Home counties kenya OGIEK TRIBE FACTS, HISTORY, CULTURE, LANGUAGE, CASE SUMMARY AND FOOD

OGIEK TRIBE FACTS, HISTORY, CULTURE, LANGUAGE, CASE SUMMARY AND FOOD

SHARE

Ogiek tribe are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Northern Tanzania, Southern Kenya (in the Mau Forest), and Western Kenya (in the Mount Elgon Forest). In 2000 the ethnic Okiek population was estimated to number 36,869, although the number of those speaking the Akiek language was as low as 500. Many Ogiek speakers have shifted to the languages of surrounding peoples: the Akiek in northern Tanzania now speak Maasai and the Akiek of Kinare, Kenya now speak Gikuyu

The Okiek , sometimes called the Ogiek or Akiek (although the term Akiek sometimes refers to a distinct subgroup), are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Northern Tanzania, Southern Kenya (in the Mau Forest), and Western Kenya (in the Mount Elgon Forest). In 2000 the ethnic Okiek population was estimated to number 36,869, although the number of those speaking the Akiek language was as low as 500.

OGIEK HISTORY

to be updated later

OGIEK LANGUAGE

Many Ogiek speakers have shifted to the languages of surrounding peoples: the Akiek in northern Tanzania now speak Maasai and the Akiek of Kinare, Kenya now speak Gikuyu.

OGIEK FOOD

Ogiek depended on the forest for their livelihood. Collection of wild fruits and nuts, hunting, honey harvesting were a daily routine. At no time was a patch of forest cleared for farming. The Okiek had sound management systems that ensured that there were no forest fire outbreaks. Only the experienced elders were allowed to make beehives and harvest honey to avoid harming trees. Harvesting of trees such as Olea euro and Dobeya goetzeni, mainly used for honey harvesting and herbs was prohibited. The elders only allowed the use of Juniperus procera for making hives

OGIEK CULTURE

The Ogiek inhabit the Mau forests of central Rift Valley of Kenya but many historical works refer to them in the contemptuous nickname, Dorobo, which means “poor people who cannot afford cattle”.

The name Dorobo is derived from a Maasai name il torobo which means a “poor person who has no cattle and has to live on hunting and gathering and is currently widely used to refer to many other communities that inhabit the Kenyan forests.

In this work the name Ogiek is used to refer to the residents of Mau Forests in Kenya.

There is controversy on the origins of the Okiek with some earlier scholars thinking that the Ogieks were “probably remnants of some pre-Maasai people who occupied the Rift valley and adjacent areas before the arrival of the Maa speaking peoples”.4

The first mention of the Ogiek in published literature was by W.A. Chandler who noted their unique physical features and thought they were different compared to other tribes5 while C.W. Hobley6 said they reminded him of “Mongolian types”. What followed was a general speculation about the Ogiek and their neighbours and the final conclusion reached by 1974 was that “there is nothing in the traditional Okiek life of hunting and gathering which would indicate a prior adaptation to a plains environment or to pastoralism or agriculture”

OGIEK CASE SUMMARY AGAINST GOVERNMENT

The African Court on Human and People’s Rights, a continental court established in 2006 by African countries, on May 26 delivered its verdict in Arusha, Tanzania – ruling in favour of the Okiek and recognising their right to Kenya’s Mau Forest as their ancestral home, and their role in protecting it.

LIST OF KENYAN TRIBES AND THEIR POPULATION

BEST TRIBE TO MARRY IN KENYA

Loading...