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Pictorial: Acholi Cultural Dancers Illustrate 'Warriors' Antics at Festival

They occasionally froze in positions to take precision aims at vehicles they deemed enemies to demonstrate how the warriors of old confronted aggressive wildlife species in the jungles of Acholiland.
Carrying Animal Trophies Of Animals They Killed In Public Places Signified Brevity In Defense Against Enemies and Food Security.
Acholi cultural dancers on Thursday demonstrated the arts of becoming fearsome warriors at the inaugural cultural festival taking place in Gulu district.

The 'warriors' from different Otole dance groups confronted cars and onlookers with spears as they marched in two hours procession from the palace of the paramount chief His Highness David Onen Acana II, in Dar Dege Division past Gulu district Council Hall to Kaunda Parade ground through the main street of Gulu Town.

They occasionally froze in positions to take precision aims at vehicles they deemed 'enemies' to demonstrate how the warriors of old confronted aggressive wildlife species in the jungles of Acholiland.

The defence was such an important element of Acholi society for which energetic young men were specially trained to go against enemies which included wild animals that had attacked homesteads and snatch a human or a domestic animal.

Hunting and food gathering also formed another important dimension of Acholi culture. Women went fishing while men took parts in bushmeat hunting to supplement domestic animal proteins. Hunters were celebrated during special rituals in which the spirits of the dead wildlife were invoked to enter the hunters who killed them. 

After the rituals, the hunters were expected to fearlessly attack enemies like those animals especially Lions, Leopards and Buffaloes which were known for their aggression and skilful hunting antics. 

From Kaunda parade ground, funeral dance (Myel Lyel), war dance (Otole), courtship dance (Larakaraka) and entertainment dances (Aguma and Dingi Dingi), Royal Dance (Bwola) among others featured prominently during a 20-minute open session marking the official opening of the colourful event.

URN Journalist Peter Labeja in Gulu captured the demonstrations of some of these principles and practices during the inaugural Acholi cultural Festival taking place in Gulu district and brings you these pictures.

 

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