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People of Kenya: Teso


The Iteso, plural are an ethnic group in Uganda (eastern) and Kenya (western). In Kenya they live in Teso District and are part of a group that migrated from Ethiopia around 1600 A.D. and split into two branches, with one branch moving to present day Kenya to form the Kalenjin group and Maasai cluster. They are about 279,000 living in Kenya.

They (Iteso) have adopted a less nomadic lifestyle and have settled into mixed farming. Traditionally mans production capacity was counted wit how many granaries of finger millets Akimo his family had cultivated. It is from Akimo where the traditional brew Ajon was made from. Polygamy was common where division of labor was based mainly on age and sex.

Traditionally men and boys used to hunt and herd cattle while women and young girls worked around the homesteads and in the fields. The older people took the task of educating and training the young in culture and the norms. Their entire life revolves around the land and so seasonal activities conform to the cultivation of the fields. Most of them are Christians although traditional religion still exists. They have also grouped into a kingdom headed by the Emorimor