GAME OF LUO THRONES (1000AD-2020AD)
Updated: Mar 24
Chon gi lala (once upon a time), lived a Luo man known as Sin Kuru. And because he had lived for a long time some people called him Kuku Lubanga which meant Old as rock or stones. That is to say he was as old as soil or rock
Sin Kuru had a big family of 12 wives. His twelve wives gave him many children. Sin Kuru then set his three sons to set up thrones away from their settlement in order to get more space.
The first to be sent out was Odongo. Odongo as the second of the twins had a small body. So Sin Kuru advised him to always build his homes on mountains or hill tops to give him vantage view. He was also taught to avoid close contact battle as a warrior because of his small frame. His arsenal speciality was bow and athero, lidho (stealth) and the cover of darkness. He therefore developed the arching footsteps to walk on his toes like a stalking animal. And he had the endurance of long marathon running from hot pursuit as a back up and also to subdue an enemy running from the heat of the battle.
Dhiang’, the second son, to be sent out had a passion for cattle ranching. So he was told to always live in plain lands where his cattle could graze in the open Savanna. Sin Kuru warned him to always keep visitors at bay as they had no interest except in his wealth of cattle. Because he had a big frame, he was not afraid of combat and could even face a Lion. He loved close combat battles. His favourite weapons were combat specialities of Kuot, long lanced tong' and double edged ligangla. As he was disadvantaged with endurance retreat due to his body size he carried a hippo hide whip and and oil teak hardened arungu. All these were close contact arsenal.
The third son who was the elder of the twins was Opiyo (aka Podho I). Opiyo was advised that since he is the one to succeed the Sin Kuru throne there was no need for him to go very far to seek new thrones. He stayed with Sin Kuru. Very close to comfort of the aging family with easy to established access to water and food. Always spoilt with wine, women and dance.
After many years Sin Kuru also known as Kuku Lubanga summoned all the three sons to come and give an account of their progress. And the three sons came back with their off springs like a swarm of sky birds filling the air with merrymaking and speaking in all related but different dialects that sign language and sounds like that of excited birds was the order of the day. And the size of their numbers stretched further than Sin Kuru could see with his fading sight. it was a sight to behold.
Odongo the weakling and small framed body came and presented his throne achievement. Odongo was not a boisterous person but was very temperamental. He had succeeded in setting up long throne with a long fearful reign and reputation with readymade warriors able to take over at any time. His nearest cuz fondly refer to him with the riddle ka-lang'o-ok-teri-e-ngera. Nobody messes with him because he was always combustible. Nobody except his cousins from both sides.
And Sin Kuru looked at all this and was pleased at how the disadvantaged Odongo had succeeded.
Then Dhiang’ the cattle rancher stepped forward and showed his father two thrones with vast grazing of land as far as the eye can see. And Siri Kuru looked at rolling plains and valleys on both sides of the fertile Valley crater. And Sin Kuru was pleased that Dhiang' clan even formed a buffer that the northern raiders could not break through. Most pleasing to Sin Kuru eyes is that Dhiang' clan had strictly kept to tradition and communal living even in matters of cohabitation. This was helpful in eradicating silly rivalry, jealousy and treachery.
And Sin Kuru was also pleased just the same
Opiyo (Podho I) had not done so badly but more was expected of him because he had a head start even to raise a family. And Opiyo showed his father the throne he had maintained to date. He had fought hard and for long on the Northern frontier to keep off foreigners from reaching the rest of the family.
Then Opiyo showed something else.
Opiyo who had married earlier than the others had two sons Aruwa and Podho Junior (aka Podho II). And Podho Junior had quarrelled with Aruwa over a mere elaborate beads and in his legendry haste cut open his daughters bowel to retrieve the bead instead of waiting. Podho Junior in his usual haste and fun loving stormed to the east because he liked the bright side of sunrise to try and meet up with Odongo. Aruwa the Luo throne custodian stayed westwards to try and meet up with some entourage of Odongo who was on the western side of the fertile and lush green great Valley. All the same the two grandsons of Sin Kuru were also called to account for their time.
Aruwa as the royal spear holder was called first. And Aruwa showed off various thrones that he had managed to hold onto with his descendants. He talked of his achievements loudly so that he can prove that he was right to hold onto the royal spear. He had several thrones far and wide and commanded many areas where he roamed. He made the people there his subjects, introduced dynasties to primitive forest people from the far west but held tight to their way of life.
