Samburu weddings battling modernism

“The couple spends the night in one of the matrimonial boma’s and leave early next morning to the husband’s home. But they don’t just walk out of the boma. They seat four times and drink milk on their way out of the homestead,” explains Christopher.

In as much as the Samburu are trying to keep some of the traditions, modern practices are eroding some of the cultural practices.

“Most of the girls are now educated. They refuse to be taken in as second wives. The harsh economic times can restrict the amount of dowry asked by the family,” says Susan’s aunt.

Mobile penetration in this region is also quite high, higher than literacy levels as we had to help Susan call a relative from her phone book. She may not know how to read, but she knows how to use a mobile phone, facilitating communication in the otherwise harsh terrain.

But it remains to be seen how long the Samburu will maintain their traditions as the pressures of modernity challenge long-held beliefs and practices.


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