restricted access Appendix C: Nandi Age-Sets and Related Events

From: Dying Voice

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APPENDIX C NandiAge-Sets and Related Events 1923: Kimnyigei handed over leadership to senior Nyongi. Nyongi became warriors. 1925: Setioot1 flowered closing Nyongi circumcision period. 1930: Maina circumcision opened. The eldest Maina members took over warriors’ duties from the eldest Nyongi. 1933: Setioot flowered closing Maina circumcision period. 1938: All Maina age-set became officially warriors and Nyongi elders officially retired. 1944: Setioot flowered, which would have opened Chumo circumcision preiod, but did not. 1953: Sawe circmcision started. 1964: Kipkoimet circumcision started. 1977: Kaplelach circumcision started. 1993: Kimnyigei circumcision started. 2003: Nyongi circumcision (new cycle) started. Since the names of the age-sets were fixed and rotated in a cycle, the age-set of a man can be known by knowing his father’s, for the son usually belongs to the third age-set below that of his father i.e. the son of a man belonging to the Chumo age-set, would belong to the Kipkoimet age-set (see the order of age-sets inAppendix B). __________________________________________ 1 Setioot is a special vegetation, which usually germinates after a period of seven to eight years. It matures rapidly. It signifies either the closing of an age-set circumcision period, or the opening of a new one for circumcision. Dying Voice Since the age-set of Chumo, there have no longer been any closing or opening of circumcision periods. When ‘setioot’ flowered in 1944, a new age-set of Chumo could have been inaugurated but unfortunately Maina retained leadership instead of retiring. Frustrations came upon the Chumo age-set who opted for circumcision in Kipsigis to protest against this abused procedure by the Maina.And that distorted further closing of circumcision periods. What is happening nowadays is a rather confused continuation of the exercise. Owing to the impact of modernization, age-sets are already under pressure of loosing their grand traditional meaning, and the elaborate rites of the past, which validated and honoured the age-sets, have now almost completely disappeared. 336 ...