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KISUMU

4 Luo names only a ‘special’ person will call you

Curtis Otieno
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Luo Council of Elders Chairman Willis Otondi. [Source/Lee Makwiny/Twitter]

In the Luo culture, naming plays a very important role.

Consequently, names can be used to give the actual situation in the family, or among individual people, or used to show the relationship between people, the mood on the ground, or the time.

Similarly, they can be used as an indicator of the intensity of the relationship between people and the contact between them.

Here are some of the Luo names only a special person will call you.

1. Omin

This is the name shared among very close male friends, on some occasions it is used by brothers to refer to each other.

The name translates to ‘brother’.

2. Chuora/Chiega

Chuora translates to ‘my husband’ and chiega ‘my wife’ and is normally used by lovebirds who are in a marriage.

Apart from that, if a grandmother or an old woman who calls a young man ‘my husband’, it means that the two are very close and are as well friends apart from the the blood or social friendship involved.

3. Jahera

Jahera is derived from the word ‘hera’ which translates to ‘love’.

Therefore, a person will not call you ‘jahera na’ (my lover) unless you two are in a deep romantic relationship.

It is not usually used to refer to family love or the love shared by relatives.

4. Nyathina

This directly translates to ‘my child’.

And with most parents known to refer to their children using their names or the ‘wuoda’ (my son) and ‘Nyara’ (my daughter) tags, only a parent who shares special contact with their children will call them nyathina.

It is also used by other members of the society where special contact exists.

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