A Study of Participation of Luo Muslim Women in Funeral Rituals in Kendu Bay, Kenya
Implications for Christian Witness
Keywords:Women, Islam, missiological, Muslims, participation, theological, funeral rituals
Women have been key players in many of the funeral rituals in Africa. Among the Luo community in Kenya, they have played a critical role right from the time of death until the burial and even after. Among the rituals they are involved with, wailing and wife inheritance are included. While these rituals were considered normal and in order among the Luo women in Kendu Bay, the coming of Islam and subsequent conversion of these women to this religion have brought a shift in their role and participation in the funeral rituals. The shift, however, is such that there is an integration of some Luo traditions with Islamic practices. This synthesis has elicited interest in understanding the kind of Muslims these Luo women are. In an attempt to discover their identity, the researcher begins by first looking at the Luo traditional understanding of death. Second, he explores the perception of the Luo Muslims on death and the kind of rituals that Luo Muslim women practice during funerals and after. He then gives theological and missiological implications to this study. In his conclusion, the researcher draws the attention of the Church on the need to understand the vital role these Luo Muslims play in the funerals and strategically work out a mechanism that will help to reach them with the gospel. The research was conducted in Kendu Bay using interviews between January and April 2020. The findings revealed that both African traditions and Islam have affected the way Luo Muslim women conduct rituals in funerals. The effect is such that they identify themselves as Muslims but with a complete synthesis of both Luo traditions and Islamic practices into one whole.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Lilian Munyekenye
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