Elder: Veripi Muharukua,Kayoo Muharukua
About the family
Each brother built his own village.
Ovinyange is made up of two villages, one small (20 people) and one large (100 people). They are 517 meters apart and separated by the C43 highway. The villages were built by two brothers, Vezuvanyo and Ngeendepi (who was the regional chief).
Uamurongo is a poison that people put into natural springs to kill elephants and other wild animals. The name was suggested by her great-uncle.
Her name means: "Where we came from/the place we left our ancestors". She was named by her maternal grandmother.
Ueikotokera's name means: "He replied" — a reference to an ancestor answering a prayer.
Across the road
Life today is very hard.If there is no rain,our life is nothing.
This village is larger, with over 100 residents. It was founded when Vezuvanyo decided to build a village across the road from his brother’s compound. His widow Kayoo Muharukua is the elder of the village. Her son Kautorona inherited some of the regional chief’s responsibilities after the chief died. He is also a veterinarian and one of his duties is to inspect cattle for foot and mouth disease.
A shrinking village
As the chief you decide on everything.
The founder and elder of the smaller village, Ngeendepi Muharukua, died in 2008. He was the regional chief of more than 200 villages. When he died most of his 12 wives returned with their offspring to the villages where they were born. Only 20 people, two of his wives among them, now remain in this part of Ovinyange.
For a woman,everything you know is taught by your mother.
Veripi Muharukua built many of the huts in the village. Now she repairs them with a mix of fresh cattle dung and ash. She learned to build a hut by watching her grandmothers when she was a child, and she built her first hut when she was 15. It takes one day to build the wooden structure, three days to plaster the inside, and three days to cover the outside with the dung mixture.
Funeral of a chief
Whenever they milk the cattle you cannot use it until the head of the family, the elder, drinks first and gives permission.
When a village elder passes away, his funeral procession may attract hundreds of guests from surrounding villages and even faraway towns. Chiefs are buried in marked graves that become the sites of religious rituals, with visitors coming to ask their dead ancestors for advice and guidance.