The age -old Ikubi Lya chishi traditional ceremony of the Ila -mbala people of Chief Kaingu in Itezhi Tezhi district of central province has been revived attracting hundreds of people.
The colourful Ikubi lya chishi traditional ceremony was observed for the first time yesterday after decades of its abandonment.
The core of the ritual is remembering the deceased ancestors of the Ila -mbala people of chief Kaingu and celebrates the onset of the planting season through a myriad of traditional drinks, songs and dances.
And officiating at the ceremony, Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner George Sichula said the area does not have a ceremony that is on the calendar for such traditional events in Zambia.
The District Commissioner however said that Ikubi lya chishi has a very rich background which is worth the interest of traditional research.
“Itezhi Tezhi does not have a recognized ceremony yet but this does not mean that we do not have fertile ground in terms of tradition, custom and culture, it is because we have previously not done enough to push for government recognition of our ceremonies” , Mr. Sichula said.
“Due to the importance of the tradition, government is ready to support it because it brings people together and promotes unity” , he added.
Mr. Sichula noted that the PF government respects traditions and customs hence the establishment of the Ministry ofCchiefs and Traditional Affairs.
“it is the interest of the government to revive and uphold some traditional ceremonies that had been discarded by some village authorities’’, Mr. Sichula said.
Mr. Sichula appealed to the Ikubi Lya chishi secretariat to forge ahead in the process of fully registering the ceremony so that it can be put on the annual calendar of the traditional ceremonies of Zambia to attract government funding.
Mr. Sichula further stressed that government shall continue to support such ceremonies so that traditional and cultural values could be understood better by everyone as well as preserving it for future generations.
And speaking, earlier chief’s representative Elizabeth Kaingu Mweene said Ikubi lya chishi is intended to preserve and promote tradition and culture and inculcate such values into young people.
She said that in the past the Ila-mbala people of chief Kaingu used to go to the high mountain of Chobochobo or Mulombwanhula to petition their ancestral spirits for rains and before descending the mountains, the rains would have already come.
The ceremony starts with a procession from the Itumbi palace to the specially prepared main arena where various rites , dances and songs are performed.