Sengwer Community


The Sengwer are found in Embobut Forest (Elgeyo Marakwet County) and are also found in other counties including, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot along Cherengani Hills. Initially, before dispossession of their lands the Sengwer lived in other counties including Uasin Gishu and Bungoma counties.

There Sengwer population consists of about 33,187 in 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census. The community marks different celebrations annually including circumcision, marriage, thanksgiving rituals and children naming.

Cultural day of the Sengwer is marked on the 6th of December every year. Majority of the community dwell in the forest and practice hunting and gathering activities. They also use honey and meat as a basic food. Leisure times are marked by traditional dances and songs. The songs and dances are presented by men, women and youth to pass different types of information e.g. morals. Girls were taught by old women on how to perform household duties whereas men and boys were taught by the elderly how to perform their duties e.g. hunting. Specifically, the initiates were taught after circumcision on how to live responsible lives. Land is owned communally under several clans.

The leadership of the Sengwer consists of Glades including the Kaptirbai, Kapkorwen and Kapkok. Under the Glades are the Council of Elders who are the final decision makers. Then comes the community leadership as well as the Glades leadership tasked with handling of petty cases.