Visit to origin sites at Nyeberekera (ishenyi) and Bwanda (Nata) with Joseph Mashohi, Mossi Chagana, Sochoro Kabati, and Makuru Nyang'aka

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Visit to origin sites at Nyeberekera (ishenyi) and Bwanda (Nata) with Joseph Mashohi, Mossi Chagana, Sochoro Kabati, and Makuru Nyang'aka


Joseph Mashohi, Mossi Chagana, Sochoro Kabati, Makuru Nyang'aka, Jan Bender Shetler, Nyawagamba Magotto


Nyangere Esther Faini Magoto (transcriber), Rose Wang'ombe Mtoka (transcriber), Nyamusi Magatti (transcriber)


This visit involved finding origin sites in Nyeberekera (Ishenyi) and then traveling to a nearby site in Bwanda (Nata). While in Nyeberekera the group was able to see the Bwinamoki, which are tall rock formations. They heard the story of the sacred site (risambwa) of the prophet Shanyangi and learned about the rituals performed at the site. They also discussed the Nyeberekera Mogenda, another sacred site. Unfortunately, the group was unable to visit this because of the weather. After this, the group went to Bwanda and found the kopje, another type of rock formation that was used as a hiding place. Here they heard the story of Nyamunywa and Nyasigonko and learned more about the history of the site.



Date Original

16 February 1996





Cultural Memory
Environment and Climate Change
Place Names
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Cultural Site
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Jan Bender Shetler Collection, Goshen College


Goshen College

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Contributing Institution

Jan Bender Shetler; Goshen College; Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at Michigan State University


Joseph Mashohi was born in 1946 in Singisi, Issenye. He moved to Iharara Issenye, and then came to Nyeberekera in 1985 to offer. He used to be a Diwani. Mossi Chagana was born sometime after the British came, and he estimated himself to be about 72 years old. He was a young, mature man in WWII and had already gone for migrant labor. Makuru Nyang'aka was born in 1922 and is Rumaruncha. There is no biographical information available about Sochoro Kabati.


