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Ibuku Riria Itheru Ria Ngai Riitagwo Kirikaniro Kiria Gia tene na Kirikaniro Kiria Kieru: This is the Kikuyu Bible.

The Kikuyu (also Agikuyu/Gikuyu) is the largest ethnic group in Kenya. They speak the Bantu Kikuyu language. At a population of 6.6 million as of 2009, they account for close to 17% of the total population of Kenya.
The term Kikuyu is derived from the Swahili form of the self-designation Gikuyu. Gikuyu means "large sycamore (mukuyu) tree", and Agikuyu translates to "children of the huge sycamore". The alternative name Nyumba ya Mumbi translates to House Of The Potter or Creator.

The Kikuyu belong to the Northeastern Bantu branch. Their language is most closely related to that of the Embu and Mbeere. Geographically, they are concentrated in the vicinity of Mount Kenya.

The exact place that the Northeast Bantu speakers migrated from after the initial Bantu expansion is uncertain. Some authorities suggest that the Kikuyu arrived in their present Mount Kenya area of habitation from earlier settlements further to the north and east, while others argue that the Kikuyu, along with their closely related Eastern Bantu neighbors the Embu, Meru, Mbeere, and Kamba moved into Kenya from points further north.[4][5]

From archaeological evidence, their arrival at the northern side of Mt. Kenya dates to around the 3rd century, as part of the larger group known as Thagicu. By the 6th century, there was a community of Agikuyu newly established at Gatuang'ang'a in Nyeri. The Agikuyu established themselves in their current homeland of Mt.Kenya region by the 13th century

Spirituality and religion

Ngai – The Supreme Creator

The Gikuyu were – and still are – monotheists believing in an omnipotent God whom they refer to as Ngai. All of the Gikuyu, Embu, and Kamba use this name. Ngai was also known as Murungu by the Meru and Embu tribes, or Mulungu (a variant of a word meaning God which is found as far south as the Zambezi of Zambia). The title Mwathani or Mwathi (the greatest ruler) comes from the word gwatha meaning to rule or reign with authority, was and is still used. All sacrifices to Ngai were performed under a sycamore tree (Mukuyu) and if one was not available, a fig tree (Mugumo) would be used. The olive tree (Mutamaiyu) was a sacred tree for women.[19]

Mount Kenya and religion
Ngai or Mwene-Nyaga is the Supreme Creator and giver of all things. He created the first Gikuyu communities, and provided them with all the resources necessary for life: land, rain, plants, and animals. Ngai cannot be seen but is manifested in the sun, moon, stars, comets and meteors, thunder and lightning, rain, rainbows, and in the great fig trees (Mugumo). These trees served as places of worship and sacrifice and marked the spot at Mukurue wa Gathanga where Gikuyu and Mumbi – the ancestors of the Gikuyu in the oral legend – first settled. Ngai has human characteristics, and although some say that he lives in the sky or in the clouds, Gikuyu lore also says that Ngai comes to earth from time to time to inspect it, bestow blessings, and mete out punishment. When he comes, Ngai rests on Mount Kenya and Kilimambogo (kirima kia njahi). Thunder is interpreted to be the movement of Ngai and lightning is the weapon used by Ngai to clear the way when moving from one sacred place to another. Some people believe that Ngai's abode is on Mount Kenya. In one legend, Ngai made the mountain his resting place while on an inspection tour of earth. Ngai then took the first man, Gikuyu, to the top to point out the beauty of the land he was giving him.

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