The Isukha speak Lwisukha and occupy the eastern part of Kakamega district. The Isukha Clans. The Isukha (also commonly referred to as Abaisukha) are a sub-community of the larger Luhya (Abaluyia) community in Kenya. The Luhya are a western Bantu ethnic group, which comprises of eighteen sub-communities: Isukha, Bukusu, Maragoli, Banyala, Banyore, Batsotso, Gisu, Idakho, Kabras, Khayo, Kisa, Marachi, Marama, Masaaba, Samia, Tachoni, Tiriki and Wanga with different but mutually understood linguistic dialects. The Isukha people speak the Lwisukha dialect. They inhabit parts of Kakamega County, in western Kenya, border the Tiriki and Idakho sub-communities, and are closely related to the Idakho.
Origin of the Isukha
Mumwamu (also referred to as Mundu or Muluyia) was the ancestor of the Isukha. His son Mwisukha had nineteen sons, who form the nineteen clans of the Isukha.
Traditional religious beliefs and practices
The Isukha believed in a supreme being, Mukoye (also referred to as ‘Were’ or ‘Omwami We Mumbo’), to whom they offered prayers and sacrifices at selected places such as under trees (Mukhumi and Lusiola) or at the famous crying stone of Ilesi (ikongamurwe).
The Isukuti dance
The Isukuti dance is a traditional dance performed among the Isukha and Idakho. It is a rapid dance accompanied by drumming of the isukuti drums from which the dance drives its name. Both men and women participate in this dance, usually led by a soloist. The dance is now popular amongst the entire Luhya community, and is inscribed by UNESCO in the world heritage list.
This one-stringed instrument (fiddle) is made of wood from the mukorani tree. The resonator is covered with cowhide. It was made and played by men to accompany singing.
This is a straw made from bamboo and used by both men and women to drink busaa (local beer). Busaa is drunk from a communal pot during circumcision, marriage, dowry payment, and funerals, among other occasions. It is prepared from maize meal and finger millet fermented over a period of two weeks.
Celebrating Kenya’s communities today
Many of the cultural practices of the Isukha are still embraced today, but have been influenced by the changes in society. The heritage and culture of the Isukha community, along with the more than 44 communities in Kenya, continues to fascinate and inspire. The National Museums of Kenya invites everyone to celebrate the intangible cultural heritage of all communities which makes up this great nation.
Here is a List of The Isukha Clans
Isukha clans include the;
- Abasaka- Ia
Learn more about the National Museums of Kenya by visiting website.
Exhibit Curator: Philemon Nyamanga, Cultural Heritage Department. email@example.com
Bibliography and research
1. Fedders A, Salvadori C. Peoples and cultures of Kenya. Nairobi: Transafrica and London: Rex Collings, 1980.
Photography and Creative Direction: Gibson Maina and Muturi Kanini. Gibs Photography
Exhibit Layout: Barnabas Ngei, Brian Maina Kamau and Quinter Anduto.
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