In 2012 I was at a Samburu wedding, at a manyatta nestled in the hills behind Ol Donyiro.
While I was sitting chatting to the mamas I noticed an old man under a tree being led home by a small child. He was hunched over and holding a stick, the child carefully selecting a path without to many rocks. More
A Lorora is a clan manyatta, where members of a particular clan amongst the Samburu meet and settle for a short while either for protection during times of tribal fighting or to celebrate rites of passage for its members young and old.
A Lorora can have up to 300 houses in it, so many that the women often forget where to find their home and the children get lost in the maze of houses. The layout of homes begins with the oldest family within the clan, moving in a clockwise direction outwards. The Samburu relate this to the structure of a cow; beginning with the head (the first families) moving down the back with houses of families, and finishing with the tail.
1. an elder from the lkimankiki age group, the most senior of the elders, wearing his ceremonial earrings and beads during a coming of age ceremony
The Elders lead the Samburu with their great wisdom.
While the morani lead by protecting the cattle, the decisions are made by the elders in their ability to interpret the ever-changing environment in which they live.
To understand the elders we have to understand a little about Samburu age groups. A moran becomes a junior elder when his generation’s time protecting the tribe is over and they are allowed to find wives and settle down.