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LUHYA CULTURE

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About Luhya.net
Luhya.net is project that sets out to document the cultural traditions - past and present - of the Luhya people of East Africa with a combined population of about 12 million. A project of this magnitude requires elaborate research and interviews across a wider spectrum of media resources. The project leader is Shad Bulimo, currently online editor of Abeingo Community Network Website (www.abeingo.org), an online portal of the Luhya community. In compiling material for Luhya.net, I have relied heavily on written and oral sources as well as my own observations of the cultural practices among my people of Bunyore.

This project is done purely on a voluntary basis underpinned by love for things cultural and ancient and how these may inform our present dispositions as we struggle to find a little mirror to reflect our rich cultural heritage in a crowded and often confused world. Due to resource limits, I cannot pretend that this presentation is a complete audit or even accurate discourse about the Luhya culture in all its facets. Nonetheless the aim is to stimulate interest, debate and contribution from Luhya people or those with links to Luhyaland. I must emphasise that this is only a foundation. A foundation which I hope you will all contribute the building blocks that will ultimately result in a dynamic cultural structure to bequeath to generations to come.

But for now, here are some of the books I have used:

Life in Kenya in the Olden Days: Baluhya by John Osogo
The Bantu of Western Kenya by Gunter Wagner

Why culture is important:
Few doubt that cultural heritage is an important aspect in an individual’s appreciation of who he really is - Not for its own sake but as a means to equip oneself with the necessary tools that define your strengths, weaknesses, biases and outlook in life and how these might help you relate and appreciate those around you who may come from a different cultural milieu.

To underscore the importance of cultural heritage, one only needs look at the journey of US President, Barack Obama. Through his book “Dreams from my Father”, the US leader documents his journey of cultural inquiry as a mixed race American with an identity crisis. The journey takes him to the village of Kogelo in Siaya District, the ancestral home of his late father, Barack Obama Senior. Here he learns the ways of the Luo people and through this cultural odyssey, Obama is able to understand his father more thus finally exorcising the demons that had devoured him as a mixed race child in America. Obama would not be complete without having journeyed to Kogelo, a sleepy village that is now world-acclaimed for its richness of stature and culture whose oomph has powered Obama into the world’s most powerful job. A total man totally connected with his past and present.

How you can help:
I shall endeavour to update the website regularly and post new material as I get them. Some pages are is still under construction and readers are encouraged to send in any stories, comments or photos that can make this website an enriching experience and truly representative of the Luhya cultural traditions. If you can help, please contact me.


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