Pokot People – Kenya
Posted by Cathy
on Dec 28th, 2011 in East Africa
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While in Kenya staying at a family farm in the Laikipia region we were invited to visit a nomadic Pokot tribe.
This visit was very exciting both to us and the Pokot people. We had managed to send a message to them the previous day that we would like to visit and would be willing to pay them in exchange for the experience.
They were very welcoming, although when we arrived some of the people were frightened, we could see them peeking out of bushes up on the hill. The partially dressed children were curious at first but then they decided they should be scared of these white people. Some of them adults included have never seen white people. Once we took their picture and showed them in the viewer they were excited and wanted to see more and forgot about their fear.
At the bottom of the this village were three huts made of dung and mud. These huts belonged to one husband and his three wife’s. Each wife had her own hut which were of various sizes, the larger the hut the more children that wife had. We were invited into each hut. The openings were very small, I had to recall some of my yoga moves in order to get my body through the “door” (as did everyone else). I was not comfortable in these huts, they were very small and there was a fire in the middle. In this first hut she was steaming goat meat. She offered us a drink of milk which I had to taste as I didn’t want to be rude. Two of the guides that were with us seemed to feel right at home with the milk and drank a whole cup each. The milk was kind of sourish, sort of tasted like plain yoghurt. It was actually quite an honor to be offered the milk, it meant that times are good and they have plenty of food, thanks to the rains.
After visiting each hut all the village people got together and put on a dance. They sang and danced, it was great fun and you could tell they were having fun. They had put on some of their dance costumes, but apparently there was a wedding in the next village and many of the fancier costumes had gone for the that celebration.
Its odd that people live with so little – no running water, no toilets, no power – none of the even basic conveniences…except for the cell phone. Most of them have a cell phone. One other thing I thought was funny, all the men had this thing stuck in their hair, I asked Steven (our guide) what it was, he said a comb and they all have a mirror in their pocket!
They live with their animals among the dung and dirt, but they seemed clean. The children are half dressed, have runny noses and yes there are flies, but that is the way they live and they seem happy.