The Luo homestead in Kenya

Composed at June 11, 2010 - 3:09 pm, filed in 2010 World Expo, from FLTA

The Luo homestead can consist of as few as one house to as many as ten or fifteen. The size is determined by the number of wives a man has, living in the homestead, and the number of sons who have built their own houses(Simba). The homestead is therefore a manifestation of what is considered in contemporary terms a nuclear family. The homestead is the smallest physical manifestation of community among the Luo. It is not just a place of abode but a point of reference to an individual’s niche within the community and geographic location. For the man it is the pinnacle of one’s manhood. For women, it is the place in which one can take care of her family, bring up her children, partake in decision making and bring her family to maturity and in a sense her whole being. The homestead and the family unit that lives in it, is both a society as well as a unity of the visible and invisible worlds.