THE GIRIAMA  

The Giriama (also called Giryama) are one of the nine ethnic groups that make up the Mijikenda (which literally translates to “nine towns”).

The Mijikenda occupy the coastal strip extending from Lamu in the north to the Kenya/Tanzania border in the south, and approximately 30 km inland. The Giriama are among the largest of these ethnic groups. They inhabit the area bordered by the coastal cities of Mombasa and Malindi, and the inland towns of Mariakani and Kaloleni.

The Giriama is one of the largest groups of the Mijikenda people in the back-up area of the Northeast coast of Kenya. The Giriama are subdivided into clans which include ‘The Akiza,The Mwandundi,The Mwabaya,The mwathoya and so on. The Giriama are a peaceful people who practiced active resistance against the British.[2]

In recent years, the Giriama have extended their living space down to the coast. They are now a big part of service employees in the growing tourism centres. Education programmes initiated by the state included building of central primary schools alongside the coast street. School attendance has become compulsory even for girls up to an age of 12 years. The continuous migration of Giriama to places such as Takaungu and Mtwapa has allowed them to get access to paid labour, hence they have become part of manpower resources, which were once dominated by the Chonyi. The relationship of the Giriama to other Mijikenda groups such as the Ribe, Rabai, Digo and Duruma is rather loose. The Kamba and Jibana have mixed with the coastal population in recent decades. Only a very few villages could sustain them. The Kauma have also been assimilated. The area around the Kilifi Creek is inhabited by Giriama up to nearly 90 percent.[3]

The Giriama are subsistence farmers who grow mainly maize,millet,cassava as well as keep livestock .

They also practice polygamy and are good dancers .Song and dances will be perfomed at different seasons and for different  reasons eg crop harvesting times,burial times and wedding times.

Over all ,the Giriama are known for their high hospitality rate.

 

Bush tour.

Pick up from your North coast hotel at 0730hrs for a drive into the interior villages North of Mombasa to see how the locals live.

As you get closer to the village,you begin to see children in school uniforms walking in hasty clutching each others hand and carrying a paper school bag on their backs.Unlike our children in Europe who would stand on the road side waiting for the school buses,these children learn to walk to school at a very young age.

Enjoy seeing the ladies balancing their water jericans on their heads with little babies a sleep on their backs.

These ladies  are the driving engines for every household for they are

responsible for all the social up keep of every home.They look for firewood,fetch water,cook  as well as do laundry for the family.

While men are engaged in economic activities,you mostly find them at the loacal pubs singing halleluya!!

Both sides of the road in the village will show case farms with lots of Maize,cassava,millet,sweet potatoes and banana plants.

Arrive at Mzee {………………………………………………….} home at around 0930hrs and take part in the welcome Giriama dance!!!

After a thirty minutes dancing moment its time to sit down for a brief of the Giriama life style by the head of the family translated by your accompanying guide.

While listening to the Giriama folk stories,Men will have a taste of the local brewed coconut wine-{munazi},while ladies will enjoy the coconut juice.,,It’s a taboo,ladies cant take alcohol!!

Before leaving the home,take part in food preparation and taste the final food product ….or be guided   around the family farm and get to see some of the tropical fruits plants growing.

Schools have their lunch breaks from 1230hrs.Before this time visit the local school and get first hand sight of how the education system works.

Here you will meet with the school manager who will take you through the compound and final go into the Kindergarten class.

Prepare to sing a song for them after a nice performance guided by their teacher or they sing for you in perfect English or Kiswahili.

 

Included in price;

A}1 Bottle Mineral water

B}village visit fees

 

PS-

Filming and photography is allowed but please ask your local guide on where it might not apply.

When on this tour please dress descent….No bikini and No mini skirts!

One is advised to carry presents  for the locals ,but again ask the local guide on how and when to distribute them.

Don’t throw anything through the  bus windows to the children.

END OF SERVICE