Modern Day Bow and Arrow Warfare in Kenya

Plenty of compelling photos can be found here but the story is here.

Tourist towns Nakuru and Naivasha, known for their wild flamingos, saw some of the worst scenes of recent ethnic clashes.

In Njoro, a tiny town outside of Nakuru, in the western Rift Valley, distinct lines divide warring groups.

“The Kalenjins have been attacking us,” says 27-year-old Gideon, a Kikuyu, as he points to Kalenjin homes across a dirt road that winds past picket fences, gold-coloured weeds and scraggly plants.

“They want us to move so they can take our land and our property.”

Unkempt fields littered with corn stalks line either side of the road on both Kikuyu and Kalenjin territory. Farmers say they are too afraid to prepare their harvests for fear of being attacked.

“We were using swords but they were not effective,” Sylvester says, slashing a knife through the air, its blade glinting in the light.

Kalenjin elders train their boys how to use bows and arrows from an early age, the Kikuyu men say. But Kikuyus have had to learn quickly to fight back with the same tools.

Now, nearly 100 arrows are distributed among Njoro Kikuyus every day.

Women and girls, who do not fight, assist in collecting materials for the weapons.

Community leaders know about the secret arrow factories, but police forces do not. Five bow-and-arrow construction groups of 10 members each pepper the town.

(Thanks Pasi)