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Together, the Kalenjin comprise Kenya's fourth-largest ethnic group.The Kipsigis are the largest Kalenjin population, with approximately 470,000 people.At public proceedings, although the poiyot ap kokwet was the first to speak, all of the elders were given the opportunity to state their opinions.Rather than making decisions himself, the poiyot ap kokwet expressed the group's opinion, always phrased in terms of a group decision.Most Kalenjin people also speak Ki Swahili and English, since both are official national languages in Kenya and are taught in school.

The origin of the name Kalenjin and the Kalenjin ethnic identity can be traced to the 1940s.It represents a clear desire to draw political strength from greater numbers.Beginning in the 1940s, individuals from these groups who were going off to fight in World War II (1939–45) used the term kale or kole (the process of scarring the breast or the arm of a warrior who had killed an enemy in battle) to refer to themselves.The rest of the Kalenjin and their estimated populations are as follows: Nandi (260,000); Tugen (130,000); Keiyo (110,000); Pokot (90,000); Marakwet (80,000); Sabaot (40,000); and Terik (20,000).The first language of the Kalenjin peoples is Kalenjin, part of the Chari-Nile language group of Africa.

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