The Thimlich Ohinga Cultural Landscape
Department of Museums, Sites and Monuments of the National Museums of Kenya
Les Listes indicatives des États parties sont publiées par le Centre du patrimoine mondial sur son site Internet et/ou dans les documents de travail afin de garantir la transparence et un accès aux informations et de faciliter l'harmonisation des Listes indicatives au niveau régional et sur le plan thématique.
Le contenu de chaque Liste indicative relève de la responsabilité exclusive de l'État partie concerné. La publication des Listes indicatives ne saurait être interprétée comme exprimant une prise de position de la part du Comité du patrimoine mondial, du Centre du patrimoine mondial ou du Secrétariat de l'UNESCO concernant le statut juridique d'un pays, d'un territoire, d'une ville, d'une zone ou de leurs frontières.
Les noms des biens figurent dans la langue dans laquelle les États parties les ont soumis.
In western part of Kenya (Nyanza Province), there are a number of old villages and settlement sites marked by dry stone walling. These settlements are referred to locally as 'Ohingni', a name that connotes an idea of a refuge in the wilderness. The 'Ohingni' literally refers to a "frightening dense forest" in Dholuo language, a Nilotic group who occupy the region. A total of 138 sites containing 521 structures exist. These are concentrated in the Kadem-Kanyamkago areas, Karungu, Gwasi and Kaksingiri Lake headlands, and in Kanyamwa and Kanyidoto areas. In these areas, the structures are distributed in particular spots giving a first sight impression of a clustered distribution pattern. While the uphill stone structures have survived the vagaries of weather, the ones on the lower side have been degraded. The stone structure enclosure has walls ranging from 1.0 to 4.2 meters in height and 1.0 to 3.0 m in width, were built of loose stones and blocks without any dressing or mortar. Within the structures are interior partitions of various kinds including: small enclosures, depressions and corridors. These were used as either as cattle kraals, pens for smaller animals or garden fence structures. Archaeological record of materials found within the site goes beyond 500 years ago. Since the present inhabitants of the area arrived about three centuries ago, it seems most likely that Bantus who initially occupied this region prior to the arrival of the Luo first built the stone structures. Abundant rocks on the hilly areas provided them with building materials to meet their security requirements. Though many of them have been destroyed as a result of population pressure and expansion in farming activities, there is need to save the remaining sites which are still versatile.
Justification de la Valeur Universelle Exceptionnelle
(iii): Thimlich Ohinga Cultural landscape bears testimony to the civilization of an early group of Bantu people that had settled here in the 14th century.
(iv): The complex, which consists of one hundred and thirty eight sites of skillfully joined enclosures, is a cultural landscape phenomenon of structures with unique stone-walling tradition.
Déclarations d’authenticité et/ou d’intégrité
Some sites within the cultural landscape such as the Thimlich Ohinga are a protected historic site whose gazettement dates back to 1981.
Comparaison avec d’autres biens similaires
The style and architecture of the stone wall enclosures of Thimlich Ohinga cultural landscape are similar to those of the Great ruins of Zimbabwe. They are, however, far much smaller in magnitude but spread over a vast area.