Clan totem: Chebombayeet, white chest bird

River: Kimelil


The kamaaar clan occupied Lolwoot area and they mostly dwelled in the lolweet cave as a secure place against enemy raids. During wet seasons, they stayed in the cave and when the dry seasons sets in, they move to the open moorlands. To the south they freely moved from Lolwoot, Chebari extending down to Kapsokwony. To the upper, they occupied and freely grazed their livestock up to Tulwo.

When the Whiteman interfered with the agreed territories between Kaapmaar and their neighbours, the clan members dispersed when they were living at Kratany. Clan families moved to other areas occupied by other clans. The villages occupied include; Laboot, Muymet-Chepkitari, Kapsorei. Other members moved further south to kaboywo and Kostoy areas.

On the other hand, part of the clan members of the Kapchepsoo family lived in Tomoy.


Origin and meaning of clan name

Kapmaar was derived from the name of the clan founder, Kimaar, who crossed over to Kenya and left other brothers on the side of the mountain. The meaning of the name “Ki-maar”, is to “paint with a traditional paste” done to an initiate during the circumcision ceremony. It was said that Kimaar came to Kenya when he was not circumcised, and therefore other clan members organized for his circumcision ceremony.


Origin of Kapmaar Clan

The forefathers said that clan members came from Misri(Egypt), where they lived with members of other clans.They then moved southwards to a place called Bumet, then settled at Riwo, in now Uganda. At that point; Kimaar, kokos and a sister decided to move across the mountain to Kenya, and left behind Kipchaay and Chepsoo. The clan territory stretched to….The clan occupied this region with other clans and this region was refered to as the BOROORIETAAB CHEBOKOS.

In Uganda, river Ataar is identified with the KAABCHEBSOO family and river Mbaay to Kipchaay family, both of same clan.

Kokos and the sister proceeded to the south to Nandi hillsand upto date, the clan commonly reffered to as “Kaapkos”, have settled together with other Nandi clans. Kimaar was left alone at Tulwop Kony, at that time, as he settled at Chebari area.

In later years, part of the Kapchepsoo family followed; crossed over to Kenya but settled at Tomooy. The two families are Kapchebolei and Kamoikuut. The two families have stayed up to date.

It is believed that part of the Kipchaay family; and especially the Kapsongoywo house, who are also spiritual leaders moved to Kenya through Tomooy and settled at the lower ridges of the west part of the mountain. The houses never stayed in Chepkitale at that time. Later on the kapsongoywo moved to Uganda, came back again to Kenya using eastern route; led by Ndiwa Songoywo, he at that time visited Ndiwa sangulu, an encounter which led to spiritual war between the two spiritual leaders. When Ndiwa Songoywo moved to Chebari to stay with its Kimaar family at Chebari. Sangulu instructed that he should movefurther away to the west. Sangulu wanted Songoywo to move away from his territory, from this dispute the Kapsongoywo family ;though from the same clan as kapmaar, have lived outside the territory of Chepkitale up to date.

Kimaar married his first wife from the Kabchesongoor clan and had three sons namely Markaas, Arap Nyarkwey and Chepkinjir. The clan was known for brave warriors who used to even fight on behalf of other clans. When called for reinforcement, had experience and bravery for hunting. The fame of the clan warriors went beyond regions. The common enemy of the ogiek of Mt. Elgon used to be Masaai and the Nandi warriors. They used to raid and take away animals sometimes children left behind as their parents fled. The only save grounds were the caves. Due to frequent raids from the enemies, some clan members were burnt in a cave; Chepkinjir survived and passed the clan seeds to the next geberations.

Chepkinjir married from the KAPKATAAM clan and had four sons namely; siin,Tiring,ta, Mnainaikeet and Kibelio. The clan family tree will show the descentants of Kimaar and some from his brother Cheepso, who are currently staying in Kenya and specifically in Mt. E;gon region. Mzee Reuben Belio stimates that the chepkitale clans are between 32-33.

It was around the first age sets of the Kipnyikew, Sumoinen and Rimrim.


Roles of the clan             

The clan produced brave warriors who defended the Ogiek community, whenever they are called to assist. This is told by other clans who used yto say “call kotaab chepkinjir” to help during raids by the enemies and it is the reason why the sons of Chepkinjir perished in the cave.


Any relations that prevents marriages

The Kapmaaar clan do not marry with their Kapchaay in Uganda and Kenya. There are part of their clan and share sane totem, despite their different geographical positions and change in dialects in the two regions

  • Listing ID: 1287