Kenya is a republic with almost 37 million inhabitants. More than 50 different tribes exist there, many of whom have retained their own identity while others are largely westernized. Some major groups are the Kikuyu (20%), the Luyia (14%), the Kamba (11%), the Luo (13%) and the Masai (1.5%). Kenya is one of the few African countries where traditional tribes may be encountered, without it being a ''tourist show''.
Masai and Samburu
The Masai and Samburu are closely related nomadic tribes. They keep cattle and goats. In addition, many Samburu also keep dromedaries. The people are nice to see: they dress in red with a mass of intricate beaded jewellery. The colour has no special meaning. They believe in a god, Nkai, but religion is a private matter and the initiation rituals such as naming a child and circumcision ceremonies are secular. Their traditional food consists of blood and milk. The manyatta (Masai village) gives shelter to a family where the spouse and each of his wives has a separate house. Girls stay with their mothers until they marry, boys go with their father to learn about Masais' duties. The little boys are responsible for the flocks. After the circumcision (between 14 and 17 years), they become Morans (warriors) and move to a separate village. Previously they spent their free time lion hunting or stealing cattle. Today, they spend most of their time adorning themselves and each other. When they are about 25 years old, these young men may be married. Their duties now include counting the herds (arrival and departure) and making decisions. All the daily work, including building houses, is done by the women who have no rights or say in tribal affairs. Both tribes have proudly retained their traditional lifestyle in spite of everything.