Elimu Asilia

Kenya's Indigenous Knowledge

In Kamba culture, the parents were the ones who chose girls for their boys for marriage. When mature, the parents examined the girl before accepting her in the family.

Before the marriage a special ceremony was conducted. The groom and his kin had to throw an important party known as “ntheo” which was the minimum threshold that demonstrated that the bride officially belonged to the man she was engaged to. This ritual is very strict such that when a woman whose husband is yet to throw the party dies, she could not be buried by her husband no matter how long they had stayed together and if he wishes to bury her, he would have to go through the ritual.

The groom had to bring at least three goats where one is a he-goat which is slaughtered. The kamba people believe that as the blood spills to the ground the bride and the groom become officially joined that very moment. The two then share a piece of soft meat as an oath that they will keep the covenant.

From there the two are free to hold a marriage ceremony whether in Christianity or traditional way.

Story Prepared by:
Onesmus Mutiso, Faith Mutheu and Josephine Kamene
RUARAKA HIGH SCHOOL

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