Thursday, 30 October 2014
These lands encompass the heartlands of the Handzande tribes of the southern Leech Coast. The principal settlement of the Chiefdom of Handzande is known as Umflopi, and comprises an extensive settlement of Handzande huts, paddocks, and storerooms surrounded by a stockade. Rather like the Handzande Chief, M’Wahaha, Umflopi varies in size depending upon the season. In summer, in particular, Handzande tribesmen flock to Umflopi in preparation for annual expeditions against their neighbours. At this time, important tribal celebrations take place. First to occur is the ‘Roger the Small Boy’ festival: named after an incident in which one of Handzande tribes rescued a small European boy, named Roger, whose explorer parents had been eaten by hippos, this is a charming cornucopia of dance and frolicsome behaviour. It is followed soon after by the ‘Roger the Cow’ festival in which Handzande warriors get it on with their livestock.