CULTURE / HISTORY / KENYA / KISUMU / TOURISM / TOURIST ATTRACTIONS / WILDLIFE

KISUMU’S SITES:LUANDA MAGERE’S ROCK-SIDHO

luanda

 A site in Sidho with a stone is still revered as the spot where Luanda Magere died and people come from far and wide to conduct rituals and prayers at the site. The site is about 12km from the Awasi-Chemelil road, 1.5Km before you reach the Kopere – Songhor junction.  Visitors brave the rough terrain and often muddy impassable narrow pathways to catch a glimpse of the mythical legend.

A brownish rock shaped like a curved back of a human being, which has partly been sunk into the ground, is quite visible at the quiet site where Magere is said to have died. It is believed to be Magere’s body.

The rock is regarded as a shrine, leafy indigenous trees provide shade to the revered site and residents believe it comes with numerous good tidings. From the rock, the villagers believe they can get solutions to drought, family problems and political crisis.

The site is popular with many people who come to consult the spirit of the man who is said to have been a great warrior. This rock is accepted as concrete evidence that Magere lived. The site is kept alive by traditional war weapons, including a spear and shield, believed to belong to Magere. The artifacts are placed under an indigenous tree next to the rock. On another branch of the same tree hangs a traditional smoking pipe, which Magere is believed to have been smoking in times of war pitting the Luo against the Nandi and Kipsigis.

Apart from the war regalia and the pipe, a clay pot, covered with a calabash, containing drinking water drawn from a stream near River Nyando, about 100 metres away, is also placed at the site but nobody knows who fetches the water. A framed-picture of the Legio Maria spiritual leader, Melkio Ondetto, also graces the site.

Pregnant women are not allowed to step on the site of the rock. If they do, they will miscarry, the villagers say.

Residents claim that they still come across skeletons belonging to those killed in the wars that were fought at the turn of the 18th Century.

There are residents who claim that Magere appears to them in dreams and tells them to prepare for planting well ahead of bumper harvests.

Rainfall and fertility of this area is testimony that it is a revered and sacred place. It is here that they pray for rain, wisdom and strength.

Hunters sharpen spears and pangas on the stone. They believe that they will not go back home empty-handed from their hunting excursions after sharpening spears on the rock.

There are different species of snakes within the sugar plantations that surround the site. But the residents say the snakes are friendly because of the presence of Magere’s spirits. White butterflies, believed to signify and symbolize hope, strength and posterity , fly around the site.

 

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