Effects of migration and settlement of the Cushites into Kenya

The following are effects/results of migration and settlement of the Cushites into Kenya




  • High mortality rate due to fighting among various groups during migration. E.g. the Somali and Oromo frequently engaged in warfare, in the process of which many people were killed.
  • Displacement. As new groups came into Kenya, they pushed out others. For example, in their southward movement in the 16th century AD, the Oromo forced the Mijikenda and Pokomo out of Shungwaya.
  • Exchange of cultural practices as some of the communities interacted and formed alliances. E.g. the Samburu and the Rendile formed an alliance against the Turkana.
  • Increased population as various peoples migrated into Kenya.




  • introduction of new cultural practices in Kenya. For example, the taboo against fish consumption among some Bantu speakers has been traced to the Cushites. Other new cultural practices include circumcision and the age-set system.
  • Intermarriage,, e.g. between the Pokomo and the Borana.
  • Intensification of trading activities in Kenya. For instance, by the 19th century, they were trading with the Samburu and Maasai.
  • Population redistribution in Kenya. For example, the Mijikenda were scattered at and from Shungwaya and had to change their course of migration.
  • They adopted mixed farming methods, which they got from the Bantu.




  • They converted to Islam, which they spread among their neighbours.
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