The Ameru believe a Kithiri curse can lead to the destruction of entire generations, starting with males.

“Rwerea is the mother of Njuri Ncheke shrines. It was the State House of Kaura O Becau and is the shrine of last resort. When a dispute reached Rwerea, it was a matter of life and death,” Mr Kamanja M’Akwalu, the chairman of Kieiga shrine, says.

While Kithiri rituals are conducted in other shrines, the one done at Rwerea is final, he adds.

SIGNIFICANCE

Mr M’Akwalu said that when the Ameru came from Mbwaa — a mysterious island — Kaura O Becau settled in Kiguma, Tigania Central, and started holding meetings at Rwerea.

Disputes are first settled at village level. An appeal can be filed at a higher gathering of elders.

“Elders do not meet at Rwerea in vain. The matter must be of high importance to the community. It is also left to the finest of the elders to handle,” Mr M’Akwalu says.

Mr Jeremiah Kanampiu, a researcher of Ameru history, says Rwerea is the heart of the community’s traditional laws.

It is also where the finest Njuri Ncheke elders are initiated since it housed a special staff during the Ameru migration.

“Laws were made and endorsed at Nchiru while Rwerea was the highest level for their implementation. The shrine is of significance to Ameru traditions,” Mr Kanampiu says.

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