Customs
Life cycle
Old age
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Kenyan Funerals

Description: “Since there are 42 tribes in old traditions. I’m in from four different tribes. Luya Kikuyu, Luo and Messai. For traditions we adhere to the Luo traditions the most. But even still it’s not, we’re kinda moving away from that. It’s kind of more for the older people.  After the person is taken to the funeral home, they’re brought back to the family home and put in a room, like where people are. If they had family near by. And then there’s a process of two or three days until the burial which normally happens close to the family home. There’s a burial site which is usually right near the home where the whole family is buried. The burial site is close to where you live as opposed to you being close to the burial site. It’s better to be buried with your family but if not that’s ok. But like in the city and like where I live people are buried in the cemetery. So there’s that difference compared like to my grandma’s place. There’s usually a service where they service food before the burial service and then everyone gathers around. A few people say a few speeches about the person. And then, after that the actual burial happens. They throw in roses at the coffin as it goes down there. Once it goes all the way down people will throw soil like take handfuls of soil and toss it in. If there’s enough time everyone will throw soil in but most of the time there’s not enough time so it’s usually just the main family characters, people that were close to the person. And then after that there’s also food is served. Traditional foods are like beef stew, mazen beans, rice, mashed potatoes, things like that.”

2. He knows about these customs because his grandmother told him. He’s been to some funerals but nothing exactly like this one.

3. I walked into his room and asked if he could tell me about Kenyan folklore. This was one that he told me.

4. Because Kenya is so new, It’s adopting the Western traditional methods of funerals. That’s why he’s only been to contemporary funerals. Still, there are not too many differences between his way of funerals and the Western way. We carry a lot of the same traditions and ideas.

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