As reviewed from the previous article on the origin of the turkana tribe. We learnt that the turkana tribe emerged from jie, the Nilotic group living in Uganda and got the name Turkana (ŋiTurkana ) from the caves(ŋaTurkanin) they dwelt in for  shelter during their stay at moru attanayece. The name turkana came into existence from the name ngaturkananin(ŋaTurkanin) as the jie refer to the caves. The turkana group became large and as a result dispersed to different places in search of greener pasture and water as others sought for adventure and exploration. Today we are going to discuss only seven clans of the turkana people referred to as ngitela.

At one point the elders regrouped all the sub-groups to an ekeriam (gathering) for a get-together where each group was to introduce itself(alimonor/akitoyenun) and whereabout their newfound grazing lands. The first group traced its movement back from moru attanayece, stayed at the foots of the mountain and finally settled at Namoni ewuor, where amoni referred to the forest, and the clan referred to as Ngimonia(ŋimonia) i.e people living in the forest.

The second group had spears(ngakwaras) that were distinctively longer than others and so when it was their turn to introduce themselves other clans referred to them as the group of men with longer spears hence the name Ngiwoiyakwara(ŋiwoiyakwara), associating their men with long spears.

Throughout the get-together there was another group that was noisy and each and every time one wanted to talk; he(they) could shout loluk!  So many people wanted to know who are these people praising the bull with a C-shaped/convergent horns every time they wanted to speak. When it was their turn they were referred to as Ngilukumong(ŋilukumong) meaning the group praising the bull with a C-shaped or convergent horns.

Nkamatak or ngikamatak(ŋikamatak) clan was the group that moved from moru atanayece, passed through kaliao boarder to Kumajom where they crossed river Kaapus to moru-ankiliok(the mountain of men) and established their settlement near River Kosipir. Whenever other clans passed through the land the group seemed to have settled there permanently and whenever they were asked why they never moved away from the banks of River kosipir, they would respond by saying that it was safer for the clan and the animals to stay near the river to avoid harsh weather conditions. The place was very hospitable for them due to availability of enough water for them and their animals. Hence the name nkamatak/ngikamatak(ŋikamatak) meaning the clan that liked drinking water.

The fifth clan had passed through ayanae-erika which came to be known as gold, went through Kaapus, Nalukoowoi to Todonyang and settled near the shores of lake turkana. Since they established their settlement near the lake Turkana, they would always drink direct from the lake with their chest and stomach laid on the ground. This is the group that is currently occupying the areas around Lake Turkana or Kalokol. The clan’s name was derived from the way they drank from the lake hence the name Ngimataperi.

Another clan known as Nkwaatela, obtained the name from the rich grazing fields referred to as in the turkana language “ekitela”. Their land was endowed with surplus green pastures and water that made their cattle healthy and strong. People from the clan were so rich and whenever one saw their animals in the fields grazing would describe the animals as being white or pure symbolically unblemished. So, during the introduction at the great “ekiriem”, other clans associate them with the animals they had. The Kwaatela were so wealthy and their animals distinctively healthy because of the pure grazing land.

The group that climbed over the banks of river turkwel and went further occupying the areas of Lokichar, Katilu, Kainuk, Lokori, Nasuwat among other areas in Turkana south were referred to as Ngisonyoka. The name was derived from the fact that they had healthy sheep with bright eyes, shiny coat, straight legs, clean skin and fat tails. The name Ngisonyoka was derived from their sheep’s distinctive large tails and hindquarters.


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