Nyandiwa calls Italy: Italy answers!

Harambee Tales: Nyamgondho, Lady of the Lake
"Mwacha asili ni mtumwa" - " He who renounces his ancestry is like a slave" (Swahili proverb)

Mae tree

Nyamgondho story is a popular legend in Luo mythology¹: its folktale is quite popular among the Luo of East Africa, emphasizes the sacredness of Lake Victoria, the main source of supply for local residents² and teaches that evil deeds are always punished.
The legend, sent in Italy as a part of Educational Exchange Project between Kenyan and Italian schools, was illustrated, some years ago, by the class 3C of Samarate Secondary School (Varese, Italy) that as reproduced some Nyandiwa’s environments in a large model, developed in fairy tale style: the village, the protagonist's home, the lake, its shores with fishing boats. The story was then recited by the students and recorded in an audiovisual product, with the help of teachers Gabriela Cattaneo and Carlo Capello.
According to the legend, Mae³ was a very poor man arrived from Tanzania, who eked a living by fishing on Lake Victoria near Nyandiwa. There, even today, there is an archaeological site with fossils whose rocks, visible at low tide, is said to preserve the footprints of animals and the family of Mae, whom fell into the lake.

Mae, after the death of his wealth, was transformed into a large sacred tree, where residents often gather to talk and pray, bringing flowers and gifts to the spirits of the lake. She went on to explain that legend has it that if you beat the tree-stump with a stick, it will start to bleed.
moviesThe government authorities visit the Nyamgondho site & the sacred Mae tree.


¹ The African cultures are still heavily based on the collective myths that originate from the oral tradition, legends and myths are passed from one generation to another and have strong historical and social significance.
² In Nyandiwa plain the climatic difficulties have made ​​it increasingly difficult both animal husbandry and agriculture.

³ His real name was Julu son of Ombare and grandson of Omae, all was called Mae and comparable - the feminine - the figure of Lot's wife in the Bible.

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