The Pokot people (commonly spelled Pökoot, and called Suk in older literature) live in the West Pokot and Baringo Districts of Kenya and in eastern Karamoja in Uganda. They speak Pökoot, language of the Southern Nilotic language family. A 1994 figure of SIL puts the total number of Pokot speakers at 264 000, while the slightly more recent Schladt (1997:40) gives the more conservative estimate of 150 000 people, presumably based on the figures found in Rottland (1982:26) who puts the number at slightly more than 115 000.
Based on areal and cultural differences, the Pokot people can be divided into two groups (Rottland 1982): the Hill Pökoot and the Plains Pokot . The Hill Pokot live in the rainy highlands in the west and in the central south of the Pokot area and are both farmers and pastoralists. The Plains Pokot live in the dry and infertile plains, herding cows, goats and sheep.
Many Pokot people from the present eastern part of the Pokot area claim that they come from the hilly areas of northern Cherengani (Bollig 1990). Halfway through the nineteenth century, they seem to have expanded their territory rapidly into the lowlands of the Kenyan Rift Valley, mainly at the expense of the Laikipia Maasai people. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia