Kikuyu Rituals

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He was then instructed to take seven sips of the mixture from the banana stalk, seven small bites of the thorax, prick the dead goats eyes and insert a piece of reed into the seven holes of the ngata. Everything was done in a set of seven. Then the administrator had him take a bite of sugar cane, poured cold water over his feet and made a cross on his forehead with the blood and grain mixture. At the end, the spectators took hold of the skin ring around his neck, counting to seven, they all pulled breaking the ring and saying “May you be destroyed like this ring if you violate any of these vows!” Afterwards, he gathered in the room next door waiting till midnight. At the end of the night a total of fifty people or so took the oath. They were …show more content…
Majority of the oath takers felt a theme of rebirth, now born a true Kikuyu who called themselves ‘circumcised’. This oath had special meaning to the kikuyu people with elements of precolonial oath-taking, and elements reminiscent of the Gikuyu second-birth and circumcision ceremonies. The Batuni (platoon) oath, or the muma was ngero (the oath for killing), varied more compared to the unity oath, but all the oath takers agree that it was stronger. The oath had a more taboo like rituals, with things like inserting penises into cut up goat meat. Still, they had the traditional parts of the first oath like taking off all their clothes, and wrapped in goat meat. Karigo Muchai, a forest fighter who wrote his part of the Mau Mau war in The Hardcore, he described taking the Batuni oath after being detained and beaten for two weeks for no reason. After this he wanted to join the cause and searched for to take the oath. Muchai was led to a dark room, and was ordered the removal of clothes while being hit a few times. Sitting on banana leaves with a longstrip of goats meat around his neck, Muchai was then ordered to place one end of the goat 's meat against his penis. Around Muchai and six others laid an upside …show more content…
To understand the Kikuyus bond by oaths one must know the history of the people. The Kikuyu people believe they are descendents of Gikuyu and Mumbi, and created by Ngai, their god. Prior to British colonization, oath taking had always been a large part of Kikuyu tradition,“First warriorhood, followed by marriage, and then made eligible for the lowest grade of elder.” Kikuyu, only males, would then take an oath at every stage up the hierarchy scale to eldership. Every oath required a fee, this made the Kikuyu society fractured by wealth. Battle oaths were used to bind warriors together during battle, they also stopped with the British, “the Gikuyu and Maasai stopped raiding each other there was no need for battle oaths.” With European civilization emerging in parts of Kenya, Africans joined Christianity in hopes of learning the powers of the white people, “ When the white man came to Africa he had the Bible and the black man had the land. The White man said, ‘let us close our eyes to pray.’ And when they opened their eyes, the white man had the land and the black man was left with the Bible.” With Africans leaving their religion of their forefathers they forgot the power behind

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