The collection of Turkwana “POYOO” is a culmination of painstaking work by JALINGA. The Turkwana people from the time of yore have kept a rich culture which is wholesome in many ways. The pastoralism nature of the Turkwana makes their life blend with that of the harsh environmental conditions.
This is a collection of old Turkwana folktales stories, they are long stories written to remind and to educate our people. During the time of our forefathers they use to narrate to us these great stories and they were interesting stories, I as a writer I decide to do a research and collect them and put them in this book so that our current and incoming generation can enjoy reading it. I had an especially hard time getting all these stories from our old Turkwana elders in various areas in Turkana County but by the grace of God I ended getting all stories in the right way.
The Turkwana people are both national and international in terms of habitat. Other than the Turkana County itself, nationally they are spread in counties such as Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit, West Pokot, Trans-Nzoia, Baringo and Nakuru. Internationally, they occupy parts of Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Their origin is said to be Egypt. They followed the Nile River Valley to enter countries of East Africa.
The Turkwana related tribes are the Teso, Karamojong’ and Jie of Uganda. Others are Toposa in South Sudan. The Nyangatom are their relatives in Ethiopia.
The collection of Turkwana “POYOO” is a culmination of painstaking work by Jalinga the musician. The Turkwana people from the time of yore have kept a rich culture which is wholesome in many ways. The pastoralist nature of the Turkwana makes their life blend with that of the harsh environmental conditions.
For example, everything the Turkwana do is related to the environment be it food, marriage, prayers for anything, peace, dance, songs and many others.
The food consumed by the Turkwana is mainly derived from Livestock and as a coping strategy wild foods are sought from their expansive arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL). Among the stories in this book there are those which talk about the rich food culture.
Marriage is a central pillar in the Turkwana culture. Most of the livestock wealth is used in marriages and matters related to relationship. A man’s wealth is largely measured on the number of wives acquired. In this book several stories touch on marriage.
As one comes across a Turkwana, one of the inquiries is if rain has come. Anything good is equated with rain. It shows the centrality of the scarce water resource in the lives of the Turkwana. A good number of the stories in this book have something related with rain.
Amongst the stories published are those related to dance which is another central feature of the rich Turkwana Culture. This segment of culture has not been show-cased enough except for a few occasions such as “Tobong’u Lore” featured by the Turkwana County Government in the last ten years. I see this is being picked up by the Diaspora community in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu in Rumuruti, Kenya, 2022.
Many other authors have attempted to highlight about the culture in various facets, but this collection of original cultural stories “poyoo” goes beyond the norm to come close to what other cultures have documented in their repositories lest their cultures be lost during these modern times.
I will recommend anyone from the Turkwana Community and anybody else who is interested in culture studies to grab this book and drink from the rich fountain of knowledge from this budding and serious musician.
PROF.THOMAS EKAMAIS AKUJA PHD, D.SC.
LOIMA SUB-COUNTY, TURKANA.