Whats up people?
Kenya is on a count-down to its general election set to happen this coming August.
As expected, all conversations leading to the polls have been a path that has been trotted carefully as Kenya experienced turmoil in the last post-election period.
We have decided to count it down on a more positive note however. We will be highlighting the 43 tribes of Kenya weekly showing you some facts about each community and what makes us all shine with unity in diversity.
And to start with .
- Eastern Province of Kenya
The Kamba people also known as The Akamba ( Plural) is a Bantu ethnic community/tribe currently occupying the former Eastern Province of Kenya. It is estimated that they consist of 11 percent of Kenyan population.
They speak the Kamba language also known as ‘Kikamba’ and its interesting to note that Kikamba has no letters “c”,”f”,”j”, ‘r’, ‘x’,’q’ and ‘p’ in its alphabet.
- Economic Activity
Known for their Long Distance trading which was mainly because of their vast knowledge of the terrain around them and good relations with other communities. This has led to the dreaded phrase “No Vaa” by Kambas which means ”It’s Just Here” Woe to you if you are walking somewhere far with a Kamba 🙂
They traded with the Arabs at the coast for a long time too and a heavy presence of the remnants of this migration can be witnessed today in the coastal regions such as Mariakani, Kinango, Kwale, Mombasa West (Changamwe and Chaani) and Mombasa North (Kisauni).
The Kamba are known to be skilled craftsmen with speciality in iron/metal, carvings, making drums, ornaments, as well as their knowledge in medicinal herbs. They traded sugar cane wine,brass amulets, ivory, tools and weapons, millet, and cattle.
- Social Setting
The Kamba did not have one central leader to rule over them but rather they were governed by a council of elders known as Kingole. The family (Musyi) was headed by the Father who engaged themselves in trading, hunting, cattle-herding while the mother helped by the daughters farmed in a plot of land to cater for the families needs.
- Akamba in South America
The Kamba are also found in South American country of Paraguay.
They are original African descendants that founded the city of Kamba Cuá which is an important Central Department of the Afro Paraguayan community in Paraguay.
The Akamba here are known as Artigas Cue -or “black of Kamba Cuá”. They arrived in Paraguay as members of a regiment of 250 spearmen, men and women, who accompanied General Jose Gervasio Artigas, the independence revolutionary leader of the Eastern Band (the current Uruguay) in his exile in Paraguay in 1820
Refereed to as the most spectacular manifestation of traditional Kamba culture was their dancing, performed to throbbing polyrhythmic drum beats.
The Kamba dances include exceptional acrobatic leaps and somersaults which can be made to look easy by their athletic bodies.
- Kilumi Rain Ritual
This Sacred spiritual dance was performed by everyone in the community led by rainmakers. It was characterized by a display of agility in body movements accompanied by songs composed for the occasion.
A famous Kamba woman called Syokimau, a Prophetess and a great Healer – Prophesied the coming of the white people to Kenya and prophesied also about the construction of the Mombasa to Kisumu railway line. In her prophecy she said she could see people of a different colour carrying fire inside waters which was later to be understood as white people in vessels carrying match boxes and guns. She prophesied seeing a long snake that whose head was in the Indian Ocean and the tail was in Lake Victoria.
Tennis champion Serena Williams being dressed
as a Kamba woman.
AFP PHOTO / Tony KARUMBA
(Photo credit /AFP/Getty Images