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Culture: The quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.

ARTS- Most artists have passed on traditions of old involving art. They like to make things for use at home or work like baskets and spoons.Many people just decorate practical household items. Some Kenyans, like the Kisii, like to carve soapstone-a rosy-white stone found in quarries in western Kenya near the Kisii. Before, they used to make bowls and stools from the soapstone but that is less common now. Currently, they mostly just carve sculptures from the stone that are commonly sold in North America.
This is a soapstone carving of a cheetah made by a Kenyan youth group.
This is a soapstone carving of a cheetah made by a Kenyan youth group.

This is a soapstone candle holder.
This is a soapstone candle holder.

LANGUAGE- The Bajuni ("ba-JOON-i"), Swahili ("swah-HEE-lee"), and Shirazi ("shir-AHZ-ee") tribes speak Kiswhili. But anyone getting involved in higher education must learn English. There are about 80 major languages spoken in Kenya. The languages chage slowly from one village to another. And most Kenyan languages have grown out of Bantu, Nilotic, Or Cushitac.

RELIGION- 18% of Kenyans still follow animistic religion. Which is the belief that every natural object, phenomenon, and universe has a soul/ spirit. 6% of Kenyans are Muslim. Then the majority of Kenyans are Christians. And the Christian church was established in Kenya around 1844 by Christian missionaries.

MARRIAGE AND DATING- Polygamy is traditional, but it is less common/typical because it has been opposed by Christian missionaries. When a man chooses a wife he negotiates a price of money or number of cattle to pay for his wife. The wedding ceremony is celebrated in the husband's home.

FOOD- Most rural women cook over open fire. They must tend and harvest the crops and prepare food, do daily chores,and gather fire wood. Most dishes are very filling and inexpensive. Some staples in their diet are corn, potatoes, and beans. Ugali (a porridge made of maize) and meat are usually eaten inland (see recipe at the bottom for more information). Closer to the coast diets are more varied.

SOCIAL GROUPS- There is a lot of poverty in Kenya. Wealth is usually measured in the number of cattle someone owns, for example, herders such as the Masai. Another sign of wealth is having many children. Women are treated as second-class citizens.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES- Kenyans in cities take part in sports and watching TV for leisure time. They love to socialize. They tell stories, share experiences or just gossip. Children don't play with toys, instead they run, climb and wrestle. Boys often play soccer.

MUSIC- Many different genres of music are played and enjoyed in Kenya. They do have more modern music like rap and pop. Some musicians enjoy playing traditional music with instruments that they used to have to make themselves (like drums and lyres). The video is a song by a popular musician in Kenya named Ayub Ogada. He is playing a nyatiti (a lyre-like stringed instrument).




  • 1 cup milk
  • 1¼ cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup water


  1. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl. Slowly add ¾ cup of the cornmeal and whisk constantly into a paste.
  2. Heat the water in a medium saucepan to boiling.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir cornmeal and milk paste mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of cornmeal, stirring constantly. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps.
  5. Cook for about 3 minutes. When the mixture begins to stick together and pull away from the sides of the pan, remove from heat.
  6. Pour mixture into a greased serving bowl and allow to cool.
  7. Serve at room temperature as a side dish to meat and vegetables.
Serves 4.


"Culture of Kenya - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family." Countries and Their Cultures. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.
Derr, Victoria. Kenya. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub., 1999. Print.
"East African Painted Soapstone Cheetah Carving - CARVE01C -®." Jewelry Television: Fine Jewelry, Diamonds, Colored Gemstones and More. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <,default,pd.html>.
"Food in Kenya - Kenyan Food, Kenyan Cuisine - traditional, popular, dishes, diet, history, common, meals, staple, rice, main, people, types, make, customs, fruits, country, bread, vegetables, bread." Food in Every Country. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.
"Kenya's Flag -" ENCHANTED LEARNING HOME PAGE. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.
Pateman, Robert. Kenya. 2nd ed. New York: Benchmark Books, 2004. Print. " Kenya - YouTube ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.
idamawatu. " Africa Calling - Ayub Ogada - Kenya - YouTube ." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. <>.

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