Dura fishing festival.

Dura fishing festival.

 Dura fishing festival. 

The introduction of Western civilization and it acceptance by our people have made us to forget about our past, our cultural heritage was traded away for the white men ways. Our culture which should have thrills our people it has not been not been talking into consideration our people now perceive its as outdated. 

Mbatela is a small  Village in Mbagen Buruku Local government area of Benue  State. Dura fishing festival is an annual festival, the festival attract the social economic of development of the area or the host community. Dura is a river which is the tributary from river Katsina-Ala. 

Dura fishing festival usually celebrated around March and April each year respectively. The  genesis of the festival is trace back  from the early people of Nongov, Tera and Môôn who migrated from Guma local government area of Benue state, they were fisher men but migrated because of the inter-ethnic crisis, they came and settled at the river dura and continue with their career.

The festival is usually celebrated three days. The first day is thursday the thursday events are different cultural dancing in Tiv they usually dressed in Tiv traditional altered to display their their various dancing which include Ngyôô, Akutô, Hinga and Shen dancing respectively. Lastly wrestling is also one of the event that usually take place, a giant young men are select to wrestle likewise aged people who interested in wrestling. 

The seconday of the festival is Friday which features catching of fish, on that day fisher men around the area get to the river dura early as 5:00am with their gears such as scup net, drag net, javelin, bow and arrows waiting for the  order to start catching of fish. When the order is given then they all get into the river begging to catch fish the person who catch big fish will be  given a prize.

Saturday of the festival which Mark the end of the festival canoe ray's,  the remembring  founding  father's of the festival and  eating. On this Faithful day Mbatela women brings yams gunear corn and   cassava chipsthe yams are  peal by women and boid in order to prepare pounded yam young ladies usually pound the pounded yam, the gunear corn is divided other part is mix with  cassava chips and grand it into flour which is use to prepare  turning  food (Ruam nahan) the other part of guinea con is use to do local drink called Burukutu, (BKT). 

At 8:am is the arrival of the dignitaries such as the Ter Buruku, Tyoor, that is ward head, Ortar kindred head and tax collectors, the Ter Buruku is the one usually present prizes to the participants. 

After the presentation of prizes the chiefs and the council of elder go to the graves of the founding fathers of the festival  With the burukutu they will  knee down and pray and pour the burukutu on the  grave, put white cola nut to signify rememberance, after they band men play drum and sing the songs and ask God for the souls to continue to rest in peace.

When they are through with the  rememberance the all come back to the venue of the festival  and the food cooked  is  now  save the food and the drinks  make sure it reach every one present in the festival and everyone eat of it satisfaction. 

During this festival sons and daughters of Mbatela home and abroad to share gifts to their love ones. As a person it also gave me  a sense of pride just knowing that I really have a heritage which  I can bost of. I enjoying you to join me in celebrating the in coming dura fishing festival.

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