Migwena Cultural Festival
Photos courtesy of Apollo Abungu
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|Country and Region||Kenya — Nyanza Province|
|Type of Festival||Dance, Music|
|Location of Festival||Bondo, Nyanza Province, Kenya|
|Festival Contact Information|
Migwena Cultural Festival
There are numerous activities that take place during the Migwena cultural and sports festival. These include football, netball matches, bicycle races, boat races, tug of wars, board games, and traditional music including—ohangla, nyatiti, onanda, peke. etc. there is also a remarkable showcase of Luo traditionally prepared foodstuff. If you have missed going home for a long time this is the period to be home to catch up on lost time and culture. Different groups also sell traditional items such as ornaments, clothes, and sandals to the multitude that visit the venue during the three days of the festival.
|Festival Dates||November - December|
Cultural tourism is top on the agenda for Kenya’s vision of 2030. The developmental framework also includes the adoption of home-based tourism geared toward both foreign and domestic tourists. Homeowners are encouraged to adopt the concept of home-based tourism, whereby tourists come to learn the cultures of the community by staying with families, eating the foods, and adopting community lifestyles. Most Luos have built houses that they visit once in a year during their annual leave. These houses can be put to good use by generating income and improving economy of the people. It also diffuses the cultural differences that exist between different communities in Kenya. This concept encourages people to get to know their next door neighbor’s language and customs and serves as an opportunity to embrace diversity and strengthen our common heritage.
Migwena cultural festival serves as a reminder to the Luo of their cultural identity through activities of yore and the beliefs of their forefathers. Young children are able to gain a cultural identity based on the activities that take place during the festivals. We hope one day Migwena cultural will feature prominently on the world map and attract attendance like the Zanzibar film festivals. There are currently plans to build an airstrip next to the field to open up the tourism potential of the western Kenya circuit. This is a welcome development and there is hope that this will help boost the economic potential of the area and also improve on the infrastructure.
About the Venue:
- Migwena is a very large and expansive natural field partly owned by the community and the government of Kenya through the County council of Bondo. Behind the field is a hill called Got Abiero, it is like the hill was shielding the field from strong winds or attack from unknown enemies. At the foot of the hill is a market called ‘Kothacha’ or ‘Lela Nyikeye’. In Luo, Lela means an open and expansive field while Nyikeye is the plural of Bushbucks. So the market derived its name from the numerous bushbucks that used to roam the field for pasture.
Photo slideshow credits:
- Photographer Apollo Abungu
- Signpost of Migwena cultural festival
- Part of the expansive field
- Some old men and people of the Luo community especially those living close to Migwena field