Celebrating Murranhood at Maria’s boma

Maria, the camp chef, invited me to a ceremony at her boma in Olibili. As well as being an amazing cook, Maria also helps with different aspects of the Lion Guardian program in my absence, including sending air time to the Guardians while they are out in the field and entering Lion Guardian data into the computer.

The ceremony was to mark the graduation to being a murran. When one graduates to being a murran a big feast is prepared, two big cows are slaughtered and some local brew is prepared called Emomoi. This brew is made from the pods of a tree known as Kigelia Africana, mixed with honeycomb. People also use it as a medicine, as well as a drink on big occasions.

The climax of the ceremony is when the murrans gather together and dance in the centre of the boma to welcome the new murran. Young women also dance, and show off their expertise by shaking the beads around their necks, and the murrans compete to see who can jump the highest to attract these women.

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Here is a photo of young women at the ceremony. Unfortunately Maria is not in the photo, as she was the photographer, while I took some footage of the dance.


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