* CHECK KILUGHA PLACES, SWAHILI COMPLETE, TAPE #200 TELEGRAPH (telegraph, tape #200, side A) Nyeberekera Bwanda 000 -- Nyamunywa and Nyasigonko Sochoro Kabati: She was called Nyasigonko, and Nyamunywa, who was a man. This is where they lived, the Nata began here. This was Nyasigonko's place. Nyamunywa came here as an Mtwari, they married and he was her husband. They lived here and gave birth to the Nata. ... Jan: Ukoo of Nyasingonko? 035 -- Sochoro: Mgetiga. Ukoo of Nyamunywa was Mgaikwe. I am an Mgetiga. There is not a Gaikwe here. People do not come here to sengera, they lived here. To sengera is at Gitaraga. From here they moved to Gitaraga. Then they went to Sangang'a, there where the wife of Gitaraga lived. Then they went to Kyasigeta and Nyabuta. Then to Tutuki (near there). Then to the side of the Rubana River, Kyamburi. Then to Torogoro, then they built at Mchang'ombe or Site Mosuhu and Site Mokoro. Then to Geriga. Then to Kikong'oti. Then to on the other side of the Tirina, Rakana and Moteri. All of these are mountains. This was the end. [NOTE THAT THE SEQUENCE IS FROM EAST TO WEST, BEGINNING AT GITARAGA AND ENDING AT RAKANA, NOTE ALSO THAT ALL ARE HILLS] 145 -- Jan: The Famine of the legs before or after Rakana and Moteri Nyawagamba: They were at Kikong'oti. Sochoro: At the time of the hunger they left King'oti, he gave them the Nyangi there, then they went (some to Kuria, Ngoreme, Sukuma for food), they went when the famine was done they settled at Rakana and Moderi. Then they moved back here. They built at their abandoned places. Others went to Tutuki. Others went to Sanganga. Tutuki and Sanganga. 185 -- Megassa... Turumunta is where the Saye built, Rumarancha at Getenga, Wangirate at Tutuki. this is the end.. Bongirate left Tutuki to go to Sukuma at time of hunger. 208 -- Jan: When they were first at Sanganga had they already divided into Saiga. 211 -- Sochoro: they had already divided, into Hamate. Rumarancha at Sanganga. others Getenga. others at Torogoro -- the Saye. others ... Even at the beginning they were not all at one settlement, the Rumarancha in their own place, the Ngirate separate the Saye separate. They were near to each other. Jan: if Nyamunywa and Nyasigonko were Getiga and Gaikwe did Moriho and Mwancha come later? Sochoro: They were born. When the children were born, eight children, boys and girls, began to name them, Moriho, Getiga, Gaikwe... Jan: Issenye are close, did you come first or did you live together? Sochoro: They came first, ... Makuru: The Nata came first. Sochoro: In the past the Nata would build and leave and then the Isenye would move in afterwards, because of the Masai. When they left here they went to Gitaraga. The Isenye came in after they left to Nyeberekera. When the Nata were at Gitaraga the Isenye were at Nyeberekera. When the Nata left Gitaraga the Isenye move up. Came to Tumunta. Nyetemunta. Temota. This was all Nata area but they moved in. Makuru: Long ago when the Maasai were a problem and they fought in battles, here, at these mountains, they took the women and children and old people, and hid them in the hills, the men went to fight. 