Eyes from Beyond the Grave

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Xlibris Corporation, Aug 1, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 244 pages
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Before his daughter is circumcised, Nyakiongona seeks divination from Maturu, the renowned Gusii medicine-man. He wants to know if this rite of passage will go well for his daughter. It is also a way of invoking the spirits and the ancestors to protect her from excessive bleeding, witchcraft and evil spirits. The medicine-man reveals Nyakiongona's father, Samba, killed a Kipsigis man in the war of Mogori. However, Samba died before he offered a cleansing sacrifice to appease the spirits of the killed man. Without this sacrifice, Samba and his descendants are left unprotected from destruction and death by the spirits of the man he killed.

Maturu reveals the skipped sacrifice must be offered before Nyamondo is circumcised. Nyakiongona rejects the medicine-man's divination and proceeds to circumcise his daughter. This is a voluntary declaration of war with the spirits, and Engoro, the god of the Abagusii. The spirits are enraged because Nyakiongona despises their orders. They send a snake which kills him in the wee hours of the day. Efforts to cure him with herbal medicine are fruitless. It means the snakebite is not just an accident. Once more, Maturu must be sought to divine the cause of Nyakiongona's death. When Nyamwaro goes to get the medicine-man, he is received into the empty gaze of the seer's solitary hut. Maturu has disappeared from Girango and although he remains central to the story of Eyes from Beyond the Grave, he is never seen again. After seclusion Nyamondo is married to the clan of Riabosibori. However, the sacrifice has not been offered. It is just a matter of time before the bomb explodes to produce an unwelcome river of pus and stench in the lives of all the offspring of Nyakiongona.

Nyaboke, Nyakiongona's widow, is converted to Christianity and forsakes the ways of the clan and the tribe. She turns her face to the new faith and lives a pious life for the rest of her days under the sun. Nyamondo, remains in a polygamous marriage but she never accepts the rivalry posed by her immediate cowife. In a polygamous marriage, family squabbles abound. In the end, Nyamondo's cowife, Kemunto, puts love potion in her elder cowife's food. This is revealed by another medicine-man called Kerandi. This potion turns out to be poisonous and makes Nyamondo sick but she is healed by Kerandi's herbal prescriptions. For a long time Nyamondo continues to experience stomach problems. In the end she deserts her children, and husband and goes to live with a Kipsigis man called Birir. It is in exile that her dead father reveals to her in a dream that her cowife, Kemunto, is going to kill her using witchcraft. In the dream he reveals the witchcraft in Kemunto's house can only be destroyed by burning the house.

She returns home to Girango and is assisted by her people to proffer the skipped sacrifice. The spirits of the Kipsigis man her grandfather killed in the war of Mogori are, therefore, appeased. Her genealogy is saved from destruction and death. Nyamondo's next mission is to gut down her cowife's house and destroy the witchcraft which is going to kill her. The horrendous fire is the gas chamber that kills three of her cowife's children, many goats and sheep. Kemunto mysteriously escapes from the fire that kills her children. Led by Kerandi, the clan puts an everlasting curse on the head of the arsonist and all her offspring. Nyamondo is sent to Kodiaga prison for the lesser charges of manslaughter. However, there is a way the curse placed on her can be lifted. This is possible through the ceremony of reunion. From the bed of the debris upon which the children died, ashes are collected and preserved to be used later in the ceremony of reunion.

Nyamondo is converted to Christianity as a panacea to her problems and presides upon her children to skip the ceremony of reunion. Will Christianity save them from destruction and death?

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