Introduction / History
According to oral history, up to ten generations came from their center in Dabel and migrated to Elwak and some other places in search of pasture for their animals, yet they keep coming back once a year to a type of yearly Passover like that of the Israelites. They are Cushitic. There is a possibility that they came from Somalia through Alwak to their present area in Dabel.
Where are they located?
This group occupies the Eastern Province of Kenya in the Moyale district close to the boundary of the North Eastern province. They go up to Godoma in Ethiopia. They are also in Garbatula, Waso and Iharti all the way to Marsabit. Their main center is however Dabel on your way from Moyale to Wajir. The climate is arid.
What are their lives like?
They speak Borana and are related to the Rendile. Oral history has it that they lived under a kingship of Rendile before they disintegrated due to conflict and in search of pasture to form this tribe. They are also related to Dagodia and Ajuran. Due to the places they have passed through, they speak Borana, which is the common language in the area.
They have the following clans: Migo, Wartura, Warswa, Harswa, Ilani, Madarba, Dele and Ora.
They keep camels traditionally together with cows and goats. However today they have embraced subsistence farming. They were traditionally nomadic. They use Dagora (cloth) which they wrap around themselves from hip downwards and a lot of ornaments on their heads especially which they call "Shabat." This is especially wh they are ready to get married. This cloth was only white and worn in ceremonies.
They are upward mobile and their western culture has disintegrated them to a point in comparison to their neighbors. They also use to comb their hair nicely but divide it into twoat the middle of their head.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a rite of passage as well as circumcision for boys at seven besides marriage at teenage although young girls could be married at any age up from 12 years. This is done especially through negotiation with parents.
If a young marriageable girl accused a boy of even greeting her, that person would have a case to answer even if it was only greetings. Only married females were supposed to speak to men. Anybody who reaches the age of FGM and circumcision and is not married is scorned and rejected.
What are their beliefs?
They follow traditional Islam that is mixed with animism; they even have a shrine in Dabel though as they moved they would make family shrinesand they would rather speak of other things due to their Islamic roots.
Due to their position (geographical) they have been influenced and integrated to Islam and this is mixed up and corrupted as well as intertwined to their culture and traditions. This because their social interactions and lack of education which has caused a lot of problems such as poverty and illiteracy.
They have limited exposure to Christianity. They have had exposure to shepherd ministry for the last ten years.
What are their needs?
They are in constant conflict with their neighbors.They need a community education in ways of life. They also need water for both sanitation and animals.
* Ask the Prince of Peace to reign in their midst and that they would embrace Christ.
* Ask for knowledge that would lead them to wisdom even on the way to live.
* Pray for rain for livestock and for their farms and showers of blessings upon their lives.
* Pray for hope for this discouraged people.
Text source: Anthony Njoroge