Sunday, 30 November 2014

19.10.14 Coronation Day of Bakonjo King and the Kiwa Heritage Centre

David and l set off at 12.30 for the coronation having lunch, fish and chips in town first.  Then we got to sit on white plastic chairs in this big field. There was some dancing by children but as David said was not truly authentic – ‘T’ shirts and shorts and grass skirts with a strip of bark cloth around the head.  Later there were some drummers who looked more authentic wearing grass skirts and colobus monkey skins around their heads and bells on one leg, but it was difficult to get a good view as everyone got up and joined them dancing around them and the media were encircling them too, so could not get close enough.  I had a little girl who kept pestering me for money or bread, although smartly dressed and the father was only two rows in front of us.  There was some older people dressed in skins with some gourds hanging around their necks and the old guy had a blanket of bark cloth slung around him too.  This was the 48th. Coronation of the Bakonjo king since Independence in 1962.

Then we had a quick soda at the Hotel Margarita where there were some other muzungos having a meeting by the look of it.  Lovely flowers as we drove up the driveway but the hotel itself was rather sparse of decoration – no plants in pots or artwork on the walls.

Then we went to Kiwa Heritage Centre, which had a curative hot spring.  They had a fish farm to generate money for the museum. They also had an old house reconstructed using straw and inside they had two fires – the first in the woman’s half for cooking, etc. nearest the door, and the other quarters were the bedroom where the daughters slept and the other quarter was for the boys and men to sit around the other fire and resolve family business – whilst drinking the local brew which was fermenting bananas with sorghum. They had other gourds, which were used for enemas and had a long stem to put up the anus with a hole at the end.  There were some flutes in a basket and seven of these were played at womens funerals. They would also be played for a NON-circumcised man on death as it signified that he was like a woman!  (Similar to the Koma erected to uninitiated Gohu members).

The xylophone was played for invoking the god Katisamba (the invisible spirit of the mountain) and played both sides.  To get the right pitch/note but also carve a bit of wood away until it makes the right sound.

One of the boys was making a model of a goat using cassava flour and water with the earth, which was grey in colour and looked a bit sandy.  This ‘museum’ was made on swampland and had a lot of stagnant streams running through it – lethal for malaria!  The hot spring was truly hot like a hot bath which people cam to bath in for recreation as well as cure.

I paid 6000/- here for this info.  30000/- for lunch for David and me, and 5000/- for two sodas later.  David told me that Kule Walyuba Sylvester, the director here, was a crook – he resold land that David had bought and started to build on!  Kisobulu Ericana was the main informant here – guide to the museum.  Saturday Leo was the young boy playing the xylophone along with Kisobulu.  Saturday Leo was the boy also making the goat sculpture.

Then on the way home we stopped at a brick kin to take a photo – it was getting dark by now though.  The kilns are fired for three days a fire is made in both holes and blocked up and the whole structure caked with earth and straw mixture – maybe even cow dung?

After photographing David with objects and writing bear minimum on the questionnaire we will pour one side of the rubber mould and at 11.30 set off to see the witch doctor near Ibanda.

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