Who are the people living on Mount Elgon?

The Sabiny

The people living on the slopes of Mount Elgon are called the ‘Sabiny’, while the region is called Sebei. The Sebei and smaller groups in Kenya such as the Book, Kony, Mosoop, Someek and Bongomek) are collectively referred to as the 'Sabaot’. The Saboat are inhabiting the slopes of Mount Elgon and are one of the nine sub-tribes of the Kalenjins. Centuries ago the Kalenjins migrated from Egypt, as former guards of the farao’s.

250.000 people

Sebei region is comprised of the districts Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo. They are about 250.000 Sabiny people in Uganda, which is 0,6% of the total population. It is said that part of the Sabiny live in Sudan, about 25.000 people, though this is an unreached group (source: Wikipedia). In Kenya there are about 5 million Kalenjins.

Known as fast runners

The Sabiny are known as talented long-distance runners and Kapchorwa is rapidly becoming a super power in international running.

Famous book

A famous book written about the Sabiny culture is ‘Sebei law’ by the anthropologist Walter Goldsmith.

Culture forgotten

Through multiple influences such as education and globalism the ancient Sabiny culture is mostly forgotten by young generations. Home of Friends aims to rehabilitate and celebrate the culture, for instance through our Cave Experience. We believe many life lessons can be learned from the culture such as unity and how to prepare indigenous food such as yams and millet.

Do you want to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the Sabiny? Let us know by posting a comment below!