chapter  Three
Mythological Origins of the Ugwe
ByB. Bernardi
Pages 26

The special role that the Mugwe fills in the mythology of the Meru emphasizes the considerable importance of his office in the social structure of the Meru. The Meru are not rich in myths and legends, their trend of thought being matter-of-fact rather than speculative. The narration of the exodus of the Meru from Mbwa is the original story of the Meru, whence they trace their first consciousness as a tribe distinguished from all other peoples. There are different versions of the exodus. Komenjue, the Mugwe, Gaita, Muthetu, Akiuna, Mutethia, Mukagunda, Mukanyaki, Mukithiriini, are all figures of cultural heroes, more or less connected with the crossing of the water and the first settlement of the Meru in their present country. The first Mugwe is another of the cultural heroes, but with more clearly individualized traits. An aspect of the mythological side of the Mugwe is the process of identification between the individual Agwe and the first Mugwe.