Mijikenda are a group of nine related Bantu ethnic groups inhabiting the coast of Kenya, between the Sabaki and the Umba rivers, in an area stretching from the border with Tanzania in the south to the border near Somalia in the north. Archaeologist Chapuruka Kusimba contends that the Mijikenda resided in coastal cities, but settled in Kenya's hinterlands to avoid submission to dominant Portuguese forces that were in control; these Mijikenda ethnic groups have been called the Nyika or Nika by outsiders. It is a derogatory term meaning "bush people." The nine Ethnic groups that make up the Mijikenda peoples are the Chonyi, Duruma, Ribe, Rabai and Giriama. They are the northern Mijikenda; the Digo are found in Tanzania due to their proximity to the common border. Each of the Mijikenda groups has a sacred forest, a kaya, a place of prayer. Eleven of the 30 kaya forests have been inscribed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests. Mijikenda people are known for creating wooden kigango funerary statues for which there is an illegal international market.
These artifacts were at one time sold by reputable art galleries and curio shops during the early 1970s to the 1990s however other kigango statues were found to have been stolen from cultural sites and illegally sold. Each Mijikenda ethnic group has its own unique customs and dialects of the Mijikenda language, although the dialects are similar to each other and to Swahili; the orthodox view of the Mijikenda’s origins is that the Mijikenda peoples originated in Shungwaya and various other parts of the northern Somali coast, where pushed south by the Galla and reached Kenya around the 16th century. This view of the origins of the Mijikenda people was argued by Thomas Spear in the book The Kaya Complex, was confirmed by many Mijikenda oral traditions. Furthermore, oral tradition states that the precise reason for the Galla pushing the Mijikenda from Singwaya was the murder of a Galla Tribesman by a Mijikenda youth, the Mijikenda tribes subsequent refusal to pay compensation to the Galla; however it has been theorized that the Mijikenda peoples may have originated in the same places they reside.
One possible explanation for this is that the Mijikenda peoples adopted the Singwaya narrative in order to create an ethnic identity that allowed them to create a relationship to the Swahili who claimed Singwaya origins. Oral tradition states that the Mijikenda peoples split into six separate peoples during this southern migration after they were driven out of Singwaya; these six groups would go on to settle the original six kaya. At the turn of the 17th century the Mijikenda settled six fortified hilltop kaya, where they made their homesteads; these original six kaya were expanded into nine kaya. The origin legend serves as a narrative of a real migration that happened at a specific point in time to a real place, but serves as a narrative of a mythical migration that took place through a cultural time from a common origin, it promotes a higher unity among the group of the nine individual ethnic groups that makes up the Mijikenda peoples. Singwaya is considered by the Mijikenda to be their common origin point, the birthplace of their language and traditions.
This origin legend defines some of the relationships of the ethnic groups that make up the Mijikenda peoples, for example one version of the oral tradition states that the Digo were the first to leave Singwaya and thus are accepted as the other groups as senior the Ribe left, followed by the Giriama, the Chonyi, the Jibana. The kayas were the first homesteads of the Mijikenda peoples after their exodus from Singwaya. Oral tradition states that it was the Digo who were the first to migrate southward and establish the first kaya; the period after the establishment of the kaya and was portrayed as a time of stability by these oral traditions, this period ended in the mid to late 19th century with the rise of colonialism. The kaya represented an important political symbol to the Mijikenda peoples, as well as being an important cultural symbol to the Mijikenda peoples; the political symbolism of the kaya played a part in the resistance to colonialism for the Mijikenda peoples. Sometime during the late 19th century the Mijikenda peoples began leaving their kaya homesteads and settling areas elsewhere.
The layout of the kaya settlements had centrally positioned areas devoted to leadership and worship, with other areas devoted to initiation ceremonies, areas for developing magic and medicine, areas devoted to burials and entertainment placed around them. The forests of the kaya surrounding the settlement acted as a buffer between the settlement itself and the outside world; as the populations of these kaya grew, security grew which lead to a period of stability which allowed the Mijikenda people to spread outwards along the coasts and southwards along the border of Tanzania. All nine of the original kaya were abandoned as the Mijikenda settled elsewhere, however the importance of these kaya did not diminish, they were still held as sacred sites. During the precolonial period the Mijikenda people were horticulturalists and pastoralists, And had well established trade with the coastal Swahili peoples; the Hinterland people grew food. This trade relationship was based on economic and political alliances.
