Forgotten rare 'sacred snake' that brought fortunes to Siaya residents

Nyan'gidia bar in Usenge town. The bar is named after Dimo's wife. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

The woman is believed to have died of hunger, but other folklores say she did not die but turned into a python called Nyang'idia.

"After some time, the woman vanished and instead, the locals started seeing a huge snake in the house and its neighbourhood," explained Achando, who is a descendant of Dimo.

Nyang'idia is believed to have turned into a sacred snake, akin to the Omieri of Nyakach and Nyang'idi of Uyoma in the Rarieda sub-county. In her snake form, she is said to have been very friendly and visited specific homes, mostly in the lineage of Dimo's youngest son-Maganda.

As per the Luo culture, there are people and places named after the mysterious woman, among them a pub in Usenge town. The legendary bar is situated in the heart of Usenge town and has stood the test of time.

Today, the Dimo clan who are found in Nyangera, Misori, Kanyibok, Got Agulu and parts of Yimbo East believe that some big pythons in Yimbo are either Nyan'gidia or her children.

Nyan'gidia, the snake, became a way of life for the Dimo clan.

Her presence in the village was significantly associated with good luck and fortunes. The clan members believed that her appearance would open the heavens and rain would follow.

Achando, who said Nyan'gidia should be enlisted as one of Siaya County's tourist attractions, added that she was closely related to a bountiful harvest and the locals used to give her white goats or chicken, and after eating, it would disappear again.

"The snake was very gentle with people even touching and playing with it," says Achando, adding that the snake was harsh to any non-Dimo descendant.