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MBUNDA KING OR CHIEF INSTALLATION RITUALS

 

                                                    

His Majesty King Mbandu IV, João Pedro Mussole seated on the throne after installation.

 

 

Like in many enthronement ceremonies of Kings or Chiefs performed by different races in the world, Mbunda people have their special installation rituals the prepare to give the incoming candidate as "instruments of power" to use in duration of tenure as recognition to such a position of authority. These rituals have varrying significance and application according to Mbunda customs, culture and traditions as outlined below:

 

1). Instruments of Power

 

       (i). Hand Ornament (Mushele)

      (ii). Neck Ornament (Maande)

     (iii). Crown (Chilongo)

     (iv). Lion/Leopard Ski n (Likuvu)

      (v). Walking Club (Mbweti)

     (vi). Sword (Moko/Mukwale)

    (vii). Eland Fly Switch

 

2). Significance of Instruments of Power

 

       (i) Hand Ornament (Mushele)

            Signifies that, the ornament is worn around the King’s hand wrist

            but Chieftaincy is with the people. In the event the hand is

            dismembered in the wrist, the hand ornament would not hold.

            Without people or unity with the people, chieftaincy would not

            exist.

 

      (ii) Neck Ornament (Maande)

            The Neck Ornament is naturally formed with circling lines on its

            front face like pools of circling water waves in the river. That is

            signified in a belief that, God controls a king’s heart in a similar

            circling water waves of a river. It therefore denotes that a king

            or chief should not rush in acting on reports but be patient and

            allow analytical approach until the discovery of the root cause

            and then act. That is to avoid a king or chief being labelled as

            unstable but the Neck Ornament resting on the chest being the

            position of a heart, signifying the heart of a king or chief to be

            stable and patient.

 

    (iii) Crown (Chilongo)

            The significance is that, “the Crown is for the head covering but

            Chieftaincy is for the heart”. Wearing a Crown does not signify

            Chieftaincy per-se but that Chieftaincy should be in a king’s

            heart, otherwise wearing a Crown when the heart is not for

            Chieftaincy, people would conclude that one appears like a king

            but not one in the heart.

 

    (iv) Lion/Leopard Skin (Likuvu)

            Signifying that, for a small rat to be covered in a Leopard skin,

            someone else provided it. Applying that a king’s Throne is never

            self-acquired but given by people and relatives, in other words

            Chieftaincy does not belong to a king but the people and

            relatives. They therefore spread out a Lion/Leopard Skin to seat

            on the Throne as seating upon the National Sovereignty.

 

     (v) Walking Club (Mbweti)

            A Walking Club makes sound when hit against a hard surface

            signifying as “Speaking”. As a Walking Club is a supportive tool,

            Chieftaincy is supported by the people.

 

    (vi) Sword (Moko/Mukwale)

            The significance of a “Sword” is to “Judgment” as a king presides

            over different matters or cases and not for cutting off wrong

            doers’ heads. On ascending to the throne, a king assumes a

            position having no relatives but everyone becomes one and

            therefore the authority to preside and judge every matter arising

            as though cutting them with a Sword.

 

   (vii) Eland Fly Switch (Mufuka wa Shefu)

            Of great significant to the Mbunda Chieftaincy. An Eland does not

            cry or make distress sound when in pain even to the extent of

            being slaughtered, implying that a king should never be a

            cry-baby to any challenges faced as to the outcome but should be

            courageous and stable

 

 

 

 

 

 

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His Majesty King Mbandu IV,
João Pedro Mussole
of The Mbunda People

 

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