The Mijikenda peoples participated in Mombasa politics. However, during the colonial period under the British power was given to the Coastal Swahili peoples and the Arab peoples of the area. T
Luo people (Kenya)
The Luo are an ethnic group in western Kenya, northern Uganda, in Mara Region in northern Tanzania. They are part of a larger group of ethno-linguistically related Luo peoples who inhabit an area ranging from South Sudan, South-Western Ethiopia and Eastern Uganda, South-Western Kenya and North-Eastern Tanzania; the Luo are the fourth largest ethnic group in Kenya, after the Luhya and the Kalenjin. The Luo and the Kikuyu inherited the bulk of political power in the first years following Kenya's independence in 1963; the Luo population in Kenya was estimated to be 2,185,000 in 1994 and 3.4 million in 2010 according to Government census. However the figure was disputed by many Luos as not scientific since a significant portion of people considered as Luo were now counted as Suba people; the Subas numbered 300,000 but most are assimilated Luos by culture, name and political orientation and have more or less the same outlook of life. This is a result of heavy interaction; the Luos feel that their overall population has always been downscaled by successive Kenyan regime census in an attempt to mute the strong Luo political voice.
Sample census conducted by experts estimate the total Kenyan Luo population to be at around 5 million. The Tanzanian Luo population was estimated at 1.1 million in 2001 and 1.9 million in 2010. The main Luo livelihoods are fishing and pastoral herding. Outside Luoland, the Luo comprise a significant fraction of East Africa's intellectual and skilled labour force in various professions. Others members work in eastern Africa as tenant fishermen, small-scale farmers, urban workers, they speak the Dholuo language, which belongs to the Western Nilotic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family spoken by other Luo-speaking peoples, such as the Lango, Acholi and Alur. The four waves of Luo migration were chiefly from the four Luo-speaking groups Acholi and Padhola. Dholuo, spoken in Kenya, is considered to be proper and standard Luo because it contains elements from all other Lwoo languages, it is estimated. The Luo are the originators of a number of music styles, such as Benga, Dodo, Nyatiti and Otenga.
The Luo of Kenya and Tanzania though related to other Luo groups linguistically, are classified as the only'river lake Nilotes' having migrated and lived along the Nile river. They have been for thousands of years, their cradle of civilization was the city-state of Napata or present-day Karima, Sudan in the'Koch' kingdom. Arguably the first inhabitants of Sudan, they entered Kenya and Tanzania via Uganda from the Bahr al Gazzal or Bahr el-Ghazal region; the Luo were the founders of the Shilluk kingdom and descendants of the ancient Egyptians who were directly linked to the Kingdom of Shilluk. In the land of Shilluk, the Luo clans of Kenya and Tanzania were called'Ororo', while among the Nuer they were called'Liel'. In the Dinka tribe the Luo are called the'Jur-Chol'; the present-day Kenya Luo traditionally consist of 27 tribes, each in turn composed of various clans and sub-clans. Early British contact with the Luo was sporadic. Relations intensified only when the completion of the Uganda Railway had confirmed British intentions and removed the need for local alliances.
In 1896 a punitive expedition was mounted in support of the Wanga ruler Mumia in Ugenya against the Umira Kager clan led by Gero. Over 200 were killed by a Maxim gun. 300 people in Uyoma resistance were killed by an expedition led by Sir Charles Horbley when they were confiscating Luo cattle to help feed the Coolies who were building the Uganda railway. By 1900, the Luo chief Odera was providing 1,500 porters for a British expedition against the Nandi. In 1915, the Colonial Government sent Odera Akang ` the ruoth of Gem, to Kampala, Uganda, he was impressed by the British settlement there and upon his return home he initiated a forced process of adopting western styles of "schooling and hygiene". This resulted in the rapid education of the Luo in English ways; the Luo were not dispossessed of their land by the British, avoiding the fate that befell the pastoral ethnic groups inhabiting the Kenyan "White Highlands". Many Luo played significant roles in the struggle for Kenyan independence, but the people were uninvolved in the Mau Mau Uprising of the 1950s.
