Zambian Residents Safaris

email : info@ntandaventures.com / tours@ntandaventures.com

Zambian Residents Safaris

email : info@ntandaventures.com / tours@ntandaventures.com

July Kawambwa Lunda Umutomboko

July Solwezi Kaonde Kupupa

July Solwezi Kaonde Kunyanta 

July Monze Tonga Lwindi Gonde

July Kaoma Nkoya Kazanga

MUTOMBOKO CEREMONY OF THE LUNDA PEOPLE

The Mutomboko Ceremony of The Lunda People of Luapula Province ZAMBIA’s rich cultural heritage is often exposed through traditional ceremonies. The ceremonies highlight the unique cultural values of a particular people or province where they are celebrated. The country boasts of numerous traditional ceremonies that include; the Kuomboka of the Lozi people of Western Province, Nc’wala of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province, Mutomboko of the Lunda people of Luapula Province, Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena of the Bemba people of Northern Province, Likumbi Lya Mize of the Luvale people of North-Western Province, and the Kulamba of the Chewa people of Senior Chief Gawa Undi’s area in Eastern Province among others. These traditional ceremonies are not the only ones the country celebrates but are among the most prominent and most attended, attracting visitors from all over the country and beyond borders. The Mutomboko ceremony of the Lunda people of Luapula Province was unique in 2017. This was because the ceremony was incorporated in the Luapula Province tour and investment expo as one of the major tourism events in the province. Apart from that, it was also dubbed 19:19 because the 19th Mwata Kazembe Paul Mpemba Kanyembo was celebrating his 19th year on the throne. It also marked the opening of the cultural museum which showcases the history of the Lunda people and displays artefacts. Large crowds of people gather in the main arena early from far and wide, including local and international tourists. Various dance troupes both from Zambia and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Lunda Kingdom stretches, perform dances as they await the arrival of the Mwata later in the day. The ceremony, in some years, is graced by the head of state and chiefs from across the country. These include, Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people, Senior Chief Ishindi of the Lunda people, Senior Chief Chiwala of the Lamba people, Chief Luembe of Nyimba district, and Chief Imwiko of Lukulu district in Western Province. Others were chiefs Chikanta and Chipepo of Kalomo and Chirundu districts, Chief Ntambu of Mwinilunga, Chieftainess Muwezwa of Itezhi-Tezhi, Chief Kasoma Bangweulu of Samfya, Chief Nzamane of Chipata and Chief Kashiba of Mwense district. Chiefs support each other. The diversity of people cutting across backgrounds and beliefs signify the unity of purpose associated with traditional ceremonies. After waiting for many hours, the Mwata finally arrives at the main arena much to the amazement of the cheering crowd. He is carried on a royal sedan on the shoulders of strong tribesmen known as the ‘muselo’ with all regalia of Mwataship placed on it. There is jubilation and gunshots to signify the arrival of the chief. The local people eulogise their chief whom they refer to as ‘bakapale’. The bearers then take the Mwata round the arena, while lifting him high on the sedan. He later takes his place on the royal seat. Paramount Chief Mpezeni and his Ngoni impis also add flavour to the event when they go around the arena showcasing their culture and dancing skills with their famous high kicks and clad in traditional attire. After the performance, official speeches follow from the Mwata Kazembe through his representative and guests of honour also gives a speech. Thereafter members such as Mwata Kazembe’s sister as well as his son also performed royal dances before the chief himself gets up to perform his royal conquest dance which is spectacular as he high kicks in his sweeping blue, red and white skirts, brandishing a small axe in one hand and a short sword in the other. The Mutomboko is a conquest dance that symbolises the victories the Lunda people recorded in conquering the various tribes they defeated on their way from the Democratic Republic of Congo before finally settling down in Mwansabombwe district. The Mwata was armed with an axe, or mbafi as they call it, and a sword, locally known as mpoko. After performing his dance, the Mwata retires to a waiting muselo and is lifted back to his palace from the main arena as the crowd follows behind, signifying the end of the ceremony. Earlier, scores of people present various gifts to the chief both in material and financial form. One of the notable gifts in 2017 was a speed boat from the President. Although almost all the traditional ceremonies alluded to earlier are celebrated year every, there are unique features each subsequent ceremony. For example, one striking feature about the Mutomboko ceremony is how the royal family in that area has used the Lunda maidens, dressed in white and blue, to preserve the history of Mwata Kazembe’s kingdom from the time it was established in 1740 up until Lunda people crossed the Luapula and finally settled in Mwansabombwe. The maidens, who poetically eulogise the Mwata before he performs his royal conquest dance, are a preserve of knowledge regarding how the Lunda people who are believed to have hailed from Kola, moved from their original settlement in Sudan and settled in Kola before finally crossing into Zambia. In line with the saying that a nation without a culture is dead, the Lunda royal family has done well to invest its knowledge in the young girls (the maidens). They can be guaranteed that it is the same knowledge that will preserve the rich Lunda cultural heritage for generations to come. Only then can young ones appreciate their culture and value it. The maidens narrate what each of the Mwata Kazembe’s, starting from Ng’anda Bilonda (first Mwata) to the current Paul Mpemba Kanyembo, did towards the growth of the kingdom. And most importantly, they also explain the difference between the Lunda people of North-Western Province and the ones from Luapula and how the two groups went their separate wayss, the North-westerners led by Mwata Yamvwa. ( the spelling varies). Without doubt, the Mutomboko ceremony is a rich cultural event that celebrates not only the victories of the Lunda people’s conquest of the smaller tribes along the Luapula valley but it also celebrates their history and entire being. These specially selected young maidens are custodians of the Lunda culture

SOLWEZI - JULY

July Solwezi Kaonde Kupupa

July Solwezi Kaonde Kunyanta