301 -- Jan: Did they built Oruaki here? Sochoro and Makuru: They did not build Oruaki here. This was enough for a fortress because no enemy would not go up into the rocks to find them, the men were all down below to fight. The women, children and old people were hidden in the rocks. Jan: how many generations since then? Sochoro: The only remembrance we have is that the Bangirate, they were the Nata of zamani. Amasura they were Rumarancha. The Amaina were Wasaye. They are the first ones that we know. Before that we do not know. Wangirate gave birth to Kong'ota gave birth to our fathers who gave birth to us, we are Wangirate again. 345 -- Sochoro: Nyasigonko farmed with a stick... like this... eroso. When she got a husband they made a koromo. They farmed without a jembe. Koromo is with iron? Farmed millet, sorghum, chahende, seseame. She used to eat it raw. Nyamunywa was a man and he hunted, he had fire. He made fire by twirling a stick. When they met they were surprised to see another person. Nyamunywa approached her. He said where do you live? She said I live here in the rocks. He said don't you get rained on? She said yes but what should I do, I live. He said what do you eat? She said, I eat this. He said is it good? She said , eeeh. He said I eat meat. She said, raw? He said no. How do you do it? I know how to make fire. I am going now over there to excrete the fire. But he really went to twirl the sticks to make fire. Fire came to roast meat. Nyamunywa knew fire, was Gaikwe. Jan: Did he also know iron? Sochoro: No he killed the animals with a wooden arrow. Slept in a blind and shot them when they came. 425 -- Peter: Do the Isenye have this story? Joseph: Yes, of Nyamnywa? We have one about a man who met a woman just like this. It was... who? Iyancha? No. the woman was... Man was... Mogunyi and Iyancha. reminded him of it. don't know if they were hunter and farmer. It was there to the east. Guka and Gukana, Gukacha. When they came to Nyeberekera they already had the clans. Came from Guka and Gukana. It is the pori over there, people who walk the pori know it. Over at Klein's camp going to Balagonga springs. The large hill over there, mountain. They were dispersed here at Nyaberekera. 483 -- Sochoro: But all of us came from one place, over there... Jan: Do the Issenye have the origins of Abaasi who were hunters? Joseph: Mogunyi. Iyancha -- don't know their origins. Pure Issenye. First man and first woman. Not Ngoreme and Ikoma from them. Sochoro: Ngorongoro -- place of Ikoma, Niware, all from Ngorongoro -- Isenye, Ikoma. Miware is where Ikoma say they come from. Amaguha. mguu wake mrefu. Came from over there to here. seems as if the tape is left on in the car, no voices to be heard, car noises, don't know if it was intentional or not, cannnot make out the conversation.... # 200 COMPLETE {TAPE # 200, DONE BY NYAMUSI MAGATTI, AUGUST 2009} {SIDE A} Nyamgamba: basi nipe ile historia tena ya Nyamuna na Nyasigongo? Sochoro: {kilugha}alikuwa anaitwa Nyasigongo na Nyamuna, yani Nyamuna ni bwana yake, Nyasigongo ni mwanamke