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the beginning: myth of the origin of the agikuyu

November 6, 2008


The images below have been re-worked with the intention of being published in the near future. For the up to date work, please visit the link below.


The basis of of these illustrations are the origin of the Gikuyu focusing on the story of Gikuyu and Mumbi and their nine daughters.


Ngai calls Gikuyu showing him all lands at base of Mount Kenya telling him the lands will be the home of Gikuyu and his children forever


Gikuyu is sent to a grove of fig trees where he finds Ngai has provided him with a beautiful wife. Gikuyu names her Mumbi.


Gikuyu and Mumbi live happily together and have nine daughters. Gikuyu is disturbed at having no male heir


Ngai commands Gikuyu to make a sacrifice at fig tree and return the following day


Gikuyu returns to fig tree and finds nine young men awaiting him.Gikuyu gives consent to young men to marry his daughters only if they agree to live under a matriarchal system


After the death of Gikuyu and Mumbi came the formation of the nine principal clans of the Gikuyu each named after the nine daughters. When all clans united under one strong bond of kinship they were known as ” Rorere Rwa Mbari Ya Mumbi”- Children or People of Mumbi or Mumbi’s Tribe.

the beginning


Post a comment
  1. November 17, 2008

    Glad to revist this part of Gikuyu ‘history’. I had almost forgotten this story.

    The illustrations are on point….nicely done.

    Off to read the rest.

  2. November 18, 2008

    Brilliant…good work man. Very interesting.

  3. August 29, 2009

    Great reading! Do you realise Nyumba ya Mumbi is getting lost somewhere? I did not know of this “legend” of the origins of my tribe and am above 40! Am going to tell this to my teenage kids tonight.

    Please encourage more of these interactives for the sake of our children.

  4. anne njenga #
    September 11, 2009

    I am actually presenting on Saturday on Kikuyu laws and religion and relation to Christianity. There are striking similarities between old testament and the sacrifice of animals to God with the Kikuyu folklore, and adoration for a monotheist God.
    I will post feedback after presentation

  5. Kaberethi wa gacheru #
    November 29, 2009

    @ Anne, it is true that christianity has striking similarities with Gikuyu’s form of worship and this is forming a strong basis for many sects eg Thaai and Mungiki where they believe that the same god was worshipped by the israelites and the Agikuyu. This has led to a new form of worship where the bible is used in officiating ceremonies of traditional nature. For instance the mungiki start their prayers like “Jehova Ngai Mwenenyaga wa kirima githeru gia Kirinyaga….” Noting the use of jehova the name of god of israel as the same god who resides on mount kenya is quite amazing.

  6. May 5, 2013

    thanks and praises aren’t sufficient for our sages who are re-telling the nation of Gikuyu the facts & trueth of origin.

  7. gachiri wa irungu #
    May 20, 2013

    it’s a nice links with christinity,eg the mode of sacrifice,prayers and strong faith in God’s work(kikuyu’s wife and Abraham’s son).

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