In many tribes across the globes, culture is an important aspect that contains the use of significant activities and action. When some rites of passage or other community events take place, there are processes which must take place for it to be complete. Many of these traditions are still used and carried out to this day, including other long-forgotten rites of passage.
Male circumcision is still an important rite of passage in the Bukusu community. It is debuted with a lot of celebration and a long period is set aside for this particular process. The most significant tradition in circumcision is the use of songs and dance, in which the whole community participates in.
Songs are most used in different stages of the process and are switched up depending on the function. For instance, the Sioyayo is sang in the last process of this rite of passage. This is when the boy would have already applied the mud and is going to face the knife. There are songs sang during the night prior to the initiation day, mostly to grant the candidate courage. Additionally, there are songs sang after the rite to celebrate the courage of the initiate.
Circumcision in the Bukusu community embraces the use of symbols and myths to express the meaning of a significant occurrence. For example, the boy is not supposed to look back from the river once he leaves. If he does so it will regarded as a symbol of cowardice and if he maintains the forward stature then courage is detected.
After sometime, the man is taken to his house (Likombe), where he will stay until he heals. While being taken to the house, he is required to go around the compound in a backward style until he is in the house. This backward entry means that after he heals, he will never go back to the Likombe again. The backward entry is the complete mark from childhood to adulthood.
Proverbs are also commonly used in parts of speech during this tradition. For instance, during the visit of the boy to his uncle, the uncle counsels the boy in a speech well decorated with proverbs. Generally, the proverbs are used in pride to show the level of wisdom that a person has.
The whole process also allows the use of taboo words. Using of such words in speeches and songs is highly encouraged. The words are believed to be relevant in rebuking the evil eyes of some people who could have deviated from the values of the society.