Luo (people)

the Luo are a people in Kenya and Tanzania at the Viktoriasee, to which about 3.4 million humans belong. In Kenya the third biggest Ethnie Kenya is after the Kikuyu and the Luhya. In Uganda are they among other things related to the Acholi. the Luo with the Kalenjin and the Massai is Ethno linguistically related.

Their language is called likewise Luo or Dholuo, it belonged to the nilotischen languages.

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customs and traditions

the Luo are one of the few peoples of Kenya, who do not practice cutting. But there was in former times the custom to break with the Initiation the front Schneidezähne off. Developed this ritual probably, since Wundstarrkrampf under the Luo was far common. The gotten sick one could be supplied by breaking out the Schneidezähne despite rigidly locked Kiefer via a tube with food and liquid. This practice is however no longer usual today.

The connection to the soil has a very central, emotional and meaning also society-coining/shaping in earlier times. Country is left within the family according to strictly specified rules, which are to guarantee the base of life of all members. Consciousness prevailed that the country not only the living person is heard, but also by the spirit of the deceased, as well as the coming generations inhabited. Therefore it was also not for sale or leasable: The only possibility it strangers for the order to give was to leave it to them at their request free of charge for use also this according to clear rules, on certain time and with clear rights of the beneficiary. Who does not possess any country has against it also today still another socially difficult conditions and it felt as extreme loading to possess as Luo no piece of homeland earth on which one can be buried that once.

The Luo society was traditionally remarkably egalitär developed, then in principle everyone possessed the same entrance to resources, only the age and special consecrations as from Heilern and Hellsehern guaranteed a höreren rank. This very day the age is highly respected. Humans are regarded as a life long learning and changeable, what favours probably also openness against educational provisions and a high mobility.

A problem with that AIDS - fight results in the sphere of influence of the Luo above all from the fact that verwitwte women have to follow the brother of the deceased as new (a further) wife. Since this can mean also the unprotected Sexualverkehr with the Mrs. one at AIDS the deceased, this immunodeficiency illness spreads within the family very rapidly.


literal means „Luo “„humans from the sumps “, which alludes white Nile and Bahr to its origin from the Sudanese sumps at the confluence el of the Ghazal. They moved forwards there, out not clarified reasons starting from that 14. Jh. n.Chr. out and split up into ever further Sub groups, which took in its life and restaurant economics of the new Umgabung loans. Still in 15. Jh. Nyakango united to the hundreds of clan and Unterguppen and created a nation of feudaler coinage, which he led toward the north around the areas lost at Arabs and Europeans to back-conquer. The remaining Luo continued to move toward Uganda, whereby itself some groups to the Bantu -, defended other dynasties established and their self-sufficiency own against it assimilated sprachige population of majority. To Kenya Luo sprachige groups moved during one period from approx. and the area Nyanza and the west bank of the Viktoriasees settled 1550 to 1800 in several thrusts. Although originally nomadisch like the likewise nilotisch stämmigen Massai today, they learned there very fast the agriculture and fishing, because for nomadische way of life here sufficient pasture reason was not available.


to politics the Luo on a tradition of the Egalität within the community back, in which there are no rank differences except the hierarchy of the age and knowledge in principle. Thus also a self-confident its prevails as driving Kraft for the democratization of Kenya, which ran unsatisfactorily however in the making and authority distribution for the Luo so far. Important politicians under the Luos were Tom Mboya †, the former and 1990 of murdered Kenyan minister of foreign affairs Dr. Robert Ouko, Oginga Odinga † and its son and momentary Ministers under the Narc government (since 2002) Raila Odinga. Since the colonial age the Luo stands in a competition relationship to the Kikuyu. Political rivalries did not only lead since the last choice (2002) in Kenya of the associated disappointment across authority distribution within the government (keyword constitutional reform, mechanism of the office of an Prime Minister) to distrust and resentment opposite the Kikuyu. They are considered as extremely tradition conscious. This and the tension to the Kikuyus stepped 1987 very clearly in the famous Otieno case (who the right a dead one has where to bury: the Kikuyu widow or the Luo brothers?), which to months-long press reports and even road unrests led in Nairobi.


the Haupverbreitungsgebiet of the Luos is today the Nyanza province, which in addition also by the Bantusprachigen Kisii or Gusii one inhabits. Pretty often it came in the densely populated frontiers in the west, which exhibit one of the highest population densities of Kenya, to arguments around country. With a direct comparison of the Luos with other Ethnien and/or. The small innovation degree in the agrarian sector is noticeable to regions of Kenya. The agriculture in its settlement area is technisiert clearly less, market-focused and diversified as for example in the Kenyan Cetral Province (Kikuyu country).


administrative center, the capital of the Luo forms Kisumu , the third biggest city of Kenya as it were. There momentarily also the highest HIV/AIDS rate of Kenya is to be registered. Correlations with the high mobility of the Luos cannot be excluded here, are however to be assumed.


the Luo are characterised by a high mobility and are as Arbeitsmigranten in all parts of Kenya to be found. Superproportionally many Luo are university graduates. Grace Ogot, the first authoress of Africa and probably the most important authoress of East Africa, became to 15. May 1930 in Asembo with Kisumu born. Ogot writes novels and Kurzgeschichten in English and Luo, their Herkunftsethnie.


“Siaya - The Historical Anthropology OF at African Landscape” of Cohen, David William & Odhiambo, E.S. Atieno; Eastern African Studies

“A study into the economic and social would run OF the Luo OF Kenya” from Ndisi, John W.; Phil.Diss. Uppsala 1974

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