Name giving traditions in the Luo- tribe



A Luo is given three names. A first name that now more and more often is an international name, as Joseph, Leonard, Florence etc. The second name depends on the conditions of the day or time of the day of birth. For example if it was an early morning or a rainy season. The day Obama was elected as a president, many children was given Obama as their second name!. The third name, the surname, is the fathers second name. Further on the second name starts with an A if it is a girl and an O if it is a boy. Take Josephs second name: Opiyo, which means fast, normally used for the first twin, but for Joseph he was an early born, only 6 months old he wanted to come out and start living, he even bounced down on the floor, he was that eager! But if it would have been a girl instead, the name would have been Apiyo.


Below we are explaining some of the names that our children have:

Achieng: Hot sun, midday

Adiambo: Evening

Owilli: Forgetful

Awiti: Thrown away

Okoth: Rainy

Oyoo: Season for rain, but also used as a Hallo!!

Akinyi: Morning

Amondi: Early morning

Okinda: Determined

Odello: Hungry

Atieno: Night

Onyango: Daytime


We have triplets called:

Apiyo: Fast, first one

Akello: Luck, middle one

Adongo: Late, last one

Even if names as Akinyi and Odiambo are very common, there is of course always parents with a little bit for imagination:

Ajugi: River

Obala: A special salt given to the cow

Oera: Förråd

Nyang: Crocodile

Okoyo: Weeding ( to bad not wedding)

Ngutu: A knock on the head, or hot and rainy

Aoko: Born outside the hospital

Ouma: Squat, probably born when the mum had to bend down.




2 Responses to “Naming-traditions”

  1. canada goose Says:

    extremely great blog!

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