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Traditional System of Government

The institutions of Government of the Abatachoni are ancient; the Omwami always moved with his people during their migrations. The Omwami wore a leopard skin cloak and the skins of other animals. He also wore a copper bracelet on his wrist, and occasionally, round his neck, and an elephant tusk ornament and a brass bracelet on the wrist. In addition he had a cowry shell head dress and two staffs. These insignia were handed down from their earliest Omwami and they are replaced when worn out. The old ruler could nominate any of his sons to succeed him on the basis of his personal qualities. The elders did not have the power to override his choice. Should, however, the successor be a minor, one of the elders became his guardian until he grew up. On the day of the investiture, fresh milk was poured out onto the royal stool and the successor washed his head in it after which his head was shaved. More...

Tachoni burial customs
Burial of a Tachoni elder in a shroud of fresh cow skin. Photo credit: NATION

 

Burial customs of Tachoni

The Tachoni take their culture very seriously. In March 2010, a ninety year old Tachoni elder by the name of Mzee Mavachi Mandira from Luvusi village, Bungoma East grabbed national headlines when he was given a traditional burial last practiced more than 50 years ago (photo). Instead of a coffin, he was wrapped in a shroud of fresh cow skin before being interred in a ritual out of bounds for women and children. The head of the beast was placed above the main entrance in accordance with ancient Tachoni burial customs. Like the Bukusu, the Tachoni also practice what they call kuswala kumuse three days after burial for certain categories of elders.