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The Tiriki derive their name from the Terik (Terikeek), a nilotic Kalenjin tribe closely related to the Sabaot of Mt Elgon. Their oral migration history indicates that they migrated from Mt Elgon and their lingo-cultural tradition is similar to the Bongomek group. They were called Tiriki all those communities who came to this area and adopted the strict circumcision rituals of the Terik. However the Luhya Bantu (especially the Maragoli majority) could not correctly pronounce the name Terikeek without adding a vowel after the consonant 'k', so they started calling themselves Tiriki. Besides the people, the Luhya also either mispronounced or mispelt Terikeek place names. Thus Kibsambaay became Gisambayi, Cheebkaay became Jepkoyai, Kiboochi became Givogi; Taambooyoo became Tambua and Keribwa, became Iriva to mention a few. The Terik also live at Nyang'ori (means thieves of beans in dholuo) and have to a large extent been assimilated into the populous Luhya or Luo tribes. In explanation of this, Terik scholars say that a long time ago during wrestling matches, the victor took the name of the vanguished to symbolise total defeat and surrender. That is how some Terik people have Luhya and Luo names.
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