the arcane perpetual guardians of the esoteric and ethereal earth science.


Ituîka-Meaning of the metaphor

The oral tradition of the Agîkûyû was a properly and formally co-ordinated institution. The graduations to the various levels of education relevant to this oral tradition were realized in the various levels of initiations. From the initial rite of passage at birth, the relevant sacrifices and celebrations were carried out for the individual up to the time of their passage from life. The elaborate and intricate detail of the traditions encompassed great detail and significance. The birth of the boy-child for example was announced by the five ngemi, ululations, while that of the girl-child was accompanied by the three.  The particular sound of the ngemi was ‘Aari-ri-ri-ri-ri-ri-rii-tiiii! The ri, or riri essentially refers to splendour and exuberance in life. The ngemi was as such a blessing for life, many times repeated and to last to perpetuity- the ending sound ot the ‘tiii!’ The beginning of the life was at the Alpha notation- Aa. Notably the tally of the ri’s was ideally seven. Thus for the girl child there would be a total of 21 ri, while that of the boy would announce the 35. It is conceivable that girls develop biologically sooner than the boys, at usually in traditional society would have been fully initiated mothers by the age of 21 suns. The men on the other hand would only approach the initiation into junior elders approximately at about the 35 suns. The full maturation of the man and the initiation into the deepest mysteries of the tribe would usually not commence until after one had achieved this magic age. The women were not privy to the greater secrets of the tribe, and hence their final initiations into the women related issues were accomplished at the earlier ages. Thus at the stage of birth, the secrets of timing for the life of the new-borns was clearly announced, in such a simple practice as the ngemi tradition. The various stages of transition included newborn, infant, uncircumcised boy or girl, circumcised boy or girl, married, married with children, and old age, each marked by its relevant rites.

The stages of the elder were progressive, with their associated training and responsibilities. The fourth stage of the elder was further divided into two in respect to the major responsibilities. The initiation into the Ki-ama, kia-ma, organ of leading truth, other than requiring the relevant fees in livestock, was an application process, which required the Ara-thi, the twelve prophets to consult with N-gai over each specific candidacy. The accepted candidate would then be granted the rites of passage, the seven symbols of the attainment of that level significant of the accompanying responsibilities. The Ara-thi, refers to the receptacle of the first light, guardians of the most sacred and precious knowledge. The Council of Mata-thi would be the receptacle or guardians of the solid truth, reality, or matters. Whenever truth is referred to, the essence of water likewise relates. The Council of Matu-ra-ngo, also known as Matu-ra-ngû, in the first names refers to the truth as the precious shining shield, or that the clouds as precious defense. These were involved in the dispensation of justice and the adjudication of contests of the applicable laws. They were supposed to be able to extricate truth and clarity from the more complex of the controversies. As Matu-ra-ngûrû, they were the guardians of the precious mysteries of the nation.

Each stage of life in Agîkûyû society was as such a transition to the next, in an ever learning process to the attainment of the highest knowledge. The greater mysteries of each stage could not be shared with anyone not initiated to the level. Those of the higher levels as tutors to the juniors were also their evaluators, and anyone who was prone to disclosing mysteries to the unqualified would not be a candidate for further enlightenment. Oaths were administered at all levels of initiation which prohibited the disclosure of attained knowledge to all foreign elements, which included anyone who had not been approved to the relevant levels. The established process and season, when the senior most generation of elders and its composition handed over the final and ultimate of the mysteries of the land to the next approved generation was known as the Itu-îka. The most immediate meaning of the term is ‘that which befalls’. The itu also means the cloud, and the ka is for flowing waters. Hence the Itu-îka refers to the cloud transforms into flowing waters. The metaphor was relevant to the identity of the Agîkûyû as the leading rain-makers. How a cloud transforms into useful and tangible rain, related to the components of the cultural practices of the nation finally being explained as to their meaning and purpose. The great cloud of witnesses finally was transformed into the purpose for which they had been raised. The Itu-îka was as such an integral component of the continuity of the oral traditions of the Agîkûyû.

The last successful Itu-îka ceremony is known to have taken place in 1899 when the instruments of power were handed over to the Mwangi generation. The next schedule of Itu-îka as commenced in 1925, with the songs and dances associated to the process, was stopped by the colonial government which illegalized the process and declared the cultural practice as seditious. In 1929, the council of Elders was dissolved by law of the colonial government, and thereafter in 1934 the Ara-thi was proscribed. Thus the old generation of the wisdom keepers of the land passed on before they could relate the lessons of the mystery lessons of the Agîkûyû culture. The banning of the Itu-îka by the colonial government was not the only hindrance to the process. The new values of life and the new religion of Christianity also played their part. One prerequisite of the Itu-îka ceremony was that the upcoming generation of elders was obligated to pay a fee in form of goats to the older outgoing elders. Some of these goats were to be used in sacrifice to N-gai, according to the ancient culture of the natives. Naturally, some of the athomi objected to this and referred the matter to their priests for determination. It was ruled that the athomi may pay the Itu-îka fee as long as the livestock would not be used for sacrifices, and also that this fee preferably should be paid to the elders who were also athomi. Notwithstanding such wise adjudication, the process was to thereafter be banned without critical regard to the effects. The colonial government supposed that there was nothing much to learn from culture of the natives, and rather that they, and their religion were sufficiently knowledgeable as matters. And they were ultimately wrong, as a century thereafter has manifested. The way of life as espoused by the European is strangling the life out of the planet.

