The Magic of Lamu Cultural Festival
Lamu County came alive and beamed with activities as the annual Lamu Cultural Festival, currently in its 14th edition awaken Old Lamu town which has been under a prolonged curfew since the massacre of over 60 people in June, 2014.
This year’s festival was themed ‘Peace and Co-existence’ and was held from November 28 to 30 it was attended by people from all walks of life, from tourists and residents both foreigners and locals alike, determined to enjoy the spectacle and celebrate the Swahili Culture and Heritage of Lamu people. It, however, attracted a lower turnout than the previous editions. This was also the case with sponsors as they too reduced owing to security concerns and the prolonged curfew.
The festival portrays the over 700 year old heritage of the genial Swahili settlement and featured activities such as dhow racing, swimming competitions, donkey race paid homage to local traditional dances, arts and crafts such as handicrafts, henna paintings competitions, Swahili poetry and Kofia embroidery. Swahili bridal displays were also at their best with women featuring with their Chakacha dance while the men performed the Hanzua-a sword dance to bemusement of tourist who had thronged to witness the activities which closed with an open concert.
The festival also incorporates cultures of other communities residing in Lamu. Palms are also