The Samburu folks of Kenya

The Samburu are semi nomadic folks who inhabit an arid area 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 a lot of customs with the Maasai. Modifications in life style have come as Samburu have traveled to other parts of Kenya. The Samburu tongue is also related to Turkana and Karamojong, and 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) because the 16th century. Usually amongst 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 source of livelihood. Females are in charge of sustaining the portable huts, milking cows, getting water and gathering firewood. Marriage is a distinctive 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 quite high value for the Samburu. A childless woman will be ridiculed, even by children.

Duties of boys and girls are clearly delineated. Initiation is carried out in age grades of about 5 years, with the new “class” of boys becoming warriors, or morans. (il-murran) which involves instruction in adult responsibilities and circumcision for boys and clitoridectomy for girls. The moran status requires two stages, junior and senior. Samburu are extremely independent and egalitarian. Community decisions are usually produced by males (senior elders or both senior and junior elders but not morani), often beneath a tree designated as a “council” meeting internet site.

The Samburu love to sing and dance, but traditionally utilized no instruments, even drums. They have dances for numerous occasions of life. Their personal classic religion is primarily based on acknowledgment of the Creator God, whom they get in touch with Nkai, as do other Maa-speaking peoples. They believe in charms and have traditional ritual for fertility, protection, healing and other needs. The Samburu have many traditions and ceremonies for each occasion such as the killing of a sheep for the birth of a infant initiation or graduation rites as they prepare to turn out to be adults and marriage ceremonies which could occur right after the initiation ceremony.

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

They also wear multi-beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Moran is a term used in both Maasai and Samburu community to refer to a warrior. Like the Maasai, the Samburu also mix blood and milk to make their conventional drink.

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