Circumcision Ceremony in Luhya Community

by Wa Kimani  - August 1, 2022


The luhya community has been the dominant tribe in the western parts of the country. It is believed to be the second largest after the Agikuyu community. The life of luhyas is characterized by a series of events that make the community to be unique among various tribes found in the country. Circumcision in the tradition of lughyas continues to be a must rite of passage through which one is considered to be a grown up and full member of the society. The process involves a series of events before actual circumcision takes place.

Decision is made

A boy or a young man that believes in himself and wants to be circumcised makes the first decision that he is ready for the operation. It is during this period that several consultations will be made with the elders of the particular clan to make sure that the decision reached upon is proven to be right.

Visit to the Uncle

The boys will then visit the uncle in a way that he is expected to show some level of appreciation mostly a cow or any reasonable gift that they can get at the particular time. The visit is meant also to offer the boy/boys some degree of advice and encouragement about the adulthood life and what the society expects from them. The process will then follow the procedure of next step when the boy/boys are sent back home.

Home Ceremony

Upon reaching home, the homestead will be filled with a lot of celebrations during which there will be there a lot of celebrations and dancing. Many things take place during the night and the candidates are continually prepared and encouraged to continue being strong in readiness for the tough task ahead. During the night, songs will be sang and people will be waiting for the morning to arrive for the operation to be done.


The morning starts by the candidates being taken to the river to be washed. It is believed that water makes the skin numb and reduces the pain during the process. The candidates will be applied some mud and taken back to the home stead to face the knife. Cowardice is hugely condemned and those that cry or show fear are whipped by the crowd. The stable ones are highly rewarded. Training follows where the candidates will be assigned some people to look after them.

Baraka Medical Centre
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