Vunon Festival

The Vunon Festival dates back to about three centuries ago. It is celebrated by the Bachama, Batta and Mbula people for the first rain of the year. It usually takes place at Farai, the village of Nzeanzo. The three-day cultural/religious ceremony is to recall the death of Vunon, Nzeanzo’s mother, whose hut is kept as a shrine, attended by a priest and priestess in the spirit groove near Farai.

Vunon Cultural Festival

The first day begins with wrestling and dancing at the spirit groove (Wodi Khake). This normally ends up with a procession from the spirit groove to one of the festival grounds (sites) situated at Farai. Here, well dressed women in traditional costume, entertain the spectators with a spectacular dance (Bwe Pule).

Aside wrestling and dancing, artefacts or crafts like pots, calabash, wooden spoons, hoes, and other goods are sold to spectators, visitors and tourists. Beverages of all kinds and food are sold to guests in what could be called a picnic sitting arrangement.

The Farai cultural/religious festival is an annual event. It is a celebration of demigods believed by Bachama people to have been real people at one time.

Nzeanzo is the youngest of these demigods worshiped annually at Farai village. During this festivity period, fighting and stealing are taboos. The Bachama/Batta men or women are perceived to be culturally tolerant or socially notorious; morals are decidedly lax during these days.