Αγώνας
The Pokot – a people of the Savannah
ITALY, 2008, 45'
  by AGON - Friday, 25 November 2011



In the savannahs of North-western Kenya live the Pokot, a people of shepherds-warriors that live traditionally away from progress. The origins of the Pokot are lost in time; they belong to the Kalenjin, the large southern Nilotic group of people. Between the 7th and the 5th centuries BC, they emigrated from the lands of the Nile valley and reached an area north of present day Kenya.
Unfertile land, scarcity of pastures and chronic lack of water force the Pipatix, the cow people in the Pokot language, to be constantly on the move, in the quest for new pastures for their cattle. But other dangers as well affect the Pokot. Neverending conflict with neighbouring peoples, all shepherds like themselves and all foes. In the often bloody clashes, that occur as all try to wrest from each other cattle, traditional weapons such as bows, arrows and lances come with automatic rifles that are now making their appearance.
Due to the continuing conflict, the dearth of pasture, the breakout of epidemics and recurrent famines, a group of Pokot, starting from the 1900s, moved up to the slopes of the Cherengani Hills seeking better conditions of life. They ultimately settled an area located at a height over 3.000 metres, where they found a milder climate as well as more regular rainfall. Here they took up farming and became sedentary. This new group is called Pipapax, the corn people. The environment thus created two completely different lifestyles within a single tribal group, within a people that speak the same language and share the same origin and culture.


Director: LUCIO ROSA
Producer: STUDIO FILM TV