The ever present Bukusu cultural practice

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The Bukusu elder leading the session

It doesn’t look as though the Bukusu culture will go down the drain anytime soon, evidenced by traditions that are still ongoing. One of this traditions is clear when an elder aged above 70 years passes away, an elder is invited to come in an teach, educate those present at the ceremony and perform chants (Khusena Kumuse). Among the things he teaches includes advice for men and women on how to raise children in accordance with the Bukusu culture.

We reached the home stead of Mzee Jairo Wekesa Ngonela in Khwiroro village, Kibingei ward, Kimilili Constituency on the third day after his burial. People were streaming in to listen to the advise and be educated on cultural matters from Hassan Kakai, the Bukusu elder. I was curious to know why the family and ladies are told to remove their shoes during the occasion and i was told it’s due to the respect accorded to the deceased. The clothes the elder puts on is known as ‘Engutusi’. It’s said that the Bukusu culture didn’t commence recently, in fact, some intimate that sections of it are found in the Bible.

Written by Lilian Wamalwa