Who are the Dorobo people?
The Dorobo are not actually a single people group, but a diverse group of peoples descended from the ancient San people who originally settled in the Rift Valley around 1000 AD and lived as hunter-gatherers. The name ‘Dorobo’ comes from the Maasai word ‘Il-torrobo’ for ‘the ones without cattle.’ They live in Kenya’s highland forests collecting honey and hunting wild animals with poison arrows and spears. They are also known as the Okiek.
What do they believe?
The Dorobo maintain various forms of traditional animistic religion. Some groups refer to God as ‘Tororr’ meaning ‘very high’, whilst others have a range of different names for God. Until 1991 the Dorobo were unreached by Christianity and were barely touched by the outside world. Now, the gospel has been presented in various ways including through radio broadcasts. However, the lack of Christian literature and resources in their heart language, poses a major challenge.
What is being done to reach them?
The pastoral nature of the Dorobo, combined with the fact that they exist in so many diverse groups, makes reaching them extremely difficult. Assessment is now ongoing to evaluate how many Dorobo groups require literature of their own. AIM missionaries are working with local Dorobo people and churches with the vision of seeing Dorobo evangelising other Dorobo peoples. There are now over 25 trained Dorobo pastors, with six more in Bible college. Over thirty churches have been planted.