West Pokot County

Kenya's 2009 census puts the total number of Pokot speakers at about 620,000 in Kenya

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They speak Pokoot, a language of the Southern Nilotic language family which is close to the Marakwet, Nandi, Tugen and other members of the Kalenjin grouping.

Kenya's 2009 census puts the total number of Pokot speakers at about 620,000 in Kenya. In addition, there are close to 100,000 Pokot speakers in Uganda. According to the census, there were 133,000 Pokot speakers in Baringo County and close to 500,000 in West Pokot County. A fair estimate indicates that there are close to 700,000 Pokot speakers in Kenya and Uganda.

Types of Art

Most Pokot art is associated with body ornamentation, including beadwork and intricate coiffures and wigs that are worn by young men to signal their membership in a given age-grade.

Other forms of art include richly patinated gourds and containers used by women for storage.

Religion

Tororot is considered the supreme deity among Pokot.

Prayers and offerings are made to him during communal gatherings, including feasts and dances. Such ceremonies are usually presided over by a community elder. Diviners and medicine men also play a significant role in maintaining spiritual balance within the community.

Dances and feasts are held to thank the god for the generosity and abundance, which he bestows upon Pokot communities.

Political System

Pokot society is governed through a series of age-grades. Group membership is determined by the age at which one undergoes initiation. For young men this occurs between ages fifteen and twenty, while for young women it usually occurs around age twelve at the onset of menarche.

After initiation, young people are allowed to marry and are permitted to begin participating in local economic activities. Young men and women form close bonds with other members of their initiation groups, and these bonds serve for future political ties.

When a man or woman reaches old age among Pokot, he or she is accorded a certain degree of status and respect. Responsibilities of elders include presiding over important community decisions, festivals, and religious ceremonies.Under the new dispensation, west Pokot is among the 47 counties in Kenya.

It has a county government that is headed by His Excellency Governor Simon Kachapin.The county has experienced tremendous changes both in the social and economical realm since the initiation of devolved governance system. Being a region that was slightly behind in matters development , the county is determined through its leadership to constantly improve and develop the standards of it people.

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