Folklore of the Luo peoples of Kenya speaks of a mighty warrior known as Lwanda Magere. He was born in the year to Abonyo Wuod Omolo and mother Nyabera. His mother died during his birth and was therefore taken care of by his grandmother Rapondi. His father died in one of the numerous wars with their Nandi neighbours when Magere was barely a teenager.

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Nandi warriors terrorized the Luo, and with each defeat the Luo were further shamed. Dignity was restored only by the emergence of the hero, Lwanda Magere. In one battle after another, this skilled warrior led the Luo to victory against their enemies. Because of his courage and prowess in war, many women were attracted to him, and he captured some of his wives from vanquished enemies. In all, he had twenty-five wives, including Lango and Luo wives.

For years, he successfully led the Luo against the Nandi and Lango, and the Lango sought ways to overcome him. Lango elders deliberated long, and finally had a solution: as a gesture of peace and friendship, they offered Lwanda Magere a wife, a beautiful Lango princess.

But her true mission was to discover the strength of Lwanda Magere's strength and to report this to her people. Luo elders pleaded with Magere not to accept the wife, but he refused to listen. And soon, she began to ask him the source of his strength. After much seduction, he could keep his secret no more. He told his wife that his strength in battle was in his shadow; no arrow or spear aimed at his body could harm him, even if it penetrated his shield. To protect his shadow, he always chose to fight his battles in the evening or at night.

The Lango wife and spy immediately reported this secret to her people. She told them to lure Lwanda Magere to a daylight battle and to aim their spears directly at his shadow. On the day of battle, the Luo elders cautioned him about going to war. But his pride would not allow him to listen to them. Taking his shield, he led the Luo warriors to war. And the strategy of the Lango worked.

The Luo were defeated, and Lwanda Magere was hit where he was weakest—his shadow was assaulted. He died on the battlefield that day. His body turned into a rock. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. Oxford Reference. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Highlight search term Print Email Share This.

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Luanda Magere: The Story of the Invisible Luo Warrior

Luanda Magere: the 'fierce rock' Among the Luo community, no warrior has had such a profound and long-lasting effect as Luanda Magere, son of the Sidho clan. His influence still lives on today. Indestructible: skin of stone Tales are told of his unearthly powers and his skin of stone. It is said that spears, arrows and clubs simply bounced off his body, making him indestructible. Of all the most outstanding things he did, his extraordinary ability to tear entire armies apart is the most celebrated. Enemy number one: the Nandi community Of all the communities that stood witness to his supernatural powers, the Nandi bore it the most.


Lwanda Magere's Secret Strength Is Discovered



Luanda Magere


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