Reading Crafts in Kenya  by  Olpha Janduko


In Kenya there are many communities with different economic activities . An economic activity is a way of living adapted by a certain community to make a living.

Examples are arts and craft,pastoralism,fishing,farming among others.

  • Craft is a creative activity carried out by a person or a community for the purpose of decoration or leisure activity.
  • Crafts include pottery,basketry,beadmaking,stonecarving,wood carving and tool decorating.
The Kisii from Western Kenya,are good in stone carving.They quarry soapstone and carve it by using special knives.They make things like soap dishes,smallanimals,ash trays and egg cups.
Pottery is an act of making.Pots are made from clay which is harvested from rivers or anthills.They are used for storing water and cooking.The communities that practice pottery are the Agikuyu,Luo,Abaluhya and Nandi.
Baskets are woven from dried reeds fetched from riversides or swamps.The practice of weaving baskets is called basketry.Baskets are used for carrying goods like food materials to the market for selling,they are also used for storing food.Basketry is practiced by Ameru,Akamba and Nandi.
The Maasai community are famous for bead making.They use beads to make jewellery,they make necklaces and wrist bands.TheMaasai are very skillful decorating clothes,"kangas" and "leso" using beads.
Wood carving is the making of curios from wood.The wood is cut and curved to produce curios like animals,people wooden spoons and cooking sticks.The mostly used wood is from the pine tree.
Northern nomadic communities like Oromo,Gabra and Borana also decorate gourds and stools.Gourds are used to store milk while stools are sat on by elders during their communal meetings.
  • Crafts have significant impact to the communities that practice them.Many people make a living from crafts by selling them to the local people and tourists.
  • When the craft items are exported to other countries,they earn the government revenue inform of taxes.This helps in the economic growth of the country. 


Answer the comprehension questions correctly

  1.  Write down the economic activities as listed in the passage. 
  2. What tools are produced from stone carving?
  3. List down the crafts in Kenya according to the passage.
  4. On which craft does the word weaving used?
  5. From which tree does the wood for carving come from.
  6. Which communities practice basketry? 
  7. What is the use of gourds?
  8. What is the benefit of communities that practice crafty?
  9. Which community decorate tools?
  10. Curios are made from?
  11. Which community make jewellery?
  12. Where does the clay harvested?


1.Arts and craft, pastoralism,fishing and farming.
2.Soap dishes,small animals,ash trays and egg cups.
3.Pottery,basketry,bead making,stone carving,wood carving and tool decorating.
4.In basketry.
5.Pine tree.
6.Ameru,Akamba and Nandi.
7.It is used for storing milk.
8.They sell them and make a living/money.
9.Northern communities like Oromo,Gabra and Borana.
10.Are made from wood.
12.From rivers and anthills.

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