sasa hapahapa ndio kwao, ndio walianzia hapa kwa wanata Nyamgamba: ilikuwa nyumba ya kwa Nyasigongo au kwa Nyamuna ambaye ali..? Sochoro: ilikuwa kwa Nyasigongo, Nyamuna alimuingilia kama nani kama mtwari, sasa wakaoana akawa ni bwana wake wakazaa wanata Nyamgamba: haha na ukoo wa Nyasigongo? Sochoro: ukoo wa Nyasigongo ni mgetiga halafu ukoo wa Nyamuna ni bagesa sasa wagetiga ndio akina mimi, sasa mgesi mwenyewe hayupo hapa, sasa mgetiga ndio mimi mwenyewe niko hapa Nyamgamba: aah sawa lakini watu hawaji hapa kusengera? Sochoro: haha ilikuwa ni kujenga tu Nyamgamba: kwahiyo walipotoka hapa wakaelekea sehemu gani? Sochoro: wakaelekea sehemu ya Gitaraga Nyamgamba: haha walipotoka Gitaraga wakaenda? Sochoro: wakaenda Sang#ang#a, ndio kule mlisema mnataka kwenda mkaona mmechelewa kwa mwanamke wa Gitaraga Nyamgamba: baada ya Sang#ang#a wakaenda? Sochoro: wakaenda Gasigeta Nyamgamba: Gasigeta haha baada ya Gasigeta? Sochoro: wakaenda Tutuki Nyamgamba: Tutuki ni wapi? Sochoro: aah hapo hapo Nyamgamba: halafu baada ya Tutuki wakaenda? Sochoro: kutoka Tutuki sasa wakaenda sehemu moja ng#ambo ya Rubana inaitwa Kiamburi.. halafu kutoka hapo wakaenda Torogoro, si Torogoro mko nayo kule? Nyamgamba: eeh tuko nayo huko Sochoro: eeh halafu wakatoka hapo wakajenga kuna mlima mmoja hapo unaitwa mlima {kilugha} A: {kilugha} Sochoro: kuna site moja mdogo uko upande hii halafu kuna site moja mkubwa sana A: {Kilugha} Sochoro: walivyotoka hapo wakaenda {kilugha}#hapohapo halafu wakitoka hapo sasa wakaenda wakateremka wakajenga wakaenda Kikong#oti ni hapo hapo Nyamgamba: sawa Sochoro: kutoka hapo Kikong#oti wakaenda ng#ambo ya Kirina sasa kunaitwa Harakana na mwateri na vyote ni vilima vilima vilima mmh baada ya kufika hapo wakafika mwisho Nyamgamba: sasa ile njaa ya Mogoro ilikuwa kabla ya kwenda Hrakana na Muteri au baada ya? A: walikuwa bado wako Kinong#oti Nyamgamba: wakati wa njaa.. A: eeh wakati wa njaa ndio walitoka hapo Kikong#oti hapo Nyamgamba: ndio Kikong#oti akawapa ile ya nyangi A: yani akawapa nyangi hapohapo Nyamgamba: haha halafu wakaenda sukuma A: haha sukuma hapana Nyamgamba: wakati wa njaa? A: wakati huo wa njaa walikuwa wengine wanakwenda huko kurya wengine wanakwenda sukuma lakini sasa wakaenda wakati wa njaa imeisha sasa ndio wakaenda Harakana na Muteri, waliotoka hapa tena wakarudi huku wakajenga kwenye Matongo yake yale wengine wakarudi wapi, wakarudi Sutuki tena, wengine wakarudi Sang#ang#a sasa Sang#ang#a hapo pamoja na Sutuki hapo {kilugha}sasa walijenga hapo Turumonta, sasa waliojenga hapo ni wasai, maana warumaranja nao wako Tetenga, wangerati wako Tutuki sasa nimekomea Nyamgamba: bungerati walikuwa wapi? A: Tutuki Nyamgamba: Tutuki? A: mmh ndio walihama sasa kwasababu ya njaa wakaenda sukuma Nyamgamba: aah hii ilikuwa kabla ya njaa A: eeh hii ilikuwa kabla ya njaa Nyamgamba: haha lakini hata wakati walikuwa ile ya kwanza walipokuwa wanakaa sang#anga walikuwa wameshagawanyika katika sega bungerati? A: eeh waligawanyika hamati sasa, warumaranja wanajenga mbali Nyamgamba: lakini wote Sang#ang#a? A: eeh hawa wako Sang#ang#a hawa wako Tetenga wengine