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Pokot

Page history last edited by Barbara Allen 11 years, 8 months ago



Name Pokot
Location Kenya
Population over 250,000
Language Pokot
Type of Culture Cultivators, pastoralists
Timeline

Moved from Nile Valley of Sudan around 1800 

History

Pokot history is difficult to trace. They seem to be related to numerous peoples who live in the region from both the Nilo-Hamatic peoples from the north to the Bantu peoples from central Africa. They are placed in the Kalenjin speaking group, which consists of many diverse groups of people who share the same ancestry and history. The nomadic way of life has brought them in contact with many different peoples and has allowed them to adopt many other social customs into their own society. Many Pokot customs seem to be borrowed from their Turkana neighbors.

Current status About 1/4 of Pokot peoples and cultivators (“corn people) while the remainder are pastoralists (‘cow people”). In both groups, however, wealth is measured by the number of cows one owns. Cows are used for barter, exchange, and as a form of bride wealth. Cows are rarely slaughtered for meat since they provide the dietary needs of milk butter and cheese. Pokot society is governed by a series of age-grades. Group membership is determined by the age one undergoes initiation. When a man or woman reaches old age, he or she is accorded a certain degree of status and respect. Tribal decisions are decided by these elders.
Artwork most prevalent Most Pokot art is associated with body ornamentation, including beadwork and intricate hairdos and wigs that are worn by young men to signal their membership in a given age- grade. Anther form of art include richly patinated gourds and containers used by women for storage
Artwork's distinguishing characteristics Men: Mud caps decorated with feathers. Women: wide, disk-like collars made of beads strung on circles of wire.
Traditional foods maize, millet, sorghum, cassava, vegetables; "cow" people eat more milk products, "corn" people eat more grains

 

Links

     http://www.integratingartsk-8.org/units/cultureexplsally.htm (Pokot story telling lesson)

     http://www.gateway-africa.com/tribe/pokot_tribe.html

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