The Ritual of Sisters

Bridegroom during the spearing and killing of a bull in KapedoKAPEDO, TURKANA EAST
The huge bull charged, its menacing head aimed at the intruders. It snorted, growled, huffed and puffed at the circle of men that had formed a ring around it. Soon, speared and wounded, it lay on the ground, its powerful muscles motionless.

The young men who subdued the bull danced in celebration as they gave way to elders to begin the slaughtering process. Many were a time when people were injured, some fatally in their attempt to capture for slaughter bulls.

Today was a special day in Kapedo. A bull and several sheep and goats were being slaughtered not to honour any king, queen of warriors, but to celebrate the life and times of two sisters. The two, Jane Apetet Narumbe and Brenda Ngatur Esinyen, made their way into the Turkana history annals after undergoing a special traditional ritual to cement their place as Children of their Father.

March 28 2015, a sunny and beautiful day in Kapedo, brought song and dance to the home of Mzee Esinyen Aletia. Women, children and elders performed song and dance as they headed to the kraal to pick the subdued bull.

At the kraal, the crowd was still cheering Lopeyok Ekuttan Atido the Ngirisae clan head whose spear did the final damage to the bull after close to half an hour of the deadly ‘hunt’.

A delighted Apetet said the ceremony confirmed her and the sister as officially belonging to their father’s lineage under the Turkana custom. This meant that they had changed from mother’s lineage to fully become children of their father.Family members who witnessed the wedding

Apetet said: “My mother was Akuru Lochukudi, from the Akinomut clan; while my father is from Ekurerit clan. To change us from our mother’s line to our father’s line, a ceremony had to be done.”

Apetet funded the entire ceremony, further emphasizing the importance of a female child in the community and her ability to unite clans.
The ceremony had been postponed severally due to the impassable roads and insecurity in Kapedo.

Many of the clan members still could not attend the ceremony but had food delivered to them in Marigat, about 100 kilometres away.

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