About Tachoni People

The Tachoni people live in the Western part of Kenya and are part of the Luyia socio-political grouping. They are mainly found in Bungoma County in Webuye, Chetambe Hills and Ndivisi in the newly created Bungoma East District. They are also found in Kakamega County in Lugari, Lwandeti and in parts of Trans Nzoia County. The Tachoni mainly neighbor the Bukusu, Nandi and Kabras speakers. The other communities that form the Luyia sub-group are: Banyala, Banyore, Batsotso, Idakho, Isukha, Kabras, Khayo, Kisa, Marachi, Marama, Samia, Tiriki, Maragoli, Bukusu and Wanga.

Brief History

There are many theories surrounding the Tachoni history; some say that they were a product of inter-tribal marriages between the Bukusu and Bongomek, a Kalenjin tribe. Another legend according to Wolf in Were (1967) states that the Bukusu people intermarried in large numbers with the Kalenjin when they lived in Ebwai (Amukura) and Mwalie in Malakisi and as a result bore offspring (Yumbu) believed to be the ancestors of the Tachoni. It is also believed that they originated from Egypt and settled in Bungoma, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu and were masters at building forts such as Chetambe and Lumboka. The community members trace their origin to Egypt. Due to their supposed place of origin they believe that they were initially related to the Nilotic groups but eventually changed after they interacted with their Bantu neighbors.
The Tachoni people believe that they are related to the Sabaot people of Mt. Elgon. They hold the view that after they settled in Mt. Elgon a group separated from others and told them “Ta cho nu” which in Sabaot means that they are going but will come back. Some researchers such as Osogo in Lihraw (2010) and even community members believe that this is how the Tachoni people got their name. This theory however is disputed by Lihraw (2010) who says that there is nothing that proves it apart from the fact that the two practiced both male and female circumcision. 

Peoples lifestyle

The area where the Tachoni people live experiences a tropical climate. Bungoma County is temperate and wet most times of the year. Kakamega County is hot and wet throughout the year while Trans Nzoia County is cool and temperate and receives rain mainly between the months of April and October (Climate-Data.org, 2014). It is important to note that in the above counties border each other and therefore the weather conditions in the areas where the Tachoni live is not significantly different.
Due to the good weather conditions that the Tachoni people experience they practice mixed farming. They grow maize, bananas, millet, and beans. They also keep poultry, cattle, goats and sheep both for subsistence and commercial purposes. Some also grow sugarcane as a cash crop, especially those who live around Webuye.

Languages and Population

The Ethnologue refers to the Tachoni [lts] language as Lutachoni and says that it is related to the Kabras language. The Tachoni people have a population of 118,363 according to the 2009 Kenya National Population Census Report. The language is classified as Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Benue-Congo, Bantoid, Southern, Narrow Bantu, Central, J, Masaba-Luhya, by the Ethnologue.