History of Taita People of Kenya.

History of Taita People of Kenya.

Taita People also known as Wataita People can be found in Kenya, they are part of the Bantu Speaking people and they are related to Taveta and other Bantu Speaking people.

 Taita People grow crops such as sweet potatoes , cowpeas, millet and sorghum , Ugali is a dish made up of maize flour , millet flour , or sorghum firm a dough others referred it as corn fufu , it can be found in some parts of the Carribeans introduced by enslaved Africans captured from the Bantu regions to the Carribeans , In Barbados is known Cou cou .
In Aruba is known as funchi , In Puerto Rico is also known as Funche and In Haiti is known as Mayi mouli but in Ghana and Burkina Faso among Kusasis ethnic group is referred as Tuo zaafi , among the Kalejin it is known as Kimnyet and Meru as Nkima .    
Taita use ugali and green cooked vegetables , especially it became their staple food and Kimanga is a mashed combination of beans , cassava , sweet potatoes , pumpkins or banana , it is prepared during special occasions it is accompanied by Mbangara which is a traditional brewed beer made from sugar cane , water , mafundo which is maize husk and honey used during traditional ceremonies . 

Taita language shared similarities with Chagga , Mijikenda , In their Culture they practiced polygamy , marriages are arranged by the bride’s family , dowry include livestock , the decision for marriages is made by the father of the bride and uncles , they keep cattles as a symbol of wealth and it is used as a payment for the bride price.
 they are known for their great agricultural skills and According to their Oral history the first group of Taita migrated from Present day Nigeria and moved into Cameroon , the second group came from Kantanga region in Southeastern Congo , they spread eastward of the forest edge near the lower Congo and lower Kasai.
The third group came from Present day Msiri and Present day Southern part of Sudan and moved into Turkana area then into Mt. Elgon later moved into Nyanza then into Central Africa and East region , Others believed Taita originally migrated from Central Africa alongside Other coastal Bantus , they formed groups then arrived in Present day Kenya from the South through Shungwaya . 

 According to Cliff Evans, the reason why they migrated was due to drought and famine climate in their cradle land had become unreliable or unpredicted , population increases which resulted into overcrowding it led to scarcity of grazing agriculture land constant and they moved due to external pressure , especially due to the migration of Arabs into West Africa and the migration of Kushites into East Africa, Mashoti encampment , Mbunyuni Salaita, Latema Reata and fortifications near Maktau potraying events dating back to 100 years during World War I , the only memorabilia of the battleground 
Legendary Bullet Holed Baobab tree, the Soldiers used to hide during wars , Mwakita Observation post was used during World War . Among the Taita it is said dancing is very sacred form of expression , they believed dancing to the beat of a drum allows them to communicate with the ancestors , dancing can also signify a new chapter of someone’s life and they lived in the hills of Southwest Kenya near the border of Present day Tanzania.

 In Taita concept God is known as Mulungu the Supreme God he was only called upon by giving sacrifice for thanksgiving and other sacrifices , It is believed Mulungu dwell in the skies and could bring good fortunes or misfortunes depending on how he is being worshipped , the gods are known as Warumu , Warumu served as link between Mulungu and the People.

 In Taita Culture , Traditionally one of the most important ascepts is the male circumsion , circumsion was considered to be Important ritual in training of boys between ages 7 and 11 , to talk on more about adult responsibilities , respect accorded to the lost ones or the dead or people who died and they were buried for a period of one year which time would be bodly exhumed .
 They enjoyed themselves through music, they perform a traditional dances . According to other accounts a Taita legend known as Mwanda moved his family from the coastal hills near Mombasa following the Voi river and settled in Taita hills at a village called Dabida with Munya a Bantu ethnic group from the South , the legend revealed Munya people tried to settle near Mwanda’s town and fight ensued.

In order to resolve the Impase , Munya’s son known as Walo helped his Wanya clansmen and migrated to a small village in Dabida from the hills one has a great view of towns such as Wundanyi , Voi and the pit stop on the road of Mombasa . The Ngomenyi cave was considered to be a sacred site of Taita hills.
 The cave were the dwelling place of Mulungu and the Ancetsors , these cave it is believed goats were slaughtered and it is considered as a holy place and Accoording to Bill Otieno one of the most respected food is known as Kimanaga some cook the food by boiling beans till tender then add cassava arrowroots and sweet potatoes then boil till tender and also add mixture of dry ones and coconut juice and the mash till the mixture is like a cake then serve with tea without sugar .

 Taita locals believed that the sacred area gets regular rainfall and it is known as endemic wildlife including endangered birds and amphibians , the plains are used mainly for grazing and sisal cultivation , while the hills , which were once covered by large forests , used for agriculture .   

According to Airkenya on the journey to the hills it started with a short hike to Mwachora hills which the guide enlightened them as where the sorcerers were executed by throwing them over the hill , People believed sorcerers were wicked and evil and this was the only punishable way .
 Others claimed It is believed the 3rd group came from Present day Somalia and followed the Juba river and settled in Mbale , Other highlights of these migrations waves manifested in the arrival of Ngau , settlerd from Ukambani who had followed the river of Athi that proliferate through the country of Wakamba Ngau’s clan permeated smoothly into both Mwanda and Mgange , Bravaman in 1998 , Observed that by the late 1600s many Taita subtribes had lived far from each other .
The basket are made by the women of the ethnic group the Sisal leaves are harvested from their own fileds , combed to extract the fibre , the ladies then hand spin the fibre into twine and color or colour it with dyes , the skill of weaving the baskets is embedded in the culture and passed down from mother to daughter and each basket takes 3 days for weaving
. In Taita tradition , the basket weaving brings the women together by dancing , singing , laughing and sometimes they talk about daily lives . Taita People perform a folk song referred as Kipsigis folk song and a dance known as Asaboriet by the Bura girls of Taita , alongside they perform Kirindi , they used instruments such as Nderera which is a live horns , fimbi which is a whistle.
Njuga which is a jingles and Mwazindika which is a drum made up with a hollow trunk of a tree covered with skin on top , bottom and they used Kenia a marimba and it includes a Trio band , the bands often perform at hotels of the Southcoast of Kenya . 

They model pots using clays after the pots are modeled it becomes dry and it is ready for using Kilning .

Taita Culture , Clothing , Naming ceremonies , Intiation and Harvest festivals .

Taita celebrate Harvest festivals which is held after something special takes place like good harvest , music competition , In their Culture , Child naming is considered as a major event , People come with gifts to see the newborn baby and special food are made , the child is blessed and they will give the Child names of any relatives who passed away or which season a Child was born , If a Child is called Mwanjala the name meaning is a Child born was during drought , Wamva meaning a Child was born during the rainy season , Tabu meaning the Child was born during Troubles , Mwashimba meaning a Child was born when lions were seen.

 . Among the Taita Intiation is a right of passage from Childhood to Adulthood , after Circumcision one starts being treated as an adult and one had to change his or her behavior , they learn how to become responsible in their community , Both boys and girls , the traditional clothing dates back to 25,000 BC , their ancient ancestors used to wear skins from goats or sheeps to cover the lower part of the body , some used to wear the barks of big trees , It is said most women used banana leaves as a respective attire , there is also a mode of dressing meaned from women referred as Manado , this was worn during traditional dances and it is made from Sisal.
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