The passage of knives

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Mzee Nelson Ingana
Mzee Nelson Ingana

In every job done a time comes when you have to relieve yourself and pass it to the next generation and watch what is done and guide too.

As traditional circumcision season begins in August, many circumcisers are busy preparing to make sure they do well what they know better and do it in accordance with the tradition that befits it.

In Sinoko village however elders called for celebration of one circumciser who after working for more than thirty years he is now hanging his boots and passing the knife which was made in 1950 to the next generation and that is his own young brother who has shown the signs and passed the test of being a circumciser.

Mzee Nelson Kakai Ingana started the journey in 1982 after being handed over the task by his paternal uncle in a similar ceremony where a white cock and a white but a bit young male goat is slaughtered to appease the gods and the spirit so that the new person taking over can perform the task well without mishaps.

This happens in the morning and the cock is not slaughtered in the normal way but it’s chocked by the old circumciser who after that sprinkles the blood to the knives while speaking and looking up in the sky as a sign of calling the spirits to accompany the new recruits of circumcisers as they embark on their new journey before hunting over the knives and the new recruits make an acceptance by speaking looking at the same direction after splashing local brew from their mouth and appeal to spirits of their ancestors to follow them and guide them too.

Roasting of the cock
Roasting of the cock

The meat of the two are just roasted without salt and people are allowed to share safe for the cock which is eaten by the chosen few and women are not allowed to eat the cock meat only old men and the new recruits are allowed to eat.

The goat to be slaughtered
The goat to be slaughtered

“By spitting local brew and splashing the blood of the cock we are appeasing our ancestors so that as the new circumcisers start their new job, they do it well guided by our ancestors and we believe the blood is drunk by our very own who did this job before us and died long time ago. This work runs in our blood and then these knives am giving to my young brother have been passed to many generations and this will continue,” said Mzee Nelson Kakai Ingana.

Mzee Ingana passing the knife to his successor
Mzee Ingana passing the knife to his successor

However, before passing the knives he gave his peace of advise of dos and don’ts to the new recruits, they are not supposed to indulge in sexual affairs with someone’s wife, during their work no woman should pass before their legs and if they fall down with the knife while going to circumcise they are not supposed to perform the duty during the whole season until a ceremony is performed again to appeal to the gods of the forefathers to forgive and allow him to continue.

They are only allowed to go to places they have been invited to perform to avoid meeting with others and argue.