The Kikuyu are chiefly located in the cardinal state of Kenya in East Africa. They are the largest autochthonal and thickly settled cultural population found in Kenya. Kikuyu people make up about 22 per centum of the Kenya ‘s entire population. The word Kikuyu is used as a general term to depict the linguistic communication spoken by the Kikuyu people. Kikuyu belong to the Bantu speech production linguistic communication of the Niger Congo household.
Oral tradition had it that the Kikuyu were founded by a adult male named Gikuyu. It is believed among the people that the Kikuyu god popularly known as Ngai took Gikuyu to the top of a mountain called Kirinyaga. The God of the mountain told him to remain and construct his house at that place. Gikuyu had a married woman named Mumbi. They had nine girls whose names subsequently formed the nine Kikuyu kins found in Kenya. These kins includes Achera, Agachiku, Airimu, Ambui, Angare, Anjiru, Angui, Aithaga, and Aitherandu were formed ( Miruiki, 1974 ) . Other unwritten traditions suggests that the ascendants of the Kikuyu came from the North around the part of Nyambene hills to the north East of Mount Kenya otherwise known as kiriyaga. This is believed to be the original place of all cenral Bantu talking peoples such as the Meru, Embu, Chuka, Kambu and Mberre. The people are by and large believed to hold arrived in their present location since the 13th century. It is by and large agreed among the Kikuyu that they migrated from Axum in present twenty-four hours Ethiopia to Kenya while the other fabulous narrative stated that the people migrated from ‘Shungwaya ‘ in Somalia ( Miruiki, 1974 ) .
The people of Kikuyu rely to a great extent on agribusiness as their chief signifier of business. They grow bananas, millet, maize, black beans and a assortment of other veggies. Besides, they besides raise cowss, sheep and caprine animal. They use the fells from the cowss to do bedclothes, sandals, and transporting straps and the caprine animals and sheep that were used for spiritual forfeit and purification ( Lambert, 1956 ) . By and large, the Kikuyu people have a repute of being really difficult workers. A batch of them are now involved in concern. Many of them live on little household secret plans of land while some of them have moved to urban centres and different countries to work. The people have a strong desire for cognition, kids are raised to work in the farms and to hold entree to western instruction. The Kikuyus are good educated. Their abilities to accommodate new worlds have resulted in many people in the rural countries following many facets of modern civilizations ( Mwakikagile, 2008 ) .
The Kikuyu traditionally worshipped a individual God Known as Ngai, who is known among the people as the supplier of the community life at the top of the mountain. Besides the autochthonal beliefs, there are many of Kikuyus who are Christians and Muslims. Approximately 45 per centum of Kikuyus are Christian, 10 per centum Islam, 10 percent traditional, two per centum Hindu, and two per centum Buddhist. Geographically, the people were found in the Ngong hills to the South, the Nyandarua Mountain to the West and the Mount Kenya to the nor’-east ( CIA Factbook ) .
The political organisation of the Kikuyu during the pre-colonial epoch was closely linked to the household system. The household was the footing of political authorization in the town. Young people were normally initiated into the national council of junior warrior ( Njama ya Anake a Muno ) after 82 Moons or twelve rain seasons after the Circumcision ceremony the junior warrior was promoted to the council of senior warriors ( Njama ya Ita ) . These councils are normally called upon to protect the people in instance of external aggression. The council of senior warriors was in add-on an of import determination doing organ of the political system. These councils comprises of people between ages twenty to forty old ages ( Miruiki, 1974 ) .
