rendille traditional calendarCulture Rendille 

Rendille traditional Calendar

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Rendille is one of less exposed communities in Kenya as far as its culture and way of live is concerned. Rendille just like any other community has is own way of organizing and managing community activities depending on its cultural calendar.

The Rendille calendar functions according to a procession of seven to fourteen-year cycles, which is based on both lunar and solar aspects. The calendar, which is passed down in oral tradition, is essential for determining not only the various life-stages through which men must pass before being able to marry as elders, but also regulates with clockwork-like precision the various movements of the Rendille clans through their traditional territory, thus avoiding conflicts over forage and water rights, and preventing overgrazing which would otherwise quickly turn their already marginal lands into a completely sterile desert.

The calendar also has implications for women in the form of the sepaade institution, by which women of a specific cyclical age-set delay their age at marriage, which significantly reduces overall Rendille fertility. This was one of the Rendille traditional ways of managing population growth in the community to avoid over population.

Every seven (or fourteen) years, there is a general shifting up in status of the various male age-sets, from childhood to boyhood to warrior-hood and to elder-hood.

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