There is a reason I am swiveling happily in my office chair as I type this blog today! Finally, the date for what is quite possibly the biggest and best known traditional ceremony in Zambia has been announced!
The Kuomboka ceremony, an ancient ritual of the Lozi people of Zambia that takes place annually has been set for the 17th of April this year. The Kuomboka is a colorful and exciting event that pulls millions of people not only from all parts of Zambia but from outside the country as well who all come to witness an event that has been practiced from decades past.
The ceremony has a rich historical background. The term Kuomboka is a Lozi word that literally means to move out of the water. The ceremony came about because of the annual flood of the Zambezi river which turns the farmlands of the Malozi into a mighty lake so that the people must move to higher ground.
As the plains around Mongu flood, the Lozi king is moved in a large barge called the Nalikwanda, from his royal dry season palace in Lealui to his rain season palace in Limulunga, together with the royal family, their staff and belongings.
The ceremony is preceded by heavy drumming of the royal Maoma drums, which echoes around the royal capital the day before Kuomboka, announcing the event.
With the imposing Nalikwanda gently making its way out of the plains steered on by colorfully attired boatmen, songs of jubilation running away with the wind, its hard not to get excited about this special event.
But that’s not all that’s getting this girl swiveling! The most thrilling part is that this year I’m packing up my rucksack and heading out to Mongu to witness the Kuomboka and be a part of the crowd cheering on the Nalikwanda (if you’ll be there, the girl cheering hysterically will be me!)
And that’s not all! For the first time ever you can get real time updates about the event from our twitter page as we will be reporting all the exciting details as they happen making sure you don’t miss a thing.
I’m certainly looking forward to sharing more about the Kuomboka as we head towards the event itself. I’ll be telling you not only about the facts of the ceremony but also the myths and legends and all the stories surrounding it.
I personally can’t wait to find out about one particular story. It is rumored that every time the Nalikwanda takes the bend that leads up to the harbor of the dry plains, it always rains! Apparently this is because the Lozi king is said to have great mythical powers. I’ll definitely carry my umbrella along but you will have to wait for the 17th to find out if we can prove this one!
Posted by Nambeye Katebe
The Best of Zambia team is going to Kuomboka 2010 courtesy of Zed Extreme Adventure Safaris in partnership with the Travel Shop.You too can experience it! For more information click here.