For example, among the Kalenjin people group, a man who kicks the bucket at an eligible age, with neither a spouse nor having sired a tyke was disapproved of. Accordingly the individual was concurred a position of safety internment. The body would be carried from the funeral home to his home. He would then be permitted a short ‘rest’ in his room, before being covered. Then again, a man who passes on at a ready age with a spouse and kids gets a more detailed burial service.
In while advancement and formal instruction may have wiped out some conventional convictions that were considered primitive, some customary passing ceremonies have basically declined to leave. The sort of practices and convictions are educated by the conjugal status, social standing, and reason for death and additionally particular faction of the expired.
He adds that a bull intended to be eaten on the burial day is only slaughtered once the body has landed in the homestead. Failure to do so, he says, would jinx the family. Some families feed the dead before burial. Such was a case that shocked a bereaved family in Mogogosiek area, Bomet County. As the family was preparing to go and fetch their kin’s body from the morgue, an elderly woman arrived carrying a gourd.
She went ahead and ordered some milk to be poured into it and insisted that the deceased had to take a sip of milk at the morgue to quench his thirst. Attempts by the family to restrain her failed. The old lady warned of a curse if anyone “thinks I don’t know what I am doing”. She had her way but the deceased never swallowed. A family member identified as Simeon, admitted that they had to eat humble pie as the old lady did her thing, to avoid embarrassment.
Some communities have rituals performed when a person who killed another dies. In such a scenario the ritual is tailored to make peace with the spirit of the murdered person. They often involve offering an apology to the victim’s family, then slaughtering a ram, with elders from both families chanting incantations, begging the ancestors to forgive the offending dead soul for the sake of his living family.
“If this ritual isn’t performed the offending man’s family will suffer all manner of doom or gradually lose their members through mysterious deaths,” says Mathew Ketienya, 58, who has had a first-hand experience with the ritual.
The practices are also performed on perpetrators of manslaughter, such as those who kill pedestrians while driving or mistakenly pull the trigger to off a stray bullet. This involves the driver’s clan calling a meeting, sending an emissary to apologise and then contributing money or livestock to be given to the members of the deceased person’s family.
A worrying incident recently hit a family in Muhoroni, Kisumu County.
The hearse carrying the man’s body for burial in his first wife’s home developed one mechanical problem after another, forcing the family to stop and think. After a brief roadside consultation, the deceased was driven to his second wife’s home. And the journey went on smoothly. It is believed the man had expressed his desire to be buried in his second wife’s home. However, some family members, working in cohorts with the first wife, wanted to ignore his wish. But the dead in some communities are never dead until laid six feet under.
Even though these beliefs and rituals elicit reactions, these African Beliefs are heavily embedded in its culture.