The Meru Story: Mbwaa and the Nguu-Ntune


Over the next few posts, we will post a series of the story of the Ameru, and how they came to settle in the current Meru area, along with the initial leadership. Our grandparents and parents were meant to pass this story on from generation to generation… but since it has somehow been misplaced somewhere in civilisation, let’s take it up! Stay tuned.

The Ameru orginiated from an Island called Mbwaa. They lived peacefully on the Island until they were invaded by brown people who used canoes to reach the Island. The invaders were very fierce fighters and the Ameru surrendered. They wore brown or red clothes on their waists and the shoulders, a red head-dress and also carried in their waist a bow-like sword. These invaders were called by the Ameru NGUU-NTUNE meaning brown or red clothes.

The Mbwaa Island and its inhabitants were colonised by the NGUU-NTUUNE. A paramount chief was brought to the Island and most of the invaders settled on the Island and used the Ameru as slaves. The Ameru met all nature of maltreatments from the NGUU-NTUUNE.

The Ameru all the same increased and multiplied. The NGUU-NTUUNE did not want to keep all the big numbers of the Ameru. They had more than enough slaves. They were also afraid that there would be an uprising if the Ameru were allowed to breed without being checked.

Order to kill all Meru old people

The Paramount Chief then ordered that all Ameru old People should be killed. They were to be killed by the younger Ameru. He ordered that the blood must reach the Headquarters of the NGUU-NTUNE as a prove of the homicide. The Ameru selected all their weak animals and slaughtered them and the blood reached the Headquarters of the NGUU-NTUNE.They were left with the problem of hiding the old people, for if NGUU-NTUNE discovered the trick the result would be death to all tribesmen.

The NGUU-NTUNE still wanted an excuse for eliminating the Meru or for killing most of them and leave a handful of slaves. The Paramount Chief and his elders called the representatives of what he believed was the remaining Ameru. He told them that since the elders were killed, the tribe had become generally disobedient and lazy. Naturally the Ameru representatives vehemently denied this accusation for they knew well enough what NGUU-NTUUNE were up to. They assured the Chief of their loyalty and further assured him that they were more loyal than they had ever been.

The Chief decided to give them tests, and the consequence of failing the test was death for all the tribesmen.

First test: A black bull that drops white dung

He told them to prove their loyalty by bringing a black bull among their herds that dropped white dung. They had seven days to do this. The Ameru were very sad and desperate. This would not be possible. But remember they had hidden the elders who made experiments with black bulls. They discovered that if you feed white soil to a bull, it will drop white dung. This was done and the black bull was taken to the Nguu-Ntune Chief. The Ameru had succeeded, and he was very upset.

Second test: Orange in a pit

The Chief  told them to dig a pit. He came with an orange that he dropped into the pit and told the Ameru, “I want that orange taken out of the pit without anybody touching it.” A meeting was called again to resolve the issue. The options were two: commit suicide by declaring war against the Nguu-Ntune, or find a solution to this impossible task. The old men advised them to simply fill the pit with water till it overflowed. The orange floated out. The Chief was amazed at the Ameru wisdom and summoned his elders to help him come with harder tests.

ripe orange with leaves on white background

Third test: Two-Ply Sandal

It was suggested that the Ameru be asked to deliver a sandal with hair on both sides. Our wise ancestors sat again and the solution was found by cutting the dewlap of a bull and sewing it into a sandal. The sandal was taken to the Chief.  He was very offended because of these feats. The Ameru were simply much wiser than his council and him.

Fourth test: A long spear.

The Chief then told the Ameru that he needed a spear that reached the sky. Failure to deliver this spear would mean disobedience and judgement would be passed to the entire tribe.

After deliberations the Ameru could not come up with a solution. Nobody knew how high the sky was, and no one had an idea how this would be measured, let alone lifted.

The end for a whole tribe was drawing close…


Find out what happens in the next edition of Culture! 🙂

Main pic: King Kong Explorers

6 Comments to “The Meru Story: Mbwaa and the Nguu-Ntune”

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