Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#168 Kenya...Thanks Aliya!


This FDC was issued in 1998 to celebrate 20th Anniversary of H.E.Daniel Toroitich arap Moi's leadership of Kenya.

His Excellency Daniel Toroitich arap Moi,has been the President of the Republicof Kenya since 1978.On Jan.5,1998 he took his oath of ofice for the fifth term as president.The colourful swearing ceremony was held at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.

On Dec.12,1963 Kenya attained independence and a year later became a Republic.Mzee Kenyatta led the country as President from independence until the time he died on 1978.H.E.President Moi,the then Vice President constitutionally succeeded the President as the second President of the Republic of Kenya.It was a rare smooth transfer of power in an otherwise turbulent Africa.

The 25c stamp on the left top shows Kit Mikaye,located off Kisumu Bondo Road towards Bondo in western Kenya.

Kit Mikaye is said to be the rock where Mikaye (which means, literally, "the first wife"), the mother of the Luo tribe, sheltered herself after a long journey down the Nile.

There are many spectacular rock formations which abound with myths and mythologies in western tourist circuit. The massive columns of Kit Mikaye in Seme are towers of boulders piled together into gravity defying columns. The stones have been a source of solace for the Luo people for a long time.

According to legend, this was once the homestead of a powerful man who used to abuse and mistreat his first wife. The woman returned to haunt him after her death, eventually turning him and his property into stones. It is said the woman went up the rock where she has been weeping ever since.

Local people believe that if any man with a problem visits the stones, his problems will be solved and his wishes answered, so long as elders sacrifice a goat at the site. In the past, only men were allowed near the rocks, but visitors are these days welcome. The site is managed by the Kit Mikaye Rock Development Group which plans to construct a banda where visitors can get refreshments and accommodation. Religious groups visit the rocks hoping that their prayers will be answered.

The second 25c stamp shows a Maasai woman.

The Maasai are an indigenous African ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa, they are among the most well known of African ethnic groups.They speak Maa,a member of the Nilo-Saharan language family that is related to Dinka and Nuer, and are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania: Swahili and English. Estimates of the respective Maasai populations in both countries are complicated by the remote locations of many villages, and their semi-nomadic nature.

Maasai society is strongly patriarchal in nature with elder men, sometimes joined by retired elders, deciding most major matters for each Maasai group. A full body of oral law covers many aspects of behaviour. Formal execution is unknown, and normally payment in cattle will settle matters. The Maasai are monotheistic, and they call God Enkai or Engai. Engai is a single deity with a dual nature: Engai Narok (Black God) is benevolent, and Engai Nanyokie (Red God) is vengeful. The "Mountain of God", Ol Doinyo Lengai, is located in northernmost Tanzania. Many Maasai have become Christian, and to a lesser extent, Muslim. The Maasai are known for their intricate jewelry.

A high infant mortality rate among the Maasai has led to babies not truly being recognized until they reach an age of 3 moons. For Maasai living a traditional life, the end of life is virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers. A corpse rejected by scavengers,mainly spotted hyenas, is seen as having something wrong with it, and liable to cause social disgrace, therefore it is not uncommon for bodies to be covered in fat and blood from a slaughtered ox.Burial has in the past been reserved for great chiefs, since it is believed to be harmful to the soil.

Traditional Maasai lifestyle centers around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food. The measure of a man's wealth is in terms of cattle and children. A herd of 50 cattle is respectable, and the more children the better. A man who has plenty of one but not the other is considered to be poor.[18] A Maasai myth relates that God gave them all the cattle on earth, leading to the belief that rustling cattle from other tribes is a matter of taking back what is rightfully theirs, a practice that has become much less common.

The 25c stamp at the left bottom is from Kenya's 2008 Olympics issue.

The 25c stamp at the right bottom shows Turkana hut.

Turkana people inhabit the Turkana District in northwest Kenya, a dry and hot region bordering Lake Turkana in the east.They are mainly nomadic pastoralists and are noted for raising camels and weaving baskets. They are believed to be of a Hamito-Semitic origin. They are believed to have originated from North Africa and across the Red Sea. They are a conservative ethnic group with strict cultural lifestyle. Their huts are constructed over a wooden framework of domed saplings on which grass is thatched and lashed on.The house is large enough to house a family of six.Usually during the wet season they are elongated and covered with cow dung.

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