Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Pamela D. Reed
Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa after Kilimanjaro, lies just south of the equator in central Kenya, approximately 95 miles (150 kilometers) from Nairobi. It is variably referred to as “The Mountain of Mystery,” “The Place of Light,” or “Mountain of Brightness.” It is also sometimes denoted as the “Mountain of Whiteness” because of its snow-capped peaks. Mount Kenya National Park has been designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site. The Gikuyu (or Kikuyu—the British spelling of the word) of Kenya have a beautiful creation story that incorporates how Kere-Nyaga or Kirinyaga, the extinct volcano commonly called Mount Kenya, came to be. After a brief discussion of the sacred character of mountains around the world, this entry describes that creation myth and the continuing importance of the myth and the mountain in Gikuyu religious belief. Mountains have ...