wako Torogoro, wasai Nyamgamba: maana ulisema walitoka hapo wakaenda Gitaraga, wakatoka Gitaraga wanaenda sang#ang#a, wakatoka Sang#ang#a wanaenda Gisegeta, sasa nauliza wakati ule walikuwa wote pamoja au walikuwa wanakaa mbali? A: walikuwa wanakaa vilevile wanasambaa, warumaranja mbali, wangerati mbali, wasai mbali, wanafuatana tu wako karibu na hawa wako karibu Nyamgamba: kama Nyasigongo alikuwa mgetiga na Nyamuna alikuwa mgaikwe sasa hawa hawa wa moriho na wa mwancha wakaja baadaye au? A: ni kuzaliwa kwa mtoto sasa Nyamgamba: aah ni kuzaliwa? A: eeh sasa wakishazaa watoto wanazaa watoto wa kike na wanaume sasa walikuwa ni watu wadogo tu, mzazi moja sasa hawa wakaanza majina sasa huyu Moriho huyu Mgetiga Nyamgamba: sasa tunapokuwa hapa leo tunaona hawa wa Isenye iko karibu hapa sasa ilikuwa kwamba nyinyi mlitangulia au mlikuwa mnaishi? A: hawa ndio walitangulia hapa Nyamgamba: nani? A: {kilugha} Nyamgamba: nani alitangulia? A: kujenga hapa..wanata unajua zamani wanata wakijenga wakitoka wa isenye wanaingia kwasababu ya maasai Nyamgamba: haha A: walihama hapa wakaenda Gitaraga, na Isenye nao wakajenga wapi, wako hapahapa Nyamgamba: kwahiyo wakati nyinyi mlikuwa Gitaraga na wao wakaingia A: walikuwa pande hii, walipohama hapa wakaenda muisenye wakasogea eeh wakaja sehemu moja inaitwa Kimota, kuna sehemu yao walijenga hapo inaitwa Kimota Sochoro: {kilugha} Nyamgamba: Nyentimunta ni sehemu ya nani, ya waisenye? A: Kimota ni Nata jumla lakini hawa kuhama walikuwa wanahama wanajenga, pote hapo ilikuwa sehemu ya Nata Sochoro: unajua hapo wakati wa zamani wa maasai walikuwa wanacheza sana pamoja na wanata wanapigana vita unauona huu mlima una miamba haya ndio walikuwa wanatoa wanawake, wale wazee sana na watoto wanakuja kuwaficha humu kwasababu wanaume wanaenda kupigana na wa maasai Nyamgamba: hapa walijenga ile rwaki kama walivyojenga huko? Sochoro: hapo kulikuwa hakuna rwaki kwasababu kulikuwa hakuna adui yeyote atakayekuja kuchungulia kuona kuna nani, wanaume wote wako huko chini huko wanapigana vita, watoto na wazee na wanawake wote wako humu Nyamgamba: mmh# sawa na hakuna kumbukumbu kuna vizazi vingapi vimetokea tangu walipokuwa hapa? Sochoro: aah kumbukumbu tunaojua ni bangerati Nyamgamba: aah ndio Sochoro: wangerati ndio tunaelewa kwamba wangerati walikuwa wanata wa zamani sasa halafu hapo kuna Masura hawa ni warumaranja sasa halafu kuna wengine w amaina ni wasai sasa, sasa hapo ndipo ndio tunawaanza kuwajua kwasababu tulivyoanza kuwajua walishatoka humu zamani sana, tena wanasahau kabisa, sasa unaona wale wangerati ndio walizaa wakung#uta halafu wakung#uta walizaa wababa zetu halafu wababa zetu wanatuzaa halafu sisi sasa ndio wangerati Nyamgamba: eeh ndio na huyu Nyasigongo alikuwa analima na ile mti? Sochoro: alikuwa analima na ile mti, alikuwa analima na mti tu kama hii, ndio alikuwa analimia Nyamgamba: ilikuwa inaitwa? Sochoro: hii iroso Nyamgamba: iroso? Sochoro: eeh halafu akija kupata bwana sasa ndio wakaunda tena, wakatengeneza koroma sasa kama hii sasa ndio walikuwa wanalimia bila jembe Nyamgamba: aah lakini koroma pia ni ya mti? Sochoro: koroma