SIGNIFICANCE OF AFRICAN RITUALS: A CASE OF SANKAYA RITUAL OF THE TACHONI OF BUNGOMA COUNTY, KENYA.
1. Mr. Kusienya Fred Wekesa Lecturer of Music at Kabarak University school of music and performing Arts
2. Prof. Mellitus Wanyama Dean of the school of music and performing arts, Kabarak University
3. Dr. Masasabi Senior Lecturer and Chairperson, Department of music and Theatre studies, Maseno University.
Ritual practices form an integral part of the dynamics that underpin African cultural systems. Rituals differ in nature and are practiced for different social purposes. In African context for instance, rituals may be performed for purposes such as: cleansing, burial, birth of twins, inauguration, cementing of relations, oath taking, healing, and commemoration of the dead and for both religious and secular purposes. This study focused on the Sankaya ritual among the Tachoni community of Bungoma County. The objectives were: a) To establish the content of Sankaya circumcision ritual of the Tachoni b) To interpret the symbolism embedded in Sangaya ritual of the Tachon and c) to establish the cultural significance of Sankaya circumcision ritual to the Tachoni. This study employed a qualitative research approach. Data collection methods comprised interviews, participant observation. The study population comprised the Sankaya dance practitioners. Purposive and snowball techniques of sampling were employed. Qualitative data obtained was coded and subjected to content analysis methods and results presented in propose. It is hoped that the findings of this study will augment the existing pool of knowledge in the area of ethnomusicology and other related fields.
Key Words: Sankaya, Tachoni, Ritual, Content, Symbolism