Like many other Bukusu boys his age, Laban was circumcised a few months ago. It's typically done among this people group in August of every even-numbered year.
The following December (during the long school vacation), a celebration party is usually held. Friends and family bring gifts, and also bless the boys and pray for them.
Hannah and I were privileged to be in attendance at this special occasion in a village called Fafaral.
|The event was held at Nathan and Alice's home, where they constructed a covering for the attendees.|
The Bukusu are one of the Luhya sub-tribes; the Luhya are the third largest tribe in Kenya (after Kikuyu and Luo). They mostly live in the western part of Kenya. The Bukusu practice male circumcision, a traditional rite of passage for boys moving from childhood to adulthood. In their language, it's called khukhwingila, which whens means 'to enter'.
Traditionally it has been done outdoors, as a lengthy overnight event. The boys were circumcised in age-groups and the practice had a lot of traditional rituals associated with it. However, in modern times, more families are taking their boys to proper medical clinics for the procedure and the traditional beliefs are being replaced with a Christian viewpoint.
There's always a special time for giving gifts, accompanied by lots of dancing and celebration. I gave Laban a new Bible; he was also given small cash gifts, a blanket, a large bunch of bananas, and this goat.
After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a nice lunch and later - chai and mandazi (fried bread).
|Laban's mom, Alice (middle foreground), and others enjoyed dancing and praising the Lord.|
|It rained during the last part of the ceremony, so some people squeezed inside the house for lunch.|
|Others sat under the canopy.|
|Some found a spot wherever they could manage.|
|Proud parents and excellent host and hostess, Nathan and Alice|
|Jonas (Bishop and Nathan's oldest sister) who I had not seen for several years, and Laban|
|Just some of the many friends that came for the special occasion. I've known Pastor Job (center) for many years.|
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All of the photos were taken by my friend, Hannah, but I filmed the video clips.