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|Okiek people by Kenyans247(1): Thu 14, May, 2020 06:59am|
The Okiek (Ogiek: [oɡiɛk]), sometimes called the Ogiek or Akiek (although the term Akiek sometimes refers to a distinct subgroup), are an ethnic and linguistic group based in Northern Tanzania, Southern Kenya (in the Mau Forest), and Western Kenya (in the Mount Elgon Forest). In 2019 the ethnic Okiek population was 52,596, although the number of those speaking the Akiek language was as low as 500
In 1903, C.W.Hobley recorded eleven Okiek communities, a hunter-gatherer society, living in western Kenya. He noted that a number of entire sections were bi-lingual, speaking either Maasai, Kipsigis or Nandi in addition to their own languages.
Hunter-gathering communities also lived on the easten highlands of Kenya where they were known in local traditions by the names "Gumba" and "Athi"
Many Ogiek speakers have shifted to the languages of surrounding peoples: the Akiek in northern Tanzania now speak Maasai and the Akiek of Kinare, Kenya now speak Gikuyu. The Ogiek are one of various groups of hunter-gatherers in Kenya and Tanzania to which the term Dorobo or Ndorobo (a term of Maasai origin now considered derogatory) has been applied.
The Ogiek have made numerous claims against the government of Kenya alleging unfair treatment, especially that they have been illegally dispossessed of their land. Timsales Ltd is active in deforestation in its area for long. It is partly owned by relatives of former presidents Kenyatta and Moi.
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