LOVE, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Ole Kaelo has effectively played his role as a father by providing and putting up a house for his family in Nasila. The house he has built for his family in Nasila is so magnificent that Mama Milanoi exclaims, "Father of all creation! This is but a dream" (p.30). Taiyo says that the house is magnificent while Resian exclaims she had never seen anything like it before (p.31). At another level, both parents fail in their emotional obligations to one of their daughters, Resian. Ole Kaelo for instance has instilled fear in her such that there is no free interaction between father and daughter, has hated her from birth, keeps reprimanding her, abuses her and finally greatly betrays her by conspiring to marry her off to his friend Oloisudori (pp. 206-210) and when this aborts, he turns to his favorite daughter Taiyo but not before he has her forcefully circumcised (p.273). The hitherto good and peaceful family especially when he was in Nakuru has fallen apart at the end of the novel due to his greed for wealth.
In the traditional Nasilian culture, love is not entirely a prerequisite to marriage. Although Ole Kaelo was smitten with love for Mama Milanoi the first time he saw her in the church, her feelings for him are not required for them to marry. We are told that "From the moment he saw her, he had been obsessed and he was still obsessed twenty- two years later" (p.9). On his wife's side, we are told, "She accepted him without any resistance. Tradition did not allow her to offer any and as expected of her, she did not resist (p.29). What she considers is his character. We are told she knew he was a good man, a great provider, a planner and a man with the will to succeed. She also knew he loved her genuinely (p.29). He continues loving his wife many years after their marriage showing his satisfaction with her. When he wakes up he says, "Oh, did he not have a wife there. He was elated" (p.59).
Simiren, brother to Ole Kaelo, is a polygamist but he treats all his wives equally. "It was only yeiyo-botorr, who occupied a special position in the home and who received favour from her husband without anyone frowning. Communal life, selflessness, and respect characterize this family and there are few disagreements and disputes. The family in general is a haven of peace, a thing that makes Resian and Taiyo admire traditional way of life in their uncle's polygamous marriage (p.154).
Taiyo puts love first before cultural dictates on who one should marry. Their culture does not allow inter-culture marriage but nonetheless, she falls in love with Joseph Parmuat, who belongs to her own clan and hence they are not allowed to marry. Taiyo is assertive enough for she is the one who approaches Joseph saying, "I know you are in love with me the way I am in love with you" (p.133). Joseph reciprocates her love for him saying, "I loved you the moment I saw you during your father's homecoming ceremony" (p.134). When Resian asks Joseph to be her Patureishi, he says that culture does not allow it for she is like his sister (p.127).Taiyo loves her sister so much that she has stepped in to fill the vacuum that has been left in Resian's heart due to her parent's cold attitude towards her. Resian has relied on her sister for protection since primary and Taiyo has made it her duty to mop her tears (p.34).