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2014

Kenya

Mambo Poa

Introduction

Kenya is a country of deeply rooted traditions and a vibrant cultural crossroads. Some of the oldest artifacts of human communities have been discovered in Kenya, making the East African country truly a cradle of humanity.

Today, it is a dynamic nation that links its prehistoric past to new cultural expressions in a land of great environmental contrasts. Kenya’s diverse landscapes—stretching from snow-capped mountains to the Great Rift Valley, from deserts to lakes, vast savannahs, lush forests, and a sparkling coast—are reflected in the rich diversity of the Kenyan people and their traditions.

Occurring just after the fiftieth anniversary of Kenya’s independence from the British Empire, the Kenya: Mambo Poa program presented the ways in which the people of Kenya are balancing protection of their valued cultural and natural heritage with the challenges and opportunities for change in the twenty-first century.

Festival visitors interacted with exemplary craftspeople who work with everything from clay to soapstone to recycled materials, learned about important fossil discoveries by taking part in a model dig site from the Great Rift Valley, ran with Kenya’s Olympic athletes, danced to both traditional and contemporary music from many regions of the country, discovered how Kenyans live among and work with some of the most magnificent wildlife on the continent, and experienced Kenyan life in the United States.

All of this took place in venues and spaces that reflect the creative and dynamic experiences of the Kenyan people, whether they live in urban or rural, coastal or inland environments.

This program was produced in partnership with the Government of Kenya Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts.


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