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KIPSIGIS TRAILS

Updated on September 6, 2012

Kipsigis Ancestry Culture

This HubPage is about Kipsigis as my community. The whole story got it from people I have met before either direct or indirect come in conduct with them. Through storytelling, school program as part of curriculum, and media stations.

Kipsigis is one of the Kalenjin tribes, occupying part of rift valley here in Kenya. I grew up in this community, and I know very well that it is full of diverse activities. There are activities that are done by men alone, likewise women, and also children activities that cannot be done by adults. On the other hand, some activities are performed by everyone and as part and parcel of the community. These activities in general are; hunting, farming, initiations ceremonies, and other social activities such as athletics, which well known all over the world.

In my geography and history classes in primary and secondary level, I learned that Kipsigis community travel all the way from Egypt through Sudan at approximately two thousand years ago before settling here in Kenya.

These are some of the highlights about kipsigis;-

Ceremonies:

There are many ceremonies done in different occasions.

Rite of passage is one of the ceremonies done by the community to recognize males and females as adults in the society. During this period initiates are circumcise, and for at least one month, guidance and sort of wisdom is compelled to them by elders. Training comprises of empowering them to be responsible adults, and strong men to depend the community. On the other hand females are trained on how to take care of children, and also gardening activity, plus household activities such cooking and water catchment.

Child naming ceremony; this community value children, and is blessing to the family and the community as a world. Initially boy child was given more attention than girl child since he is the one carry on the name of the clan, unlike girl child believe to belong to other clan since will be married. Immediately when a child is born in the family, elderly women are called to during naming ceremony, since it is their work. They believe that it is a way of convincing spirits that may come to afflict the child.

Other ceremonies include prayer ceremony; there are specials clan that are dedicated to carry out some purpose, especially during the dry season there are clans believed to be rainmakers. Before warriors of community went to fight, some clans and elders are console; they could come and bless them before departure.

Obey and respect.

Obedient and respect is highly kept in this community in all angles of life. One of the ways respect is express is through greetings. Adults or old people are the one to greet the young and not vice verse. Again children or youths were not allowed to attained some meetings held by the old people, unless otherwise when it is open for everyone. Showing disrespect mostly accompanied by consequences and curses.

Farming and hunting.

Men as warriors of the community after being taught during initiation, they are allowed to go and hunt for animals. They were taught the types of animals that are fit for consumption, likewise pants and fruits. Initially livestock were taken care by men and boys, and not females in the community, making sure they are well tendered to achieve high produce to the family. They trust that men have energy to depend the rustlers, in case they come in conduct with them.

Tracing the roots

Some scholars belief that kipsigis is one of a lost tribe of Israel. Well I will highlight some few similarities between the two from what I have learned in my community, through historical knowledge, and more so the Holy bible scriptures.

1) Division of works;-As with the ancient Israel, men and women were assigned works they can do to best of their level. Women mostly were in charge of household works examples is Sarah in the Bible, they were responsible in cooking meals men have brought from fields. Again, since men spend most of their time working in fields, women were responsible of daily care and upbringing of children. On the other hand men were assigned heavy duties such as military, productions of tools to be use daily. Men were taken as the head of their families, and they are also responsible of educating children e.g. Abraham, Noah, and Jacob in the book of Genesis are some of the men that show responsible as being head of their families. Apart from men’s and women’s works, everyone including children contribute to the daily works in the fields.

2) Circumcisions; - Kipsigis circumcise boys as was with people of Israel and is carried through generations.

3) Children’s and inheritance;-Ancient Israel values children as the blessings from God. They believe children are future inheritance to family and community.

4) Farming;-Abraham and Jacob kept large herds of livestock and men mostly are responsible to take care of them, likewise to Kipsigis people.

5) Special groups; - Tribes of Israel were divided for a special functions, there were tribe that were dedicated for priesthood, while other where to lead choir. Kipsigis had many clans, and they are divided for some purposes; some clans are known to produce good leaders, while others are rainmakers.

6) Social;-This community kept respect and obedient the way people of Israel does. Youths and children respected elders, since they are the source of wisdom. Besides that women are submissive to their husbands as the Bible indicates.

Tracing back to my maker

However, tracing my roots to Israel, am very well convince that we are all descendants of our great parents Adam and Eve. God created them in His Own image, engraving them in a fearful manner. He then put in them power of will, knowledge to take care of everything He created.

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