Khushwala Kumuse the Ritual and Its Significance Among Babukusu of Western Kenya
This is a study of the Bukusu funeral ritual known as Khuswala Kumuse. This ritual is normally carried out three days after burial and is only done for dead oldmen from specific clans. The study is based mainly on oral evidence supplemented by documentary evidence. This study was carried out in Kimilili Division of Bungoma District between December 1985 and January 1996. The purpose of this study was to document the significance of the ritual among the Bukusu community, describe the performer and any mystic powers that may be associated with the ritual and then document any changes that might have occurred in the way the ritual is performed. The study also aimed at establishing the reasons why the practice of Khuswala Kumuse is persistent in the Bukusu society despite the various modernization processes. The research included collecting of both primary and secondary data. The primary data were obtained through interviews and direct observations. The secondary data, on the other hand, were collected or obtained from ethnographic literature by earlier scholars. Data analysis was done using qualitative methods. The major findings showed that the practice was still prevalent in the community and the ritual plays an important role in perpetuating the culture of Babukusu.
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