The Tugen people have a very interesting approach to family planning and child spacing. The Kalenjin sub tribe from Baringo County take abstinence to another level.
For them a woman who has just given birth cannot have sex for a period of 2 years. To ensure that this is followed, a traditional midwife ties a special belt on the new mother's waist which can only be removed in a special cleansing ceremony after 2 years.
It is considered a taboo for the husband to even think about demanding for conjugal rights before the end of 2 years. Failure to adhere to these rules is met with a hefty fine of a cow and a goat.
The main reasoning behind this interesting culture is family planning and also ensure that the child is given enough care before getting pregnant with another.
During these 2 years, the mother is not allowed to shave her hair which can only be shaved during the cleansing ceremony when the belt is removed.
After birth, the man of the house is not allowed into his home before 3-4 days elapse after birth. During this time, the midwife and other women will come clean the mother before taking her outside for the first time in a ceremony. Only then can the husband be allowed to access the house.
The naming ceremony involves the midwife chanting all the names she can remember until the new child stops crying. The child quietening signals that it has accepted the name and is receptive to the ancestral spirit.
Feature done by Lewis Musumba
A pregnant Tugen woman is not allowed to attend a funeral even if it is of her parents or blood relatives. She is also not allowed to eat meat unless it has been inspected by elders to ensure that she does not consume harmful meat.
Do you know any other cultural family planning practices? Let us know in the comments.If you got the chance to ask God one question, what would it be?