About Kaya (Mijikenda)
Interesting Places, Natural, Nature Reserves, Other Nature Conservation Areas
Kaya (plural makaya or kayas) is a sacred forest of the Mijikenda people in the former Coast Province of Kenya. The kaya forest is considered to be an intrinsic source of ritual power and the origin of cultural identity; it is also a place of prayer for members of the particular ethnic group. The settlement, ritual centre, and fortified enclosure associated with the forest are also part of the kaya. In the present day, the kaya is also referred to as a traditional organizational unit of the Mijikenda. Eleven of the approximately 30 separate kaya have been grouped together and inscribed as the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.