Nyambinyambi

Nyambinyambi

Spring
The annual planting festival called the Rain-Calling Ceremony, or Nyambinyambi, is observed by the Kwangali people of Namibia, who believe that the land must be cleansed before the rain can fall and the fields can be planted. The chief sends his grandson out to cut down a tree, which is erected at the entrance gate to the village. The people lay their planting tools, seeds, pumpkins, and hunting weapons at the base of the tree and pray to the god known as Karunga, or Kalunga, to bring them a plentiful harvest and a good hunting season. In the Songhay's region of Niger, this is called Genji Bi Hori, "Black Spirit Festival." They also pray that rain will fall soon after the ceremony, which is believed to rid the country of bad luck.
The Songhay rain-bringing ceremony is held at the end of the hot dry season. Known as Yenaandi ("the act of cooling off") or the Rain Dance, it is usually held on a Thursday, the Tooru ("gods") sacred day, and is addressed to the four principal Tooru deities: Dongo, the god of thunder; Cirey, the god of lightning; Moussa Nyori, the god of clouds and wind; and Hausakoy, the god of blacksmithing.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Republic of Niger
2204 R St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-483-4224; fax: 202-483-3169
www.nigerembassyusa.org
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 273