Kebbi to host Yauri Reggata Cultural Festival February 22
Arrangements have been concluded for the hosting of 2020 Yauri Annual Regatta Cultural Festival taking place on February 22.
Speaking at a press conference in Birnin Kebbi, the Secretary to Kebbi State Government (SSG), Alhaji Babale Umar (mni), said the regatta is fundamental to tourism in the history of Yauri kingdom, adding that Yauri is an ancient city in Hausaland with rich historical and cultural heritage.
He said: “Regatta is a Gungunci language of Gungawa, one of the ethnic tribes) word meaning Marine Wars. In its social context, the word connotes buoyancy and prestige. Regatta is now an annual cultural festival of Yauri people that involves water sports manoevres and varieties of entertainment.
“The events to be showcased are the commissioning of Yauri Fishing Market, agricultural shows and other cultural shows.”
The SSG said the festival has undergone transformation, with the major one being the adoption of the festival by the Kebbi State Government as a cultural event.
According to him, one of the main reasons for giving the festival a boost, is to lift tourism, particular in Yauri Emirate.
Meanwhile, the state has equally inaugurated a 16-member committee to organise the 2020 Argungu International and Cultural Fishing festival, scheduled to hold in March. The festival used to be held once in a year but unfortunately for unforeseen circumstances, this event has not held for 10 years now.
Prior to the suspension of the festival, it had been self-funded. Government had stopped funding it because the festival generated a lot of money to sponsor itself.
Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival was inscribed in 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation
The four day festival, which runs between late February and March, features kabanci — a series of water competitions including hand fishing, canoe racing, wild duck catching — as well as other traditional practices, such as the local style of wrestling and boxing. Men and boys participate in the contests, while women provide the encouragement performing songs and dances.
The festival, which dates back to before Nigeria’s independence, is considered a contributor to participant sense of identity and is also used as a means of maintaining peace between the Argungu and neighbouring Sokoto community by enjoying shared cultural practices together.
Knowledge passed on within participating chieftaincy-holding families by the Sarkin Ruwa (who manages the river’s santitation levels) and Homa (chief of the Argungu fishermen) concerning the river’s water quality and fish stocks, has been an important factor in the festival’s continuity.
Skills involved in festival activities are transmitted to younger generations formally and informally. Training occurs, for example, via apprenticeship particuarly in the case of specific fishing techniques or within families by demonstration.
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