Nandi and Other Kalenjin Peoples - Settlements



The typical settlement pattern is scattered. Groups of family homesteads make up a neighborhood (Nandi: koret ), and today (in Kenya) several neighborhoods are combined into a sublocation, the smallest unit of government administration. Neighborhood size varies, but twenty to fifty or sixty households is typical. Among the Nandi, Kipsigis, pastoral Pokot, and Sebei, local communities historically were not, or were only to a limited extent, kin-based; among some other Kalenjin, they were based on patrilineal clans. Most Kalenjin combined neighborhoods to form a pororiet, a unit with mutual-defense functions. Old-style houses are round, of wattle and daub, thatched, and divided internally into two rooms; the back room traditionally sheltered sheep and goats. Modern houses (still the minority) are usually square and of permanent material, with iron-sheet roofs. A typical household consists of a small extended family, or a nuclear family with some attached nonnuclear kin, living in a compound composed of several individual houses facing each other.


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