International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Forces that Occasioned the Mau Ogiek People’s Ethnic Dress, Kenya
Njeru Sophia, Abong’o Susan, Okumu Caleb

The Mau Ogiek are an ethnic minority, forest-dwelling hunters and gatherers who inhabit the Mau Forest Complex. The people still don their ethnic dress to date, though sparingly. This paper discusses the forces that occasioned the construction and wearing of the indigenous dress. The forces include materials, religion, isolation, social attitudes and values, trade, lifestyle, cultural experts, matriarchy versus patriarchy and indigenous knowledge. A lot of significance is attached to the dress thus, it is constructed and worn in conformity with the normative order for dress and clothing customs. Barter trade with the Maasai people avails gariig, red ochre and brass for fashioning ilmintoisieg and taet. Hunting and gathering occasioned the fabrication of motoget, oguriet op poinet, guiyang’nta, ingerut, and long’et. The documentation of the dress has provided a cross-cultural point of view on the universal theories and practices of dress and adapting the same to an African ethnic dress.

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