“Other caves and rocks served as the revered fighi shrines where powerful charms were buried to ward off invaders and aggressive neighbours.
“Any invaders entering Taita land with ill motives would encounter powerful forces such as dangerous wild animals, swarms of bees, snakes or violent storms that drove them back,” narrates elder Mzee Kilambo Mkilo.
Lawyer Duncan Mwanyumba says the caves and shrines of Taita should be preserved and gazetted for posterity as they form a basis for future research on local culture.
“Taita culture is among the most intricate and unique in Africa and the footprints of our ancestors should not be erased from the annals of history,” says Mwanyumba.
Apart from being the hallmarks of the culture of the Wadawida, the picturesque and awe-inspiring Taita hills have continued to attract many tourists and visitors every year.
“The potential of cultural tourism has remained largely untapped. Too much effort has been on wildlife and hotel tourism while cultural tourism has received little attention,” says Taita Taveta County Council chairman Mr Eresmus Mwarabu.
“My first visit to Taita hills was quite exciting. We were elated as we ascended the steep hills to Wundanyi, and at one point we felt as though we were driving right into the sky,” remarks British tourist Emma Tonsen.
She adds: “The scenery is stupendous; the cool climate and friendly people are just fantastic.”
Tonsel says the landscape provides an attractive scenery for movie shooting.
In fact, a couple of years ago, movie makers made inroads into then Taita Taveta District
Movies such as Sheena Queen of the Jungle and The Bush Trackers have exploited the rich scenery of Taita.
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