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This is a Mbunda Mbalango Traditional Ceremony under Chief (Mwene) Mundu, cerebrated by all Mbunda Speaking People. It is held annually at Liumba Palace every August or September. The ceremony has been in existence since 17th Century and revived in the year 1999.

Lyenya is about thanks giving to Ancestors and God for expected good harvest. To symbolize this, a day is chosen when His Royal Highness Mwene Mundu and his Royal Councilors lead the local community to the royal field to offer free voluntary labour in recognition of His Royal Highness's good leadership and hard work.

This day is regarded to be a traditional holiday, where nobody is allowed to go to his/her field or do any form of farming or planting. This also is when the Chief blesses his subjects and wish them good harvest in that particular year and to have good rains. After a day or so, the community would start going to their fields.

After the above Royal functions, the following morning, Lyenya opens up to everybody. At night those who want to know the traditional secrets of Lyenya, mainly and strictly only those from the Mbunda Speaking People are put in one place and led by senior traditionalists and Indunas and are shown the secrets of Lyenya. These new Initiates to the secrets of Lyenya are called Mingolongo. It is for both males and females of the Mbunda Speaking People only.

The so called Mingolongo would see the Mangombe secretly and traditionally. It is a big taboo or offense for someone to reveal the secrets of Lyenya or Mangombe.

Lyenya is celebrated annually at Liumba Royal Palace, the headquarters of Chief (Mwene) Mundu. It started as far back as the 17th century, during the reign of Mwene Mundu Man'ulumbe, the first Mwene. Sometimes Lyenya is held when the Chief (Mwene) passed away or during the installation of the new Chief (Mwene).

However for the modern revised ceremony, other traditional dances are allowed to take place after all the traditional and Royal functions. The celebrations also include the Mbunda Mukanda Ceremony by the local community. Other dances found at Lyenya are: Makithi dances, Nduko, Mawaya, Mulobole, Chiwengo, Kalukuta, Kayowe, Kandemba, Shombe, Chilunga, Lilombola, Chinkubu, Siyemboka and many more.

During this period of many dances, is when His Royal Highness would come out of his Palace to meet his subjects and watch the dances. This is when everybody gives respect to His Royal Highness.

Mbunda-Mbalango Lyenya Ceremony 1999 in Pictures......


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