Ilmuget – rite of passage

Hello, hello……
I hope y’all doing well!Our timing to travel to Mount Kulal was on point. We arrived there just in time for Illmuget, a cultural ceremony performed by the Samburu Morans. The best part is we partly witnessed the event.
Ps. I will try to explain it as well as I understood it. I might miss out on some details since I do not practice the Samburu culture.
Illmuget is a ceremony performed by Samburu morans after circumcision giving them the green light to marry, oh yes, they need that go ahead.
Important and prestigious a ceremony it is!

Morans decorate themselves with red ochre; wear their colorful beads and regalia to grace the event. This particular one was a three day affair that involved a lot of feasting and merry making.

So many bulls, goats and sheep went down as a result; it was all about meat eating, blood drinking, dancing and a few words of advice from the elders.

The ceremony was conducted in the forest where one big circular enclosure (lack of a better word) was put up by the Morans using tree branches. All the partying took place in there.

Normally, married women and uncircumcised boys are not allowed inside the enclosure. I personally didn’t see any women/girls anywhere near the party location but I was informed that young girls did attend the ceremony after darkness caved in. Come to think of it, I was the only WOMAN!

Ideally, only Morans, a select few from the respective clans and Village elders attend the the ceremony.

I managed to peep inside the enclosure: temporary manyattas had been put using tree branches. They used the manyattas as rest lounges. This was necessary considering they spent three days in the forest and went back to their respective villages on the fourth day.

Although the Morans did not want us taking pictures of the ceremony, my colleague somehow managed to convince the leader with the promise that we would send them the pictures once we got back to Nairobi.

Let these few pictures tell the story.


Pictures by Mwangi Strong. 

Thank you for passing by.
Keep well!



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“Ilmuget – rite of passage”

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