The Desert Icon

The Samburu are semi nomadic individuals who inhabit an arid region in northern Kenya they belong to the Maa speaking group of folks. They have traditionally herdeded cattle, though lately some have taken up farming. The Samburu share numerous customs with the Maasai. Modifications in life style have come as Samburu have traveled to other components of Kenya.

The Samburu tongue is also connected to Turkana and Karamojong, and much more distantly to Pokot and the Kalenjin languages. The Samburu have been in a somewhat defensive position with surrounding peoples moving about them.

They have maintained a military and cultural alliance with the Rendille, largely in response to pressures from the expanding Oromo (Borana) considering that the 16th century. Normally among five and ten households set up encampments for five weeks and then move on to new pastures.

Adult males care for the grazing cattle which are the significant supply of livelihood. Ladies are in charge of keeping the portable huts, milking cows, acquiring water and gathering firewood. Marriage is a special series of elaborate ritual. The marriage is concluded when a bull enters a hut guarded by the bride’s mother, and is killed. Fertility is a extremely higher value for the Samburu. A childless lady will be ridiculed, even by kids.

Duties of boys and girls are clearly delineated. Initiation is accomplished in age grades of about five years, with the new “class” of boys becoming warriors, or morans. (il-murran) which entails training in adult responsibilities and circumcision for boys and clitoridectomy for girls.

The moran status entails two stages, junior and senior. Samburu are extremely independent and egalitarian. Community choices are typically created by men (senior elders or both senior and junior elders but not morani), often below a tree designated as a “council” meeting web site.

The Samburu really like to sing and dance, but traditionally used no instruments, even drums. They have dances for a variety of occasions of life. Their personal standard religion is based on acknowledgment of the Creator God, whom they call Nkai, as do other Maa-speaking peoples.

They believe in charms and have standard ritual for fertility, protection, healing and other wants. The Samburu have a lot of traditions and ceremonies for each and every occasion which includes the killing of a sheep for the birth of a baby initiation or graduation rites as they prepare to turn into adults and marriage ceremonies which might occur soon after the initiation ceremony.

Girls generally marry between the ages of twelve and fifteen and boys typically, in their mid twenties. Boys turn out to be murrani or junior warriors for about five years and then go by means of one more ceremony to turn out to be a senior warrior. Samburu girls hope to grow to be “beaded” by their preferred warrior. If the young man likes the girl, he will give her layers of necklaces and pay a bride. The Samburu put on their standard attire which is a vibrant red material worn like a skirt.

They also put on multi-beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Moran is a term utilised in each Maasai and Samburu neighborhood to refer to a warrior. Like the Maasai, the Samburu also mix blood and milk to make their classic drink.

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