Baluhya

Baluhya

 

a people living in the western part of the Republic of Kenya.

The word baluhya (kinsmen) is used to designate a group of related tribes. The population is about 1.5 million (1967 estimate). The language spoken by the Baluhya is Luluhya, which belongs to the Bantu family. Most Baluhya adhere to local traditional beliefs, but some are Christian. The basic occupation is agriculture. Baluhya men often seek work in the cities and at gold mines in Kakamega. Social stratification is under way in the countryside, and capitalist relationships are developing.

REFERENCES

Ismagilova, R. N. “Narody Kenii vusloviiakh kolonial’nogo rezhima.” In Afrikanskii sb., no. 1. Moscow, 1956.
Wagner, G. The Bantu of North Kavirondo, vols. 1–2. London, 1949–56.

R. N. ISMAGILOVA

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6) The name Baluhya dates only to the 1920s, when it was used to profess the unity of Bantuspeaking groups to which the British referred as the North Kavirondo, an administrative aggregation of sixteen separate groups; although proximate in location and having related languages, they differed sufficiently from one another to make unity elusive (Abwunza 1993, 130-5; Bennett and Rosberg 1961, 171; Kaplan 1984, 90-1, 96-7; Ogot 1981, 8).