One of Aruwa off springs travelled far and drove back the encroaching Northern enemies who were still trying to come in through the east Ocean waters behind Odongo entourage. There he set a throne after single handedly driving out the far distance invaders through the ocean.
And out of expansionism of the Sin Kuru people one of his Aruwa daughters had married into a royalty of great wealth with, nyol (iron) mula(gold), nyatong'-mula (diamonds) and other rare metals flowing like water in a river. It was a kingdom of unending wealth and waters and forests and rivers that were not navigable by foreign enemies. And everybody was excited in approval.
And Sin Kuru looked at all the thrones and was pleased just like for the others and no more.
And then Podho Junior was called. And Podho Junior came to the fore meekly for he was known as fun loving boy. His reputation that pleasure and sloth came easily to him had reached all corners of Sin Kuru family. Podho Junior was even known to never have received his Odongo, Opiyo or Dhiang' breathrens warmly at the Lakeside. In fact, he despised all his cousins from Aruwa and from Dhiang’ lineage as well. Podho Junior and his family never inter married and never worked with them. He partied alone but when in trouble ran to his brethren to help him
Podho Junior after finding a small puddle near Nam Lolwe proceeded to live in sloth instead of cutting through to the Ocean or completely subduing the fertile lands surrounding the lake. Podho Junior ate 5 meals a day. Podho Junior slept in 3 beds every night, (one for his head, another for his torso and another bed for his "tired" legs. Podho Junior changed clothes even to go to the toilet. And in the process Phodho Junior developed a taste for safe speculative (geometric) lifestyle of fishing instead of the predictable (arithmetic) farming and raiding for wealth creation. Even his sports were now the explosive and dramatic more than the endurance that developed will power. Podho Junior in an effort to swell the size of his clan married every razzmattaz he set eyes on and littered the world with children of all colours and rotund shapes but thankfully with a little self-pride of their roots and names.
But Podho Junior was also recklessly merciful. Podho Junior was sympathetic to every cause in the world. Podho Junior could never stand the sight of an oppressed person. So Podho Junior dished all the thrones that came his way to anybody else except Odongo cousins. And in his troubles with the traitors that he had helped, Podho Junior developed a strong siege mentality of “nobody loves us and we don’t care”. It is this aloofness that maintained Podho Junior clan survival and sanity like the small finger on a hand.
And now in front of Mzee Sin Kuru when Podho Junior showed off only this one throne, it happened to be mightier than any of the thrones in the world. This throne was everything you want in a throne. The throne had the mightiest army, great wealth that controlled the world. The throne extended beyond the seas and if you go further you would fall off the earth. And this throne owned celestials and the sky. It was the most coveted of all thrones in the universe. And all was silent in astonishment except his daddy Opiyo-Podho who kept whimpering at how he had grossly scorned underrated his son Podho Junior. And when Opiyo recalled his father Sin Kuru words of wisdom on the five fingers on a hand, he even wept openly.
And Aruwa his elder brother got up to hand over the royal spear to Podho Junior but was admonished and held back by others as Luo customs are not based on opulence.
And Sin Kuru looked at Podho Junior single throne and was pleased like he had been for the other achievements presented before. And all were stunned at the reaction of the old man.
And mgogo Aluru who was the granddaughter married in the insanely affluent royalty asked, “papa, has Podho Junior not earned a higher status and more praise?”
And all nodded in agreement that mgogo Aluru had asked the burning question. And Sin Kuru, the great cleared his throat and said, “My family you have been away from home for too long and have even forgotten our ways”.
He continued, “In our ways lith lwet dhano ok rom, to giduto gin lweti. Giduto nitie kaka gikonyo. Kamoro onge to kata ber mar lweti ok di ne!
“And just like my fingers you came from me. I gave you those characters, good or bad. I am pleased for all of you. And you should be pleased for each other”.
(you are all like the fingers, the middle finger is no greater than the index, and the index is no greater than the thumb. And even without the small finger the aesthetic beauty of your hand is not there).
Tinda adong adong arom gi nera.
READ HERE: GENESIS OF THE LUO PEOPLE
READ ALSO: ARUWA AND PODHO JR SPLIT EXODUS OF THE LUO PEOPLE