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River Tana in Pokomo territory in Kenya


Dunia ipittuka. Nikupittuka nayo!


crocodile in river Tana, pokomo terriotory in Kenya

The Pokomo are an ethnic group of Kenya, from the Bantu language group. They are predominantly agriculturalists and fresh water fishermen living along the Tana River in the Tana River District. They speak Pokomo language. The Pokomo council of elders are known as Gasa. They deal with solving disputes like marriage disputes, land disputes, family conflicts and others.


The Pokomo live in small villages of 10-60 grass-thatched houses, growing RICE, maize, plantains and sugar cane, and following the community principle called Sindika, by which they all work together for the common good at essential agricultural times such as harvest. This same system provides communal help in the event of an individual having personal problems.

Pokomos are a group of people with a common life style with some living in the upper areas while other live in the delta. Those living upstream call those living downstream MILANCHINI which literally means those who live downstream. The MILANCHINI call those living upstream WANTU-A-DZUU which also means "those who live upstream"; the WANTU-A-DZUU make up to 75% of the population, and are mainly Muslim.They have been so since the first half of the 20th century.


The MILANCHINI were receptive to the teachings of the Christian missionaries who arrived in the area in the late 1870s, and, by 1914, were almost exclusively Christian.

As a result of the introduction of Islam and Christianity, many of the Pokomo traditions have fallen by the wayside, now only observed by a small amount of the older population.

One Pokomo tradition has not only survived, it has evolved and become famous throughout the Kenya - the tune of a song that Pokomo mothers sing to their children was, in 1963, given new lyrics and adopted as the national anthem of Kenya.

"A nations's culture resides in the hearts and souls of its people."

Mahatma Gandhi


Traditionally, the Kidjo is the enforcer of the "ADHA" which is basically the "norm" in Pokomo society. In short the Kidjo is the Humanitarian section that ensures all needs of the weak are met

Pokomo tradional structure is based on "lubha" or age groups, which are formed by adolescent men  circumcised together. Some of these age groups are:

  • Uhuru or Wembe - circumcised during the time of Kenya getting independence

  • Mau Mau

  • Shiti

  • Pali

  • Kingishore

Maumau is now the ageset that is controlling the Gasa

some of the animals in Pokomo territory are lions



Wenje Madukani, P. O Box 11 Wenje

Tel: +254-720-987-766

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