Some elders of one of Kenya’s tribes the Agikuyu’ will abstain from sex for nine days as they prepare for a ceremony to cleanse the tree which is considered to be very sacred by the community.The tree lost one of its branches in a strong wind on Tuesday. To some it was just wood like any and so they decided to use it as timber , but the elders of the community are angered by the act of using the Mugumo tree for timber.They say the Branch that broke off on Tuesday should have been left alone to be eaten by ants and never used as timber or at least the elders should have been called to pray.Part of the trees’ branch that was being turned into timber The elders told Kenya’s Citizen TV that the tree is angry and that prayers would have at least stopped the tree from falling down.Harisson Waithaka one who was among the elders at the scene of the incident said, ”This tree was cut at the top and so it is angry. Those who were present when the branch broke off should have called the elders so that we pray for the tree to stop it’s branches from breaking off. ”Another elder said,” only old barren women can use the Mugumo as a firewood, nobody else. If a branch falls off it should be left alone to be eaten by Ants. ”The elders slaughtered a Sheep as one way to cleanse the tree and the next step is that they will have to abstain from Sex for nine days to give enough time to find out if the tree is used for prayers or not.Are there sacred trees in your community?The big fig tree known as Mugumo The Mugumo tree is over 200 years old. Often associated with the identity of the Gikuyu culture in Kenya, Mugumo trees are known for their size, strength and power. Gikuyu is one of Kenya’s many tribes.Mugumo Trees are also said to be the trees of Ngai, or the one God, who chose Mugumo trees as places to inhabit when descending from heaven to commune with the Gikuyu people as a section of the Gikuyu people believe.The Mugumos were (and often still are) sanctuaries where spiritual rituals were conducted and where people brought gifts and food for Ngai.Such trees are sometimes compared with church buildings as places where people can go to pray and invite Ngai, the owner and source of life, to bless their families and communities with “peace, abundant food, fertile women, healthy children and cattle”, according to Karangi .Mugumo is an evergreen and a type of fig, whose wood is unusable for lumber or firewood. The tree can grow as tall as 90 metres, or 295 feet, in forest or savannah and is invaluable in conserving soil moisture and increasing soil fertility.The Gikuyu people still use Mugumos for medicine, fruit, rain catchment, boundary markers, sanctuaries, fodder for cattle – especially during drought – and to hang beehives . In the past, the people would build rafts high in the branches as places of refuge from invading tribes, in particular the Maasai.Because of a current Gikuyu emphasis on Christianity, Mugumos are the center of rituals less often than they once were for circumcision, fertility, to ask for blessings and rain, and for the changing of a traditional government from one ruling generation to the next .Still, Karangi found during his fieldwork that the people continue to use their myths and songs as part of their cosmology, and key in their ‘religio-philosophical world’ is the Mugumo. There exists “a strong association between Christian and Mugumo prayers and rituals”.
Riding a modest three-game unbeaten streak, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team will try to put out the fire of the blazing-hot University of Illinois-Chicago team Thursday at the McClimon Soccer Complex.While the Badgers are putting together a solid season (4-3-2, 1-0-1), having just battled to a scoreless draw at Michigan State Sunday, it is their opponent that is receiving national attention.A sleeping giant to begin the season, UIC was not on the radar of the NSCAA national rankings. But in less than a month, they have catapulted into the top 10 nationally and are just one of a handful of teams that remain undefeated (7-0-2).In its nine matches, UIC has posted six shutouts and outscored their opponents 18-3. The Flames have held their opponents scoreless for 354:46, dating back to a 1-1 double overtime draw against Cal Poly on Sept. 10.Not only has their defense smoldered the opposition to begin this season, the Flames’ front line torches teams with regularity, as well.”Their front six, in terms of their midfielders and forwards are very, very good,” Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “They’re right up there with the likes of the forwards we’ve seen at SMU and Washington. They’re good enough individually to burn you if you make mistakes.”UIC is led up front by two of its prolific scorers, senior strikers Tonci Skroce and Eric Cervantes, who have combined for eight goals and 20 points on the season. For his terrific play — two-goal, five-point performance — against conference rival Detroit last Sunday, Cervantes was selected to the Soccer America College Men’s Team of the Week.”Both [Skroce and Cervantes] are very dynamic,” Rohrman said. “Tonci’s a little bit bigger size … he’s good in the air. I mean, they’re very skillful and they play with a lot of flair. Both of them can get good rhythm when you allow them to play, and they like to play off of each other.”One of the tasks for the Wisconsin defensive line will be to break up the flow of the game by closing the gaps and really shutting down the passing lanes.”We just have to be sure that when balls are played into their forwards, we challenge those balls, we contest those balls,” Rohrman said. “We can’t allow their other guys a lot of time and space to pick people out and make things happen. We have to work hard defensively, shift as a group very well and just know that when passes are made, we have to apply pressure on the ball. If we do that, we’re a pretty good defensive team.”Even with the added pressure of facing a top team like UIC, Wisconsin plans to stick to play within its team and individual abilities and not worry about what the other side is doing.”I think we’re going to keep everything the same,” senior defenseman Aaron Hohlbein said. “The last couple games, we’ve done quite well, beside a few specific moments in games, so I just think we’re going to stick to our original gameplan.”Despite not scoring a goal against Michigan State and facing a team known for its strangling defense, Rohrman believes that, with a bit more focus, his offense can get it done and put some points on the board.”We just need to have a better concentration — a little more focus in around the box and maybe be a little bit more selfish, little bit more aggressive in there,” Rohrman said.”We certainly have to do better in the box, but we are a good possession team and now we just have to put the icing on the cake.”