The Lost Cousins Of Somalis, Rendille.

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Rendille, in this article I will take you through the culture of Rendile the lost Somali. I’m currently doing a survey for Sight savers, a baseline trachoma survey. All praise is to Allah who made me among the chosen ones to do this survey. I was unaware of this world, but I used to learn about the Rendiles from family members. In this article, I will write about what I observed and heard from their elders, sit back and enjoy.

The Rendille are a pastoralist group that inhabits parts of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. They are renowned for leading a traditional nomadic lifestyle and depending on cows, goats, sheep, and camels for both transportation and food. The Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family includes the Rendille language.

Their main reason for their refusal of Islam is they offer their prayers by looking up at the skies and Islam asked them to prostrate when they are praying. They believe in the moon, they migrated from the Swiss canal and Ethiopia

They are lost Somalis if someone who has never seen a Rendille sees them he will mistake them for Somali. The Rendille were related to the Somalis through the Cushitic family lines. The height, skin complexion language, and the way they dress, tell you all. I was mistaken more than once and talked the Somali language to one of the Rndilles. The mother giggled and was like what! then she said she konws Rendille.

A typical Rendille house which is known as a “Min”

What Is The Meaning Of Rendille?

The meaning of Rendile in Somali is “rer diid” which means the ones who refused family. What we Somalis believe is that they run from their families. If you ask them what Rendille means they will say it means “the orders of the stick of God” I’m really hoping and praying to Allah one day to see all Rendilles be Muslims. Amiin Ya Raab. It’s really heart to see your brother or sister in such a state.

A pastoralist nomadic tribe in northern Kenya Marsabit is called the Rendille. In accordance with the seasons, they move their herds of camels and goats between various grazing areas. They are renowned for their distinctive language and way of life. The Somali and Borana tribes are also included in the larger Cushitic ethnic group, which also includes the Rendille. They are a minority and underrepresented group, and many of them struggle with issues like poverty and insufficient access to healthcare and education.

Rendille’s are Somalis only that they are lost in Samburu land and adopted most of their cultural norms and rituals. Most of the older generation that I had conversations with acknowledged the idea that they are Somalis. How will their father fill if he wakes up today? would he be happy? only God knows how he will be feeling.

A stern-looking Rendille woman dressed as a traditionalist

The Rendille And The Somali Languges

They speak the Somali language which is so much contaminated with Samburu and Borana languages. For instance, they say “Luku” meaning chicken in Borana. We bought two ‘lukus’ from the Laisamis sub-county the ward of Korr village is Marti 2. If a Somali listens to their language he will get almost 60% of what they are saying. This means that this community is Somalis who predominantly inhibit between Marsabet hills and lake Turkana.

From Rendilles to the Boranas in Marsabit, one word was common the children and the cattle went to “Fora” this word means the same for them all including the Samburu. The word simply meant a place where men look after their animals, during the drought season.

I love you in Rendille is “ani akithona” and in Somali, we say “ani waan kudonaa” remember there are a lot of ways to say I love you in any language because of the magnitude it has to many. Be wary about it.

Booked Rendille girl ready for marriage.

Somali Rendille













Nabah/ Dogo






The Way Of Life Of The Rendille

Similar to their kin, the Rendille people are traditionally pastoralists who raise camels, goats, sheep, and cattle. In addition to this, they had their animals with dogs which are not in Somali. Washing the face is not necessary for this part of the word. You might find an adult person who wakes up without washing their face, the person might ask for permission when you want to examine their eyes to wash. I wish they were Muslims like most Somali are.

They practice the tradition of slaughtering the animals that are called “Soorio” for their gods and to keep at bay any bad omen in the family according to their beliefs. Their houses are divided into several segments including, a bedroom, a sitting room, a room for goat’s kids, and a kitchen.

A Rendille woman ready to look for firewood in the forest, they have a lot of energy.

The Clans Of Rendille

They are 9 clans and they are Urowen, Dispahai, Rongumo, Lukumai (Nahgan) Saale, Tupsha, Orola, Matarban, and Garteilan. They live according to relatives and family ties. For instance, you may find an old man with his wives and children and his grandchildren living around each other. Their animals are kept together in one place.

Family is the most important thing to the Cushite which9 they claim to be the descendent of Prophet Nuh (AS). The father is the head of the family. men Look after animals and women build houses. Father is the final authority which is the same in Somali communities.

A Rendille woman was crafting a stopper for the milk container. She is on her recess taking tobacco.

Final Thoughts.

Rendille are Somalis and Somalis are Rendilles. I ask Allah to guide my brothers and sisters to Islam which is the true religion in front of Allah.

Surah Al Imran ayah number 19.

If some have chosen to Christin and kneel down when praying why refuse to bow for the creator of the universe? Or have we Muslims invested little in them? I saw Africa Muslim Agency is doing a great job, they should also invest in teachers to teach about Islam.

They are living healthy lifestyles and should continue doing the same. That is not eating breakfast and eating only one meal a day. should reduce selling the of eggs and chickens.

Let you embrace Islam.

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