Mbeere sacred groves

In their study of the impact of land reform in Mbeere in the 1970s, Brokensha and Glazier describe sacred groves called ‘Iri’ where sacrifices were held and where the trees were regarded as sacred property.  

Kiang'ombe is one of these sites. Do other sacred groves still exist today?  Please let us know if you know of one and we can put it on the map.


Brokensha and Glazier describe two trees which were particularly important to Mbeere people: Melia volkensii Mukau, and  the giant Albizia (Albizia coriaria) Mukorowe.  Both these trees were regarded as clan property and could not be cut without permission.

Source: David Brokensha and Jack Glazier 1973  Land Reform amongst the Mbeere of Central Kenya.

Kinuki wa Kombe is a legendary figure who protected the sacred groves.  You can learn about him here.