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Origins of Kenya Largest Tribe

Ancient Origins of Kenya's Largest Tribe and the Mau-Mau Kikuyu Fighters

Kere-Nyaga also known as Mount Kenya is a place for prayers and sacrifices


Possessor of all Ngai.

Kere-Nyaga, also is known as Mount Kenya, is a place for prayers and sacrifices. The common name used when addressing the possessor of all is Ngai. Numbering about 6 million, Kikuyu people are the largest ethnic group in Kenya.

While praying the Gikuya the people were to address Ngai as Mwene-nyaga. The Kikuyu name for Mount Kenya is also Mwene-nyaga. The Kikuyu God and possessor of all is Mwene-nyaga meaning owner of the snow, possessor of brightness, or possessor of the white patch. 

Mwene-nyaga, lives on Mount Kenya, is also known as Kere-Nyaga. The Kikuyu pray under large sacred trees such as fig trees and this is where Mwene-nyaga is praised and prayers and sacrifices are offered.

Mount Kenya is regarded as a holy mountain by the Kikuyu and Meru communities. They use the mountain for traditional rituals based on the belief that their traditional God, Ngai, and his wife Mumbi live on the mountain's peak.


Kikuyu Tribe Creation Story.

Mogai, the sectioner of the universe, called a man named Kikuyu to him and took him to the top of Kere-Nyaga (Mount Kenya). Mogai pointed out the lush lands and informed the Kikuyu man all is his; if he is ever in need, he raised his hands toward Kere-Nyaga and prayed.

Mogai provided a wife to Kikuyu named Moombi, and they created nine beautiful daughters. However, Kikuyu wanted a son to carry on his name. Mogai told Kikuyu not to worry and make sacrifices to the mountain Kere-Nyaga where the God Ngai lives, but he must do this while standing under a fig tree.

Mogai told Kikuyu if he did as told, he would be blessed with nine handsome, strong young men to marry his beautiful nine daughters.

Kikuyu did as he was told, making sacrifices to Kere-Nyaga. When he returned to the fig tree in the morning, he found nine young men waiting patiently under the fig tree.

The men married Kikuyu daughters and continued to live on the land for generations, still praying and giving thanks to the mountain Kere-Nyaga where the God Ngai dwells.


About the Kikuyu Tribe of Kenya.

Today, most Kikuyus are Christians. The Kikuyu, also known as Gikuyu or Agikuyu, is known as a tribe that has a lot of political and economic influence in Kenya. Kikuyus speak the Kikuyu language, and most of them claim the fertile central highlands and Mount Kenya as their birthplace.

The local community unit is the mbari, a patrilineal group of males and their wives and children ranging from a few dozen to several hundred persons. Beyond the mbari, the people are sectioned among nine clans and many subclans.

The Kikuyu tribe is a Bantu tribe that neighbors the Embu, Mbeere, and Meru tribes around Mount Kenya. Although many Kikuyus have migrated to the main urban city of Nairobi and other towns, their territories still remain along Mount Kenya and the central highlands, including the Nyeri, Muranga, Kiambu, and Kirinyaga regions of Kenya.

When it comes to food, music, marriage ceremonies, and everyday family life, most Kikuyus still uphold their cultural traditions. In addition to maintaining their economic stability, the Kikuyu tribe has continued to dominate leadership and politics in Kenya.

Because European farmers and other settlers resented the occupation of their highlands, the Kikuyu were the first native ethnic group in Kenya to undertake anti-colonial agitation in the 1920s and ’30s. They staged the Mau-Mau uprising against British rule in 1952 and spearheaded the drive toward Kenyan independence later in the decade.


Mau Mau Fighters of Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta.

On December 12, 1963, Kenya became the 34th African state to gain independence. Jomo Kenyatta was a Kenyan statesman and the dominant figure in the development of African nationalism in East Africa. His long career in public life made him the undisputed leader of the African people of Kenya in their struggle for independence.

In May 1928, Kenyatta launched a monthly Kikuyu-language newspaper called Mwigithania, He Who Brings Together, aimed at gaining support from all sections of the Kikuyu. During the 1930s Kenyatta briefly joined the Communist Party, met other black nationalists and writers, and organized protests against the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

Kenyatta returned to Kenya in September 1946 to take up leadership of the newly formed Kenya African Union, of which he was elected president in June 1947.

In August 1950, the Kikuyu group, the Mau Mau, was officially banned and, in 1951, began a guerrilla war against the settlers and colonial government, leading to bloodshed, and political turmoil. During 1951, arson cases were reported late that year and in early 1952. Nervous white settlers pressed for a state of emergency looking on Mau Mau as an African fanatical subversive movement.

Numbering about 6 million Gikuyu people are the largest ethnic group in Kenya.

Hundreds of Black Africans were stabbed to death, and houses were burned in the Mau Mau attacks. In October 1952, the assassination of Senior Chief Waruhiu brought European demands that resulted in the declaration of an emergency on October 20, 1952.

Kenyatta was criticized by the British and put on trial in November 1952 with five others (182 were arrested) for helping to inflame and oversee the Mau-Mau group. One defendant, Achieng Oneko, was acquitted by the Kenya Supreme Court.

After nearly nine years of imprisonment and detention, Jomo Kenyatta was released by British colonial authorities. Once portrayed as a menacing symbol of African nationalism, he brought stability to the country and defended Western interests during his 15 years as Kenyan leader.

The first Kenyan president, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was a Kikuyu; Kenya's third president, his Excellency Emilio Mwai Kibaki, is also a Kikuyu, and so is the late Professor Wangari Maathai, Africa's first female Nobel Peace Prize winner.



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