most of the sugar eaten in Kenya is produced in Mumias, a Luhya land.
|A road in Kenya|
The Luo community is a significant player in the Kenyan political scene. The late father of Barack Obama was from the Luo tribe. Fish and ugali are the staple foods of the Luo tribe.
Kalenjin is the fourth largest community in Kenya making up around 12% of the population. The Kipsigi’s are the largest of the Kalenjin group. Kalenjin’s are famously known as Kenyan running tribe. Many legendary Kenyan long distance runners are Kalenjin’s, they continue to dominate the marathon scene to this day.
The Kamba tribe, also called the Akamba are the fifth largest tribe in Kenya making up about 11% of Kenya's total population. Kamba people are gifted dancers, singers, woodcarvers and basket weavers. The Kamba men and women hold high seats in politics and leadership Kenyan political landscape.
The Kisii tribe are also known as the Gusii tribe. The Kisii live in the highlands in Nyanza, Western Kenya between the Luo and Luhya tribes. The Kisii are the sixth largest ethnic group, comprising about 6% of Kenya’s population. They are farmers and raises livestock on their densely populated farmlands. Classic Kisii foods are ugali, cassava, and matoke.
Other Groups of Kenya
African 15% and non-African 1% including the Maasai. The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands. A majority of the Maasai population live in Kenya and small portions of Tanzania. The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who adhere to traditional communal land; the concept of private ownership was a foreign concept to the Maasai people. Traditionally, the Maasai diet consisted of mainly meat, milk and blood from cattle. Maasai people drink blood only on special occasions.