The Rendille live in Northern Kenya as semi-nomadic pastoralists. There are two distinct groups: the northern Rendille, who herd camels, and the southern Rendille who herd cattle.
The Rendille are semi-nomadic pastoralists and live in the Kaisut Desert east of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. There are two distinctive groups: the northern Rendille who herd camels, and the southern Rendille who herd cattle and are related to the Samburu with whom they intermarry. They live in ‘manyattas’ or homesteads of 70-100 houses, dress in bright colours and wear beads. The men undergo various rites of passage to bring them into adulthood; girls are often spoken for at an early age and marry very young.
They practice a traditional, animistic religion. There is a place in every village called ‘nahapo’ where men gather every night to pray around a fire, which is never to be allowed to go out. They pray to the moon, which plays an important part in their religion as well as animal sacrifices and worshipping ancestral spirits. They consider themselves descendants of the Jews, and practice a traditional Passover-type ceremony.
In 1982 the Swanepoel’s moved to Korr to live among the Rendille. During their 33 years there they created an alphabet for the unwritten Rendille language, which is leading to a translation of the New Testament. They were also involved in developing water resources, two primary schools, and one secondary school. Since then, short termers have gone out to support their work and an evangelical church has been established by Rendille Christians.
If you are organising a prayer meeting or just looking for material to help you pray with more insight for some of Africa’s unreached people, why not download a printable Prayer sheet on the Rendille of Kenya?