N'cwala

N'cwala

February 24
In 1835 the Ngoni tribe, an offshoot of the Zulus, left South Africa and moved into what is now the country of Zambia. The festival known as N'cwala celebrates the tribe's satisfaction with its environs since that time and also marks the beginning of the harvest. This is a festival of thanksgiving and people congregate in the village of Mutenguleni, including the paramount chief, where the celebration takes place on February 24. Groups of dancers display their skills for the paramount chief, who traditionally chooses one group as having outdone the others, which is no small feat, given that Ngoni dancers are renowned throughout the region. The chief is also responsible for being the first to sample the season's new foods and blessing it for the people.
CONTACTS:
Zambia National Tourist Board
Lusaka Sq., Cairo Rd.
P.O. Box 30017
Lusaka, Zambia
260-1-229087; fax: 260-1-225174
www.zambiatourism.com
SOURCES:
CelebFestCarnFeast-1997, p. 12
WildPlanet-1995, p. 212