el-molo-girl
People & Culture

Meet The Forgotten Tribe Of Kenya

When you think of Kenya you think of the most obvious tribes such as Kikuyus, Luos and Kambas.

We often forget the almost non-existent tribes in Kenya, the ones that have potential but have been neglected. The El Molo community lives along the shores of Lake Turkana on the South Eastern side of the lake. For so long the El Molo people have struggled to be heard in this great nation despite their numerous attempt to be heard.

El-Molo-Elderly
Image: Chicamod

Their population rapidly decreases every year and this has lead them to be the smallest community in Kenya with only less than 1,000 people left. The name El Molo means “those who make a living from other sources other than cattle”. Not much is known about the forsaken community apart from the assumption that they may have come from Somalia or Ethiopia.Within years to come the El Molo tribe may be no more because of the increase of intermarriage between them and Samburu and Turkana people. Their language has been left to the elders as the younger generation cannot understand the El Molo language.

El-Molo
Image: Chicamod

Unfortunately for the El Molo people their culture has been eroded as the elders are the only ones who dress traditionally.

Their main source of food is fish and particularly the Nile perch. They use spears and nets while fishing and occasionally they use harpoons (roots made from acacia). Their other source of food comes from hippos and crocodiles which the men capture for their families.

In case you wondered if people there are people who live in huts the El Molo people live in huts that are made from doum palm fronds.

el-molo-huts
Image: Daily Mail

They may be confused with Samburu people but are apparently quite different. El Molo people are the unheard people of Kenya, they are unremembered and live in their own world. However, whatever little we have of them, their culture and beauty is to be appreciated.