Kigiryama

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A language of Kenya

Alternate Names
Agiryama, Giriama, Kigiriama, Kinyika, Nika, Nyika
Population

944,000 (2009 census), increasing. 752,000 Giryama; 25,400 Kambe; 98,700 Rabai; 14,500 Ribe; 52,900 Kauma.

Location

Coast Province, Kilifi and Kwale districts, north of Mombasa.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Chwaka, Giryama, Kambe, Kauma (Chikauma), Rabai, Ribe (Rihe). Dialect speakers may understand Chichonyi-Chidzihana-Chikauma [coh]. Lexical similarity: 72% with Chidigo [dig], 63% with Mrima [swh], 62% with Mvita [swh], 61% with Amu [swh], 59% with Kipfokomo [pkb] and Bajun [swh].

Language Use

Home, community. All ages. Positive attitudes. Most also use Kiswahili [swh]. School children learn English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 15%–25%. Poetry. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Bible: 1901.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Giryama is the people name and largest group of the Mijikenda community, which is formed by 9 ethnic groups. Strong traditional social system. Traditional religion, Christian, Muslim.