Ogiek

Introduction

The Okiek, sometimes called the Ogiek or Akiek (although the term Akiek sometimes refers to a distinct subgroup), are an indigenous people based in Northwestern Tanzania, Southern Kenya (in the Mau Forest), and Western Kenya (in the Mount Elgon Forest). In 2000 the ethnic Okiek population was estimated to number 36,869, although the number of those speaking the Akiek language was as low as 500. Many Ogiek speakers have shifted to the languages of surrounding peoples: the Akiek in northern Tanzania now speak Maasai and the Akiek of Kinare, Kenya now speak Gikuyu. The Ogiek are one of various groups of hunter-gatherers in Kenya and Tanzania to which the term Dorobo or Ndorobo (a term of Maasai origin now considered derogatory) has been applied.

The Ogiek have made numerous claims against the government of Kenya alleging unfair treatment, especially that they have been illegally dispossessed of their land. Timsales Ltd. is active in deforestation in its area for long. It is partly owned by relatives of former presidents Kenyatta and Moi.

You can learn more about the Ogiek People at www.ogiek.org

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