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Belle festival of hunting beckons in Taraba

Published by Tribune on Tue, 13 Dec 2011

Efforts have beenrenewed by the ZingTraditional Council to further open Zing Chiefdom in Taraba Sate to development through the promotion of Mumuye cultural heritage, christened Belle festival.The move which is to reawaken and sensitize the younger generation on the need to protect and promote their heritage from going into extinction, will also attract traffic of visitors to Taraba State as preparations are underway to make the 2012 edition the mother of all festival in the state.Known to have a strong cultural history and people, the Mumuyes as one of the dominant tribes in Taraba State, is re packaging the Belle festival to sustain and bring a new lease of life to the people Zing chiefdom.According to history, Belle festival is a period of commemoration of the gallant past of it forbearers and their movement from the Yorro hills to the present settlement, passage of some clans and the sustainability of the people's heritage still date, where prayers are offered, young men are initiated into adulthood and also celebration of a bumper harvest.Annually, Belle festival started with hunting of games where hunters are drawn from the 12 clan that made up the Zing chiefdom for a seven-day hunting expedition, which the owner of the biggest caught game will emerge the winner with a star prize attached to it.Also, part of the highlights of the event include a match past (Sa Belle) by the clans, core traditional dance (Taani Kuru) and display of cultural artistry, visitation and exchange of gifts among relatives and friends, while young girls are also engaged on a festival race, which according to the believe of the people that the first contestant who gets to ceremonial site of the festival will receive an ancestral blessing for bumper harvest.However, the determination to move the subsequent edition of Belle festival to the next level, the Zing Local Government, Zing Traditional Council, Kplanti Zing and the festival committee are working round the clock to boost the profile of Belle festival to a national event that will attract foreign patronage.
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