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February 25th 2017
Published: February 26th 2017
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The first harvest of the year is celebrated by the Ngorni people in Eastern Zambia with the festival of Nc'wala.

During the colonial period, Nc'wala was prohibited as it was seen as too warlike, but was soon revived after Zambia's independence. The Ngorni people, who descend from the ancient Zulu culture, gather at Mtenguleni village. A sacramental meal is offered to the chief, god and ancestors. There is poetry, drumming, theatre and war dances. The chief tastes the fruits whilst women sing his, gods and the ancestors praises. The chief blesses the fruit and then drinks the blood of a black bull that is speared. The chief then makes his way over a 60 miles back to his palace in a slow motorcade (in the past it would be a walk over a couple of days).

Although there isn't a lot of information about this festival online, I have found several videos made by tourists who were able to visit and experience the event. I have tried the dance in the video below (though conciously not stamping my feet as I'm not sure my downstairs neighbour will appreciate the excuse 'I'm celebrating Nc'wala!').


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