Machina Emi­rate: Where snakes pay ho­mage to king

Not only cel­e­brat­ing bumper har­vest, the Lempn Zaar is also a unique cul­tural cel­e­bra­tion to re-en­act­ing past tra­di­tions.

Sunday Trust - - PAGE 3 COMMENT - From Balarabe Alka­s­sim, Bauchi

Yearly, peo­ple troop to Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi State for the gather­ing of the Zaar or Sayawa tribe as the drums beat in cel­e­bra­tion of bumper har­vest called the Lempn Zaar.

The Zaar peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to his­tory, set aside a month to har­vest their crops and thank God for good yields after toil­ing on their farms.

The Zaars oc­cupy Tafawa Balewa and Bo­goro lo­cal gov­ern­ments of the state.

On the day of the cel­e­bra­tion, peo­ple dressed in colour­ful at­tires, trooped out in their thou­sands to the venue of Lempn Zaar and the whole place turned into frenzy.

The roy­alty, guests and other dig­ni­taries watched dif­fer­ent processions of tra­di­tional dancers amidst drum­ming and singing.

Men, women as well as old and the young took part in the pro­ces­sion which was the main at­trac­tion of the fes­ti­val.

While some per­sons dressed in unique tra­di­tional at­tires to cap­ture old tra­di­tional prac­tice, oth­ers adopted the red, black and white colours of the Sayawa tribe.

Most el­derly peo­ple dressed in flow­ing Ba­ban­riga with a long black, white and red coloured scarf hung from the neck with sim­i­lar coloured caps.

The Chief Host and Zaar para­mount ruler, Gung Zaar, Air Com­modore Ishaku Komo (rtd) raised his hands as he took his seat, to ap­pre­ci­ate his sub­jects for help­ing to keep the tra­di­tions.

Flanked by his palace guards while he sits with his wife by his side, the Gung Zaar, was the cen­ter of at­trac­tion, with his splen­did re­galia made of the tra­di­tional red, black and white colours.

Also, var­i­ous tra­di­tional rulers added colour to the event. The Emir of Bauchi, Dr Ril­wanu Su­laimanu Adamu, who is also the state chair­man of tra­di­tional coun­cil, sent his best wishes to the Sayawa peo­ple on their spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Other tra­di­tional rulers present are; the Mai Tan­gle, in Gombe State, Abdu Buba Maisheru, the Kpop Gwang, Colonel Paul Zakka-Wy­oms (rtd) and the Mai Gun­du­man Bo­goro, Mr Nuhu Tafida, who was also co-host of the cul­tural fes­ti­val.

At a point, a “spe­cial de­tach­ment” of peo­ple dressed in an­cient tra­di­tional at­tire con­verged on the cen­ter of the venue. Con­fined to a small cir­cled place, fac­ing the Gung Zaar, they sang and danced.

The group, con­sist­ing of barech­ested peo­ple, hold­ing bows and ar­rows, axes and other crude weapons with earthen wares on their heads spent time danc­ing and singing, while some moved towards the Gung Zaar for his bless­ings.

As they moved back and forth, the Gung Zaar also took a few royal steps to meet them while they knelt be­fore him.

After, a while, they ran back and came to­gether with the oth­ers and faced the Gung Zaar, who later rose to join them as the beat­ing of the drums con­tin­ued.

Soon af­ter­wards, the Gung Zaar for­mally de­clared the Lempn Zaar fes­ti­val open and the cul­tural dis­play be­gan in earnest.

Groups com­pris­ing of tra­di­tional mu­si­cians, women, men young and old from Sayawa neigh­bour­ing vil­lages as well as their neigh­bours from Plateau State took part in the cel­e­bra­tion, with spe­cial per­for­mances.

The cul­tural pro­ces­sion was a show of mul­ti­ple colour­ful at­tires, as each group tried to outdo the other with their out­fits. The Na­tional Pres­i­dent of Zaar De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ZDA) world­wide, En­gi­neer Isuwa Galla tasked the Sayawa peo­ple on unity of pur­pose, urg­ing them to work hard to de­velop their com­mu­ni­ties.

En­gi­neer Galla also pleaded with the Bauchi State gov­ern­ment to re­turn the lo­cal gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters to Tafawa Balewa, as ac­cord­ing to him, peace has re­turned to the area.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters was re­lo­cated to Bu­nunu, a neigh­bour­ing town fol­low­ing in­ces­sant crises in Tafawa Balewa.

The Speaker, House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Yakubu Dog­ara, said the Lempn Zaar, cel­e­bra­tion was a tes­ti­mony to the fact that peace has re­turned to the area.

He there­fore stressed the need for com­mu­ni­ties with ad­her­ents of var­i­ous faiths and di­verse so­cio­cul­tural back­grounds to em­brace one an­other and live in peace.

Ter­wase Or­bunde, the guest speaker and Chief of Staff to the Benue State Gov­er­nor Sa­muel Or­tom, called on eth­nic mi­nori­ties in the coun­try to unite and forge a com­mon front.

Chair­man of the oc­ca­sion, Gov­er­nor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tam­buwal, sent a del­e­ga­tion led by the Sec­re­tary to the State Gov­ern­ment (SSG), Pro­fes­sor Bashir Garba.

Pro­fes­sor Garba said the del­e­ga­tion was happy to wit­ness the Lempn Zaar cul­tural fes­ti­val, adding that they were impressed by the hos­pi­tal­ity and rich cul­ture of the peo­ple.

He said that the peo­ple of Sokoto State would al­ways be happy to ex­tend their hands of friend­ship to the peo­ple of Zaar and par­tic­i­pate in the cel­e­bra­tion of their cul­ture and de­vel­op­ment.

The Bauchi State gov­er­nor, Mo­hammed Ab­dul­lahi Abubakar, who was rep­re­sented by a for­mer Mem­ber, Bauchi State House of As­sem­bly, Mrs Rifkatu Sam­son Danna, called for peace­ful co­ex­is­tence among the var­i­ous peo­ple liv­ing in the state.

He said only con­tin­ued peace would al­low mean­ing­ful de­vel­op­ment to take place in the state and ad­vised the peo­ple to shun hos­til­i­ties and di­vi­sive state­ments that will in­flame crises.

PHO­TOS:

The Gung Zaar giv­ing his royal bless­ings dur­ing the Lempn Zaar cel­e­bra­tions in Tafawa Balewa Balarabe Alka­s­sim

A women group at the event

A group of dancers, mainly in an­i­mal skin at­tire at the event

A group of co­me­di­ans add colour to the fes­ti­val

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