Ilwana of Kenya
People Name: Ilwana
Country: Kenya
Language: Kiwilwana
Population: 22,000
Unreached: Yes
People Cluster: Bantu, East-Coastal
Primary Religion: Islam
% Adherents: 0.02 %
% Evangelical: 0.02 %
Progress Status: 1.0
Profile provided by:

Joshua Project
PO Box 62614
Colorado Springs, CO 80962
United States


Introduction / History
The name Malakote (meaning slave) was given to this people group by the Somalis. The Somalis introduced them to Islam and made them slaves. The people today prefer to be called Ilwana (meaning free men) closely related to the Kiswahili word muunguana translated by Krapf and Cust (1882) to be "a free man". A Christian community among the Ilwana has provided refuge to Muslim Background Believers and other Christians when fighting breaks out and persecution is intense.

Where are they located?
They live along the Tana River

What are their lives like?
Their livilihood is based on farming, fishing and bee-keeping.

What are their beliefs?
They practice Islam mixed with animism and witchcraft. Evangelism efforts have met opposition.

Ilwana of Kenya