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Kenyans Rejoice as the Remains of Omieri, the Legendary Snake and Goddess of Harvest, Return Home

The giant python was believed to protect the well-being of the Luo people—its return is kind of a big deal.

Thirty years after its death, the Kenyan government plans to return the remains of a fabled snake named Omieri back to its original home in Kisumu County, Kenya. The news has been met with immense joy from the area's residents for a number of reasons.

The main one being that Omieri was no ordinary snake.

The 16-foot python, which was said to be the biggest ever seen in the area, was known to perform miracles which helped protect the well-being of the Luo people. Omieri was worshiped by members of the community who believed the snake brought good fortune. The snake was of major cultural and religious significance in the region. According to Standard Digital Kenya, the python was considered the goddess of rain and bumper harvests.


Its death in 1987, due to injuries it sustained in a wildfire, was highly-publicized and caused many Kenyans to deeply mourn its loss. Upon its death, Ojwang' Kombudo a Kenyan MP representing Nyakach, demanded the government return its remains to the area instead of taking them to Nairobi, as he believed that the snake's absence was the cause of the season's harvest failure.

Members of the Luo community have been anxiously awaiting the snakes return, and the news of The National Museums of Kenya's plan to transport Omieri's delicate remains back to Nyanza for a five-day cultural event, has been met with jubilation. The event is being organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"A lot of miracles used to happen whenever Omieri appeared and our people never went hungry whenever it appeared," said Nyandiko Ongadi, one of the elders of the Luo Council of Elders. Since Omieri died, we have never seen such a miracle, its return is a blessing even though it is dead," he added.

Omieri's remains are currently held at the National Museum in Nairobi as a national artifact, but Ongadi believes they should be permanently brought back to Kisumu County, where it has strong cultural ties.

This event is no small deal. Leaders of the community will hold a traditional ceremony to mark the mystical python's return.

Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images.

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