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Acholi Cultural Festival Underway in Gulu Town

The groups composed of the young and elderly then marched to Kaunda grounds with melodies of various cultural instruments in the air. They happily danced to the rhythms and sounds of small and big drums to rejuvenate the lost pride of the Acholi people.
The Traditional Dancers In a Procession from The Palace to Kaundah Grounds In Gulu Town

Audio 2

Hundreds of culturists are gathered at Kaunda ground in Gulu Town to commemorate the second Acholi Cultural Festival. The three day event that officially started on Thursday will run until Saturday.

At the festival are sections of Clan Chiefs from the eight districts subscribing to the Council of Chiefs of Acholi Chiefdom. They include Rwot Samson Alaro (the Clan Chief of Chua Mucwini in Kitgum), Rwot Odoch Abayomac (the Clan Chief of Lagoro in Kitgum) and Rwot Alex Odokonyero Opige - the Clan Chief of Paicho in Gulu district.

The others are Rwot Kasimiro Ongom (Clan chief of Patongo in Agago district), Rwot Samuel Anywar (the clan chief of Pagol) and Rwot Lawrence Kikwera-Nono of Madi Opei in Kitgum district as well as Rwot Jimmy Ocan Luwala, the Clan chief of Puranga in Pader.

The chiefs used the flag of Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi Cultural Institution to jointly flag a winding procession of the cultural dancers from the Palace of the Paramount chief His Highness David Onen Acana II to officially flag off the event.

//Cue in; "Dong an ma aloko ni…

Cue out; abwor ye, go agoya ye"//

The groups composed of the young and elderly then marched to Kaunda grounds with melodies of various cultural instruments in the air. They happily danced to the rhythms and sounds of small and big drums to rejuvenate the lost pride of the Acholi people.

They had Leopard skins strapped on their backs with oval crowns made from ostrich and poultry feathers on their heads. They held hunting spears and shields with which they mimicked different hunting and defense strokes throughout the procession in the streets of Gulu town.

Residents held out cameras and smart phones to catch a glimpse of some of the performances, bringing traffic to a slow journey.

Charles Odora Oryem, the chairperson of the organizing committee for this year's festival told Uganda Radio Network that they expect this year's festival to be big and fun compared to that of last year. The chiefdom expects to raise 300 million Shillings from the festival.

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President Yoweri Museveni is expected to grace the occasion as the Guest of Honor while the Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Solomon Agutamba Iguru will preside over as the chief celebrant. Alur King Rwoth Philip Obimo Olarker Rauni III is also expected to grace the pomp fete by the neighbors.

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni launched the Basket of the Chief locally known as Aduku pa Rwot with a donation of 20 million Shillings.

The Paramount Chief of Acholi His Highness David Onen Acana II is expected to make a public appearance on Saturday, the last day of the event. Rwot Onen will then address his subjects on the theme of this year's festival; leveraging the group's heritage for increased economic productivity.

He used the festival last year to urge his subjects to protect the Acholi culture from harmful western influence. He also emphasized the need for teaching the Luo language to the young generation, documentation of the culture and establishment of heritage museums among others.