THE ABAGUSII - WHO ARE THEY?
a. Abagusii (singular Omogusii) are one of the ethnic tribes that comprise the Republic of Kenya and speak Bantu language, Ekegusii.
b. They inhabit the South-Western part of the country bordering the Lake Victoria and are neighbors to the Kipsigis (Kalenjin sub-tribe) to the South, the Luo to the North, and the Masai to the West.
c. They are thought to have migrated from Central Africa through Mt Masaba (present-day Mt Elgon), although some common legend claims their origin to be around the Red Sea.
d. Among the languages that closely resemble Ekegusii are the Ki-Kuria of Kenya and Tanzania, Kinyaruanda of Rwanda, The Meru group, Gikuyu, and the Luhyia group, (especially The Maragoli).
e. Abagusii are non-nomadic small-scale farmers; keep animals as well as grow a variety of foodstuffs and cash crops. They live on the highlands overlooking Lake Victoria of East Africa.
f. During their early settlement in their present location, they were often victims of inter-tribal clashes between them and their neighbors – the Maasai, Kipsigis and the Luos - who stole their animals, mostly cattle, sheep and goats. In protecting themselves against these skirmishes, they gathered together and settled on highlands in a small location for security and defense.
g. After the arrival of Missionaries and later the British colonialists, many were converted into Christianity and encouraged to abandon many of their cultural practices and values in favor of a Christian and British Western upbringing. Many started going to the Missionary schools and were taught how to read and write, and basic math skills.
copyright Kennedy Bosire / Nigel Deacon, Diversity website
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