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Transcript of Kikuyu
by: Brenna LeMier
pd. 6 Mrs. Johnson World
The Kikuyu people live in Central Kenya, near Mount Kenya.
The Kikuyu (also known as Gikuyu) people dwell in Kenya. They are well known for their riddlle-like tidbits of advice, folklore, as well as their odd rites of passage.
A woman in traditional Kikuyu dress.
A man participating in part of a Kikuyu dance.
The Kikuyu people live near the mountains along the Great Rift Valley, and have a few rivers near by.
Mild climate; temp. never too hot or cold
Average rain during the growing season.
Droughts are not unfamiliar happenings, so water can be scarce sometimes.
"Countries and Their Cultures."
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Finke, Jens. "Kikuyu Introduction."
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Location / Geography
Rites of Passage
Multiple sources say that between 5 million and 6.5 million live under the title and law of the Kikuyu tribe. The Kikuyu people are by far the largest of the tribes in Kenya, and were supposedly one of the first tribes to live in Central Kenya; taking claim to land there hundreds of years before British settlers. The population is growing at a rate of one million every decade or so, meaning many many children are being born. This could be a cause from one of the Rites of Passage.
The most common language spoken amongst the Kikuyu is their own language, English following, and then KiSwahili. Ndia and Gichugu are common dialects spoken by Kikuyu people who live around Mount Kenya. KiSwahili and English (the languages of the country of Kenya) are the languages taught in school, and Kikuyu is used in home or in the community, not really in public.
There are two main rites of passage practiced by the Kikuyu people, one of which is
, where two members of the opposite sex would spend private, although supervised time together to get to know each other. If the girl becomes pregnant, it is expected that the boy marry her and take care of her and be held responsible for her pregnancy. It is the Kikuyu form of sex ed. Because of this though, teen pregnancy has become a major problem for the tribe. It is also customary for both boys and girls to undergo circumcision. The reason for circumcision is for the age groups that get circumcised at the same time will grow together with stronger bonds for having gone through similar pains. If a boy or girl shows pain during the
operation though, they are considered weak,
and are thought to be "cursed" with an
Way of life
Polygamy was an accepted "way of life", because the larger your family, the larger your wealth. The more children a women bore, the more powerful she was. Most Kikuyu people were agricultural workers, but many now work in cities and towns as business men and women.
Starting at infancy, children are already beginning to learn in the Kikuyu tribe. Children are sung lullabies enforcing the rules of the tribe, and as they grow, riddle-like pieces of advice and proverbs are told to them so they know their tribes accepted morals. Boys played hunting sorts of games that trained them to be warriors, and girls would pretend to cook and clean for fun.
The main practiced religion amongst the Kikuyu people is Christianity, with some traditional religions, and different forms / versions / branches of Christianity scattered amidst the mix. The main reason because of this is the British setters evangelized and converted many people as they brought Christianity with them.
Currently, the Kikuyu tribe is facing a serious threats and violence from other Kenyan tribes for their growing population and spreading numbers. In the past twenty years, they've gained two million in population, and the numbers aren't expected to drop any time soon. This can both make daily difficult and stressful, because many have to watch their backs. On the other hand, the different clans within the Kikuyu tribe haven't fought, and governmentally everything is stable, so besides the other angered tribes, the
Kikuyu people are doing fairly well.