Coping with Death in the Luo Society of Kenya

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  • Topic: Death, Life, Inheritance
  • Pages : 4 (1351 words )
  • Download(s) : 167
  • Published : October 11, 2012
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I am a Luo from Kenya. The Luos come from Western side of Kenya in Nyanza province. Luos are the third largest ethnic group with an estimation of 13% of the population in Kenya. The Luos embrace their cultures and traditions and family is very important to them. There are Luos who follow their traditions and believe in bad omen befalling on them if they don’t do the right thing, while there are Luos who are Christian who believe that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice and no evil can befall on those who believe in Him, therefore they don’t go by the traditions. The rituals that I have illustrated in this paper are mostly observed by the Luos who believe strongly in following their traditions. There are various ceremonies that the Luo people perform but two that are very important to us are funerals and marriage. Both ceremonies capture a lot of attention and there is a lot of planning. The two relate to each other because with marriage, life begins and with funerals, life ends so it has to be celebrated wisely in order to escort the spirit of the dead to a better place. I will concentrate on funerals and the rituals involved. The rituals involved are death announcement, vigil (budho), wife inheritance, driving away of evil spirits, grave digging and many others. Death announcement

We always knew that someone had died in a certain home because we could hear women crying. The way it happens in the rural areas is different because deaths are announced early in the morning by the beating of drums and crying. The announcements depend upon who had died. Death of the elderly is announced differently from young people’s death. The elderly person’s death is announced after sunset and the burial takes a while because there are a lot of arrangements to be performed while the death of a child is announced early morning and the burial takes place the next day. Vigil (budho)

Close relatives of the deceased will have to stay at the home of the deceased until he/she is...
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