Gīkūyū Greetings

Gīkūyū Centre for Cultural Studies

Greetings in Gīkūyū can be complicated. In order to understand Gīkūyū traditional greetings it is necessary to first define some terms.

Maitū means Mother and not just the biological mother but all women who are the approximate age of your mother. She will greet all young men Wakīa Awa and young women as Wakīa Iiyū and they will reply, Wakīa Maitū – Hail! my mother!

Awa means Father and all men of the approximate age of your father. He will greet all young women Wakīa Maitū and young men Wanyua Awa and the girl will reply Wakīa Awa while the boy will reply, Wanyua Awa – Hail! my father!

Cūcū means Grandmother and all women of the approximate age of your Granny will greet you Wakīa Cūcū. The reply is the same.

Wakinī means male agemate so they will greet each other Wakīa Wakinī and with the same reply.


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Published by nasewangari

Clinical Psychologist| Humanist| Great passion for demystifying and decolonizing mental health

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