Words preserve culture. I am writing a dictionary of culinary terms in Northern Maa. Here is an example of a draft definition.

Kebebek [adj]. Used to describe a thin mouthfeel or to milk diluted with water. The oppostie of keirucha. By nature, this is a relative term.  Comparing milk textures, camel is the most kebekek followed by cow, sheep, and goat. Milk texture changes seasonally. For example, cow milk, always less kebekek than camel milk, is  seasonally perceived as kebekek when rainy season fodder naturally dilutes its texture. The strongest diluting effect is felt from the Spring “little rain” that fosters strong growth of tender leaves in shrubs, rather than from the “big rain” in late autum and early winter which has a more immediate effect on the grasses. When new growth supports lots of milk, then that milk will be kebebek. Elders monitor the condition of forage from their manyatta homes in part through changes in milk texture as plants adjust to the natural wet and dry cycles of the Northern Kenyan interior climate. The first milk from the cow is kebebek compared with the more keirucha, thick milk, that follows in two to three weeks. Goat milk is made more kebebek for one or two milkings when, after one week on the lkees, range, they are finally taken to water. The diluted milk of unscrupulous market women is kebebek. Chai (tea, milk, water, and sugar) that is more dilute (1:4 milk to water) than the standard recipe (1:2) is kebekek. Ill people may ask for their tea kebekek; as may people who simply prefer it that way. 

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