HISTORIC FRIDAY - THE ARGUNGU FESTIVAL




Nigeria is a country  endowed with rich cultures from her multifaceted  but united ethnicities. Each ethnic group has  major festivals and carnivals celebrated  before and (or) after farming seasons or at the end of the year.
Today, we look at an annual festival observed in the northern state of Kebbi- the Argungu festival!
Enjoy!  

THE ARGUNGU FESTIVAL


The Argungu Fishing Festival or Argungu Dance Festival is an annual four-day festival in the fertile riverine area of Argungu village in  Kebbi State, Northern Nigeria. It began in the year 1934 to commemorate the end of the centuries-old hostility between the Sokoto Caliphate and the Kebbi Kingdom. It is also celebrated to mark the end of the planting and harvest season.
The main focus of the event is a serious fishing competition which includes over 5,000 men and women with different traditional fishing equipment of nets and gourds made from calabash. These competitors gather close to the river waiting for the sound of a gunshot. At the sound of the gunshot, they dive into the river racing to catch the biggest fish. During this mission, canoes, filled with drummers and men rattling huge seed-filled gourds, are paddled on the rivers. History has it that the biggest fish caught in 2005 weighed 75kg and four men were needed to hoist it on the scale. The winner of the competition goes home with a $7000 dollars star prize.
Other competitions during the festival are: canoe racing, wild duck hunting, barehanded fishing, diving competitions and naturally, swimming. Afterwards, there is drinking, singing and dancing into the night. The main purpose of the Argungu fishing festival is for fishing and unity.
The festival attracts dignitaries and tourists from all over Nigeria, Britain, United States, Russia, South East Asia and neighboring African countries like Niger, Benin Republic, Cameroon, etc.

BY IFEANYI KONYEHI




(Source:https://zodml.org/discover-nigeria/heritage-and-culture/argungu-fishing-festival#.XEGsxtdZO1s)

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