The 10 Clans of Mumbi and Gikuyu
Acrylic on brick, 2021
There's a fire in the home supported by 3 stones representing water (girl), air (boy) & earth (mother) & the fire itself is the father. Physical elements for the masculine and life nourishing for the feminine.
Atop the stones is an earthen pot, a vessel of life, creation and nourishment. This is Mumbi, the mother of the Kikuyu. Within the pot is Gikuyu, the father represented by the wooden cooking stick.
Together Mumbi & Gikuyu bore ten daughters:
Wanjiru, mother of Anjiru,
Wambui, mother of Ambui,
Wanjiku, mother of Agaciku,
Waceera, mother of Aceera,
Wangari, mother of Angari,
Wakiuru, mother of Akiuru,
Wangeci, mother of Angeci,
Wairimu, mother of Airimu,
Wangui, mother of Angui,
Wamuyu, mother of Aicakamuyu.
As women, nine of the daughters (except Wamuyu, who perhaps was too young) asked their parents for life partners of their own. Following consultancy with The Creator, each of the older nine found a stick, placed it on top of a fire on which a ram or goat was sacrificed.
Time following, nine men emerged from the embers and from these pairings emerged the different clans of the Kikuyu. The nine pairs eventually left the homestead and this is how the tribe spread across the lands.
Though unmarried, Wamuyu still bore a tribe of her own and some suggest as the youngest and unwed, stayed home to look after Mumbi and Gikuyu, making her the one closest to the parents.