Excitement rocks counties ahead of circumcision season

Bukusu boys ring bells at Sang’alo Cultural Center ready for traditional cut on 5/8/2016. (Photo: Titus Oteba/Standard]
Excitement is high in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties as the Bukusu community prepares for the cultural circumcision season next month.

Traditional surgeons in the two counties have been converging at selected shrines to conduct rituals ahead of the circumcision.

In Rafiki village, 20 traditional surgeons conducted a rite to "bless the circumcision knives" and to set up rules popularly known as ‘khubita’.

The surgeons sharpened their knives on a rock after which their leader, Martin Shikuku, lectured them on the need to abide by the rules of the circumcision rite.

"Do not engage in sexual affairs from today until the end of the exercise in December. Stay away from your wives,” he warned.

Bukusu traditions dictate that no traditional surgeon or his aide is supposed to have sex during the time as this would spell doom for the circumcision ceremony.

White cockerel

After the knives were sharpened and stored inside a hut, a white cockerel was slaughtered, roasted and shared among the surgeons.

The group also drank 'busaa', a traditional brew, as custom demands, before inviting their wives to undergo a face painting rite called ‘khurona’.

Mike Wamalwa, 70, has been a traditional surgeon for more than 40 years and is excited that the season is drawing closer.

Since he inherited knowledge of the circumcision rites from his grandfather, he has never missed a season.

Mr Wamalwa charges between Sh600 and Sh1,000 per initiate.

According to Peter Barasa, an elder, more than 3,000 boys are expected to face the knife in Trans Nzoia County.

Youth and Sports Executive Aggrey Chemonges said the county government would recognise the traditional surgeons before they began the operation.

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