Clan Totem: Hyena

Rivers: Siit and Rokook


Ogiek community has thirty-two clans that reside at Chepkitale, Chepyuk and Transzoia and other parts of Kenya with few residing in diaspora. Before colonial evictions, our clan members resided at Cherenganyi Hills at Seng’were after migrating from our original homeland Egypt (Misri).

The colonial evictions made the clan members move to Bong’om area currently Bungoma. At Bongom, one brother by the name Chibeet moved to Sichei in Chwele then Chebombai and finally settled at Siit and Rokook in Chepkitale until the government evictions in Chepyuk at post-independence.

The clan comprised of the first three brothers i.e Chibeet, Chemuges and Baata. Due to evictions and frequent migrations the three brothers moved to different parts of Tulweetap Kony( Mt. Elgon) hence adopting different clan names i.e Kapchibeet, Kapchemuges and Kapbateek. Kapchibeet are currently occupying Chepkitale, Chepyuk and Transzoia while Kapchemuges reside in Sebei-Uganda and Kapbaatek settled in Bungoma town, Chepyuk and Transzoia. As at now, the clan name is Kapchibeet.

The clan name “Kapchibeet” means a person during the day and an animal at night. This name was nicknamed to us by other members of the community from our behavior of hiding at night due to fear of attack and previous history of frequent evictions. At Cherang’anyi, our neighbours were Nandis who had tendency of attacking families at night and abducting the children so people developed a habit of hibernating at night.

The clan history dates back to pre-colonial in Kenya (1850). Our elders narrated that our forefathers migratyed from Egypt through Sudan-Uganda and settled in Cherang’any at aplace called Seng’wer.

The clan stayed at Seng’wer for a long time by then there were three distinct brothers i.e Baaatu, Chemuges and Chibeet. The three later formed clans adopting their names as Kabutaak, Kapchemuges and Kapchibeet respectively.

At Seng’wer, there was an outbreak of disease which threatened the clan and they decided to migrate but before that, an elder from Baringo who was wise came, in looking at the signs of the disease, he advised that honey could cure the disease. The three brothers took different direction looking for honey Baata and Chibeet went to Bong’om and Chemuges went to Sebei though Transzoia.

Before their migration to Bongoma, the three brothers resided shortly in Kaitabos cave in Transzoia hence Kaitabosws their last destination before dispersing. Currently Kachemuges are settled at Bulwo in Sebei; Kapbaatek occupy Bungoma town and its environment.

Others have moved to Transzoia and Chepyuk due to the 1992 tribal clashes in Kenya.’Kapchibeet clan moved from Bongom to Chepnyalil cave and Chesikwa cave in Muuto area famously called Markas in Chepkitale.

The clan members occupy areas along River Siit and Rokook occasionally moving down and up in search of honey, food and water for themselves and livestock. On rare occasions, they practiced hunting. They also lived in “Tuiko” cave near Uganda and even traded with Ugandans. They engaged in barter trade of exchanging honey with game meat, milk and game skins with millets and matoke famously referred “Koongok”.

Chibeet first born son was called Chebusha named after a woman from Uganda who had visited the home. The son grew up and was circumcised later on got married and was blessed with two sons named Mariep and Seret. Mariep and Saret grew up, underwent initiation and got married at different times Marriep married two wives from Kaptomeet clan and Kapseng’weet clan. The first wife gave birth to Sichei arap Meriep while the second wife son was Changeywo Kukui Meriep hence Mariep had two sons.

Seret was blessed with two sons with his wife who was from Kamoriek clan. The two sons were Chombirio Cheprot Tebesi and Chebeni Ndiwa Tebesi.  Other clan members currently live at Sebei, Pokot, Kipsigis, Transzoia and Bungoma.

  • Listing ID: 1273