Ngai

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This article is about the African religious concept. For information on the ethnic group in Vietnam, see Ngái. For information on the Chinese family name, see Ngai (surname). For Māori tribal names starting Ngai, see Iwi.

Ngai (Enkai, En-kai, Engai, Eng-ai, Mweai, Mwiai) is the supreme God in the religions of the Kamba, Kikuyu and Maasai ethnic groups of Kenya. According to the Kikuyu beliefs, he lives on the holy mountain Kirinyaga (Mount Kenya).

According to the Kamba, he lives somewhere in a hiding place and no one knows where.

The Maasai of Kenya in their creation narrative recount the origin of humanity to be fashioned by the Creator Enkai from a single tree or leg which split into three pieces. To the first father of the Maasai, he gave a stick. To the first father of the Kikuyu, he gave a hoe. To the first father of the Kamba, he gave a bow and arrow. Each son survived in the wild. The first father of the Maasai used his stick to herd animals. The first father of the Kikuyu used his hoe to cultivate the ground. The first father of the Kamba used his bow and arrow to hunt.[1]

Although Maasai people have also converted to Christianity, many still practice their traditional religion. The Maasai believe that he is the god of the sun, love and was the creator of the world; in another one of their traditions, this god married Olapa (the goddess of the moon).

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  1. ^ Leeming 2009, p. 175

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