Traditional Leisure of Kenya

With forty two tribes in Kenya, defining a specific entertainment as ‘traditional’ is almost unimaginable without going into an extreme treatise on the subject. Each tribe has music, dance, costumes and musical devices particular to their area. This article provides a short overview of the types of entertainment, some examples from numerous tribes and the place yow will discover traditional entertainment when you come to Kenya.

Song is a type of traditional entertainment virtually globally so it isn’t any shock to seek out Kenyan tribes additionally singing. Each of the 42 tribes has their own language, so it is straightforward to inform where the music is from… as long as you can recognise the language! Throughout the tribes one thing is similar: there are different beats and words for songs associated with the various ceremonies. This implies that when a Kikuyu returns to his village and hears singing he can inform what’s happening. It does not imply however that if a Taita goes to the Kikuyu village he will even be able to tell what is going on, unless he understands Kikuyu. So each tribe has circumcision songs, party songs, marriage ceremony songs, funeral songs, new baby songs and so on.

Alongside with singing comes dancing and, again, movements differ across the tribes. Kikuyus wear bells on their ankles with women and men pairing up, putting palms together and swaying. In Luhya culture, the dance is all concerning the shoulders and for Luos it’s in regards to the hips. The Maasai males bounce and it is a show of manliness if they can jump higher than their peers.

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Dance is complemented by the traditional costumes which are made from supplies present in a tribe’s area. Luo males wear grass skirts from the reeds by Lake Victoria and cow hide on their back. Towards the coast, Taita males wear kangas from the Swahili tradition while the ladies wear grass skirts. Within the central highlands, the Kikuyus’ costumes are a bit more substantial to protect towards the cold, with sheepskin hats confusing many travellers as they look much like the everyday Russian hats! The men typically wear white and the women a brown-beige colour. Kikuyu males additionally carry swords and have a belt made of animal skin to carry the sword.

Musical devices usually accompany the singing and dancing and most of the people are familiar with the African drum. However there are even differences in how the drum is used across Kenya. For instance, the Kamba sit with the drum between their legs while the Luhya hold the drum under their arm. Kamba additionally use a whistle to signify a beat change.

Story-telling is widespread with the old men teaching lessons by way of stories to the young boys. Nowadays comedy is turning into standard, with sketches carried out between music sets. The tales and sketches are normally set in everyday situations that Kenyans can easily relate to.

Bomas of Kenya placed on a prolonged efficiency every afternoon which showcases singing, dancing, costumes and musical instruments from each of the tribes. Shade Hotel in Karen also does a more casual afternoon of traditional entertainment each Sunday and on public holidays. Should you visit a Maasai village on your safari, the villagers will perform a welcome dance for you. The Samburu villages do the identical in northern Kenya. Finally, the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival may be the most effective opportunity to see a variety of traditional entertainment. A gathering of 14 tribes from northern Kenya, this Festival is a celebration of different cultures dwelling together. They sing, they dance, they build huts, they cook, they dress traditionally – it’s implausible! It’s held each Might in Loiyangalani on the shore of Lake Turkana and well well worth the journey.

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