History of Abanyole
Abanyole numbering 185,069 (Kenya Census 2009) are the fourth largest Luyia subnation after the Bukusu, Maragoli, and Wanga. They emigrated to Bunyore from Uganda leaving behind their clansmen Abanyole (Abanyuli) who live around Tororo, in eastern Uganda. Before settling in Bunyore, they wandered through Kadimo, Sakwa, Bondo, Akala, and Gem leaving behind pockets of Abanyole clansmen of which Jousere of Alego are best known. Geopolitically, Bunyore used to be a division under Kakamega district at independence in 1963. Then in 1990, Bunyore became part of a new district hived off Kakamega called Vihiga which grouped Avalogooli, Abatiriki, and Abanyole. Vihiga was further split in 2007 so that Bunyore now has its own district called Emuhaya. The name Emuhaya is somewhat controversial even a misnomer and inconsistent with Bunyore worldview. Although the constituency under which Abanyole are represented in Parliament is called Emuhaya, the name is in contention because Emuhaya was originally a village in Emmutete where the first colonial chief was coronated. Kima in Emmutete is the district headquarters but Luanda in Ebusikhale is the main urban center in Bunyore.
Today, Abanyole are scattered in various parts of Kenya with large settlements in Seme and Sagam in Luoland, Lugari, and Busia. In reference to this dispersal, Abanyole say khuhilanga olubambwa lwa Anyole musibala (we are spreading Anyole’s genes in the world). They also call themselves Anyole lichina (literally: Anyole stone) to emphasize that they are authentic rather than an immigrant tribe or clan (abamenya). Incidentally, the first place Abanyole ancestor settled was maachina (rocks) known variously as Bunyore Hills, Esia Nganyi (Nganyi’s hill), Ebuhando Hills, or Emabungo (jungle).
For more information, read Luyia Nation: Origins, Clans and Taboos by Shadrack Amakoye Bulimo (2013)