The economic activities of the Western Bantu during the pre-colonial period

the following are the economic activities of the Western Bantu during the pre-colonial period.




  • Keeping livestock. They kept cattle, sheep and goats, which provided them with milk, meat, hides and skins.
  • Agriculture. They grew grains, pulses and root crops such as cassava, arrow roots, potatoes and yams as well as legumes like beans and peas.
  • Trade. Abagusi gave their Luo neighbours grains, iron implements and soap-stones in exchange for livestock, salt, hides, milk, pots, baskets, etc. The case was similar between the Luhyia and their Nandi and Luo neighbours.
  • Fishing. They used hooks and lines, basket nets and fence traps to catch fish. They sold




  • some of the fish they caught to neighbouring communities.
  • Ironworking. This enabled them to have better weapons and farm implements, which aided their migration and settlement in various places before they finally settled in their present
  • homeland.
  • Crafts. They were good in pottery and basketry, which boosted their trade and other economic activities.