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Rites of Passage in Keiyo Community

1. At birth

Upon birth of a new born, it is given a name as per the need by the community naming principles; time of the day "Jebet"- noon, season "jerop"- rains, place of birth"chebor"-born in the road or according to the position in the family first born-" kiboret" .

Friends and family members are invited over for a short ceremony "chai ya mtoto" meaning "child's tea"

The visitors carry along them several gifts ; food stuff,clothing and milk products ,to appreciate the mother for the long-term pregnancy and invite the newborn baby to the Keiyo community.

In the past ,the lower two incisors would be removed at a later stage to invite the children to later initiation rites.

2. Initiation

Both females and males undergo this ceremony but only male are circumcised.

The female are attached to their grandmothers oral education on their expectations as future women.

Male undergo circumcision ceremony " tumdo" and afterwards joins the age- set "ipinda"

Male youths are secluded for some period of time in the forest upon which they are guided on what the adulthood has for them.

Afterwards they will join the warriors and are thus expected to guard and protect the community.

After seclusion period.

3. Marriage

This is another stage with a great impact to the community and includes ; Show up, Pre-wedding and wedding finally.

During show up, the son-in-laws family "kabigoi" i.e his parents , uncles , brothers and sisters. The two families decide on the dowry price of their daughter and they confirm of any blood relationship between the two parties.

Pre-wedding involves payment of dowry, the two mothers exchange 'cooking oil' "kesach mwaita" , the fathers exchange ' duvet or blanket'.The parties share a drink "mursik" at the same time they chat.

After these involvement ,they proceed with the pre-wedding ceremony which entails full transfer of the daughter to her new family.Several gifts are also offered from to the new couples.


In the past only men who may have given birth were buried but others were isolated in the forest to be eaten by hyenas.

In the modern world, the Keiyo community burry their loved ones in their homes ; husband to the right hand side behind his homestead while a woman to the left.

The community value their dead and believe in the spirit of the dead in most occasion.

These people as much as they value the dead ,they fear their bodies.

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