Luo culture book

November 10, 2016

Stories about legend, riddles, moral tales and proverbs are an important part of Luo culture. This was more of a traditional education mainly undertaken by both the grand parents to their grandchildren so as to impart some knowledge in them. This was usually done in the evening or before they retire to bed. The boys usually sat with their grandfather in his hut ( Abila) in front of a burning fire too keep them warm. The sitting arrangement is usually known as Duol, and this is where they were taught about their heritage, culture and how to be responsible members of the society. Also story telling majoring around the Luo legends such as Lwanda Magere, Okore Ogonda, Mien Olanda with their achievements were recited to them. This was done in order for the young ones try to emulate what the legends had done to the community when they come of age. On the other side, the grandmother was also busy with her granddaughters in what was called siwindhe; a session in which the grandmother gives vital lessons to the younger ones on how to behave and become responsible wives and mothers when they come of age. Story telling and verbal games were also conducted. Moral tales – Morality tales generally dwells much on how the younger ones should cope up with different life circumstances which may crop up in future. Since nobody knows what awaits them in future, such questions as to;-

    • What is life all about, why do people die and where do they go after death?
    • What qualities make an appropriate spouse?
    • How to have good friends.
    • How to give respect and behave in front of the elders.
  • The issue such as giving birth to deformed children, who are responsible for it, and how to cope with the aftermath of it.
  • Issues such as why some people in the society suffer, what brought their suffering and how to avoid such misfortunes were discussed and deliberated upon. Respect -Respect is a very important aspect of the Luo culture, and respect for one’s elders is limitless. Not only must a child respect those that are older than him or her, but also the elders respect those who existed before them and are now referred to as the living dead. There are many small customs that represent ways in which one can honor those older than him or herself. A child is not permitted to call his parents, grandparents, or those holding any of those positions, by their names. When children do converse with their elders they are much more polite in their use of language.The younger people were/ are expected not to sit on a chair while another senior person is present.

This book is Western Luo culture based. Written by Otieno Odong