Instead, some Luo used their education to advance the cause of independence peacefully. The lawyer C. M. G. Argwings-Kodhek, for example, used his expertise to defend Mau Mau suspects in court, although they had attacked not only whites, but the men of other ethnic groups. Kenya became independent on 12 December 1963, prominent Luo leader, Oginga Odinga, declined the presidency of Kenya, preferring to assume the vice presidency with Jomo Kenyatta as the head of government, their administration represented the Kenya African National Union party. However, differences with Jomo Kenyatta caused Oginga to defect from the party and abandon the vice presidency in 1966, his departure caused the Luo to become politically marginalized under the Kenyatta and subsequently the Moi administrations. In Tanzania, Mwalimu J. K. Nyerere had sought to work
The Samburu are a Nilotic people of north-central Kenya. They are a sub tribe of the Maasai; the Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd cattle but keep sheep and camels. The name they use for themselves is Lokop or Loikop, a term which may have a variety of meanings which Samburu themselves do not agree on. Many assert that it refers to them as "owners of the land" though others present a different interpretation of the term; the Samburu speak the Samburu dialect of the Maa language, a Nilo-Saharan language. There are many game parks in the area, one of the most well known is Samburu National Reserve; the Samburu is the third largest in the Maa community of Kenya and Tanzania,after the Kisonkoof Tanzania and Purko of Kenya and Tanzania. The Samburu are a gerontocracy; the power of elders is linked to the belief in their curse, underpinning their monopoly over arranging marriages and taking on further wives. This is at the expense of unmarried younger men, whose development up to the age of thirty is in a state of social suspension, prolonging their adolescent status.
The paradox of Samburu gerontocracy is that popular attention focuses on the glamour and deviant activities of these footloose bachelors, which extend to a form of gang feuding between clans, widespread suspicions of covert adultery with the wives of older men, theft of their stock. Men wear a cloth, pink or black and is wrapped around their waist in a manner similar to a Scottish Kilt, they adorn themselves with necklaces and anklets, like other sub tribes of the Maasai community. Members of the moran age grade wear their hair in long braids, which they shave off when they become elders, it may be colored using red ochre. Their bodies are sometimes decorated with ochre, as well. Women wear two pieces of blue or purple cloth, one piece wrapped around the waist, the second wrapped over the chest. Women keep their hair wear numerous necklaces and bracelets. In the past decade, traditional clothing styles have changed; some men may wear the 1980s-90s style of red tartan cloth or they may wear a dark green/blue plaid cloth around their waists called'kikoi' with shorts underneath.
Marani wear a cloth that may be pastel. Some women still wear two pieces of blue or red cloth, but it has become fashionable to wear cloths with animal or floral patterns in deep colors. Women may often wear small tank tops with their cloths, plaid skirts have become common. Traditionally Samburu relied solely on their herds, although trade with their neighbors and use of wild foods were important. Before the colonial period, cow and sheep milk was the daily staple. Oral and documentary evidence suggests that small stock were significant to the diet and economy at least from the eighteenth century forward. In the twenty-first century and small stock continue to be essential to the Samburu economy and social system. Milk is still a valued part of Samburu contemporary diet when available, may be drunk either fresh, or fermented. Meat from cattle is eaten on ceremonial occasions, or when a cow happens to die. Meat from small stock is eaten more though still not on a regular basis. Today Samburu rely on purchased agricultural products—with money acquired from livestock sales—and most maize meal is made into a porridge.
Tea is very common, taken with large quantities of sugar and much milk, is a staple of contemporary Samburu diet. Blood is both taken from living animals, collected from slaughtered ones. There are at least 13 ways that blood can be prepared, may form a whole meal; some Samburu these days have turned with varying results. The Samburu practice male and female genital mutilation. Boys get circumcised in girls before marriage. Unmutilated girls are forced to have sex if they are part of "Beading" but are not allowed to have children; the Samburu believe. But God inflicts punishment if an elder curses a junior for some show of disrespect; the elder’s anger is seen as an appeal to God, it is God who decides if the curse is justified. Faced with misfortune and following some show of disrespect towards an older man, the victim should approach his senior and offer reparation in return for his blessing; this restores God's protection. It is however uncommon for an elder to curse a junior. Curses are reserved for cases of extreme disrespect.
