No circumcision this year after elders read internal organs

Elgeyo Marakwet elders Julius Chelagat and Kiprop Toroitich interpret internal organs of a goat slaughtered to predict happenings in coming months in Iten on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. [Stephen Rutto, Standard]

There will be no circumcision ceremonies among the Kalenjin this year, elders have declared.

Traditionally, circumcision rites across the Rift Valley take place in November and December.

However, elders who base major happenings on their observation of the content of the internal organs of animals and stars yesterday said no circumcision rites would be conducted among the Kalenjin community this year.

For centuries, a special group of elders have been performing the practice of traditional astronomy and observance of internal organs of goats such as the intestines and the heart before giving direction on whether or not certain ceremonies would take place.

The organs have also been used to predict wars and diseases.

The traditional forecasters had on Wednesday afternoon performed the practice in Elgeyo Marakwet County and from their observation found it was not safe to conduct the rite of passage in 2020.

Julius Chelagat from Marakwet West sub-county and Kiprop Toroitich from Kocholwo, Keiyo South, both in their 80s, dropped the bombshell that will see hundreds of boys who would have faced the knife from November wait for one more year.

Following their accuracy in forecasting, the elders have in recent years won the heart of the meteorological department, working closely with the department since 2014.

A white, fat goat was slaughtered during the Wednesday ceremony and the interpretation showed both doom and success.

They predicted increased deaths through calamities, political instability in Kenya, famine and bumper harvests in some parts of the country.

“After a keen look, we have spotted blood in some parts of the country and after looking at the stars, we have come to a conclusion that there will be no circumcision this year,” Dominic Komen, one of the elders, said.

Mr Komen warned: “Anyone who will circumcise their boys will do so at their own peril.”

Circumcision ceremonies without the blessings of elders are usually faced with misfortunes, including illnesses among initiates, according to Komen.

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