List of Kenya tribes - S

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Here's a list of Kenya tribes with short descriptions. Scroll down for the other pages.

Samburu

They are closely related to the Maasai (the Maasai and Samburu language are 95% the same). They live in northern Kenya and form ony 0.5% of the population. The name they use for themselves is Loikop or Lokop. They are semi-nomadic and their lives revolve around their goats, sheep, cows and camels. They usually stay somewhere for about 5 weeks, in groups of 5 or 10 families, and then move on to new pastures. Most Samburu dress traditionally, with bright red clothes, multi-beaded necklaces, earrings and bracelets. - More about the Samburu tribe

Sengwer

The territory of the Sengwer is in the central Rift Valley area, and their population is around 60,000. These people are hunter-gatherers, who lived in the forests of Marakwet. Most of the tribe have been displaced since their land was occupied during the colonisation of Kenya by the British. They are not a legally recognized tribe, and do not have any of the benefits of political representation.

Somali

As the name suggests, this Kenya tribe is from Somalia, and most of these people do reside there. About half a million Somalis live in Kenya, with the rest of the tribe numbering around 20 to 25 million. They gained their own independent nation in 1960. As a group, the Somali are almost exclusively Muslim and their way of life reflects modern Muslim practices. This Cushtic tribe originally came from Ethiopia, and the language they speak is Somali. The sub-groups of the Somali that live mainly in Kenya are the Ogaden and the Ajuran. - More about the Somali tribe

Suba

This tribe is one of the smaller ones, with less than 30,000 people. Originally from Uganda, their territory is limited to two islands in Lake Victoria, Rusinga and Mfangano. Today, many Suba also live on the shore of the lake. Traditionally, they have been known as hippo hunters but that practice is now outlawed. They speak Suba, but have adopted much the language of the nearby Luo tribe. Their culture is has been diluted with intermarriage with the Luo, and they don't have much of a unique identity in modern times.

Swahili

The Swahili are mainly a trading tribe, who live along the coast of the Indian Sea and have long had contact with the Arab and Persian traders who docked there. Because of the almost constant interaction with other Kenya tribes and races, the Swahili have no immediate traditions or culture of their own. They are Muslim, and follow Muslim practices. The language of the Swahili is Swahili (or Kiswahili), and has become a common tongue across much of eastern Africa. It is the national language of Kenya. Swahili people are found in Tanzania and Mozambique, as well as the coasts of Kenya. - More about the Swahili tribe

Related pages:

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

List of tribes - L to M

List of tribes - O to R

List of tribes - T to Z

Tribes in Kenya - Introduction

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