DEADLY MOVES! See The Dance Festival In Tanzania Where Participants Dance With Snakes And Hyena - illuminaija
illuminaija
Don't Miss

    DEADLY MOVES! See The Dance Festival In Tanzania Where Participants Dance With Snakes And Hyena

    DEADLY MOVES! See The Dance Festival In Tanzania Where Participants Dance With Snakes And Hyena

    The Sukuma, by far Tanzania’s largest tribal group with nearly 15% of the country’s population, are renowned nationwide for their pulsating dancing.

    Dancers are divided into two competing dance societies, the Bagika and the Bagulu, that compete throughout Sukumaland (the Sukuma homeland around Mwanza and southern Lake

    DEADLY MOVES! See The Dance Festival In Tanzania Where Participants Dance With Snakes And Hyena

    Victoria). The culmination is the annual Bulabo Dance Festival held at the Sukuma Museum in June.

    The most famous of the dozens of dances are those using animals, including the Bagulu’s banungule (hyena and porcupine dance) and the Bagika’s bazwilili bayeye (snake dance).

    Before beginning, the dancers are treated with traditional medicines to protect themselves from injury. The animals, too, are given a spot of something to calm their tempers.

    The Sukuma live in northwestern Tanzania on or near the southern shores of Lake Victoria, and various areas administrative districts of the Mwanza, southwestern tip of Mara Region, Simiyu Region and Shinyanga Region.

    The northern area of their residence is in the famous Serengeti Plain. Sukuma families have migrated southward, into the Rukwa Region and Katavi Region, encroaching on the territory of the Pimbwe. These Sukuma have settled outside Pimbwe villages.

    Dancing has always been integral to Sukuma life, and many of the dances still being performed today started as a way to add a little interest to the workday; migrant farmworkers would compose and sing s

    DEADLY MOVES! See The Dance Festival In Tanzania Where Participants Dance With Snakes And Hyena

    ongs to help pass the time, using their hoes as dance-props.

    The dance battle is about more than just the dance. It was meant as a referendum on each man’s skill as a medicine man. Before the dance began, each man concocted his most potent potions, all of them intended to make him more appealing to the crowd. Whoever won the dance battle clearly had better medicines.

    Though the idea of yearly “battles” may seem like little more than a fun tradition, the dancers take them seriously, consulting traditional healers for medicines.

    They create elaborate costumes and sometimes use large or novelty props—from life-size puppets to plastic animals masks—to gain audience support.

    2 Comments

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.