Kalenjin, Sabaot in Kenya

Joshua Project has identified the Kalenjin, Sabaot only in Kenya





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Sabaot people live on or near the slopes of Mount Elgon. The hills of their homeland gradually rise from an elevation of 5,000 to 14,000 feet. The area is crisscrossed by numerous mountain streams and spectacular waterfalls. Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano about fifty (50) miles in diameter. The Kenya-Uganda border goes straight through the mountain-top, cutting the Sabaot homeland into two halves.

In recent years, the Sabaot people have been forced to drastically change their lifestyle from cattle herding to planting maize (corn) and vegetables because of the scarcity of land. Economically this change was good for the people, because the frequent hunger spells have all but stopped. Socially it has been a hard and traumatic change as the former leaders in the society lost their power, old values were eroded, and drinking homemade beer grew to a destructive level. The Sabaot people are proud of their cultural heritage. The elders sing with sadness in their voices, using their six-stringed lyre, about the lost glory of their free life as warriors and cattle people. They remember their best cows by name. The Sabaot do not adapt to change quickly, but most of the children now go to school. That is why the majority of adults have never learned to read. The young, educated people have become the new elite.

Traditionally the Sabaot have always believed in a Creator God. He was good and provided sunshine, rain and life, but he was far away. It was the belief in the ancestral spirits that controlled the daily life of the people and brought them fortune or, more often, misfortune. If sickness struck, sacrifices had to be made to appease the angry ancestor who sent the sickness to avenge some wrongdoing against him.

When the first missionaries settled among the Sabaot in as late as 1981, they were asked, "Why have the missionaries forgotten us?".

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Kalenjin, Sabaot
People Name in Country Kalenjin, Sabaot
Population in Kenya 281,000
World Population 281,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Elgon Maasai, Sebei
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Kalenjin, Sabaot
Ethnic Code NAB62y
People ID 14623
Country Kenya
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank 19  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Western Province, Mt. Elgon District; Rift Valley Province, Trans-Nzoia District.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sabaot (281,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Sabaot 281,000
For Primary Language: Sabaot

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1987-1993)
New Testament Yes   (1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (2012)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: Biibilya Nyēē Tiliil Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Biibilya Nyēē Tiliil Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Sabaot Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Anglican

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 40.00 %)
90.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
50.0 %
10.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
10.0 %
Photo Source: Gary Glahn  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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