Traditional Architecture of Nandi

Today, our country is undergoing devolution, it is important therefore to keep in mind the diversity of its people in terms
of cultural identities and practices. Future developments will require an understanding of the people’s culture,
architecture and other practices in their respective counties. An understanding of a peoples’culture and architecture will
provide an overview on how they perceive things. In light of this, the author pursues to document the Nandi traditional
built forms and derive its architectural constants which will provide a reference to professionals; this will help in
creation of buildings that its people can appreciate and relate to. This thesis focusses on the traditional built forms
Nandi people, with focus of the study being Nandi County in Kenya. It seeks to explain their cultural practices and its
relationship to their architecture. Information on the archictecture was collected through unstructured interviews with
informants well versed with the Nandi culture, a study on documented information and also field studies of built
structures.
Through this analysis, the author establishes that homesteads had four common built forms that were constant in all
homesteads; the family unit (koot), the warriors’ unit (sigiroinet), the granary (choket) and the cattle enclosure (peut).
Despite these constant units their settlements were spread across the region with no organised pattern. There is also
the menjet, an important cultural structure that was a seclusion enclosure for the male initiates(tarusiek) during the
period of seclusion after their circumcision. Menjet was not put up near the homestead but mostly in a forested area for
privacy:however the female initiates resided in the back room (injoor) of the family unit (koot).
 

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