Marriage and Council

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In the document 2.2, Facing Mount Kenya, Kenyatta describes the division of labor in Gikuyu families as the women do the housework, weaving, and all the aspects of cooking, including bringing the water in; men plow the fields and do the majority of that hard labor in the village [Strayer, pg.74]. The marriage practices in these families are that men can have as many wives as he can support and all women must be married between the ages of 15 and 20. It was seen that men were the protectors and if a woman wasn’t married than she was not protected, so it was unheard of to have unmarried women. To me it sounds like the society was more of a patriarchy, even though they shared the work load between the two genders the women did not hold leadership positions in the society. The men on the other hand had several stages they went through to obtain leadership and power in the community.

Men would go through five different councils in their lifetime. The first is after a man is circumcised; he is then recognized as a man and has full citizenship. After the circumcision is healed he enter into the nation council of junior warriors, which he is given a weapon and taught the basics of being a warrior. The second warriorhood is twelve rain seasons or eighty-two moons after the circumcision. At this point he enter into the council of the senior warriors, there was not much description of this councils besides the initiation fee of two goats or sheep, I am assuming that this would be the council were they are the warriors of the society since the council of junior warriors was just preparing them. The third council is the council of elders or kiama. A man enters into kiama when they marry and create their own home. He helps the elders with food and hard labor. The fourth is when a man’s son or daughter come of age to be circumcised, I’m not sure if it was a mistype, they were talking about just the age of the daughter, or they were one of the societies that did a type of...
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