Who is Kiama in The River Between?

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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.

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