List of Kenya Tribes – I to K

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Second page with descriptions of Kenya tribes. Scroll down for the other pages.


The Isukha are considered a smaller sub-group of the Luhya tribe, which is the 2nd largest ethnic group in Kenya. The language they speak is called the Wanga dialect, of the main Luhya language. The traditional territory of the Isukha is in western Kenya, near the forests of Kakamega. These people are usually farmers, and they live in large extended families, sometimes with more than one wife involved. Though most of this Kenya tribe are now considered Christians, the god of the Isukha is called Were.


There are about 3 million people in the Kalenjin tribe, whose territory is in the Great Rift Valley. This group wasn't always a single Kenya tribe. Many smaller but related groups decided to come together under one name in order to create a more powerful tribal identity. The traditional Kalenjin religion centers on a single god, who is called Asis. Many people have adopted Christianity, while still holding some old beliefs about sacrifice and ancestor spirits. The Kalenjin people are renowned for their running abilities, and have won a number of gold medals in marathons and long-distance running competitions, including several at the Olympics. The 2nd president of Kenya after independence was Daniel arap Moi, who was a member of the Kalenjin tribe. - More about the Kalenjin tribe


Also called the Akamba, this Kenya tribe live in the east-central areas of Kenya. The practice many trades, including cattle herding, farming and trade with other nearby tribes. Today, there are large populations of the Kamba living in the coastal cites, but many still live in the countryside. Artistic crafts made by the Kamba can be seen all through Kenya galleries and gift shops. They are particularly well-known for their wood carving and pottery. A bride price in cattle is paid before a marriage, and families live together in tight-knit extended groups. - More about the Kamba tribe


They are the biggest of the tribes in Kenya. They total about 5 million (22% of the population. They live in the fertile central highlands. They dominate the country politically and economically. Current president Kibaki’s government consists almost entirely of Kikuyu, and this is one reason of the election riots of December-January 2008. The Kikuyu are closely related to the Embu, Mbeere and Meru peoples who live in the same area around Mount Kenya. Most Kikuyu are now Christians. Some still have their traditional beliefs, according to which their god Ngai (‘the provider’) lives on top of Mount Kenya. - More about the Kikuyu tribe


The Kisii live in a very heavily populated area in the western corner of Kenya, near the shores of Lake Victoria. Due to the fertile nature of their highland territory, the Kisii are often very wealthy from their large cash crop plantations. You'll find most Kisii live in the cities, having embraced a modern lifestyle. Even so, female circumcision is still widely practiced among this tribe. Christianity is the common religion of the tribe now, though some still hold to their old beliefs. Their god is Engoro, and people communicated with him through their ancestors spirits. Even the Christian Kisii still fear witchcraft. - More about the Kisii tribe


The Kenya tribe of the Kore is nearly extinct, with only a few hundred members left. They were defeated by some of the Masai more than a hundred years ago, and the remaining population were taken into slavery by the Somali tribe. After they were freed by the British, they returned to Kenya and now live on the island of Lamu. They live much like Somali people, having adopted many of their customs.


About 2/3 of the Kuria tribe live in Tanzania, and the rest are found in the southern areas of Kenya. They are a mix of farmers, fishermen (those living near Lake Victoria) and pastoral herders. They are closely related to the Luhya, but are not considered a sub-group of that tribe. The Kuria have an unusual marriage custom where 2 women can be married, so that a woman who cannot have her own children can still have a family.

Related pages:

List of tribes - A to H
List of tribes - L to M

List of tribes - O to R

List of tribes - S

List of tribes - T to Z

Tribes of Kenya - Introduction

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