Religion & Culture

Meru shares it border with five other counties; Isiolo to the North, Nyeri to the South West, Tharaka-Nithi to the South West and Laikipia to the West.

The origin of the word 'Meru' is believed to come from the Maasai people who referred to Tigania and Imenti forests as the Mieru forests or simply the Quiet Forests.

Maasais are also believed to have used the term Mieru to name any tribe which could not understand their Maa language.

The main people who live in Meru comprise sub tribes of the Ameru community. These include the Imenti, Tigania and Igembe sub-tribes. Besides Kiswahili and English, Ki-Meru is the ethnic language spoken by this community.

Others who reside here is a significant percentage of Ameru cousins in the GEMA grouping including Kikuyu, Embu and Kamba. However, Merus of Kenya are not the same as the Meru people of Tanzania. There are also Borana, Somali, Asian and a few Caucasian whites who have made the county home. Most of these other people are engaged in business or employed in the various sub-sectors in the region.

Culturally, the Ameru believed in an ancestral god called Murungu or Arega Kuthera. There was deep reverence for the spirit of the living dead. Ameru believed in offering sacrifices to their dead ancestors. The divine leader of the Ameru was called the Mugwe. These were respected persons who made sacrifices and performed healing on behalf of the tribe. However, with the arrival of Christianity, the cultural rites and functions have become obsolete.

The diverse cultures and heritage among the Meru community are another form of tourist attraction such as conservation of traditional worship places by the ‘Nchuri Ncheke’ elders.

Meru County is mainly a Christian stronghold. Although there are Catholics, Presbyterian and Anglican faithfuls, the Methodist church commands the largest following in this region, with Muslims and Hindus most of whom live around Meru town comprising the smallest religious group.






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College of Biological and Physical Sciences School of Biological Sciences