Waiyaki is an intelligent and influential member of the Giyuku. As a boy, he chases a goat that runs after one of the herdboys. The goat turns on Waiyaki and jabs him with its horns. This injury tears Waiyaki’s flesh to the bone and Waiyaki’s father, Chege, arrives in time to save him. This injury leaves a scar above Waiyaki’s left eye—and establishes his bravery, offering part of the explanation of why boys and men follow him. Waiyaki, as the son of Chege, an elder tribesman, struggles with his role as the last in the line of the tribe and ancestry. When he goes to Siriana to learn the white man’s ways and that of Christianity, he meets Muthoni. Her choice to be circumcised, despite her...

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