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TONGŌŌCHIISYĒGOOP OGIEK(Ogiek Folktales)
Language is our identity as a community; it is the means through which our history, culture, customs, norms, and traditions are stored and transferred from one generation to the next. It is a tool to link, inform, educate, and inspire the future generation. Without language, then it means cultures and traditions related to a specific group of people are lost. Language and culture are
entangled and play an indispensable role in the preservation and passage of traditional knowledge from one generation to another. Research shows that approximately 95% of the world's
languages are at risk of extinction by the end of the 21st century.
Among the Ogiek, it is estimated that about 30% can speak the Ogiek original dialect while the rest have been assimilated. Concerned with the disappearing language and the dire need to
revive and preserve the Ogiek language, the community has had been holding annual cultural festivals where cultural performances are done in the Ogiek language. In 2018, the Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program (OPDP) engaged the college and university students from the community
in folklore writing competitions using the indigenous languages. These led to a discourse between Ogiek youths and elders within the community who are well-versed with knowledge. Through this, knowledge that could have been lost in the next decades is well documented in the book for future generations. The book will be distributed to the Ogiek community members and in schools where the Ogiek are found. The ultimate goal of distributing the book is reaching out to the young generation; in the end, it will enhance the preservation of the Ogiek language. Toongochiesiek oop Ogiek has been able to document Ogiek prayer, National anthem, poems, and folktales for our
generations to come.