What You Need To Know About Mumuye "Belle Festival"

What You Need To Know About Mumuye "Belle Festival"

Belle festival is usually organised by the leaders of Mumuye traditional religion called shon lansi, The celebration usually takes place in January but it starts in December by Kpaapo people setting a fire in the bush to burn the ceremonial hill between Yakoko and zing. After some weeks, zing twelve subclans will set their own fire and this is usually in January at the end of guinea corn and millet harvest.

The D-day

On the eve of the festival, the ceremony start with burning of bush around Zandii hill, which will continue burning throughout the night till down, on the D-day The entire shrines are kept clean and neat, The skulls are purified, food and meat are prepared and shared to friends and relatives, about two or three o’clock, both men and women will go to Zandii hill where the ritual and the hunting exercise is performed by the men.

Attire for men and women

To honour the occasion ladies dress in the native beads and in a beautiful native cloths called Lantan, Men dress in the Mumuye traditional shrouds and some in Lanta taking their quivers and bows with them in order to demonstrate how to hunt.

The ritual

The chief priest leads the occasion. He prays and chants the history by calling the names of the ancestors who were before him, the skulls of each chief priest who had died long ago is brought out for remembrance and reverence. These rites are performed until dusk then everybody will leave the place.

Other activities

Dance presentation: The twelve subclans present traditional dance, they all come in line dancing one after the other starting by Laapo then groups such as Dossa, Diidonko, Koko, Zandii, Danko, Kpana etc will follow.

Shooting and Racing competition: 

The young ladies run a race to see who is strong enough to win, Men compete to shoot at a target, and it’s during this exercise that a best shooter for the year emerges. Finally as Mumuye you have a role to promote this culture because the well being of your future children depend on it, as we all know every is process; it is not always finished. 

Reference; peter Marubitoba Dong et al work (The Mumuye Contemporary history and culture). 


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