Kenya Tribes | People of Kenya

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Kenya Tribes

The 42 tribes of the people of Kenya enjoy diversity ,unity and harmony .They comprise the Cushitic, the bantu, the nilotes, as well as the non –Africans(Asians, Europeans and Arabs)Although the local language strongly exist, Kiswahili is the national language while English is the official language. Interaction with the friendly people in their habitats leaves a most memorable impression.At the cost, one will be proudly pleased to visit the Mijikenda hut that looks exactly like half a coconut fruit with a small door. Mijikenda literally means 9 homes or villages, (Miji is homes; Kenda is 9) and the huts may have been designed to cover the nine tribes that constitutes the mijikenda tribes o=f Giriama, Digo, Chonyi, Duruma, Jibana, Kambe, Kauma, Rabai, and Ribe. It is said that mijikenda are the best cooks in the world. Their music ranges from the soothing Taarab to the more vibrant chakachaka. The word Swahili is derived from the Arabic word sawahil, an Arabic word that means coast.

Further inland, and mainly in central Kenya, there is dominance of the Bantu tribes comprising mainly of the kikuyu, Meru, Kamba, and Embu. One begins to experience the diversity in culture, seen in the mode of house construction, dress and food. Traditional house took the shape of the grass thatched roof with smoothened mud walls and earth floor. The arrangements of house within the home stead were defined by strict traditional and cultural rules.The rift valley and its environs are mainly inhabited by the masai and the Kalejin communities. These tribes are traditionally pastoralists who depend on their animals for food. On interaction with these communities, one immediately notices the strict adherence to traditional culture by way of dress and behavior.Western Kenya is the home to mainly the Luhya and the luo. There is dramatic change in culture and way of life, method of dress, food, music and dance.