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Bafanji Celebrates Leeh  In Pomp and Pageantry

 

The people of Bafanji, a locality in Ngoketunjia

The return of the white flag to the palace

Division of the Northwest region last Saturday assembled at the Palace plaza to participate in the last of the three days biennial dance festival known as the “Leeh”,  which presented an opportunity for the sons and daughters to observe an age old tradition passed down the years, promote the culture and appease the gods and ancestors  of the Bafanji land,  rally people of Bafanji  from within and without the village to commune at this end of year period, and above all promote peace and good neigbourliness with the neigbouring villages.

 Leeh  2017 started on Thursday December 14, 2017 with HRH Fon  Francios Ngwefuong  and the Ngumba (The secret society)  performing some traditional rites to appease the gods of the land. This included the pouring of libation, sacrificing of animals and birds to the gods.   The first two days of the festival also saw the symbolic returned of the white flag of the land to the palace.  According to the people of Bafanji, the white flag is a symbol of victory that brought the people to their present settlement and also one of peace.

The final day of the festival was adorned by general dancing and celebration, gun firing, feasting and merry making. It was also graced by the presence of 12 Fons from the Northwest Fons Union (NOWEFU) led by its Secretary General-Fon Yakum Kevin Teuvih of Bambalang.

The women of Bafanji at dancing to the beats of the festival drums

William Sumtusho President General of the Bafanji Development and Cultural Association speaking on the last day of the event thanked all the sons and daughters of Bafanji for turning out massively to maintain the tradition of their forefathers. He saw their participation as a sign of the interest they have for their tradition and an indication that the festival will live long after this generation. He pleaded with parents to send their children back to school so that they can have a bright future.

The Leeh Dance which translates into English as the “peace dance” comes ups at least once every two years with the permission of the gods of Bafanji.  It helps to cleanse the land of impurity, increase farming yield, fertility, and promotes peace with all neigbouring villages.

Fon of Bafanji and Bambui

Fon of Bafanji and Nkwen

By Teku Patience and Manasseh in Bafanji

 

Source: Bamenda Online

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