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Iteso Clans and the Meaning of their Names

Ikaribwok: This clan is also referred to as ‘Ikaruok’ or ‘Ikarebuok’. These are battle-hardened warriors or fighters. Their brave and brilliant skills in battles made them the army to provide security for the Iteso. The word ‘ikaruok’ refers to people who make sounds of victory after winning a battle. This clan is the largest clan among the Iteso.

The Irarak: From the time the ITUNGA left Ethiopia (Abyssinia) these people were gatherers (ikerarak) of wild fruits and highly skilled animal hunters to feed the Iteso. Their great father was called Ojuruta who was well-known hunting trainer. Their women, too, were great in fishing. Members of this clan are the ones commonly found telling stories about fruit gathering and hunting. This is the second largest clan among the Iteso.

Ikatekok: These people are good at mediating (aitikokokin or aipur) conflicts between people, families and clans over land, waters, pasture, etc. and administration. So, the word ‘ikatekok’ come from the Atesot word ‘aitikokin’. Being good mediators, they also became good administrators who ensured discipline and conformity to the cultural norms of the Iteso and to punish errant members. This is the third largest clan among the Iteso.

Ikomolo: The name ‘Omolo’ is common among the Luo tribes (Acholi, Lango, Jopadhola, Jaluo of Kenya). The Ikomolo are children resulting from intermarriage between the Iteso and the Luo. That is why they are called Ikomolo (child of Omolo). They are people well-known for cursing. That is why we hear of some of them called Ikomolo ‘Amug’/’Ituol’ (Ikomolo who do not want to see live gourds in their live plants). When they see this gourd, it will wither and dry up, unless they knock on one of the gourds and they select one to be owned by them.

Inomu: These are the strong traditional medicine men and women of the Iteso. To date, the Inomu still practice traditional medicine, especially the orthopaedic treatment. They are the Iteso orthopaedists to whom people with sprains, fractures and muscle pains go for massage and bone fixing. They are experts in all wild medicinal plants and their parts that treat a range of ailments. But their main specialty is orthopaedics. That is why some of them are referred to as ‘Inomu Ikariok’ or ‘Inomu Ariok’ – meaning ‘Inomu’ the people who mend fractured bones and sprained joints and muscles’. This means that they had a big role to play in treating the Iteso fighters who got wounded or injured in battles.

Igoria: Igoria is the name of a small bird called hooded finch in English. This bird is smart, humble, and organized. They make smart and nice nests. The women of this clan are experts in thatching grass huts. In the same way, Iteso of the Igoria clan are good architects and builders. They are equally very good at crafts and making furniture.

Source:Iteso Clans Directory – Atekerin Nuka Iteso (First Edition – 14th February 2017)