The Dorobo of Kenya and Tanzania
Scripture: “Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land.” Micah 7:14. Pray the Dorobo would come under the protection of the Good Shepherd and be shepherded by godly Dorobo pastors.
Location: The Dorobo live mostly in the Rift Valley in the highland forests and mountainous areas.
History: The Dorobo are not actually a single people group, but a diverse group of peoples descended from the ancient San people who originally settled in the Rift Valley around 1000 AD and lived as hunter-gatherers. The name ‘Dorobo’ comes from the Maasai word Il-torrobo for ‘the ones without cattle.’ In Kenya they are also known as the Okiek, and they are considered a pioneering group of Kalenjin who first moved to the Rift Valley from the north.
Culture: Many Dorobo have been assimilated into the cultures of neighboring tribes, such as the Maasai, Samburu, Kipsigis and Nandi. They often provided a service doing jobs considered unclean by the dominant neighbors. Many are still hunter-gatherers. They are adaptable to their environment, and often make their living through beekeeping, especially where hunting has been banned.
Religion: Animism. Perhaps 1% are evangelical Christian. There are at least 25 churches among the Dorobo with over 20 trained pastors.
Latest Prayer Updates:
We met with a group of Okiek elders just outside Cengalo Forest. There are several Christians there. The Okiek elders presented many needs and asked for help in educating their children and advocating for their right to move back into the forest, their ancestral homeland. We prayed with them and agreed to sponsor a young Okiek man with a call to pastoral ministry. On Mt Elgon we visited two villages. Each village has a church and a school and we met one young Okiek pastor. We prayed with him and are praying for wisdom on how best to encourage these Okiek people.
Pray for a survey trip from January 23-25 to visit Okiek/Dorobo elders in Cengelo Forest near Eldoret and Mt Elgon Forest near Kitale. We made contact with the Cengelo group ten days ago up in the forest and shared some dripping honeycombs. The elders asked us back so they can tell us their needs and we will tell them more about Jesus. We are excited for our first contact with Okiek/Dorobo on Mt Elgon. An Okiek man named Leonard has offered to be our guide.