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Abstract

Kenya exists as a legitimate nation state that is recognized by the United Nations and by other countries. This paper is an exploration of, and a response to, the following two questions: "Is there a national culture of Kenya?" and "what is the relationship between the national culture of Kenya and the 50 ethnic cultures of Kenya?" The evidence indicates that a distinct national culture of Kenya has emerged and continues to grow stronger as it simultaneously borrows from, reorganizes, and lends to, the 50 ancient ethnic cultures of Kenya. The emerging national culture of Kenya has several strong dimensions that include the rise of a national language, the full acceptance of Kenyan as an identity, the success of a postcolonial constitutional order, the ascendancy of ecumenical religions, the urban dominance of multiethnic cultural productions, increased national cohesion, and the Sheng struggles to decolonize modernity.