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Two of more colourful traditional ceremonies are Ku-omboka and Umutombuko.
The Ku-omboka Ku-omboka means "to get out of water onto dry ground". Every year during rainy season as floodwater of upper Zambezi River valley rises, Lozi people make a ceremonial move to higher ground.
They pack their belongings into canoes ....and whole tribe leaves en mass! The Litunga (the Lozi King) rides in his royal barge called "Nalikwanda". It's got zebra stripes that run up and down and make it look great on water. Numerous boats and canoes of all sorts, shape, colour and make follow it.
Just imagine jostling that gets under way when it's time for people to get selected for this great honour, honour to paddling royal barge. A troop of traditionally dressed Lozis paddle it with pride. It takes about six hours to cover distance between wet season capital Limulunga and dry season capital Lealui,
This crossing when completed successfully is celebrated with traditional singing and dancing. Great traditional beer and all! This ceremony dates back more than 300 years ago.
The Umutombuko The celebration is an annual reminder of victories of Chief Mwata Kazembe of Lunda people. It commemorates migration of his great kingdom into Luapula Province of Zambia from Congo earlier last century. The two-day ceremony is a grand affair, mixed with ritual, semi-mystic performance, pounding drumbeats and long speeches. The women bring tributes of beer and food to chief.
Then chief, smeared with white powder, goes to pay homage to his ancestral spirits by pouring foodstuff in special places such as shrines and into special lake. Children have a "field day." They jump into water to collect food stuff. ...and they get praised for finding bounty.
Later Chief is carried in a special hammock back to his palace accompanied by beating of drums. On second day, a goat is slaughtered before Mutomboko dance is opened by chief. This ceremony takes place in Luapula Province near border with DR Congo.
Enestle Zimba is a practising geologist for over twenty years. He promotes Zambia tourism and safari part time. He's a great believer of conservation.http://zambiasafari.blogspot.com http://www.zambia-the-african-safari.com