Introduction / History
The Endo people are an agricultural group living in the Kerio valley of Kenya. Many of their houses are on the face of the escarpment above the valley floor. The area is fed by three small rivers from the mountains. Water is distributed by an intricate series of irrigation furrows, which is thought to be over 400 years old. These are cleared and maintained by the people throughout the year. Farming includes a wide variety of crops: millet, cow peas, corn, bananas, mangos and papaya. In addition, families keep sheep, goats and some cattle, although theft and raiding by other tribes in the valley keep those herds small.
When a man marries he will petition his clan elders to be assigned several plots of land, one a homestead on the escarpment of perhaps 100 feet by 100 feet, the others are farming plots of 2-5 acres down in the valley.
Marriage still follows an unusual ritual. Some are still arranged but more and more modern young people find one another. In either case the young man dons a special pair of leggings with many bells. He dances vigorously outside the hut of the maiden, who expresses complete surprise at the visit and feigns distaste for the young man involved. If she seriously does not wish to marry her suitor she may beg her father to not send her away. Inasmuch as the father has probably already negotiated and received the "bride price", which has increased his wealth substantially, these pleas are not often taken seriously.
Children are considered an asset on the farm and any teachings of family planning are strongly resisted. It is estimated that 12-14 pregnancies may be required to achieve 4-7 adolescent children.
The Endo are a people in crisis and desperately need a strong Christian faith and support. Many are nominally Christian. The people fight an uphill battle against the forces of civilization.
Text source: Anonymous