Turkana

/toor kah"neuh/, n., pl. Turkanas, (esp. collectively) Turkana for 1.
1. a member of a seminomadic people of northwestern Kenya and bordering areas of Uganda.
2. the Nilotic language of the Turkana.
3. Lake. Formerly, Rudolf. a lake in E Africa, in NE Kenya. 185 mi. (298 km) long; 3500 sq. mi. (9100 sq. km).

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people
      a people living in the arid, sandy expanse of northwestern Kenya, from Lake Rudolf (Lake Turkana) to the Ugandan border. The Turkana speak an Eastern Nilotic language (Nilotic languages) of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Their language closely resembles that of the Teso. They apparently moved to their present lands about 200 years ago from an area now in northeastern Uganda where the closely related Jie and Karimojong still live.

      The Turkana resisted British conquest, and a military expedition in 1918 caused considerable loss of life and cattle but did not establish effective British administration. The region was not completely occupied until 1942.

      Turkana are ardent pastoralists who give names to, sing to, and diligently care for their cattle. Milk and other dairy products (butter, ghee, and yogurt) as well as blood are important to the Turkana diet; hides, horns, and bones are likewise to their material culture. Camels provide milk and meat and are used for bridewealth payments. Goats and sheep are also kept. Livestock are slaughtered and meat shared in the community. Turkana practice transhumance, visiting the same general pastures from season to season and returning to rainy season sites for millet and vegetable farming. Wild nuts, berries, game, and fish are also important foods. Their houses are temporary structures made of leafy boughs or palm fronds; a thorny, encircling fence is used for protection from predators. A father, his wives, and their sons and wives live together or in adjacent homesteads.

      Turkana marry outside their clans, and upon marriage women join their husbands' clans. Cattle are given clan brands. Turkana men belong to either of two alternating age sets, called Stones and Leopards; a man is of the set opposite to that of his father. In the past, Stones and Leopards wore different ornaments, ate apart at feasts, and raided in separate columns as warriors. The oldest men in extended families provide leadership. Turkana make many wooden containers and other useful objects that are prized by collectors of African art.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Turkana — may refer to:* Turkana people of Kenya * Turkana language of Kenya * Lake Turkana in Kenya * Lake Turkana National Parks * Turkana District in Kenya * the fictional world of Turkana IV in a Star Trek Next Generation episodeee also*Turkana Boy …   Wikipedia

  • Turkana — Turkana,   Elgume, nilohamitisches Volk westlich des Turkanasees im wüstenhaften Nordwestkenia; ein kleiner Volksteil (Bume) lebt im äußersten Südwestäthiopien. Die etwa 220 000 Turkana sind Hirtennomaden (Rinder, Schafe, Kamele, Ziegen), seit… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Turkana — [tər kä′nə] Lake lake in NW Kenya, on the Ethiopian border: c. 3,500 sq mi (9,065 sq km); c. 185 mi (298 km) long …   English World dictionary

  • Turkana — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Turkana (homonymie). Turkana Femme Turkana et son bébé (1979) Popula …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Turkana — Das Wort Turkana bezeichnet eine Ethnie in Afrika, siehe Turkana (Ethnie) eine Sprache in Afrika, siehe Turkana (Sprache) das größte Binnengewässer Kenias, siehe Turkana See einen Distrikt in der kenianischen Provinz Rift Valley, siehe Turkana… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Turkana — [tə: kα:nə] noun (plural same) 1》 a member of an East African people living between Lake Turkana and the Nile. 2》 the Nilotic language of the Turkana. Origin a local name …   English new terms dictionary

  • turkana — tu̇rˈkänə noun (plural turkana or turkanas) Usage: usually capitalized 1. : a people resembling the Masai and living between Lake Rudolf and the Nile in East Africa 2. : a member of the Turkana people …   Useful english dictionary

  • Turkana — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Turkana Country and Admin Code KE.51 KE …   World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II

  • Turkana — noun A Nilo Saharan language of Kenya …   Wiktionary

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