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Maralal and Beyond|Marsabit and Beyond

Specialist Safari

Herbalism For those with an interest in traditional medicine, some safari operators can arrange for visitors to learn more about the traditional medicine and rites of the Borana people.

Throughout most of Kenya's traditional cultures, herbalism has played a major role. Traditional healers used blends and preparations of native herbs, leaves, and particularly barks to treat and prevent a wide range of ailments and disease. This practice continues today, with herbal practitioners known as Daktari wa Miti Shamba offering traditional remedies.

As the practice fades, studies have shown that in many cases these traditional blends were indeed beneficial and potentially curative. One of the largest problems, however, is that these remedies and recipes were handed down orally from generation to generation, with no written or permanent record. So as the practice fades and these traditions are abandoned so is a treasure trove of medicinal practices that may hold great scientific value.

Efforts are now being made to research and record these practices before it is too late. Visitors can arrange to learn more and visit with traditional healers and herbalists.

Another fascinating and fading part of traditional culture in this area is the practice of divination and prophecy.The Borana practice a 'casting of lots' to foretell the future. Traditionally this was done using stones or sandals. The position in which they would land when thrown onto the earth would be carefully read by a diviner. Signs and symbols would be noted and recorded, and prophecies made. While this practice has almost completely faded, it does still exist, including modern variants such as the tossing of coins.Spending time among the traditional people of this region is the best way to gain an insight into local beliefs and customs.
See general information on this region....



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