Music of the Pokomo

Meet the musical community whose lullaby inspired the Kenyan national anthem

By National Museums of Kenya

Pokomo DanceNational Museums of Kenya

Meet the Pokomo

The Pokomo are a coastal Bantu community, closely related to the Waswahili and Mijikenda communities of the coast. The Pokomo people traditionally use music to celebrate their harvests, fishing, hunting, weddings, circumcisions, and births.

Guitar (1974)National Museums of Kenya

Traditional musical instruments

Wood and string are the main materials used to make this musical instrument, ('Gita'). It is played by strumming or plucking the strings with the fingers, thumb or fingernails of the right or left hand.

Drum (1966)National Museums of Kenya

This is a drum (Maribe), made of wood from the Makuyu tree. It is played only by bachelors, and is used for young people to dance to.

Pokomo DanceNational Museums of Kenya

Kenya's national anthem

The Kenyan national anthem was borrowed from a Pokomo lullaby, which was composed by Mzee Menza Morowa Galana of Makere village. Mzee Menza died on 12 November 2015 at age 96.

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