Midimu Ceremony

Midimu Ceremony

June-October
The Midimu ceremony is a masked dance ritual celebrating the end of the three-year initiation period for Makonde boys and girls. Although the Makonde originally lived in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, they have migrated to Tanzania and Mozambique as well. During the dry season, which occurs between June and October, a group of the men inform their families that they must take a long trip. There is a public farewell ceremony, and then they disappear for 10 to 15 days. During this time they go from one village to the next and perform the masked dances of the Midimu ceremony, visiting the house of each new initiate and, after portraying various mythical stories in dance, receive honey, meat, jewelry, and occasionally money in return.
The Midimu ceremony always begins at night during the time when the moon moves from the quarter to the half phase. It usually follows a happy event—such as a successful hunt, a good haul of fish, or a bountiful harvest.
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 548