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:
Pray for Mama M, a Samburu sister in Christ, who is going through some trying times. Normally her husband is quite reasonable, but recently he has been drinking too much. He has mistreated her, her two co-wives and their children. Last week her mother died. In addition, last week a planned fire got out of control and burned down her house, the houses of her co-wives and the house of her mother-in-law. Pray that her faith and trust in the Lord will remain strong in the midst of these troubles. Pray also that her husband will stop drinking, and decide to follow Jesus.
Several Samburu church leaders are on a committee to establish a Bible school for pastors and evangelists. Right now, each pastor has to serve several congregations. Pray for the Bible school to be established and flourish.