Iteso of Kenya
People Name: Iteso
Country: Kenya
Language: Teso
Population: 442,000
Unreached: No
People Cluster: Nilotic
Primary Religion: Christianity
% Adherents: 94.00 %
% Evangelical: 4.00 %
Progress Status: 4.0
Profile provided by:

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


Introduction / History
The Kenyan Teso people are an extension of their Ugandan counterparts in that they were merely separated by the partition of East Africa during the historic scramble and partition of Africa just like the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania and the Oromo of Kenya and Ethiopia. They are among the Plain Nilotic groups closely related to the Turkana, Karamojong, Toposa and the Maa groups of the Maasai and Samburu.

Where are they located?
The Teso people are located in Western Province of Kenya currently in Busia County which is in South of Mt. Elgon. Still, a large number of them inhabit parts of Bungoma and even Trans Nzoia Counties which are dominated by the Bukusu of the Luhya community.

What are their lives like?
Teso people are the only Plains Nilotic people whose lifestyles underwent drastic changes. Having been pastoralists since time immemorial, these people are now the most successful farmers in both Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda.

What are their beliefs?
In recent years the people have changed much of their lifestyle. They used to exhume the dead after some time because of population pressure on their land and they no longer have bushes to dump the bones of people who died long time ago. Now they use cement graves -- a sign that they have embraced new ways of dealing with the dead. They believe in one God (Akuju) and also in life after death.

What are their needs?
Promotion of self-respect and cohesiveness. Improvement of schools and other social amenities, development of roads, urbanization and governance.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the Teso can embrace wholly the true God and stop practicing witchcraft and other harmful beliefs.
* Pray for prosperity to come to the Teso land
* Pray for rejuvenation of ways of doing things through enrichment of their mindset and for the people to become more hardworking and productive to counter the challenges of life.

Iteso of Kenya