The Metu are lovers of beauty. They used to smear themselves with a type of red earth known in their language as era. They mixed it with simsim oil, shea-buter or castor oil. Mothers and their new born babies would be completely smeared so as to make them a glistering tomato colour.

Era needs some further mention because it was used in a variety of ways among the Metu. It was used for adornment an in preparation for dances and other great ceremonies; it was smeared on the head. It was also used as a dressing for wounds and ulcers and for general purpose hygiene. With castor oil as a base, it was used as a cure for scabies. Era was used in clearing and polishing the women’s head girdles in preparation for big social events.

Kore dance

The most important dance among the Metu was the kore. Unlike most Madi dancers, the kore dance had characteristics of the kuku dances. The actual dance took the following pattern:

The men would form a wide circle and dance in rhythmic tramp, beating time with two pieces of pinyi (black wood).The centre of the circle was left clear to be occupied by the principle dancers. The principle dancers were usually men but a single girl would be chosen because of her attractiveness. The girl would dance solo, swinging her arms in front and backwards. She then chose a particular part of the circle towards which she would dance with her face averted. On reaching that part of the circle, she would dance a little and retreat to the center, followed by four or five young men. They would dance around her for a few minutes and then return to their former positions to give room for others to dance around her.


The Metu used to live in very nice huts made of basketwork and circular walls. The roof of the hut was made in such a way it could be lifted off and re-used to construct another hut if the owner deemed it necessary to establish another hut.

The cane work of the huts was resistant to termites and if it was not plastered, it could also provide ventilation for the hut. This type of hut construction was particularly attributed to the Metu and it was unknown among their neighbors.

It is said that previously, skilled builders form Metu would be commissioned by the Laropi to build them huts at a price of five goats or a bull. In addition, they would drink as much beer as they wanted.


Traditionally, the Metu were traders. They did not have t cultivate because the commerce and industry which the practiced sufficed for their subsistence needs. Commerce was natural to them and through trade, they obtained food.

Besides, they also engaged in iron-working. All the deposits of iron ore in Madi were located in the Metu country. Most of the men amongst them were expert iron-workers. They could make hoes, spears and arrows for barter trade with their neighbors. The women could also barter era and awa (shea-butternuts) as well as grinding stones for food.

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