The River Between

by

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

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Murungu Term Analysis

Murungu is the Gikuyu’s God-figure and creator.
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Murungu Term Timeline in The River Between

The timeline below shows where the term Murungu appears in The River Between. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Unity and Division Theme Icon
...and Chege climb up to a sacred hilltop with an ancient tree, “the tree of Murungu.” Waiyaki feels small in its presence. He turns toward Makuyu and Kameno and sees that,... (full context)
Chapter 5
Colonialism Theme Icon
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Tradition vs. Progress Theme Icon
On the sacred hilltop, Chege tells Waiyaki of Murungu, who created Gikuyu and Mumbi as the “father and mother of our tribe.” After them... (full context)
Chapter 7
Colonialism Theme Icon
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Unity and Division Theme Icon
...people, the more he realized the backwardness of his own culture. The missionaries declare that Murungu, the Gikuyu God, is the “prince of darkness.” (full context)
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Unity and Division Theme Icon
Since the year had an unusually good harvest, the tribespeople sacrifice to Murungu. Joshua’s followers prepare for Christmas while everyone else prepares for the initiation rites and circumcision... (full context)
Chapter 9
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Tradition vs. Progress Theme Icon
Unity and Division Theme Icon
The harvests are strong, and the villagers sacrifice to Murungu. The old men, such as Chege, remember that strong harvests often precede famines, like the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Colonialism Theme Icon
Christianity, Tribal Customs, and Identity Theme Icon
Tradition vs. Progress Theme Icon
Unity and Division Theme Icon
...angry at Joshua’s religion—if he still practiced as the tribe does, he could sacrifice to Murungu and heal his daughter. As they part, Chege is proud of Waiyaki but fearful for... (full context)