5000 Samburu morans graduate as elders in colourful ceremony
0ver 5,000 Samburu Morans have graduated into senior Samburu elders after an eventful ceremony held at Sura-Odoru Village in Samburu Central Sub-County.
According to James Lelesara, a man in Samburu culture has to undergo six rites of passage including Muget Lemowo – a transitional stage from Moran to elder-hood, Muget Lenkarna – where warriors are given a new name as per the age set, Muget Lalaing’oni – Marrying, Muget Lesikea – Coming from seclusion and circumcision.
Lelesara said that the function being officiated was Muget Lemowo a critical stage where graduands are given rights to exercise full elder privileges according to Samburu traditions.
The graduands first entered a special lorora (manyatta) carrying special sticks from an olive tree, one each, and the rest representing the number of sons they have.
A select group of 130 men representing all other men who did not make it to the ceremony due to other circumstances such as school then entered the sacred venue that was fenced with cow dung with their sons and cows in tow to receive blessings from the elders.
Each of the 130 households had to bring 200 litres of a local traditional brew that was drunk during the festival and slaughter a ram, whose meat was only eaten by an age-set of elders – Ngishili who were presiding over the ceremony.
Cowrie shells representing each of the warriors in Lmooli age-set transiting to elder stage were then beautifully attached to a cow’s skin and tied on a horn that was blown during the transition ceremony.
The group was then blessed alongside their sons and given a special stick to be used in herding livestock.
At the final stage, after women were allowed in, a skilled woman was tasked with the responsibility of removing cowrie shells from the cow’s skin carefully using a knife without breaking them.
She first removes the first two representing her husband then removes other cowrie shells and gives two to each woman whose husband is participating in the ceremony each time the husband’s name is called out by one of the Ngishili elders.
This marks the end of being a worrior to the morans who officially join other Samburu elders.
The ceremonial function was attended by the region’s leaders: Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal, MPs Osman Kamama (Tiaty), Joseph Lekukuton (Leisamis), Lati Lelelit (Samburu West) and Samburu County Assembly Speaker Steve Lelegwe.
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