The outgoing generation of elders also refused to share their knowledge with individuals, until the entire nation had paid the requisite fees. This was seemingly an important cultural requirement, which served to equalize the status of all members of the riika, as then none would claim to hold greater insight than those of his peers. With the advent and proximity of the Colonialists, the outgoing generation was further being cautious to safeguard the secrets of the land from foreigners. Apparently the upcoming riika was divided in the middle and could not be trusted to safeguard the wisdom of the land. The one European initiate into the elder class of the Agîkûyû in spite of literally begging to be informed of the secrets of the Itu-îka was denied his request, considering also that he was not as native as the land but merely a convert, probably whose aptitude and dedication to the tribe was not absolute. The colonial administration had also imposed new leadership of chieftaincy upon the people, which was contrary to the democratic participation the nation had previously enjoyed. The clash between the traditional forms of power, with that imposed by the colonialists played its role in destroying the sustenance of the culture of the Agîkûyû. The last nail on the coffin was however the colonial administration illegalizing of the Itu-îka.

The Heb Sedin Ancient Egypt, the feast of the tail, has been suggested to compare with the Itu-îka. The celebration of the Jubilee in the torah as commanded the Israelites is also a close connection. During the Itu-îka, just as in the Jubilee, the history of the nation would be recounted and the law of the land would be read. The cultural practices would be expounded upon and finally the mantle of leadership would cross to the younger generation. Not much of the Heb Sed is known except for that it was from the antiquity of the Egyptians. The association of the Itu-îka to the Heb Sed, or the Jubilee poses the generational enigma of what came first between the chicken and the egg. Whereas the Jubilee may be connected to the tenure of the Israelites in Egypt, the Heb Sed would only be explained as having been borrowed from the ancient Agu who descended the Nile to populate the land of Kemet. The chasing of the tail in the Heb Sed figuratively symbolizes the recounting of the history of the land for all the people to get informed. Thus although there was a jackal-tail involved, this was merely symbolic. The Itihîsa literally means ‘so indeed it was’ and is the equivalent of Itu-îka from the cultures of the East, encompassing the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain. The epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana among other Vedic histories are the Itihîsa, the recount of that which has been the origins of the people and the elaboration of their cultural practices and values.

The little that is however gleaned of the Itu-îka can be used to reconstruct the essence of this mystery. For after all, the cultural practice of the Agîkûyû, the song and dance, the holy shrines and other customs are in record. What is lacking is the element that binds them. The hint of the Itu-îka is that its climax event was the chasing of a Damathia creature upriver and the plucking of its tail feather, which feather was of most portent power and would guide the nation till the next Itu-îka ceremony. Damathia has been supposed to refer to a river serpent, which of course would have been the explanation given to the uninitiated. The interpreters of the bible into Gîkûyû were likewise not helpful when they interpreted the dragon as damathia; an interpretation that the elders being consulted would not concede to, rather suggesting that Damathia was equitable to Christ.

What was this meaning of Damathia, which prompted the experts of Gîkûyû to suggest its equation to Christ?

The meaning of the sounds component of the name Damathia in several of the ancient languages attribute the similar meaning to this creature, that it is a metaphor for the ‘divine truth as regards the waters and truth of the earth’. The true history of the Agîkûyû , and that of the Earth, from their origins to the relative present was always a long account hence comparison of the Damathia as a long creature inhabiting a deep and long river. Chasing the metaphorical beast upriver refers to questing for the wisdom from its most ancient and attainable source, which in this case was the oral traditions as handed over from antiquity and residing with members of the outgoing elders.  Plucking off the tail feather of Damathia refers to harnessing this divine knowledge from its last guardians, which in this case were the aged and outgoing members of the community before their passage from life. The detail of luring the Damathia by a most beautiful and a chaste lady, copiously covered in castor oil such that the beast would not get a hold of her, and that the beast never actually hurt the lady, are all metaphorical imageries of the astute value of divine wisdom and that it requires courage, resolve, chastity, astuteness and great intelligence to be harnessed. The chaste lady to lure the Damathia out of his hiding was also in reference to the price in livestock, which the younger riika was required to pay to the members of the elder riika. The maiden covered in castor oil reflects that whatever was paid to the elder riika was actually not consumed by them, but returned to the next generation, for after all in passing on from earth, it was the next generation who inherited all. Thus the entire process of the Itu-îka is summarized, that in spite of requirement of payments, the process was entirely free and advantage to the next generation, as indeed they plucked the last of the hereditary wisdom from the aged elders, and anything they gave to the elders actually first had belonged to the aged elders, and would revert back to them.

In comparison, the communion rites of the Christians, has metaphors of eating the body of Christ and the drinking of his blood. The wine and bread in this rite are purely vegetarian yet one unfamiliar with the Christian practice would be totally excused for misunderstanding the rite as cannibalistic and the Christians involved as uncivilized. The miscomprehension of the Itu-îka and the other details of the culture of the Agîkûyû have been the cause that the uninitiated in the relevant mysteries ostracized these arcane cultural practices.

The Itu-îka is about relating the ancient cultural practices of the Agîkûyû as the divine knowledge and truth in its tangibility. It explained the metaphors of the traditions to the science that these stood for. This great mystery that was passed on from one generation to the next, is that the land given to Gîkûyû and Mûmbi and their posterity, is the origin and divine receptacle of the waters of earth-the origin of life. This land is the Ed-eni of the Hebrews relation and the Shamballah of the Eastern cultures. It is the Ta-Nuter land of the Gods in PuAnta, the golden, of the Egyptian fame. Ta-Nuter (TnTr) may also be vocalized as Tana-Tara, land of the stars.

As the Axis Mundi, this land is the key to the past and future of the planet earth, the gateway to both the heavens and the underworld, both literally and metaphorically. The culture which safeguards the land is that of the Agîkûyû, which guards the greatest and most precious mystery of creation and of the entire earth. Thus the sages of the Agîkûyû considered their knowledge extremely valuable, and rather too valuable to be entrusted to strangers, or to a divided people.

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