Ku-Omboka

Ku-omboka

Towards the end of every rainy rainy season, as the water levels in the Upper Zambezi Floodplain  rise, the Lozi people make a ceremonial move to higher ground. When the Chief decides that it’s time to leave (anytime from February to May), the drums beat out a signal to all the villagers. They pack their belongings into canoes and the whole tribe leaves en mass.  The name of this festival means  “to get out of the water onto dry ground”

The chief in his barge with his family and a troop of traditionally dressed paddlers, in the lead. It takes about six hours to cover the distance between the dry season capital Lealui, and the wet season capital Limulunga. There the successful move is celebrated with traditional singing and dancing. This ceremony dates back more than 300 years when the Lozi people broke away from the great Lunda Empire to come and settle in the upper regions of the Zambezi. The vast plains with abundant fish was ideal for settlement but the annual floods could not be checked, so every year they move to higher ground until the rainy season passes.

Excerpts from : Zambia Tourism