List of Kenya tribes - O to R

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Short descriptions of Kenya tribes. Please scroll down for pages about the other tribes.


The Ogiek tribe is also sometimes called the Okiek or Akiek. The population of the Kenya tribe is around 35,000 though only a few hundred speak their traditional language (called Akiek). Most of these people now speak either Masai or Kikuyu. Their territory is near the land of the Masai, in southern Kenya near Mount Elgon. Culturally, the Ogiek is a hunter-gatherer tribe, though most have adapted the ways of other tribes around them due to their declining numbers.


The lands of the Orma are in the north-eastern part of Kenya, along the Tana River. They are a nomadic people, travelling with their herds of cattle across the desert regions. There are around 70,000 Orma remaining today, with many of them living in Ethiopia.


Most of the Oromo people live in Ethiopia, but there are significant populations in northern Kenya as well. The total tribe consists of around 25 million people. With such large numbers, the tribe is broken up into 16 smaller subgroups, each having their own area of territory. The religious makeup of the Oromo is roughly half Christian and half Muslim, with few still holding traditional beliefs. The tribe represents about a third of Ethiopia's overall population, and so the Oromo are often well-represented among leaders and politicians. Haile Selassie I, past emperor of Ethiopia was a member of the Oromo tribe.


The Kenya tribe of the Pokomo are found in the flood plains of the Tana river, near the territory of the Orma tribe. They usually farm along the banks of the river, and also fish for food. They have traditionally hunted the hippo and crocodile as well. Pokomo society is very communal and all the members of a village will come together for labour and other needs.


The Rendille people are semi-nomadic camel herders who live primarily in the dry regions of the Kaisut Desert. The Kenya tribe came originally from Somalia, but are today aligned with the Samburu tribe. Rendille villages are very large, with hundreds of people living together. Drought has forced many to leave their traditional ways and move closer to aid depots and towns. Marriages are arranged by parents, and a heavy bride price of livestock is involved. Rendille marriages are frequently between an older man and young girl. Missionary work has not had much effect on the Rendille, who still follow their traditional beliefs in a god called Ngai. - More about the Rendille tribe

Related pages:

List of tribes - A to H
List of tribes - I to K

List of tribes - L to M

List of tribes - S

List of tribes - T to Z

Tribes in Kenya - Introduction

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