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Luo

The Luo are found in the western part of Kenya in the well known Nyanza province. The are the second largest ethnic group in Kenya. They are found on the shores and hinterland of Lake Victoria. Kisumu City is located next to Lake Victoria. It is the 3rd largest city in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa. They speak the Dholuo language. They are famous for, and proud of, their own egalitarian ideology.

Historically the Luo descended from the pastoral nomads who migrated south from Southern Sudan towards the end of the 15th Century. In moving to the lands around Lake Victoria they gradually displaced the Bantu-speaking tribes living in the region that were the ancestors of the modern Luhya and Gusii. Intermarriage with these communities was common and the Luo were influenced by the Bantu-speaking tribes they came in contact with.

By the time the whites arrived, the Luos had a tight-knit society with ruoths or kings. In 1915 the Colonial Government sent Odera Akang'o, the ruoth of Gem, to Kampala, Uganda. He was impressed by the British settlement there and upon his return home he initiated a forced process of adopting western style of "schooling, dress and hygine". This resulted in the rapid education of the Luo in the English language and ways. Nowadays people joke about thise and refer to Kisumu as UK United Kisumu. Luo tribe has produced many heros like Kenyas first vice-president Jaramongi Oginga Odinga.

 

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