1921-22 – “CUSTOMS OF THE KIKUYU” –part 2
Several of Jade del Cameron’s mysteries feature her Kikuyu friend, Jelani, a youth who is training to be a tribal healer-or mundu mogo. In particular, in Treasure of the Golden Cheetah, he attempts to apply to protective ancestral spirits while on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Last week’s blog looked at an article on Kikuyu customs, written in the February 21, 1920 issue of The East African Standard. In particular, it discussed tribal rituals to gain Ngai’s (God’s) blessings and provide rain.
These rituals took place in a sacred grove, and were performed by “witch doctors,” the colonist’s term for the tribal spiritual leader and healer. According to the article, these witch doctors went around the villages collecting “cattle from the chiefs, goats from the men, and fowls from the women.” The cattle were kept as a sort of fee, the goats were set aside to sacrifice, and the fowl were consumed at the villages.
The author notes that the concept of a “scapegoat” runs through many religions, including the Kikuyu’s. In this instance the goat is taken to “the sacred grove…in their special area” and is killed. The “carcass being left hanging on a branch of one of the biggest and most central trees.” It is left there overnight and in the morning if it is gone, then the sacrifice was accepted.
Next week: When Ngai Accepts the Offering.
Quotes taken from The East African Standard, Febr. 21, 1920
By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx
2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.
3) I took the plunge and am now on facebook, both with a profile and a "page"
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, The Leopard’s Prey, and Treasure of the Golden Cheetah all available in trade paperback. And now: THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE newly released on Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda
This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.