BIRA REVHARA MWAKA / MATARE
On the 17th of October 2020 Dzimbanhete Arts and Culture Interactions Trust will be hosting its annual cultural event Bira Rekuvhara Mwaka under the banner Sounds of the Sacred Web Festival (SOSAWEF). The origins of the event are deeply rooted in Zimbabwe’s indigenous cultural traditions.
It is known that the moon completes 13 cycles and that is what most indigenous cultures recognise and abide by as their calendar. Thus our oral calendar speaks of 13 months as per the moons and not 12 months as per the pop-Gregorian calendar.
It is also known that at the end of the 12th month according to our indigenous calendar which is mid-October when the full moon rises we put closure to the year/season by way of organising a Bira ceremony popularly known as Bira Rekuvhara Mwaka/Matare. It is then that we enter the 13th month of Mbudzi in Shona which runs between mid-October to mid-November traditionally and we observe a sacred period. This is the traditional month during which our Ancestors get to conference with the Creator and the Matare are suspended in respect.
The Bira will have a forerunning panel discussion of 5 invited healers who will among other things discuss the significance this Bira and other indigenous ceremonies have.
This Bira has been conveniently slotted as one of the buildup activities to SOSAWEF. The festival is a celebration of diverse African cultures happening through the establishment of an enriching thematic park in the form of a one-stop “All Afrika Village.” The Festival is propelled by the partnering initiatives of Dzimbanhete arts and Culture Interaction Trust (Zimbabwe) and OJA Cultural Development Initiative (Nigeria) built on the basis of Ubuntu: “Because I am therefore you are.”
SOSAWEF has been made possible through funding from Culture at Work Africa co-funded by the European Union