Upon matrimony, the hubby is initiated into a council called ( Kiama Kia Kiamatimo ) . This is the first class of eldership. These seniors were besides known as warriors. The warriors assisted in transporting out proceedings of humble undertakings like clambering animate beings, being couriers, transporting ceremonial articles or light fires among other undertakings. Furthermore, It is believed among the people that when a adult male had boy or girl old plenty for Circumcision, he is elevated to another council called the council of peace ( Kiama Kia Mataathi ) . On come ining this council, the adult male is now regarded as a adult male of peace and no longer of the warrior category. He assumed the responsibility peace shaper in the community when a adult male had practically all is kids circumcised, and his married woman or married womans had passed kid bearing age, he has reached the last and most esteemed position. This council is known as spiritual and sacrificial council ( Kiama Kia Maturanguru ) ( Miruki, 1974 ) . At this phase, the male parent slaughtered and offered an animate being as forfeit to the Ngai God. The adult male is so invested with power to take sacrificial ceremonial at the sacred tree known as ( Magumu Muti Wa Igongona ) . The seniors of this class assumed the function of “ holy work forces ” They were high priests. All spiritual and ethical ceremonials were in their custodies. Among the Kikuyu, the seniors handled the spiritual, administration, and the legal maps within the community. Both work forces and adult females normally perform the induction ceremonial into the assorted councils. Above all, the male parent of the different household caputs in the small town makes up the political construction of the community. The most senior senior of the territory heads this. The most advanced in age was elected as the caput of the justice ( Tate, 1904 ) .
Kinship construction is besides an of import characteristic among the Kikuyu groups of East Africa. The Head of the household who is the adult male is known as Muthuuri that is ( person who can spot evil from good ) while the Woman is called Mutumia ( one who retains household secret and patterns ) . The polygamous system of household is widely practiced among the people. The household units in Kikuyu lived in several huts in the society. These huts were constructed in such a manner that during cold seasons the inside would be really warm piece in the hot seasons the hut would be cool ( Lambert, 1956 ) . By tradition, the first boy of the household is named after the expansive male parent, while the 2nd boy is named after the female parent ‘s male parent. This is the same with misss, whom the first girl would be named after her male parent ‘s female parent and the 2nd girl after her female parent ‘s female parent. Possibly the ground for this harmonizing to the people ‘s belief is that the spirit of the asleep expansive parent would transport on to the kid ( Miruiki, 1974 ) . This cultural pattern is no longer common among the people since life span became longer with the coming of modern scientific medical specialty to bring around diseases. The Kikuyu people have an affinity for ceremonials. They have a culturally diverse history of how people live during the pre-colonial period. During gay periods, the people normally entertain visitants with heavy vocals and dancing show whenever there is matrimony, calling ceremonial and joyous spiritual festivals of the town ( Tate, 1904 ) .
The Kikuyu groups were one of the most popular cultural groups that hastened the Kenyan Independence in 1963. The rebellion of the Kikuyu created a rift between the white colonial communities in Kenya and the place office in London. Under colonial regulation, the British colonial Masterss displaced the Kikuyu groups of their land ( Newsweinger, 1981 ) . The inability of the colonial disposal to develop mechanism through which African grudges against the white colonists might be resolved in footings of equity and equity served to speed up a turning alienation with the colonial governments in Kenya. This accordingly led to the rise of rebellion and the raising of the seed of a turning African Nationalism ( Wunyabari, 1998 ) . The Kikuyu conceived hawkish patriotism against the British governments. The declining consequence of poorness, famishment, unemployment and over population set the Kikuyu to present of what can be described as by the British as the Mau Mau revolution against the colonial Masterss ( Newswinger, 1981 ) . The Mau Mau rebellion is one of the most outstanding universe revolutions in East African history. The word Mau-Mau was coined by the colonial governments to depict the rebel motion against colonial Masterss over the control of their land ( Corfield, 1960 ) . The Kikuyu groups who are members of the motion described themselves as the “ Muingi ” intending The Movement ( John, 1981 ) . The want of the Kikuyu against land ownership made them to revolt against the colonial authorities. The colonial Masterss made the Kikuyu to go tenant husbandmans who had no land of their ain and besides protesting against more yearss of labour in the colonial farm without equal wage ( Wunyabari, 1998 ) .
Oladiti Abiodun Akeem