Morani in Red, Turkana
Like the Massai, the Samburu tribesman’s life is a succession of ceremonial initiations and chapters determined by age. This class system is a gestation of childhood, warriorhood, herdsman and elderhood. A new age set is ordained into the cycle approximately every 15 years. Morani is the title of the Warrior caste and is very respected within the community. In becoming a Morani, the male youths undergo ceremonial circumcision accompanied by blessings, the slaughtering of an animal, painting of the body, ritual head shaving, and dancing as part of theinitiation. After circumcision, the new adult enters manhood and will grow his hair long, plait the locks, adorn himself with ceremonial bead work and carry his most precious possession, the spear of the Warrior. He takes on the virtues of bravery, comradeship, honour and protection. It is every youth’s aspiration to become a Warrior and it is truly a significant and splendid goal.
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