In a bizarre event on Friday deputy president William Ruto was cleansed by the Talai elders who carried out sacrifices for his protection against Statehouse operatives.
The two-hour elaborate ceremony was organised by the Nandi Laibons Council of Elders and was conducted in Kipsirwo village from 5am to 7am. It was meant to protect the DP from bad omens.
Dressed in a blue blazer and khaki trousers, the DP and his political allies arrived early morning for the ceremony. He was baptized with milk and honey from a special traditional gourd by elders dressed in wild animal skins (wachawi, waganga).
The elders, popularly known as Orkoik, held prayers and offered sacrifices on a nearby hill. They included Christopher arap Agui, Lawrence Nganai, and Stephen arap Tormoi.
Ruto was then handed leadership instruments, including a baton (nogirwet) and a traditional stick (Siarit) said to have been used by legendary Nandi chief medicine man Orgoiyot-Kipnyolei arap Turgat.
They had gathered at the home of retired Anglican priest Canon James Baasi. Elders from the larger Talai clan were selected to preside over the event.
One of the elders present at the event told the Star on condition of anonymity that it took them almost six months to convince the DP that he needed to be “protected from political upheavals”.
“This is not a petty ceremony but a serious one. Those who accept it get divine protection from evil spell and physical harm,” he said.
The Talai ceremony also involves dressing of a person with a lion skin and handing him a Colobus Monkey cap as he sits on a special stool, one which was last used to crown President Kenyatta after the Supreme Court ordered a repeat of the 2017 presidential election.
Freedom fighter Koitalel Samoei, who is reported to have predicted the coming of the whites and the construction of the colonial railway, was from the Talai clan.
After the cultural rite, Ruto left the venue at 7am without addressing curious neighbours who had gathered after getting wind of his presence. This came at a time when the DP is facing numerous hurdles within Jubilee in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Villagers said they were warned by elders against moving closer as the Friday dawn ceremony went on.