TURKANA MYTHS, TABOOS AND BELIEFS
Turkanas have various myths, taboos and beliefs that are calculated to shape the way of life of our people and make them in tandem with societal norms.
Some of them are elucidated below:
1. When eating, don’t start scooping your meal from the middle. If you do so, your fighting rival or opponent will hit you in the middle of the head (vertex)
2. Don’t point at the moon directly with your index finger because if you do, you will lose your finger. Instead, fold your finger when pointing at the moon.
3. Never call salt “achumbi” at night. Call it akapilan. I have no idea what was the explanation.
4. Never whistle at night. No idea of the reason for existence of that taboo.
5. When eating a scapula of a goat, make a hole in the middle when done eating. The reason is when your enemies surround you, God will make a way for you and you will escape unscathed.
6. A pregnant woman should never laugh at disabled people or funny looking animals like a warthog. If you do, your newborn will have congenital abnormalities.
7. When you eat while seated and you lean your weight sideways supported by one of y hand, you are close to being a glutton.
8. When you point someone with your small finger, you are casting a bad spell on the person and may possibly kill him pronto.
9. When you knock on a stone or a hard place accidentally, you ought to spit in your hand and tap that limb.
10. While traveling and a wood pecker cackles or makes a raucous call ahead of you, it’s a sign of bad luck. You are supposed to rebuke it and categorically tell it that you will be kicked by a hawk.
11. If you get choked by a fish bone, then face the boat’s anchor and you will be good to go.
12. if there is a sole lady passenger in a vehicle, let her carry one stone along to avoid the vehicle crushing enroute.
13. When an owl hoots around your home, someone will die and you better perform cleansing rituals immediately.
14. A child must never cross an adults extended legs otherwise he will be sloppy and amenable to falling down with no cause.
15. If you touch your hair at night, spit on your hand and touch your head.
16. If a firefly enters a child’s nose, it leads him/her to his birthplace.
17. If the palm of your hand feels itchy, you wanna get money soon.
Some photos are excerpts from the book “Nomads of the Jade Sea by John Lamphear.”