Tero Buru: The Luo musical extravaganza and a rite in a rite

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Author: 
Charles Nyakiti Orawo
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Tero Buru was one of the Luo rites of passage performed at the funerals of adult members of the community. As a funeral rite, it was performed as the last rite before the body of the deceased is washed and taken to the grave for burial. It was similar to the requiem, the contemporary Church Service performed by Priests at funerals of the deceased Christian believers in the Luo territory. In Tero Buru the eldest son of the deceased played a leading role. As earlier observed, there were two types of Tero Buru; the first type being performed on the burial day and the second type performed later, after the burial. Irrespective of the type preferred, there had to be a mini Tero Buru to enable the buried to take place. Tero Buru was a rite in a rite. The main rite, the funeral ceremonies itself could not take place unless there was death in the community. If the dead was an adult member of the community, then, Tero Buru rite had also to be performed as per the custom. Since death begot funeral ceremonies, death of adult members of the Luo community also begot Tero Buru. In short, Tero Buru was a rite in a rite. Tero Buru was a rite in which music played a very significant role. It was nothing but song and dance. The participants of Tero Buru literally sang, recited, played sound producing resources and danced. The sounds produced to which they pegged their movements were as varied as the groups involved in the Tero Buru activities. Because of the diversity experienced, performances at Tero Buru qualified not to be considered as a music performance but rather, an extravaganza, a musical extravaganza. This was because no one group could claim the monopoly or a leading role. All the participants claimed to play equal roles. They were all equal partners in the extravaganza. All were joined in the quest of fighting death; an enemy that had caused havoc in the community.

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