The Kalenjin people are famous for their unique social organization based on age sets.
As the years roll over, there is no denying time has its impact on age sets.
So, what does 2023 hold for the infamous Kalenjin Age Sets?
Here is everything you need to know:
Kalenjin Age Sets
As the name suggests, an age set is a cohort of individuals born in the same period who move through life stages together.
An age set in Kalenjin is referred to as ibida (singular) and Ibinwek (plural).
The formation of age sets has been a crucial aspect of Kalenjin society for centuries and is considered one of the most important social institutions.
There are 8 Kalenjin Age sets, and they all take turns as time passes.
Here are the 8 Kalenjin Age Sets and their calendar:
Kalenjin people in history had eight age sets; one of them was dropped due to a tragic event.
The Kalenjin sub-tribes have a cycle of eight age sets that occur over 100 years.
Each set lasts for 13 years before transitioning to the next one.
The following is a list of the eight age sets:
- Maina – 1800 to 1885
- Nyongi – 1885 to 1900
- Chumiot – 1900 to 1924
- Saweiyiek – 1924 to 1940
- Korongoro – 1940 to 1966
- Kipkoimet – 1966 to 1976
- Kaplelach – 1976 to 1996
- Kipnyiige – 1996 to 2000
Note that the recycles repeats over and over as the years pass.
One of the tribes, Tugen, had an age set called Maina, which was lost due to war.
The tribe was said to have traveled to Laikipia, where they discovered the Masai had gone to war in Tanzania.
The Tugens took the cows and were feasting in Naivasha when the Masai arrived and retrieved their stolen cattle.
The Tugens were caught off guard and killed, losing the Maina age group.
As a result, the Keiyos are now behind in their age-set cycle, while the Tugens are ahead.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Kalenjin people have formed several age sets.
In recent years, the formation of new age sets has become a significant event in the Kalenjin community.
The latest age set is a source of much excitement and anticipation.
Nyongi-Maina Age Set- 2023 Trailblazer
As of 2023, the latest Kalenjin age set is the “Nyongi Maina” age set.
This follows the revolution in the calendar above.
Once the last age set expires, the cycles start all over again.
Well, the Miana-Nyongi age set (ibinda) was formed in 2022 and comprised individuals born between 2000 and 2005.
The Nyongi Maina age set marks a significant shift in Kalenjin society, representing a new generation of Kalenjin leaders and cultural influencers.
The formation of this age heralds important events in the community for 2023 and has been the subject of much discussion and analysis.
A Plunge into the Era of Innovation and Change
One of the critical features of Kalenjins’ latest age set, Nyongi Maina, is its focus on innovation and progress.
This age set is characterized by a solid social responsibility and a commitment to preserving Kalenjin’s cultural heritage.
Many members of this age set are engaged in various initiatives to promote Kalenjin culture and traditions.
There is a renewed dedication to ensure that the unique aspects of Kalenjin society are preserved for future generations.
The Nyongi Maina age set is its emphasis on education.
We cannot deny that education has made a paradigm shift in how we view things.
Many scholars opine that education will seal the fate of many cultural activities, including the transition of age sets.
Many members of the Nyongi-Maina Age set are highly educated and are dedicated to using their knowledge and skills to improve the lives of their communities.
This is reflected in the various initiatives involved in this age set, including educational programs, community development projects, and cultural events.
The Nyongi Maina age set represents a significant shift in Kalenjin society and is a source of excitement and anticipation.
A strong focus on innovation, progress and education characterizes this age set.
It is poised to play a significant role in shaping the future of Kalenjin culture and traditions.
As 2023 gains momentum, the Nyongi-Maina age set is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Kalenjin society.
It underscores the importance of preserving cultural heritage in rapid change and modernity.