Thursday, August 9, 2012

Harvest Ceremony in Chomba

A village on the outskirts of Bamenda, Chomba celebrates the contributions of the women in its community through an annual harvest ceremony. Women from the village bring a portion of their harvest to the palace of the Fon, and in return, they are given food and drink and an audience with the Fon if they have concerns to share. As one of the Fondoms being considered for the Widowhood Rites project, a group of VSO and Peace Corps volunteers had visited with the Fon the previous day and we were invited to return to participate in the harvest ceremony.

The Fon of Chomba on his throne.

Preparing the food to be shared with the community.
Beans, corn, chicken and eggs were on the menu.

Palm wine being prepared. Very strong - I limited myself to two glasses.

VSO volunteers Mandy and Marja
and Peace Corps Volunteer Ben enjoying their meal.

After the meal, the Fon gave a speech and went
to the monument that represents women to pay his respects.

The ceremony ended with all of the women coming together
 in a traditional dance.The Fon and the volunteers also joined them.

More of the dancing.

One of the dancers encouraging the volunteers to join in.


cochrane said...

Very interesting and cool. Really seems like it was a fun event.

Keep 'em coming!


Anonymous said...

Coolest party in town. Really neat to see the Fon honoring and respecting women. This is radically different from what we are led to believe about the status of women in the face of widow rites and other such things. Without women and the work of women, there would be no food. There would be lots of palm wine, but I doubt if that falls into any category representing healthy living. A true leader - no matter what the country or the context or the culture - is one who is generous in the respect he/she shows to others. The Fon in Chomba was generous to invite all you foreigners to their thanksgiving feast, where he generously showed respect to/for women and their contribution to the social fabric of his kingdom. I wish I could meet the Fon of Chomba to discuss leadership with him. He could teach me a lot, and I indeed have a lot to learn. Good work. Victor