KURINGA NTHENGE: The Meru Oath more Feared than Kithiri

nthenge goat oath

Last time, we spoke about Kithiri, which is one of the most feared oaths among the Meru community. Just like its name, it thirias (finishes) the entire lineage, over some time. Now, there is a worse oath – Kuringa Nthenge. Let’s just call it Nthenge.

Kuringa Nthenge means literally that – “beating the he-goat.”

It was also supposed to be approved by both the Njuri Ncheke and the families involved…and only if the underlying matter is complicated and cannot be solved in another way.
Like Kithiri, the man who is keeping the property bought the he-goat and the other party bought the knives.

Both had to strip naked and their close relatives carried their clothes.

The owner of the he-goat carries it on his back while the other party and Njuri Ncheke elders follow. If, for example, if it is land under dispute, the blood trail has to follow the claimed boundaries. Again, like KIthiri, the goat’s body parts get cut off, and taken round similar body parts of the oath taker – “If the land under dispute is not mine, may I be cut like this goat and if it’s not yours, may you be cut like this goat.”

When the goat dies, the parties runs to different directions to wash the blood off their bodies.

The owners of the he-goat hides the carcass where it cannot be found by the opponent and owner of the knives puts them away where they cannot be found.

Then death awaits.

The other method on Kuringa Nthenge is, burning it the he-goat. This is mostly used to catch witches.

Here, the clan gathers, everyone jumps over the goat, or whatever the elders prescribe, denouncing witchcraft and other evils that may affect the rest of the clansmen. The goat is then, fungwad all its orifices (body holes) and put in fire, alive. The he-goat burns till it explodes!

See Also:  Nthuki: Meru Age Groups
roasting goat nthenge Meru
Like this, but without the knives. The goat burns alive

Woe unto you if you take the oath and you aren’t true to your words. You will die!

And your death will be as painful as the goat’s gruesome death.

Like Kithiri oath, Nthenge is dreadful and is known to have wiped out families. But this one is much faster and has open ends. For example, if either party dies, the death MUST NOT be investigated by the Njuri Ncheke or anyone. As long as you have taken the oath, even if you are killed by another enemy, it will be assumed that the oath killed you. And some people would take advantage of that window.

Be afraid!

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