DID YOU KNOW ABOUT OMOBARI OMOTWE THE TRADITIONAL GUSII HEAD SURGEONS WHO PERFORMED CRANIOTOMY.
Omobari Omotwe were African head surgeons who used to perform craniotomy on their patients. The Omobari hailed from South West Kenya within the Gusii tribe. Their skill was acquired through apprenticeship.
Omobari Omotwe was head surgeons from the Kisii Tribe in South Western Kenya. The surgeons used to perform surgeries by resolving the cranial trauma and post-traumatic headaches. The surgeries are called craniotomy as it is the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain. Omobari brought their practical application of their knowledge and craft with an astounding success. It is stated that the knowledge Omobari acquired it through apprenticeship.
For one to acquire the specified skills of becoming an Omobari Omotwe one was required to have dedication, determination and hard work over years as the task required precision as one would lose his/her life in case the operation went wrong.Omobari Omotwe before conducting the surgery he offered a prayer for guidance and then palpates the head of the patient to pinpoint the spot on the head where the incision will be made.
TSome of the tools used byOmobari Omotwe to do the surgical operation to his/her patient
Also herbal concoctions were offered to the before, during and after the operation to; to minimize pain, boost immunity, sterilize the open flesh and to stop bleeding and the patient from smelling the blood’s scent as this would a nauseating effect on the patient and could lead to one passing out.
Two types of surgery were conducted as explained below
In case of a cranial trauma;
A cranial trauma occurs only after a direct blow to the head by use of blunt objects. To counter the effects of this the skilled Omobari adeptly cut his way into the patient’s skull of the affected. This helps to remove the bone flap which is fractured and smoothen out the fractured edges to allow the affected area to heal. This procedure comes out with a high success rate causing the surgeons to be highly respected for their job.
Omobari performing the surgery on one of his patient
In case of a post-traumatic headaches
On this Omobari Omotwe would tend to carefully tow the lines by examining the head critically so as to identify which point on the head to open in order to resolve the case in question. Once Omobari is satisfied with the site located, he employs his homemade tools in digging into the area beneath the skull in his bid to drain out what has been named “bad blood”. This is most probably non-circulating blood collected in an area beneath the skull that has gone bad. A critical examination of the site is also carried out to make sure there are no fractured bone fragments in the regasion, these can puncture delicate blood vessels and lead to the same or more complicated medical conditions.
After the operations there are no known infection cases over the Omobari’s art that is according to Furnas et al (1985). Furnas stated that the Omobari’s work was neat and orderly when engaged during their line of duty.
Their Maasai neighbours are known to visit the Kisii’s Omobari for treatment on occasions. The procedure is again believed to have a placebo effect as this would only happen with one’s belief on the treatment. So the Omobari and his team of medical specialists do not only resolve the physiological anomaly associated with the reported cases but its psychological dimensions. All hail to the Kisii’s giving the world the genius minds who didn’t need technology to skillfully perform their art.