Africa is full of cultures, the wired ones are also not scarce. This include marriage, dancing, singing, dressing, eating, farming, greeting, burial, etc.
As you move from one region, clan or tribe to another, so you will see different cultures. Africa is indeed colorful for a wide range of cultural diversity.
While most people buries their dead loved ones by laying, the Balunda tribe of Africa buries theirs on sitting position.
The sub-tribe of Bukusu in Kenya consist of several clans. Among the clans is the Balunda clan that is popular for a unique burial rite where they lay the dead in a sitting position as against the known culture of laying down.
The clan is a Bantu tribe that originated in Congo Republic along the Kalanyi river. Along with other related clans, they formed the kingdom
of Lunda in the 17th century under the kingship of Mwata Yav with its capital at Musumba.
The Balunda culture of burying the dead on sitting position has drawn attention of many accross the world. This leads to many asking about the rationale behind such practice.
Why does the Balunda clan buries their loved ones seated?
A clear oral history about the Balunda people of Kenya talks about a very old peasant farmer called Mulunda. One day Mulunda went out with his flocks for grazing in the fields. As an old man and already feeble, he sat under a tree to rest while his flocks graze around him.
Old Mulunda fell asleep and died while seated to rest. The flocks kept on grazing around the dead seated Mulunda. As the sun went down that day and he had not returned, his people became worried and went to look for him. They eventually found him dead while sitting and his cows and goats were still grazing around.
How the balunda burial culture started.
Old Mulunda was taken home and was buried in the normal laying position. Few days later, he came in a dream to a family member, kamaroro ke bamakombe and was very angry for being buried laid while he died seated.
No member of the family took the dream seriously untill sudden death began to kill several family members in a mysterious way. The mysterious deaths was at it peak and that occasioned old men of the village to go for some spiritual enquiries. They were told that the reason behind the numerous deaths is because Mulunda was buried on laying position while he died seated. His body was exhumed and the late Mulunda was prepared a special grave. According to oral literature, some rituals were apparently perfomed to appease the dead Mulunda. His body was later reburied on sitting position. After that event, the Balunda clan in Africa started burying their loved ones while seated.
Men of the Balunda tribe are buried seated and also wives of the Balunda men while their daughters who married outside are burried according to the custom of the husband’s family.