pia ni ya mti, unajua walikuwa wanchonga vizuri sana, yeyé Nyasigongo alikuwa analima ulezi halafu alikuwa analima mchama halafu alikuwa analima {kilugha} kazi yake ilikuwa ni hiyo, lakini kula kwake alikuwa anakula mbichi eeh sasa Nyamuna naye alikuwa ni mwanamme kazi yake ni kuwinda anaua wanyama, sasa yeyé ndiye alikuwa na moto sasa ndio anatengeneza moto anachekecha hivi, wakati wa kuonana na yule mwanamke wakashtukana naona kama yule ni mwanamke na yeyé anaona kama yule ni mwanamme sasa unajua wanaume wakaishi sana akamsogelea, yule mama akasogea akamwambia acha kukimbia, acha kukimbia simama sasa akaenda kwake kufika akamuuliza unakaa wapi, akasema mimi nakaa hapa, akamuuliza kweli hunyeshewi, akasema nanyeshewa lakini nitafanya nini, nakaa tu, sasa unakula nini, akasema sasa unakula nini, akasema mimi nakula hii, ni nzuri, akasema eeh sasa wewe bwana unakula nini akasema mimi nakula nyama. Mbichi akasema hapana, akamwambia mama toka hapa niende huku nikatengeneze moto akaenda ndio sasa moto ikapatikana wakaanza kuchoma nyama halafu na kupiga ile chakula Nyamgamba: na Nyamuna alikuwa anajua moto? Sochoro: yeyé alikuwa anajua moto Nyamgamba: alijua vyuma pia au hakujua? Sochoro: haha yule mnyama alikuwa anapiga na mti anachonga mti, sasa unajua alikuwa anakwenda anakaa mnyama anakuja akifika kwake anapiga Nyamgamba: haha# aaah kumbe A: na sisi ilikuwa mwanamme na mwanamke wakaoana hivyo hivyo Nyamgamba: wakakutana nani na nani? A: wakakutana#nimewasahau Nyamgamba: Inyancha? A: hata mimi nawafahamu ndio waliozaa wa Isenye {kilugha} Nyamgamba: sasa na wao walikuwa mwindaji na mkulima au historia yao ni ipi? A: hapo sielewi vizuri lakini vilevile ni mwanamme na mwanamke waliokutana ni watu walikutana vilevile porini wakaoana, ni mbele ya hapa mashariki hapo ndio wa Isenye wakazaana milango ikapatikana, lakini walipooana ni huko mashariki, kwenye milima waliotokea wa Isenye Nyamgamba: umeshafika Bukwe A: sana Nyamgamba: oooh Sochoro: kwasababu hawa ni watu wanatembea porini wanajua sana, vyote wanajua {kilugha} Nyamgamba: aah kumbe ile mlima ule ukitoka, ile ambayo#ndio Guko? Aah kumbe sawa A: ndiko tulikotokea, ndio tukaja hapa Sochoro: lakini mimi nafikiri watu wote hawa tuliotokea sehemu ni sehemu moja huku Nyamgamba: lakini wa Isenye hawana asili kama kuna mwasi ambayo alikuwa mzazi moja? Maana hawa mwasi ni huyu Nyamuna Sochoro: unasema huyu Mwancha na huyu ndio waliozaa Mshiri, na Muikoma wakazaa na mngorime, sasa wao walitokea Nyancha, ilikuwa asili yake mgunya A: wao pia ni wa Isenye ni watu waliooana mme na mke wakaoona huko wakazaa Sochoro: unajua watu mama wakati wa kupatikana wanasema kwamba wanapatikana, unajua Ngorongoro sehemu ya nyumba ya {kilugha} Nyamgamba:ndipo inaitwa Riwari? Sochoro: wa Ikoma wanasema Riwari, watu wote unajua walitokea huko lakini kwisha kwa watu ni haraka sana, sasa watu waliopatikana hawa, sasa sijui ni vizazi vingapi ikapatikana, halafu wale {kilugha} Nyamgamba: aah sawa kwahiyo sijui# {END OF SIDE A} {THE REST OF THE TAPE, IS TAPED OVER, NOT CLEAR} {THE END OF TAPE # 200, DONE BY NYAMUSI MAGATTI, AUGUST, 2009}

