About the Luidakho-luisukha-lutirichi Speakers

The Abakakamega and the Abatirichi people make up three dialects that are a part of the larger Oluluyia language group based in the Western Province of Kenya. Specifically, they are found in the administrative districts of Kakamega and Vihiga. They are approximately 325,000 in number (95,000 AbIdakho, 135,000 AbIsukha and 100,000 AbaTirichi). There is a high level of mutual understanding between these three dialects, which use the same orthography. The only difference occurs in pronunciation and intonation.

The target audience are predominantly peasants growing subsistence crops and keeping domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats and chicken). Their area is densely populated and characterised by poverty. The literacy level is average, with growth noted among the young generation (those of 40 years and below).

Christianity is the predominant religion, with the Roman Catholic Church being dominant among the Abakakamega, while the Abatirichi are mainly Protestants. Commonly used Bibles are the Olulogooli (1951 edition), Oluluyia (1975), Olunyole (2002), English and Kiswahili. These languages do not meet the core need of the people to hear God speak to them in their own heart language. This necessitated the language group church leaders to request the BSK to initiate the translation of the Bible into Lukakamega-Lutirichi dialects. This dream was realised in mid-1997 when the Lukakamega-Lutirichi translation project was started.

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In response to widespread interest and persistent requests from churches in the Luyia speaking areas of Isukha, Idakho and Tiriki, the Bible Society of Kenya finally agreed to support a new project to translate the Bible into the Local dialect. Actually the three dialects spoken here, namely Lwisukha and Lwidakho(commonly called Lukakamega) and Lutiriki are mutually intelligible.

The interconfessional project was initiated in June 1997 with a translation team consisting of Evans Lijoodi(Reformed),protas Luganu (RC) and John Mukabi (church of Holy Spirit). Lwidakho forms the basis of the translation but terminology is equally drawn from all dialect areas to ensure widespread acceptability and intelligibility.

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