The Rendille--A story of nomads in Northern Kenya arid land


Rendilleland: Located in north-central Kenya. The area of the Rendille is between 15000 to 37000 square Km of arid, infertile low lands. The annual rainfall is less than 200mm. Bushland and semi-desert grassland covered more than 80% of this area. Click here to see more photos


Settlement: The Rendille form settlements and livestock herding camps as a "set" to maintain both social and economic activities with a ruling principle of clanship. Married men with their wives and infants mainly live in settlements. A settlement is a big circle consisting of several families's huts. Inside the settlement a central circle is always constructed for ritual events. Only married men are permitted to enter this central circle.  Click here to see more photos


Camel herding camp: Camel is recognized as the most important livestock species by the Rendille for its remarkable ability to thrive in this arid lowland. Normally the Rendille form a large camel camp consisting of all herds from the same clan or subclan. The camp is managed by warriors, and daytime herding tasks are carried out by young boys. Women are restricted to stay in the camel camp. Milk mixed with blood (called "Banjo" in Rendille) is the only reliable food.  Click here to see more photos


Cattle herding camp: Althrough cattle cannot survive in the dry lowlands, the Rendille are raising and keeping more cattle than before for their high market value. Normally cattle are kept near the Mt.Marsabit and the south mountains with the Rendille' neighboring ethnic groups, the Aliaal and the Samburu.   Click here to see more photos


Goats & sheep herding camp: Goats and sheep are kept together and are mainly looked after by young girls. Because of the high reproductive rates, goats and sheep are slaughtered frequently for both meat consuming and ritual events. The Rendille also rely on building up these smallstocks to recover from a drought. Click here to see more photos


Vegetation: The climate of the Rendilleland is characterized by high temperatures and low annual rainfall. Althrough there are two wet seasons in the RendilleLand (one from March to May, another in November), the annual rainfall is less than 200mm and unpredictable. However, when the rain come, the tremendous power of life release.Click here to see more photos


Warriors and Dance: The most impressive period for life. Difficult to describe unless you join them and dance with them. Click here to see more photos


Portrait: The more I stay and learn from the Rendille, the more surprise I get from them. They are the real survivors of the harsh natural environment not because of their knowledges and experiences but their courage and confidence of life. Click here to see more photos


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All photos Copyright(c): SUN XIAOGANG