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Field Notes

Nyeberekera -- Bwinamoki This is not on tape and the only record is there notes. The name of the whole area is Nyaberekera, the rolling hills and plains around there. The tall rocks themselves are called Bwinamoki. G.P.S. reading 702721 9795258. alt. 1659 meters. rock at 36 degrees, 300 meters. The landscape is distinctive here, very open but not exactly plains because it is rolling hills, there are very few features on the landscape except for these occasional rocky outcroppings that stick up so clearly. They are like kopjes I guess. Bwinamoki itself can be seen from a very long distance off and is a bit pile of balances rocks, huge rocks. It is like a needle sticking out above everything else and can be seen from a far distance. They said that the Isenye used to climb up on top of Bwinamoki to scour the horizon for signs of raiding parties coming. And when you get up on the rocks you can see for a long distance because the land is so open. You look down toward the Grumeti river valleys and all its tributaries. It seemed that one was quite close. They said there were lots of spring up in the rocks and that water was not usually a problem. Near to Bwinamoki at its base was a large tree which they said that when they were there in 1985 was a huge spreading tree but had had all the large branches loped off for firewood by the nearby Kuria. This is an omorogoro tree and was where the elders of old Nyeberekera used to sit and play bao and have meetings. They did not know where the site of the grave of Shanyangi is because he was killed on the tree so when they come to give offerings to him they find one of those trees like the one he was killed on mlangari and do the offererings there, just somewhere at the base of Bwinamoki but not up in the rocks or at any particular place. [NYEBEREKERA; TREES; PROPHETS] Kuherana -- this is what kusengera is in Kiishenyi. They go to Bwinamoki to herana for the prophet Shanyangi. They bring a white, male goat to kill and eat. Both men and women come and they pray and eat and then leave. When the propitiate the Risambwa they say that we are another generation of your people, not those who killed you so have mercy on us and help us. [EMISAMBWA/RITUAL] In 1985 there was a huge drought in Issenye, all of the spring dried up there and they are usually really good springs. So they went "kupiga ramli" or to a diviner in Ngoreme to find out what they should do. He said that their mkubwa, Shanyangi wanted them to come and do offerings at his grave, that they hadn't done it for a long time and had forgotten him. They think that at least 20 years had gone by since anyone had been back, some agreed that it must have been in the 1940s when they last went. It was the Abasanduka or Abamaina who last went in the colonial period. Shanyangi was not a rainmaker so it is interesting that they should have gone there to pray for rain. The day we went they did not take anything to greet him with, no water, no tobacco. Neither did they say a prayer to him or in anyway indicate that they were in the presence of a Risambwa. The attitude in general at these Risambwa sites is fairly casual but this seemed even more so, they did not take us to any particular site nor feel a need to make any communication. They is probably related to his death and to the fact that they have only in hindsite started going back there. There was a different feeling here than when we went to Gitaraga or Nyaheri or when I went with the Ikizu to Nyakinywa's grave. When we went home there was no rain that day either. How can they propitiate an ancestor that they killed? Well, the diviner told them that he wanted them to do the offerings so apparently he was extending a hand to them and wanted communication again. Shanyangi was of the clan Abarogoro and so they must go first or lead when they go to do the offerings but all of Issenye go. The Bene Okinyonyi are always closely associated with the Rogoro and so go right behind them. They think it was sometime in the 19th century when Shanyangi lived. The Ishenyi originated in Guka or Gukana which is the line of mountains or hills there by Klein's camp on the gate which takes you out to Sonjo and Loliondo. On the map it is called Kuka which must be the same thing. This is directly in a line to the east from Nyeberekera which is in turn practically in the Loliondo district or would have been if not for the park. His may be in fact the Sonjo link. These may be the Abamasaba people who lived north of what is Sonjo today and were driven out by the Maasai. Nyawagamba said that even when he was little the Issenye were known as Abaregata and not as Ishenyi. These men also affirmed that from Nyeberekera when the Maasai drove them out some of them went to Regata and that the originating place of Mogunyi and Inyancha was at Guka and not at Sonjo itself -- that the Regata Sonjo came from Nyeberekera. The Ishenyi also have an Ntemi scar and are proud of it. Nyeberekera was once a huge settlement, they lived on all of the rises around this large area. Nyeberekera Mogenda -- if you go down to the Grumeti river from Bwinamoki you come to a pool on the river which is called Nyaberekera Mogenda. The game guard thought it was 16 kms from here down to the Grumeti but I wonder if it isn't on one of the tributaries which are quite near. We did not go looking for it because it was muddy and if 16 kms we did not have time since everyone wanted to