Custodians of Sacred Sites from four African countries are working together to revive tribal traditions and protect their sacred sites and territories. They have released a statement of Common African Customary Laws to protect these sacred places and bring their message to an increasingly detached modern world.
The Nanyuki Custodian Meeting in Kenya has drawn up a statement of common African customary laws for the protection of sacred sites.
The custodians of Sacred Sites from four African countries, are working together to revive their traditions and to protect their sacred sites and territories.
The future of our children and the children of all the species of Earth are threatened. When this last generation of elders dies, we will lose the memory of how to live respectfully on our planet, if we do not learn from them. Our generation living now has a responsibility like no other generation before us. Our capacity to stop the current addiction to money from destroying the very conditions of life and the health of our planet, will determine our children’s future.
They call on Governments, corporations, law and policy makers, and civil society to recognize that Africa has Sacred Sites and custodians who are responsible for protecting them, in order to protect the wellbeing of the planet.
Sacred sites are ecologically sensitive energy organs
The whole Earth is Sacred. Within the body of our Earth there are places which are especially sensitive, because of the special role they play in ecosystems. We call these places Sacred Sites. Each Sacred Site plays a different role, like the organs in our body. All of life is infused with spirit.
Sacred Sites exist everywhere, including in Africa. They are spiritual places created by God at the time of the Creation of our Earth, where our Custodial Clans have been praying and giving offerings since time immemorial. Our responsibility is to protect God’s Creation, and to ensure that these especially holy places are not disturbed in any way. Their role and significance cannot be replaced.
Sacred Sites are sources of law. They are centres of knowledge and inter-generational learning. Our governance systems are established through our relationship with and responsibility towards Sacred Sites.
We are the generation of custodians who carry the responsibility of ensuring that we all learn from the elders of today, who are the last generation with living knowledge of nurturing the health and integrity of our Earth, passed on directly from generations before them.
Each language has a local name for their Sacred Sites, for example Zwifho in Venda, South Africa; Kaya in Giriama, Irii in Tharaka and Meru, Mathembo in Kamba, Karigai in Ari Gikuyu, Kenya; Awulia in Afan Oromo and Adbar in Amharic, Ethiopia; and Ihangiro in Banyoro and Batoro, Kiggwa in Baganda, Uganda. The word ‘Sacred Sites’ has been agreed upon as a common term to describe all these potent places, despite its limitation of meaning.
The statement was drawn together by Custodians of Sacred Sites from Tharaka, Meru, Kamba and Magarini areas/territories in Kenya; Buganda and Bunyoro in Uganda; Bale and Suba in Ethiopia; and from Venda, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The work of the Custodians is accompanied by the African Biodiversity Network (ABN) through its partners Porini Association, MELCA-Ethiopia, Mupo Foundation, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Institute for Culture and Ecology (ICE); and the Gaia Foundation.