Who is Kiama in The River Between?
The Kiama is not a person. It is a council of elders,whose brain-child is actually Kabonyi. He was once a convert of christianity, the new religion, but decided to go back to the tradition when the church rejected tradtional circumcision, which is greatly valued. He claims that the Kiama should fight for the purity of the tribe by going back to the traditions, and rejecting the foreign culture. However the kiama turns out to be a politcal fabric, which Kabonyi uses to fight against waiyaki for the leadership of the community. He knows well that Waiyaki is the annointed messiah, fortold by the seer, but he does not want to admit this. Instead he wants this honour to be bestowed on himself and his son Kamau, Waiyaki's rival. So the kiama plans sittings to 'judge' Waiyaki, and to accuse him of having betrayed the tribe by assciating with christians and even planning to marry Nyambura who is not even circumcised. Tthey humiliate him in public.
The kiama is like a kikuyu parliament. The members are chosen not elected however. Appointment is based on wealth, influence (like Kabonyi and Waiyaki) and wisdom ( like Chege). They were only men as women were not given leadership roles. The reason for this is explained in chapter 4 page 15 by Chege. So the Kiama is not a person but a council. I hope that this was helpfull. thank you.
i think the kiama r the communitys government to protect and uphold the culture of the gikuyu and make sur it is kept pure
it was a poltical authority tat comprised of the elders of the kikuyu tribe
it ensured that the traditions and customs of the tribe were upheld and punished those who went against the tribe's ways