Umutomboko Traditional Ceremony, Zambia.

Mwata Kazembe
The Mutomboko traditional Ceremony is the ceremony of the Lunda people of Zambia. This colourful and beautiful ceremony falls on the last Saturday of July annually. This ceremony is the celebration performed after winning a battle. In the old days, it was celebrated by dancing and drinking off course after winning the battle. But with time, there were no mars or battles, the celebration started to fade till 1971 when it was made an official annual celebration during the Mwata Kazembe XVII Paul Kanyembo Lutaba's tenth anniversary of the instalment.

The Mwata being carried to a central ground
This event is held in Luapula Province, north of Zambia at Mwansabombwe village. It is a two day ceremony. Chief Mwata Kazembe opens the ceremony by performing traditional rituals at various sacred locations both within and outside the palace. Covered in white powder, the Mwata receives gifts of food and drinks from his subjects leading to the feasting and celebrations. This is on the first day.

The second day begins with an animal being slaughtered and the Mwata is carried by eight men to a central ground where the people cheer and shoot volley in the distance, it is here where he performs the Umutomboko; a Lunda dance of victory and the climax of the ceremony. There is a lot of symbolic dances performed by the Mwata. As he continues to dance, he points his sword to the north, east, south, west and finally to the sky and the ground, symbolising that only God and death can conquer him. The ceremony concludes when the Mwata is carried back to his fortress.

VISIT;Umutomboko Site for more information.


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