ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • The Role of Religion in History & Society

Names Given to African Children Born With Defects or Other Atypical Features

Updated on December 19, 2010

In many African societies, infants born with defects or atypical features, or those born in ways that are considered strange, are treated as sacred and can be allotted names that relate to supernaturalism. Albinos and those who are crippled are among the ones that fall in this special class. But in the past, most the of atypically born and biologically abnormal babies were traditionally not pleasantly welcomed. The Nandi (of Kenya) situation (Hollis 1969: 68) largely refers to the distanft past.

"Children are buried alive in cow-dung if they cry in...mother's womb, or if at birth they present...legs first, or are born with teeth...events...considered unlucky. Rich people, however, often pay a medicine man a large sum to avert the misfortune and save their children's lives. Children...blind or badly deformed , and illegitimate children, i.e. the offspring of unmarried girls, are likewise made away with at birth."

The Baganda of Uganda traditionally give the name Nnambi ( f ) or Mukasa (m) to one born with two umbilical cords. Nnambi is also traditionally the name of the originating woman, while Mukasa is the name of a highly esteemed God. One who is born alongside a premature and stillborn twin (called mulongo by the royals) is called Nnakimu 'one.' In the past, there was superstition based consternation over the birth of such a child, this infant greatly feared. The name Nnakimu is also given to one born with a harelip, and to one who turns out to be the last-born. The names Kiwanuka (m) 'that which comes down' and Nnaabawanuka ( f ) 'the one of those that come down' are traditionally given to children with noticeable birthmarks. The birthmarks are said to have been effected by Kiwanuka the God of of lightning and thunder, while the child was in the womb. These names are also often given to children born when the mother still often carried the preceding sibling of the newborn. The names Bitalo (m), Nabitalo ( f ), and Magero (m) signify amazement. They tend to be given to children born with anomalous features such as visible teeth, and more or less than the normal number of fingers. Such names are also given to children born to mothers whose ages are considerably advanced, relative to the average ages at which women bear children.

References


Hollis, A. C. The Nandi: Their Language and Folk-lore . Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1969.

Musere, Jonathan. African Names and Naming . Los Angeles, CA: Ariko Publications, 2000.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)