Kenyan Cultures You Should Experience


One thing that makes Kenya a special destination is the richness and diversity of its ethnic cultures. There are at least 40 different Kenyan ethnic groups.  The Kenyan languages are categorized into three groups: the Bantus, the Cushites, and the Nilotes. Over half of the country’s ethnic groups are Bantu speakers occupying approximately 22%. Kenyans tend to associate certain social qualities with different ethnic groups. 

Some of the well-known cultures in Kenya include but are not limited to the Samburu culture, the Maasai culture, the Swahili culture, and the Kikuyu culture.


Samburu culture

The Samburu is a culture that has been around for thousands of years, and it’s one of the most unique in Africa. The Samburu people are known for their unique customs and traditions, as well as their cuisine. They also have their dances and art forms, which are unlike anything else in Africa.

Located in the Northern part of Kenya, Samburu county, the Samburu people are originally known for practicing a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The Samburu live in a sparsely populated part of Kenya. They are still rooted in their customs and traditions and livestock keeping is still a vital part of their culture as they have a diet similar to the Maasai. 

The traditional dress of the Samburu tribe is a striking red cloth wrapped like a skirt and a white sash. This is adorned with many colorful beaded earrings, bracelets, anklets, and necklaces. The more jewelry on the body, the higher the status of the person. 

The Samburu also have dances that they perform at special occasions like weddings and funerals. These dances are usually performed by teams of dancers who will perform specific moves while dancing together in unison—it’s a very impressive sight!


Maasai culture

If you are planning a trip to Kenya, you could spend your time on safaris but more interestingly you can also take some time to explore the Maasai culture and traditions. You will find that there’s a lot more to see than just the wildlife.

The term Maasai itself comes from the people who speak Maa which has four dialects spoken throughout Tanzania and Kenya. They are known for their unique lifestyle which is reflected in their food, clothing, and customs. They are also famous for their beautiful culture and traditions which has made it a significant part of the tourism industry in Kenya to the world.

The traditional food of the Maasai is mainly composed of cow’s blood mixed with milk or curdled milk, meat, and honey. Their traditional dances are different from other traditional dances because it involves dancing with spears instead of with sticks, unlike other tribes. It is referred to as the “Maasai warrior dance” stemming from when warriors would go out to hunt for animals with spears which made loud sounds.

The Maasai people are very distinctive in appearance; they have dark skin, long black hair, and straight bangs across their foreheads. They wear beaded necklaces around their necks and wrists, which often contain beads made of shells or amber. Their clothing is usually made out of animal hides: leopard skins for men and cheetah pelts for women. They wear skirts made out of animal hides or leather straps tied around the waist with colorful beadwork decorating them. They also decorate their faces with painted designs on them as well as jewelry made from cowrie shells or seashells.

The Maasai have a very rich culture that has been passed down through oral tradition over generations before being recorded by anthropologists today. Their history can be traced back thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans in Africa during the colonial era.


Swahili culture 

The Swahili people are people influenced by many different cultures since ancient times. They were once ruled by Arab traders who brought with them Islam and Arabic cultures to the coastal region. The Swahili people have continued to practice traditional customs such as wearing colorful clothes during festivals and celebrations. When you think of Swahili culture, you probably picture a relaxed, fun-loving place. The Swahili people are known for their love of eating and their cuisine has a strong influence from their African roots. Some of the most popular dishes in the region are made with beans or rice but also have many meat-based dishes. Meat is often cooked with coconut milk and spices like chili peppers and ginger. Some of the most popular meat dishes are fish curry or chicken curry, but many vegetable-based meals use coconut milk as a base like bean curries or vegetable soups.

The traditional dress of the Swahili people is called ‘Kilimhali’ which means ‘to tie in English. This dress is worn by men and women. It is made from cotton, silk, or wool depending on the climate. It is adorned with beads, glass beads, brass bells, mirrors, and other decorated items that are found in the area. They are usually made in two pieces that cover the body from neck to ankle with a waistband over them which is called “Mbuthi”. Mbuthi can be made out of different materials like cotton, linen, or other fabrics depending on the occasion or region it is used to dress up women in public places like markets or streets where they interact with others. Men wear this type of cloth around their waists like a belt around their hips with tassels hanging down at each side of the waistband called “Tanga” which is usually wrapped around their waist when they sit down or stand up during formal occasions as well as daily life activities such as washing clothes.

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