People & Culture of Kenya: A Land of Cultural Richness
Kenya is overwhelmingly a tribal society, with most people talking in terms of their own tribe as opposed to the nation. That makes for a fascinating mix of peoples and a wealth of traditions and cultures. Most people have heard of the Maasai tribe, with their colourful clothing and pastoral traditions, but they are only one of an estimated 70 tribal groups. Some of the mains ones include the Akamba, Borana, Gusii, Kikuyu, Luo, Meru, Samburu and Swahili peoples. In addition to the African tribes Kenya is also called home by large numbers of Arabs, Asians and Europeans.
Most Kenyans are Christian, but those dwelling in coastal areas are likely to belong to the Islamic faith. There are also a considerable number of Hindus in Kenya and temples can be visited in the larger urban areas. Overwhelmingly though, most Kenyans retain at least some traditional animistic beliefs, although you may see it being expressed through overtly Christian channels. Witch doctors and soothsayers are widely used and many tribes scar themselves in religious rituals.
But despite tribal and religious differences you will discover that most Kenyans are a gregarious people who are warm and open. Always ready to break into a smile, you’ll find that the people of Kenya are exuberant and spontaneous.