April 13, 2012

New Bailundo King enthroned

The new King of Bailundo, Armindo Francisco Kalupeteca "Ekuiki V", was enthroned in office in a ceremony attended, among other guests, by the vice president, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos. According to the ritual, the new king sat at the entrance and then picked up a basket containing white cornmeal (omemba) that he fed the animal sacrificed. After making the sacrifice of the animal, the enthroned and his wife headed for the same step on it with the right foot to take his name, this is the first and last, the answer to three times followed later to the place of enthronement to receive advice from the master of ceremony, "chief Gambole" Inocencio Cavile, and between the advice given the fact that the king had only two women. Following the advice, Ekuiki V received the sword (ondelia), traditional symbol of power, to ultimately be greeted by the guests. At the end of the ceremony Ekuiki V went to the dance site to get started as a way of inviting those present to give the party.

A total of 35 kings have so far served the Ombala Mbalundo, the latest of whom being the late Augusto Katchitiopololo "Ekuikui IV", who was preceded by king Manuel da Costa "Ekuikui III", who died in 1996. Ekuikui IV, died on January 13, 2012.

The Bailundo Kingdom was founded in the 15th century, back then dubbed Halavala. In the 1990s, Bailundo was the location of the headquarters of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi. Bailundo is also know for the revolt against Portuguese colonization in 1902.

The Angolan minister of Culture, Rosa Cruz e Silva, highlighted the historic importance for the Angolan culture the enthronisation of the Bailundo King. The minister was sepeaking at the end of the enthronisation. She stated that the ceremony once more marked the valorisation of the cultural traces of the Angolan communities, particularly those from the highlands region of the country. "This is a reference the new generations must know, because it is here where are the bases of our identity and of the traditional political formations spread in the Angolan communities," she stated. According to the minister, the ceremony was also a message of union among Angolans and preservation of peace and national reconciliation. His way of settling disputes in traditional judgements, coupled with his blood link with his predecessor, gave the Ombala Court the trust to elevate him as a king. (ANGOP/Sadocc)


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