Kenya Ameru Tribe

Kenya is a country that has nine provinces. It lies on the
equator on the slopes of Mount Kenya and the Nyamben Mountain Range. It
covers an area of 3,850 square miles. The climate of Kenya is one of short
rains between March and May, with a long rainy season between October and

December. Temperatures range from 68 degrees in the higher altitudes
around Mt. Kenya, to 90 degrees in the arid Semiaro lands.

The people of Kenya hold a proud tradition of farming. Ninety
percent of the people are farmers. The population is large and spread out
covering both the dry, arid lands as well as the fertile areas. Crops
grown fit the type of area of land in which they are cultivated.

Livestock and beekeeping are other methods of farming popular in eastern

Africa. Wheat is grown in the upper and lower Highlands. Pyrethrum,
potatoes, maize, beans and tea are other crops that grow in the area.

Farmers grow substance crops to feed their family as well as to sell for
cash. The livestock are kept for dairy products used in the home. Maize,
fodder beets, and napiergrass are grown to feed livestock.

In 1880 changes were brought to Kenya from British Columbia. In

1963, Kenya won its independence. Their independence brought about a
change in the economy. Prior to the separation, Kenya was forced to give
profits to Britain. Independence provided changes in the relationship
between the people and their land. The introduction of cash crops changed
the Meru farming systems. The Ameru people could not produce enough of
the cash crops and still have enough left to support their families. For
the first time, they were forced to pay taxes. To prevent the exhaustion
of the land, the people developed new methods of farming. By rotating the
crops, larger profits could be made.

The people of the Kenya/Ameru tribe came from the area around the

Niger River in West Africa. They traveled through the Congo Basin up to

Kantanga, where they moved toward the eastern part of Kenya. The Ameru
arrived at Mt. Kenya as a single group. Originally they settled around

Mt. Kenya. When the people began to migrate into eastern Kenya, the

Koomenjave or Spiritual Leader divided the Ameru into three groups. The

Koomenjave was responsible for keeping law and order. He was in political
control of all of the groups within the Ameru Tribe. In addition to
governmental power, the Koomenjave was the one who set down the social
order as well. Elders were to be treated with total respect. He realized
that the people must work well together to be successful in their farming

Today the Ameru are a simple people. They farm without the
sophisticated technology that the farmers of the United States are privy
to. They are not a wealthy nation, but they are successful in what they
do. The tribesman work hard. The family works hard. Their needs are
fulfilled because of the strong work ethic. Despite the lack of education
and modern ways of life, the people of the Ameru Tribe, have built a
successful farming community