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LUHYA CULTURE

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Traditional furniture, tools and utensils

Stools: A Luhya house did not consist of much furniture. There was the man’s four-legged stool, on which his children or those who called him ‘father’ could not sit. There might also be one or more stools for visitors.
           
Bed: The bedstead was sometimes simply a raised platform of earth, on which specially prepared skins were laid for sleeping on. Mats were also used in places; these were made either of palms (amalala) or papyrus.

Utensils: The rest of the house was filled up with household utensils and tools. These included pots of all shapes and sizes: isongo for fetching and keeping water; inungiro (liyika) for cooking meat or fish;  ikhafuka for making flour-meal (obusuma); olunasulo or isatsi for  brewing a little beer; oluleemo for brewing a lot of  beer; eshikaye which was used as a soup plate, and oluchio from which beer was drunk with tubes.

esimwero
A Luhya woman pounding grain in eshinu which she keeps in a large basket known as esimwero (seen in the foreground). Right: A traditional gourd cut into half was used for drinking water, obusera (porridge) or busaa (traditional brew).
Luhya were skilled in basketry, pottery

There were also various types of baskets: eshimwero for carrying things on the head; omuyinda, bigger still; eshiteru for putting obusuma in; akhalubi, smaller than eshiteru; akhasowa, smaller still, used for measuring grain or tobacco in the market; oluteru, a large, flat basket used for sifting grain.

Calabashes: One type of calabash, eshisaabo, was used for storing milk, and also separating it from cream. The vessel for pounding grain was called eshinu (left). A small eshinu was in some places as eshisaabo. The grinding stone was called oluchina, and the smaller stone for crushing grain against this was called isio.
gourd


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