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Kenya is a country which is a mix of different ethnicities and
tribes, holding a wide range of culture and values. One such tribe
is the Kikuyu tribe which is a part of the Bantu tribe. These
Kenya is a country which is a mix of different ethnicities and tribes, holding a wide range of culture and values. One such tribe is the Kikuyu tribe which is a part of the Bantu tribe. These neighbor the Embu, Mbeere and Meru tribes, which surround Mount Kenya. Consisting of a population of 22%, they are the most popular and the largest tribe in Kenya. Popularly also known as Gikuyu or Agikuyu , the Kikuyus are known since the colonial times as a tribe that wields a lot of political and economic influence in Kenya. They speak the Kikuyu language and most of them live around the fertile central highlands and Mount Kenya, where they are mostly involved in the growth of tea and coffee.
Historically, it is believed that they came from West Africa along the other Bantu tribes, finally settling along Mount Kenya where they began their basic and main activity of farming the fertile volcanic highlands. When the British came to Nairobi, they captured some of the fertile lands which the Kikuyu people owned, leaving them with only a few resources to cultivate. The Kikuyu people were so frustrated with their loss and the colonial rule, that they formed a rebellion group, called the Mau Mau, and entered the war against the British. This finally led to the independence of Kenya. Recently, many Kikuyu people have migrated to the main urban city of Nairobi and other towns, but their territories remain along Mount Kenya and the central highlands, including Nyeri, Kiambu, and Kirinyaga regions of Kenya.
As the Kikuyu people have a history of economic success, the majority of them are well educated; their good adaptability has led to accept modern culture as well. Traditionally, a man could indulge in polygamy if he could afford to take care of his wives. Paying a dowry, more like bride price is still an important part of traditions. With due course of time, the culture has eroded a little, but the language is still spoken predominantly, even in urban areas where a majority of people speak English and Swahili. Coming to the food, music, ceremonies or family life, most people still carry cultural traditions. They also continue to dominate leadership and politics in Kenya.