TURKANA,SEPTEMBER 9th,2018 BY HESBOUN ETYANG @hesbounetyang
Turkana vast, remote county,located in the Northwest Kenya,home of around 1.5million nomadic livestock herders. Its among the community left with richest culture in Africa.
According to residents of Turkana, believes that for a man to acquire Leadership in the community, he has to undergo a tradition wedding ceremony that has a lot of significances.
All Turkana leaders led by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok,MPs,MCAs and other leaders have been forced to conduct a traditional wedding in order to lead the community and to be accepted.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok (in specs) poses after traditional dances(Edonga),photo file
Able to own children
In Turkana traditional cultural traditions and beliefs, the community doesn’t recognise the marriage of couples who have lived together sired children but did not conduct traditional wedding.
According to a council elder of Lodwar Joseph Elimlim says for one to acquire full leadership in the community he has to Conduct such traditional wedding. Adding that it will credit him a great deal to
access of his children in terms of owning them and when being married off he receives dowry pay.
“In case someone has children and the daughter wants to get married, all the bride price will be taken by the uncles and the father won’t get anything since he didn’t pay his bride price.” he said.
Turkana women poses after performing rituals during a traditional wedding, photo file
Responsible to pay bulk dowry
Traditional wedding in Turkana makes the husband to have a say in the society and give her a chance
to sit down in the trees of men.
One of the requirements is to pay full bride price of a very expensive engagement, more than 500 goats, 30 camels, 20 cows and some cash money.
Former Kerio ward MCA David Ekod and Pauline Ekode recently conducted particular weeding in Nakamane village,Loima sub county in Turkana,together they have sired four children who are perceived to be out of wedlock.
Ekode disclosed that he spent at least sh. 4.1m in August for the wedding expenses and paying of dowry.
“I have spent approximately sh.4.1m as I had to negotiate and pay more than 500 goats, 30 camels,20 cows and give out some cash money in order to owner my children and my wife.” Ekod said.
Elders sharing out words wisdom during traditional wedding, photo file
Done for peaceful coexistence
In this traditional ceremonial white and black bull have to speared the meat as its supposed to be shared to all the guests, in a unique way compared to other formal weddings.
Turkana wedding its a bit different like the one conducted at the church as they conduct at the homestead of the bride.
The wedding ground also is specifically required to be conducted in the bush away from the homestead.
The bride and groom together with their assistants are supposed to adorn themselves in traditional regalia as the Bride wears traditional skin.
The groom also adorns himself with traditional headgear made of ostrich feathers and Columbus monkey.
As the wedding ceremony goes on,all the family members are smeared with white ashes called (EMUNYEN). The ashes are smeared in the right side of the eye and on the forehead. This is to signify all the family members will get blessings in their life time.
In a rare phenomenon to unite and bond the children who were born before wedding and the new family, elders in a special way smear cow dung in the chest of the wife, husband and all the children later the husband and wife are hanged on their necks a certain meat from the goats intestine.
This is to signify the husband and wife have appeased the ancestors and whatever they will do in life they will progress.
The wife is supposed to isolate herself from the groom during the whole process they are only supposed to meet when rituals are being conducted.
Traditional dances and songs called edonga are sang the whole day.