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Although each clan had its own independent ruler and war leader, the subnation was under the jurisdiction of omwami (leader) who was assisted in discharging his duties by clan elders.  Unlike other Luyia subnations, omwami in Marama did not necessarily have to be a medicine man, rainmaker, or sacrificial priest.  These offices were adequately covered by other people.  His job was purely administrative and he presided over serious cases that affected the subnation leaving minor ones to various clan elders.  He wore special insignia which included ikutusi (skin cloak), a copper bracelet (omukasa) on the wrist, and a headdress adorned with cowrie shells and whydah bird’s feathers.

            When he died, a suitable individual was elected by clan elders to replace him.  The body of omwami was wrapped in a fresh bull hide (esikhoba) and buried in a sitting position.  His drinking straw (olutseshe) was put in the mouth and his head covered by a pot into which two holes were drilled.  The pot was placed in such a way that the two holes aligned with the eyes so that he could “see” what was going on.  After the corpse had decomposed sufficiently, a goat (imbusi) was slaughtered for the final death rituals before his head was finally pushed into the grave.