get out of Kuria country before nightfall, we had left the kids alone too. At this pool was the place where the wazee would rest and play bao. The bao was made in the rock by God and also three stones for a fire are naturally there. The Risambwa which is there is an animal which eats anyone who goes in there. "alifirisi watu" "Embiri". There are lots and lots of fish there but no one can get them out. You can't fish there. When they lived at Nyeberekera they would run up and hide in the rocks when the Maasai came. The women and children would hide up in the rocks and they even had ladders to climb up on top. They built no forts there. Part of the conversation on tape at Bwanda --- Mogunya and Iyancha were first man and first woman of Ishenyi. They met. All of these peoples here came from Ngorongoro, Olduvai area. The Ikoma call it Miwari. [ORIGINS/ISENYE] —- More Nyeberekera continued - 2/27/96 -- Mossi came to my house today to see if Joseph had come with news about getting the Issenye book -- the was shocked that I had heard nothing yet. Then he said that after we had gotten home from Nyeberekera that day he had talked to other elders and they said that Bwinamoki was not the place were the mitambiko is done. They said it was lucky that we had not gone to the actual place because we never would have left there, the spirits would have been mad. They do not like people from other tribes going there and if you go you have to do the offerings and all and cannot just go hivi hivi. But if they did a full offering and all and all of the clans were there then I could probably go along and they would not be mad. He said that the place where we should have gone was further up the road in the old deserted homesteads of Nyeberekera, we were in Nyeberekera but not the place where you can actually see the foundations and graves and grindstones. There is where the tree is found that is like the one that was used to kill Shanyangi. He said that no one can build there because their foundations are wrecked in the morning and the water turns bad and all sorts of things so no one goes close to there. He said it was near to where we were going to the pool which a large pool where there is lots of fish but which you cannot go into the water or you will be swallowed up. I said that Joseph had said that he had been with them in 1985 when they did the mitambikos there so wouldn't he have told us where it was. Mossi said that either he had not been there for the actual mitambikos but just came at a different time or else he knew that it was dangerous. Mossi said that the day after we left him off in Issenye he talked to Ali who said that Nyawagamba had told him that we would take him to go get the book in Ushashi, Mossi told him that we had sent Joseph for the book. — Bwanda -- G.P.S. reading 703520 9796427 alt. 1745 meters. This is the third place that someone has told me Bwanda is located. The first was near Mugumu at Matare where we went to look with the people from Burunga and did not find it at all, they said that there is a rock painted with the name of Bwanda there, put there by Hassan Irende. Ramadhani told me that Bwanda was in Ikizu near Rakana na Moderi. But Makuru is the only man who could take me to a particular place and be sure in his own mind that this was Bwanda. Makuru is a hunter and also of the clan which had a lot of the risambwa and seems to have been involved in many of the trips. He knows this country. He took us to the top of a wide kopje that was within site of Bwinamoki. We climbed up to some rocks on the top which he said was the place, it was not an actual cave but could conceivably made into a kind of shelter. He told the story of Nyamunywa and Nyasigonko -- this is on tape -- told mostly by Sochoro. Nyasigonko was Mgetiga and Nyamunywa was Gaikwe. They did not die here but moved on, only met here. [ORIGINS/NATA; BWANDA; HAMATE/GETIGA/GIKWE] The Nata claim that the reason that Bwinamoki/Nyeberekera and Bwanda are so close together is not because they lived together. The Nata came there first ever so long ago and had moved on by the time that the Ishenyi came. They say that the Nata must have been at Gitaraga when the Ishenyi were at Nyeberekera, I do not know how much this is in the tradition and how much this is current speculation. Then the Nata went to Timota. This kopje that is Bwanda was also used for the women and children to hide when the Maasai came. There were no Orwaki built here. No enemies could climb up and get them among the rocks. The youth waited to fight them down on the plains. They farmed with digging sticks, iroso and then the wooden hoe, koromo. They farmed millet, sorghum, chahende or kundi and seseame. The man was a hunter and a firemaker but not a blacksmith. He used wooden arrow points with arrow poison. [FARMERS/HUNTERS] —- Settlement sites in order -- as told by Sochoro -- on tape (this was the first time for Sochoro to come to Bwanda) 1. Bwanda 2. Gitaraga 3. Sang'ang'a 4. Gyasigeta 5. Tutuki 6. Ng'ambo ya Rubana, Kyambori 7. Torogoro 8. Mchang'oro -- Site Mosuhu na Site Mokoro 9. Magerigo 10. Kikong'oti -- Anchera ya Mogoro 11. Ng'ambo ya Tirina -- Rakana na Moderi [SETTLEMENTS; PLACE-NAMES] Before the Famine -- Wasaye lived at Nyanturumunti Rumarancha lived at Gitinga Bongirate lived at Tutuki [FAMINE; SAIGA/TERRITORY] The first Saiga that we remember is the Amasura of the Rumarancha, the Abangirate and the Maina of Saye.

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