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List of Kenyan Tribes with Facts, Population and Names

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1. The Embu​

The Bantu-speaking Embu tribe makes up around 1.5% of the population of Kenya and can be found mainly in Embu district. It is one of the Mount Kenya communities.

2. The Kamba​

Making up about 10% of the Kenyan population, the Kamba tribe is found mainly in eastern Kenya. It is a Bantu group as well.

3. The Kisii​

The Kisii (Gusii) tribe are a Bantu-speaking tribe mainly found in western Kenya. The Abagusii account for 7% of the Kenyan population. They mainly rely on farming activities for livelihood.

4. The Luhya​

The Bantu-speaking Luhya make up 14% of the Kenyan population and occupy the western regions of the country. They’re the second-largest tribe in Kenya (after the Kikuyu).

5. The Maasai​

The Maasai are a nomadic Nilote tribe occupying the southern parts of Kenya.

Fun fact: They’re the most famous tribe in Kenya.

6. The Orma​

This is a Cushitic tribe living in the north eastern parts of Kenya around the River Tana.

7. The Samburu​

This nomadic Nilotic tribe resides in the northern parts of Kenya.

8. The Suba Tribe​

The Bantu-speaking Suba tribe occupies the Lake Victoria islands of Rusinga and Mfangano.

9. The Taita​

The Bantu-speaking Taita tribe lives in the south western parts of Kenya around the coastal region.

10. The Turkana​

The Nilotic Turkana tribe occupies the northwestern parts of Kenya around Lake Turkana.

11. The Mbeere​

The Bantu-speaking Mbeere tribe lives in the eastern parts of Kenya. It’s closely related to the Mount Kenya communities such as the Embu and Kikuyu.

12. The Tharaka​

The Bantu-speaking Tharaka tribe live in the eastern parts of Kenya such as Embu and Kitui districts.

13. The Njemps​

The Nilotic Njemps are close relatives of the Samburu and occupy the area around Lake Baringo. They primarily live on fishing and farming activities.

14. The Galla​

The Galla tribe lives in the eastern and north eastern parts of Kenya. They live a primarily nomadic lifestyle.

15. The Konso​

The little known Konso (Xonsita) tribe is a Cushitic one and occupies both northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.

16. The Waat​

This is a Cushitic tribe closely related to the Orma and Oromo. They’re nomadic in Kenya and live in the north eastern parts of the country.

17. The Walwana​

This little community is made up of only about 20,000 people. It’s also called the Malakote or Ilwana tribe and is an independent group from the major ones mentioned above.

18. The Galjeel​

The Galjeel tribe is another small one living in scattered areas as hunters and gatherers.

19. The Bulji​

One other small tribe in Kenya is the Bulji. It’s slowly moving away from its traditional way of life to include better and more modern lifestyles.

20. The Kenyan Arabs Tribe​

This tribe occupies the coastal regions and is made up of Arabs from Persia, Yemen, Oman and other countries.

21. The Kenyan European​

The Europeans living in Kenya came mostly during the colonial period and are made up of mostly Britons.

22. The Ameru​

This Bantu community can be found on the slopes of Mount Kenya in the northeastern side of the mountain.

23. The Kalenjin​

This tribe is the 4th largest in Kenya and is made up of 8 sub-tribes namely the Nandi, Terik, Sabaot, Keiyo, Pokot, Marakwet, Tugen and Kipsigis.

24. The Kikuyu​

The largest tribe in Kenya, the Kikuyu, takes up to 22% of the Kenyan population and lives in the Mount Kenya region in central Kenya.

25. The Kuria​

The Kuria tribe is a Bantu-speaking group living on the border between Kenya and Tanzania.

26. The Luo Tribe​

The Luo tribe is the 3rd largest in Kenya and is found mainly in the western region of Kenya along Lake Victoria.

27. The Mijikenda​

The Mijikenda tribe resides in the coastal regions of Kenya and belongs to the Bantu ethnic group.

28. The Rendille​

This Cushitic tribe lives in the north eastern parts of the country and is nomadic in nature.

29. The Somali​

Another Cushitic tribe living in north eastern parts of Kenya is the Somali. This tribe has at least 2 million people and stands as the largest Cushitic tribe.

30. The Swahili Tribe​

Among the most famous tribes in Kenya is the Swahili tribe which lives along the coastal region of the country.

31. The Taveta​

The Taveta are Bantu speakers residing between Tanzania and the Tsavo National Park.

32. The Gabra​

This Cushitic tribe resides in the northern parts of Kenya in the Chalbi desert. It’s a close relative of the Oromo tribe.

33. The Nubi​

The Nubi originated from Sudan and has very few people living in Kenya (about 16,000). They’re often referred to as the Nubians.

34. The Ilchamus​

This is a Nilotic tribe living around Lake Baringo in the northern parts of the Rift Valley.

35. The Borana​

This Cushitic tribe occupies the regions in northern Kenya such as Moyale, Garissa and Marsabit. It’s made up of nomadic cattle herders.

36. The Gosha​

The Cushitic Gosha tribe is closely related to the Oromo and even speaks the latter’s language. They too are nomadic pastoralists.

37. The Sakuye​

The Sakuye tribe also resides in the north and north eastern parts of the country and is made up of pastoralists in general.

38. The Isaak​

This tribe resides in the northern parts of the country and is closely related to the Somali tribe.

39. The Dasenach​

This group originated from the Debub Omo Zone and lives close to Lake Turkana. They primarily focus on rearing animals for a living.

40. The Letsan Tribe​

This tribe has close links to the Somali tribes and occupies parts of eastern Kenya closer to Somalia. It’s nomadic in nature.

41. The Teso​

The Teso tribe occupies the western parts of Kenya and is one of the Nilotic tribes in this region.

42. The Kenyan American​

This is the group of Kenyans who live and work in the United States and are even American citizens but have their origin in Kenya. They’re close to 100,00 in number.

43.The Asian Community​

The Asian community is the last group to be legally recognized as a Kenyan tribe. It’s made up people of Asian origin mainly the Indians in Kenya.

44. Makonde​

The Makonde are a group of Bantu people from Mozambique which were recognized as a Kenyan tribe in 2017.

All these tribes have they unique features although Kenya is tending towards a unified nation where these tribal differences don’t affect the way people make decisions.
 
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