Places, The People

The Meru Story: How the Meru Settled in Meru



Last time, we saw how the Meru pulled an Israelite move on their Nguu Ntune captors and crossed the Red Sea. Where they were going, they didn’t know. But they had to move as fast as possible, as far as possible from the Mbwaa island.

The Nguu Ntune of course realised the Mer were missing and gave a chase. Guess what happens? That’s right, the waters came together again… only one Nguu Ntune man managed to cross to the other side. Knowing the Ameru and their world-renowned hasira, they would have killed him. He lied that he had decided to join them, you know, good people. Let me be a member of your tribe. The Ameru were suspicious, but we are good people. We give people their chances. They allowed him to stay. On a leash. Just kidding, not for long. They realised this man may get children and give rise to another small generation of Nguu Ntune. The elders married him off to a Meru girl called Ciokibuli who did what had to be done while he slept – a rope around his neck and the bad seed was gone.

And the Ameru wandered away, around and about, for many years.

Meru settled
The desert trek was like this, minus the guns and clothes, of course

And then finally settled

The old generation, including Koome Njoe, had already passed away by the time they arrived at all place that definitely fit them. Lush green, hilly, fertile soil, lots of fresh water, not inhabited before. This place was just perfect for their farming, the lifestock, forect hunting and comfortable subsistence. They decided to settle here. The present day Meru!


Good choice! Meru is a Paradise to this day.

So, they named this place Nkubiu, which in old Kimeru means “Our new home.” It is from here that they started to panga themselves (like Ruto). They had no leader though, and everyone did what they thought was right. There wasn’t even tie to teach the younger generation the customs and ethics of the tribe, so, you can imagine the lawlessness.

The community had to tame this. Solution? The community took an oath to live together in unity and to defend their freedom. They were ready to fight to the last man in case invaders tried to take them back to slavery.

It is here that circumcision was introduced, courtesy of the girl who had been married off to the Nguu Ntune man. She had said he was circumcised and the elders agreed that that was the reason the Nguu Ntune were so brave. now an old woman, the she circumcised the first group of young men and taught the older men the procedure. Ciokibuli became the first mutani in Meru. 🙂


The fact that there was no leader still disturbed the elders. An oath on itself would return law and order but it would not provide leadership. So, they prayed and offered a lamb as a sacrifice to ask God for help in this matter.

God spoke to his people, directly! A voice came from heaven as they prayed and said:

You will find a flat stone under a Kiroo plant. Whoever steps on t and leaves a footprint, he and his descendants will be leaders of the Ameru.

Many people, men and women, who the people thought to have leadership qualities tried, but nobody made a print. The Kiraitus and Munyas and Kayuyus of that time.

There was this young man who sat around enjoying what all these people were doing. The people asked him, I think jokingly, to give it a try. He tried and voila! A print formed on the stone!

Hence, the Meru finally had a King, called a Mugwe or Mukiama! Let’s learn how that went next time. Usibanduke!

Main Pics: Mystical Meru

8 Comments to “The Meru Story: How the Meru Settled in Meru”

    1. nicholas

      A nice read but I believe you can do better.Stick to the real facts and leave alone mentioning the rutos, the kiraitus and munyas. This is some very serious affair.

  1. Naftaly

    Good try though circumcision was first started by a masaai woman who wa married in meru .the nyambene ranges of meru was occupied first by masaai that why you will find several places given masaai names

  2. Njagi

    As an Israelite (Yashar’el) i belief the part of the story that the first person to circumcise men was a woman. Looking back, there is no way Avraham could have circumcised himself; Sarah his wife did it, but as instructed by him. Remember when Avraham was about to delay circumcision of Yitschaq, and Yahuah was about to destroy him when Sarah acted fast and circumcised Yitschaq herself as amatter of urgency. As much as some say it was a Masai woman, i do not think so, as circumcision is a bantu affair even in other tribes of Africa.


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