Samburu religion traditionally focuses on their multi-faceted divinity. Nkai, plays an active role in the lives of contemporary Samburu, it is not uncommon for children and young people women, to report visions of Nkai. Some of these children prophesy for some period of time and a few gain a reputation for prophecy throughout their lives. Besides these spontaneous prophets, Samburu have ritual diviners, or Shamans, called'loibonok' who divine the causes of individual illnesses and misfortune, guide warriors. Samburu have been portrayed in popular culture, ranging from Hollywood movies, major television commercials, mainstream journalism; such portrayals make good use of Samburu’s colorful cultural traditions, but sometimes at the expense of accuracy. One of the earlier film appearances by Samburu was in the 1953 John Ford classic Mogambo, in which they served as background for stars such as Clark Gable, Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner. In the 1990s, 300 Samburu traveled to South Africa to play opposite Kevin Bacon in t
The Daasanach are an ethnic group inhabiting parts of Ethiopia and South Sudan. Their main homeland is in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations and People's Region, adjacent to Lake Turkana. According to the 2007 national census, they number 48,067 people, of whom 1,481 are urban dwellers; the Daasanach are called Marille by their neighbours, the Turkana of Kenya. The Daasanach are traditionally pastoralists, but in recent years have become agropastoral. Having lost the majority of their lands over the past fifty years or so as a result from being excluded from their traditional Kenyan lands, including on both sides of Lake Turkana, the'Ilemi Triangle' of Sudan, they have suffered a massive decrease in the numbers of cattle and sheep; as a result, large numbers of them have moved to areas closer to the Omo River, where they attempt to grow enough crops to survive. There is much disease along the river, making this solution to their economic plight difficult. Like many pastoral peoples throughout this region of Africa, the Daasanach are a egalitarian society, with a social system involving age sets and clan lineages - both of which involve strong reciprocity relations.
The Daasanach today speak the Daasanach language. It belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family; the language is notable for its large number of noun classes, irregular verb system, implosive consonants. For instance, the initial D in Daasanach is implosive, sometimes written as'D. Modern genetic analysis of the Daasanach indicates that they are more related to Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo-speaking populations inhabiting Tanzania than they are to the Cushitic and Semitic Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations of Ethiopia; this suggests that the Daasanach were Nilo-Saharan speakers, sharing common origins with the Pokot. In the 19th century, the Nilotic ancestors of these two populations are believed to have begun separate migrations, with one group heading southwards into the African Great Lakes region and the other group settling in southern Ethiopia. There, the early Daasanach Nilotes would have come into contact with a Cushitic-speaking population, adopted this group's Afro-Asiatic language.
The Daasanach are a agropastoral people. Otherwise the Daasanach rely on their goats and cattle which give them milk, are slaughtered in the dry season for meat and hides. Sorghum is cooked with water into a porridge eaten with a stew. Corn is roasted, sorghum is fermented into beer; the Daasanach who herd cattle live in dome-shaped houses made from a frame of branches, covered with hides and woven boxes. The huts have a hearth, with mats covering the floor used for sleeping; the Dies, or lower class, are their way of living. They live on fishing. Although their status is low because of their lack of cattle, the Dies help the herders with crocodile meat and fish in return for meat. Women are circumcised by removing the clitoris. Women who are not circumcised can not get married or wear clothes. Women wear a pleated cowskin skirt and necklaces and bracelets, they are married off at 17 while men are at 20. Boys are circumcised. Men wear only a checkered cloth around their waist. There are a number including Dasenach and Dassanech.
Daasanach is the primary name given in the Ethnologue language entry. El Molo people Arbore people Western Omo–Tana languages Uri Almagor, "Institutionalizing a fringe periphery: Dassanetch-Amhara relations", pp. 96–115 in The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia, Oxford: James Currey, 2002. Claudia J. Carr, Pastoralism in Crisis: the Dassanetch of Southwest Ethiopia. University of Chicago. 1977
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Situated 341 kilometres by road northeast of Mombasa that ends at Mokowe Jetty, from where the sea channel has to be crossed to reach Lamu Island, it is the headquarters of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town contains the Lamu Fort on the seafront, construction under Fumo Madi ibn Abi Bakr, the sultan of Pate, was completed after his death in the early 1820s. Lamu is home to 23 mosques, including the Riyadha Mosque, built in 1900, a donkey sanctuary. Lamu Town on Lamu Island is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town, was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, it is believed to have been established in 1370. Today, the majority of Lamu's population is Muslim; the town was first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini, who met a judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441. In 1505, the Portuguese invaded Lamu, forcing the king of the town to concede to paying protection money to them.
