Githigo Maize

Back to the archive >

Githigo is a traditional ecotype of maize cultivated by the Gikuyu community, a group that lives in the most central part of Kenya. The plant has a taller stalk than common maize, with white, red and purple kernels that are larger than those of the common varieties. The larger size of these kernels makes this maize ideal for the preparation of githeri: This is a simple and nutritious dish made from boiled maize and beans which has become popular all over the country, though it is a traditional Kikuyu recipe. To prepare the dish you must put the maize and beans in a pot full of water, where they are left to boil until soft. Many different kinds of beans can be used in this dish, which represents an ideal source of protein, often lacking in the poor diets of many Kenyans. The dish can be flavored further by adding vegetables, potatoes or even meat.
If all of these ingredients are then mashed and mixed correctly, you can prepare mukimo, another traditional dish that is eaten during important ceremonies, like initiations, weddings, celebrations of the birth of a child or even for an engagement.
Using flour made from the maize on the other hand, which is made using a stone grinder, ugali can be made – a cornbread that is eaten in balls and flavored with various salsas – or it can be used to prepare porridge.
Due to the growing promotion of hybrid seeds, and also due to the lack of understanding the consequences of the loss of biodiversity, this ecotype is at risk of extinction. In fact, it is incredibly difficult to find ghitigo maize either directly from farmers or on the market. The situation is further aggravated by government policies that privilege hybrids and GMOs. Some laws even criminalize the autonomous reproduction of these seeds by farmers.

  • Hai imparato qualcosa di nuovo da questa pagina?
    Did you learn something new from this page?

  • YesNo
Back to the archive >

Territory

StateKenya
Region

Central

Other info

Categories

Cereals and flours

Indigenous community:Gikuyu