Culture Samburu 

Samburu Tribe Age-Sets Rites of Passage

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In the life of a Samburu moran, the first seven years begin after his circumcision ceremony, which takes place around age 14.
From 14 to about 21 he is a junior moran. Graduating to senior moran marks the time when he is recognized as a future leader and future family man, and is fully entrusted with the security of his community.

There are five stages and three rites of passage common to all clans;

1. Initiation: Lads First Stage of Circumcision rite (Peari lmogo la layiok)
The first group of boys are identified and placed in one age group and are prepared for the next rite of passage.
Mostly there wore a charcoaled skins as they move eating meat from one homestead to other in preparation for the ritual.
They are half-shaved with a stamp of hair on there heads symbolic to the fate awaits.
According to the tradition the team puts on a insects shells,a unique in nature on there heads.
2. Circumcision: Second Stage of rite (Muratare e Layiok).
All the boys identified in the ‘peari lmongo to layiok’ are circumcised and become morani – warriors.
The ritual takes place in specific time of the year.
On the actual day crowd gather to encourage group to face the knife through singing and later rewards comes in handy I’m form of animals.
Sense of ownership is cultivated through rewards in preparation to the adulthood.
The ritual is emotional and mostly attract attention of the all village.
3. Graduation: Circumcision rite third Stage (Lmuget le sikia).
The graduation ceremonies are many and diverse in nature among clans. They mark the beginning of ‘bringing the warriors home for them to become junior elders’.
The graduates now move to the bush and slaughter animals to mark the end of the stage.
Ceremony goes for days and reach the climax as parents comes join the sons and go home heavy with meat loaded on there backs,Mostly women.
Songs and dance rules the atmosphere.
4.Age-set Naming-Lmuget Nikarna-(Circumcision rites exit stage).
The ceremony marks a transition from worrior-hood to elder.
Launoni (the moran chosen to be the leader of the warriors within a clan) is secretly elected.
Not everyone warrior can be a Launoni,only specific clans and families qualify.
Every Samburu Clan have there own launoni.
This stage is vital since it opens door for warriors to marry and have families.
5.Aget-set-Phase Out (Lmuget le Mowuo).
Where the presiding clan commorate their moranism and finally phase out and become elders, ready to celebrate the rites of passage of their children.

N/B Word in brackets are Samburu Language terms.

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