The Portuguese invasion was prompted by the nation's successful mission to control trade along the coast of the Indian Ocean. For a considerable time, Portugal had a monopoly on shipping along the East African coast and imposed export taxes on pre-existing local channels of commerce. In the 1580s, prompted by Turkish raids, Lamu led a rebellion against the Portuguese. In 1652, Oman assisted Lamu to resist Portuguese control. Lamu's years as an Omani protectorate during the period from the late 17th century to the early 19th century mark the town's golden age. Lamu was governed as a republic under a council of elders known as the Yumbe who ruled from a palace in the town. During this period, Lamu became a center of poetry, politics and crafts as well as trade. Many of the buildings of the town were constructed during this period in a distinct classical style. Aside from its thriving arts and crafts trading, Lamu became a scholastic centre. Woman writers such as the poet Mwana Kupona – famed for her Advice on the Wifely Duty – had a higher status in Lamu than was the convention in Kenya at the time.
In 1812, a coalition Pate-Mazrui army invaded the archipelago during the Battle of Shela. They landed at Shela with the intention of capturing Lamu and completing the fort which had begun to be constructed, but were violently suppressed by the locals in their boats on the beach as they tried to flee. In fear of future attacks, Lamu appealed to the Omanis for a Busaidi garrison to operate at the new fort and help protect the area from Mazrui rebels along the Kenyan coast. In the middle of the 19th century, Lamu came under the political influence of the sultan of Zanzibar; the Germans claimed Wituland in June 1885. The Germans considered Lamu to be of an ideal place for a base. From 22 November 1888 to 3 March 1891, there was a German post office in Lamu to facilitate communication within the German protectorate in the sultanate, it was the first post office to be established on the East African coast. In 1890, Lamu and Kenya fell under British colonial rule by the terms of the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty.
Kenya gained political independence in 1963, although the influence of the Kenyan central government has remained low, Lamu continues to enjoy some degree of local autonomy. In a 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, Global Heritage Fund identified Lamu as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and damage, citing insufficient management and development pressure as primary causes. While the terror group Al Shabaab kidnappings had placed Lamu off-limits in September 2011, by early 2012 the island was considered safe. On 4 April 2012, the US Department of State lifted its Lamu travel restriction. However, two attacks in the vicinity of Lamu in July 2014, for which Al Shabaab claimed responsibility, led to the deaths of 29 people. Lamu has a tropical dry savanna climate. Lamu's economy was based on slave trade until abolition in the year 1907. Other traditional exports included ivory, turtle shells and rhinoceros horn, which were shipped via the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and India.
In addition to the abolition of slavery, construction of the Uganda Railroad in 1901 hampered Lamu's economy. Tourism has refuelled the local economy in recent times, it is a popular destination for backpackers. Many of the locals are involved in giving trips on dhows to tourists. Harambee Avenue is noted for its cuisine, has a range of stores including the halwa shop selling sweet treats and miniature mutton kebabs and cakes are sold at night. Coconut and grapefruit and seafood such as crab and lobster are common ingredients; the town contains a central market, the Gallery Baraka and Shumi's Designs shop, the Mwalimu Books store. The oldest hotel in the town, Petley's Inn, is situated on the waterfront. Other hotels include the American-restored Amu House, the 20-room Bahari Hotel, Doda Villas, the Swedish-owned Jannat House, the 3-storey 23-room Lamu Palace Hotel, Petley's Inn, the 13-room Stone House Hotel, converted from an 18th-century house, the 18-room Sunsail Hotel, a former trader's house on the waterfront with high ceilings.
Mangroves are harvested for building poles, Lamu has a sizeable artisan community, including carpenters who are involving in boat building and making ornate doors and furniture. The town is served by Lamu District Hospital to the south of the main centre, operated by the Ministry of Health, it was established in the 1980s