The Samburu of Kenya
Location: Remote North Central Kenya greatly dispersed between Mt Kenya and Lake Turkana.
History: The Samburu are a Nilotic people who originally migrated from Sudan, settling in Northern Kenya centuries ago.
Culture: Their name comes from their traditional leather bag they carry called a ‘samburr’. They are related to the Maasai. They are semi-nomadic pastoralists, keeping cattle, sheep, and goats. They especially love their cattle. Like the Maasai, they believe all cattle belong to them, and cattle raiding is a major preoccupation. Young unmarried men are warriors, charged with protecting the village from lions and hyenas, as well as raiding other tribes’ cattle.
Both men and women adorn themselves with colorful beaded necklaces and the young men braid their long hair and coat it with ochre.
Elders rule the clan and their curse or blessing is taken seriously.
Religion: Animism. The Samburu believe in a creator god ‘Nkai’. They pray and seek his blessing. Their beliefs are expressed in their traditions and rituals, which they are very careful to follow. It is not uncommon for children and young people, especially women, to report visions of Nkai. A few children gain a reputation for prophecy throughout their lives. Samburu also have ritual diviners, called ‘loibonok’, who divine the causes of individual illnesses and misfortune. Sin has a very restricted meaning and therefore, many would say they have no sin.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Please pray for the Christian women living in the Samburu Community of Lchakwai. They are all illiterate and there is now no one to teach and shepherd them. A few have an oral version of the New Testament in Samburu. Pray that they will continue to meet together on Sundays to praise God together in song and in prayer, and to listen to the Word. Pray that God will use their testimony to influence their husbands and the men in that community.
Please pray for much unity among Samburu churches, and that those areas of Samburu people where the gospel has not yet penetrated will receive the light of Christ. Pray that the Samburu churches will send evangelists and pastors to live in areas that still need the gospel.