Pokomo language

Pokomo (Kipfokomo) is a Bantu language spoken primarily along the East African coast near Tana River in the Tana River District by the Pokomo people of Kenya. Kipfokomo language originated from "Kingozi" the language, which Kiswahili was built from. "Kingozi" language is the precursor of Kiswahili. Pokomos are the only tribe in the world that speak "Kingozi" and sometimes are referred to as wangozi because they used to wear skins (Ngozi). All adult speakers of Pokomo are bilingual in Swahili, East Africa's lingua franca.

There is high of lexical similarity between other languages like Mvita (63%), Amu (61%), Mrima (60%), Kigiryama (59%), Chidigo (58%) or Bajun (57%).

Native toKenya
RegionTana River District
Native speakers
95,000 (2009 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pkb


  1. ^ Pokomo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pokomo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online

Pokomo may refer to:

the Pokomo people

the Pokomo language

Pokomo people

The Pokomo people are a Bantu ethnic group of southeastern Kenya. The population in Kenya is currently more than 150,000. They are a distinct ethnic group with their own sub-clans/tribes. Despite their proximity, they are not of the nearby Mijikenda people. They are predominantly agriculturalists and both freshwater and ocean fishermen living along the Tana River in Tana River County. They speak the Pokomo language, which is similar to Swahili.

The Pokomo population is split into two groups: the Upper Pokomo, who make up 75% of the population, and the Lower Pokomo. The Upper Pokomo are mainly Muslim, and have been so since the first half of the 20th century. The Lower Pokomos, who live along the lower part of the Tana up to the delta, became Christians beginning in the late 1870s, and, by 1914, had almost exclusively converted. The Joshua Project states that, in total, 25% of Pokomo are Christian (Evangelical: 18%) and 65% are Muslim. Ethnologue indicates that the group is mainly Muslim.

Official languages
Sign languages
Urban languages


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