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About Embu County

The Land Of Opportunities

Welcome To Embu



LOCATION: Embu in the Eastern Province of Kenya
POPULATION: About 450,000
RELIGION: Christianity; indigenous Embu religion

The Embu are a Bantu-speaking people who are closely related to the Gikuyu of Ndia and Gicugu to the west, the Mbeere and the Kamba to the southeast, and the Chuka and the Meru to the north. As the Embu proverb goes, Mwana ti wa muciari umwe—a child does not belong to one parent. These communities share common ancestry and origins. Despite speaking a Bantu language (Bantu came from central Africa), the agricultural Embu and Mbeere are one of the few Kenyan peoples whose oral traditions seem to locate their origins within Kenya, in fact very close to their present location to the southeast of Kirinyaga (Mount Kenya). Tradition also speaks of a time when they were hunter-gatherers and used to live in “caves,” meaning rock shelters or hollow trees in forests, much as the indigenous Kenyan groups of hunter-gathers such as the Okiek (“Ndorobo”) did until the 20th century. Tradition further states that the Ndorobo interacted with the Embu a long time ago before the Ndorobo were either displaced or left when the forests began to be converted to farmland.