[SIZE=4]Mt.Kenya Sacred Sites[/SIZE]

For millennia, indigenous and local communities around the world have upheld the responsibilities of their great-great grandparents and their ancestors as the Custodians of Sacred Natural Sites and Territories. Sacred Natural Sites are critical places within ecosystems, such as forests, mountains, rivers and sources of water, which exist as a network embedded within a territory.
Sacred Natural Sites are also of cultural and spiritual importance, as places where the ancestors’ spirits of the community reside, and are akin to temples or churches where the Custodians carry out ceremonies and rituals. Elders within the community play a vital role in upholding the ecological knowledge and customs practiced over generations which maintain the well-being of Sacred Natural Sites, ecosystems, territories and local communities.
These customary governance systems recognise Sacred Natural Sites and Territories as places where the laws can be read, and from which customs, spiritual practices and governance systems are derived to protect the territory as a whole. Therefore, Sacred Natural Sites and Territories are at the heart of ecological, spiritual and cultural practices, and governance systems of indigenous and local communities.

Mt Kenya biosphere reserve represents a sacred site that bares a deep historical, spiritual, social, cultural and religious significance to the particular communities that surround it. It is surrounded by five major cultural groups; The Agikuyu, Aembu, Ameru, Maasai and Samburu. This communities invariably hold the mountain with awe and great admiration as the traditonal cradle home of God. The Agikuyu, Aembu and Ameru refere to Mt.Kenya as Kirinyaga and Kirimara respectively to denote the sanctity of its white and black peaks. The Maasai, Samburu and Yiaaku refer to it as Ol Donyo Keri meaning ‘white mountain’. They too believe that it is the Mountain of God, Enkai. The Akamba refer to it as Kiinyaa hence the heritage of the the name Kenya. For ages this mountaiin has remained an important holy shrine in which prayers and other community rituals have been carried out at several different sacred areas dotting this World National Heritage site.

Karima Hill Sacred sites
Karima Hill in Nyeri district, central Kenya has two sacred sites namely Kamwangi and Gakina. Kamwangi sacred site is a territorial shrine consecrated by the Mwangi ruling generation in 1900, while Gakina is a clan shrine. Most of the plants found on Karima hill are used in tradational ceremonies and have medicinal value.

Nkunga Sacred Lake
The Sacred lake is approximately nineey six acres and is located two kilometers off the Meru-Nanyuki highway with the lower Imenti Forest reserve. According to the Ameru traditions this sacred lake is used by the Njuri Nceke to performa sacrifices at the fall of calamities such as drought, diseases and pest invasion. it supports numerous water birds and is a watering place for wild animals and a source of domestic water for the local community.

M’mwenda cave
Located in Mucheene forest in the eastern part of Mt.Kenya, Meru Cental. it is currently used by locals as a shrine for prayers and meditation and was also used by the Mau Mau freedom fighters as a hideout.

Mbututia Sacred Lake
located off Meru - Maua road at Kianjai, Meru North it is used for rainmaking ceremonies. The lake supports several species of birds and also has fish.

Giitune Sacred forest
it is a natural forest patch measuring 18 acres and is owned and managed by two clans namely Abonthiga and Mberenyaa and is used as a shrine

Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga
Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga is the mythical garden of Eden of the Gikuyu tribe of central Kenya. It is also the central point of dispersal of the Gikuyu after arrival into the Mt. Kenya area.

other sites
[li]Thaai Sacred lake in Meru Central[/li][li]Niara foot marks in Kirinyaga[/li][li]Gichira shrine in Nyeri[/li][li]Igandegi sacred grove in Meru South[/li][li]Ihiga ria Njogu in Meru South[/li][li]Irungu shrine in Nyeri[/li][li]Naro Moru Cave in Nyeri[/li][li]Kiamonko Sacred grove in Meru South[/li][li]Kathituni in Meru south[/li][li]Kiangati cave in Meru South[/li][li]King Muhuru In Meru Central[/li][li]Kinunkene Cave in Meru Central [/li][li]Kionyo sacred grove in Meru South[/li][li]Kirimiri Hill in Embu[/li][li]Kithima Kia M’araigua in Meru Central [/li][li]Mau Mau Post office in the Aberdares and Kirinyaga[/li][li]Mau Mau Caves[/li][li]Mau Mau Massacre site in Othaya[/li][li]Mugumo wa Kiambugu in Nyeri [/li][li]Mugumo wa Mburi in Meru South[/li][li]Mugumu wa Ucuru in Nyeri[/li][li]Muthinga Shrine in Nyeri[/li][li]Old moses cave in Nyeri [/li][li]Marania shrine in Meru Central.[/li][/ul]

A-a-aaa! Uui!

You have probably heard Meru women laugh like that. Or you have probably laughed like that yourself. Did you think it was just a laugh? Think again.

Uui was actually a person, a guy who lived in Meru many many years ago, but whose effects are still felt today. And no, not only because he has his own custom laugh, but because of other things.

Uui was reach, dude had thousands of cattle… But no one wanted to marry him. Why? Dude had one of those donda ndugus, an incurable wound. And true to Meru style then, he was told to stay away from the rest of the community and daughters were told to not go close to him. So the dude stayed alone with his cows which kept growing in numbers, the other men wakikula kwa macho.