Kikuyu Traditional Medicine

Discover the work of the medicine man in the Kikuyu community

MedicineNational Museums of Kenya

Meet the Kikuyu

The Kikuyu community settled around the slopes of Mount Kenya, and were known as hunters and gatherers. Within that traditional community, the medicine man (mundu mugo) was a powerful person, whom people visited to learn the future, to be healed, or to be freed from ill omens.

BagNational Museums of Kenya

The work of the medicine man

The primary apparatus of the medicine man consisted of a series of gourds.

The most important of which was the divination gourd (mwano). 

GourdNational Museums of Kenya

This gourd belonged to a medicine man and contained medicine used to heal the sick. 

It has a long neck, decorated with a woven leather strap and plant fibre handle.

It is sealed with a plant fibre lid, attached with leather to the neck.    

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