Residents of Kiamigwi in Mathira, Nyeri county, are anxious after a 300-year-old mugumo tree fell.
The tree, which is holy and sacred among the Kikuyu community, fell last weekend, causing unease and nervousness. According to Kikuyu traditions and beliefs, the falling of a mugumo tree is considered bad omen.
Residents, who have been trooping to the area, have urged the Kikuyu Council of Elders to speedily conduct a cleansing ceremony to cast out evil spirits.
Resident Simon Kariuki said the unanticipated falling of the tree might signify the need to change political leadership.
He said in the past, Kikuyus believed the community’s leadership would rotate between Maina and Mwangi – two different age groups that produced its leaders.
Kariuki, however, said the tree may have been poisoned by a snake that used its vents as a burrow for some time.
“The area under a mugumo tree was sacred because this is where Kikuyu elders conducted their prayers and offered sacrifices. Presence of snakes therefore makes the place unclean,” he said.
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