Tenets of Myths of Origin in the Tigania Community of Kenya: A Cultural Exploration



  • Speranza Ndege Department of Literature, Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • Priscila Mwamukui Rukunga Department of Literature, Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Kenyatta University




Myths of origin display certain salient features that set them apart from other genres of oral literature. This paper, however, lays emphasis on the major tenets of myths of origins from the Tigania community. Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung believe that myths and legends symbolically enact deep truths about human nature. Throughout history, myths have accompanied religious doctrines and rituals, helping sanction or recall. The reasons for religious observances can also help sanction customs and institutions. Writers and speakers often turn to myths when they try to tell stories of deep significance because mythic structures touch a powerful and primal part of the human imagination. They help to concisely allude to stories familiar to their audiences by drawing on a powerful association with just a few words. Emile Dukheim‟s developments in functionalism were later modified and referred to as functionalism by Haralambos and Holborn as, “the various parts of society…seen to be integrated and taken together as a complete system. To understand any part of society, the part must be seen in relation to society as a whole” (2007:856). In this way, a functionalist examines part of society in terms of its contribution to the maintenance of the whole system. This means that the relationships between members of society are organized in terms of rules and social norms which stipulate how people are expected to behave. This will entail an example of how myths of origin from the Tigania community are structured and what effect they have on other parts of this community’s social, political and economic structure. Many stories fall into familiar mythic patterns and they display certain salient features that set them apart from other genres of oral literature.


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How to Cite

Ndege, S., & Rukunga, P. M. (2020). Tenets of Myths of Origin in the Tigania Community of Kenya: A Cultural Exploration. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(1), 73-95. https://doi.org/10.58256/njhs.v4i1.63