Elders drawn from the Kikuyu community on Thursday held a special ritual in Kigumo area, Murang’a County to beg some trees to ‘accept’ being trimmed to pave way for road construction.
The over century-old miuu trees had outgrown a site marked for the construction of Mugumoini road, according to People Daily.
When the contractor asked to cut down the trees, elders said this could not be done without first holding a special ceremony to plead with the trees.
One of the elders who performed the ceremony said the trees used to be ‘Ngai’s granary’ and cutting them without following the right procedures would have attracted a curse to the community.
“These trees are very old and were ‘Ngai’s granary’ meaning that people would place food harvests at the base of the trees for any passerby and the needy to have something to eat,” he said, adding that the trees were also used to cleanse the community after a war with other communities.
Area Chief Muiruri Wanjihi narrated how three men died mysteriously about two decades ago after cutting and splitting one of the miuu trees that had fallen. Only people who are over 100 years old are allowed to use the trees for firewood, according to Wanjihi.
“About 20 years ago, three men died in one week after using the trees for firewood. The tree had fallen and the three men thought they could use it for firewood. Within one week, all the three men had died,” he said.