The function of divination and the roles of Ajuoga (divines-doctor) in the changing society of the Luo of Western Kenya 1904-1986
This study is a contribution to the current interest in the African traditional values. It focuses on the divination and the roles of ajuoga (diviner-doctor) in the Luo Religion. Questionnaire interviews, written sources and on the spot observation were the methods of investigation used in this study. Written sources used in this study include archival material and published works. On the spot observation method of investigation was used to find out why people consult ajuoga. / In the course of the study it became evident that there are only three major Luo divination methods. They are divination by pebbles (.ga^gi) , by divining board (mbofua) and by gourd (ajawu). A juoga can use more than one divination methods. The divination results helped the Luo to cope with the complexities of life. The changes brought by both the Missionaries and the British colonial rule upset the traditional set up of the Luo. The Missionaries in particular condemned most traditions and customs of the Luo as heathen. The British colonial administration (vi) also introduced a compartmentalized system of government which deprived ajuoga of some of his functions in the society. However, the fieldwork showed that, at village level ajQxoga still plays the role of a teacher, a counsellor and a technical advisor. For instance when one is confronted with a cultural issue which he had not encountered before, ajuoga w’ould confirm from the supernatural the correct procedure to be followed. He will also give the advice to his client on how to solve similar problems in future. A juoga is still consulted to promote socio-cultural activities. He is consulted in conduction with the modern experts in different fields such as agriculture and health. The situation at the moment is that the roles of ajuoga. in the traditional environment have been transformed but not replaced by the social changes which were accelerated by the evangelization work of the Missionaries. The fieldwork also revealed that more modern material objects have been incorporated in the divination objects to reflect modernity. The nature of consulting the ajuoga is also changing.