By Kiptanui Rutto
It was marked with red and purple shawls with their heads coated in red ochre to celebrate an important event marked once every decade in the same venue.
The Maa community is known to preserve their culture and this time, over 15,000 morans graduated to elders in a transformation ceremony dubbed ‘Oleng’sherr’ held at Maparasha Hills in Kajiado County.
The ceremony, which was attended by the morans with their wives, elders and political leaders, led by Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku, his deputy Martin Moshisho, Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi and Former Vice President and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, saw over 3,000 bulls and 30,000 goats and sheep slaughtered for them to feast.
Maparasha Hills is chosen due to its terrain. The area with acacia trees has the hills surrounding it making it a secluded place. The songs of praise sang by women, morans’ wives, to the incoming group of elders is echoed well by the hills giving it a melodious trumpet sound.
Like their husbands, the women too wore colourful shawls but with beads around their necks during the event that was postponed from early this year to September due to Coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Lenku said the occasions touches on culture that the Maa Nation evaluates existing friendships from community, county, National and Internationally.
“The cultural event is recognized by UNESCO as one of those African cultural rites that must be preserved for posterity. We are indeed grateful for leaders led by our President Uhuru Kenyatta for always supporting Kenyan Cultural activities,” Ole Lenku noted.