The ritual consists of Samburu families taking their herds of cattle to the Singing Wells, where they dig for water to fill up troughs for their cows, goats and camels. In such an arid environment that is Samburu, for a large majority of the year, these wells run deep, requiring almost a chain of people to pass up a bucket in order to quench the thirst of their cattle. Whilst doing so, each family chants or sings their individual family song, which leads the cattle to their family well, and quite astoundingly, the cattle recognise their song.
I watched in a trance, totally mesmerised as I observed this gathering of families, sharing stories and passing on messages as they watered their cattle, so vital for their livelihoods. It is an image of red dust, cow bells, naked Samburu and song, creating what can only be described as a biblical scene. After all, this gathering has remained unchanged for centuries.