Traditions and practices associated with the Kayas in the sacred forests of the Mijikenda

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 126,580 granted in 2009
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/07/2011 - 19/12/2014
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Kenya


Aiming to empower the Mijikenda people to ensure the viability and transmission of the traditions and practices associated to the sacred Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, the project is managed by the Department of Culture of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts (former Ministry of State for National Heritage and Culture) in cooperation with the National Museums of Kenya through its Coastal Forest Conservation Unit.
Phase I of the project took place between October 2011 and September 2012 for the Mijikenda communities of Duruma, Kauma and Rabai. Representatives from these communities participated in a workshop from 25 to 28 October 2011 on project management related to bee-keeping with a view to generate income for the communities. Tree nurseries established in the proximity of Kaya Rabai have generated an income of 11,250 Kenya schillings for the sale of 750 Ashoka seedlings. With the help of these communities the National Museums of Kenya also documented, photographed and filmed traditions and expressions of the Kaya people. Furthermore, two field visits to the Kayas were organized for students from Chinzini primary school and Galana secondary school.
The Department of Culture produced and distributed a project brochure and a DVD in order to explain the objectives of the project as well as the advancement of the activities under Phase I. In addition, national newspapers published articles about the project; an article in Daily Nation of 14 June 2012 and another in Standard of 17 September 2012 are cases in point. The completion of Phase I was celebrated during the inter-community cultural festival that took place in Kaya Rabai on 8 September 2012.
At the request of the State Party and due to government reorganization, the implementation period of this project has been prolonged until the end of December 2014. The State Party is expected to report by the end of April 2014 and mid-December 2014 on the activities envisaged under Phase II and Phase III respectively which replicate each time the activities undertaken under Phase I for two or three different Mijikenda communities.

News and activities:

International assistance related to an element inscribed or nominated for the Urgent Safeguarding List:

00313 - Traditions and practices associated with the Kayas in the sacred forests of the Mijikenda (4.COM, inscribed/selected/approuved)

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