The town Argungu located on the North African country of Nigeria, in the sun-scorched Sahara desert. And yet, Argungu known not only in Nigeria, but also far beyond its borders. Once a year, in February, when it no longer raging hot dry wind that carries clouds of sand to the town of thousands of people. They all crave to take part in a fishing festival on the river of Rome. Why here, on the edge of the desert going to the most skilled anglers?
Since ancient times these places were inhabited by tribes of Cebu and fu Lani, who could not divide the rich fishing spots on the river and therefore at enmity between themselves. But in 1934, the tribes have decided to put an end to the bloodshed: they settled all differences and instructed his people to live in peace, as befits good neighbours. In honor of this momentous event was arranged and the first contest of fishing. Since then it is held every year.
Fishing festival has long gone beyond the two Northern regions of the country and has become a truly national. In our days in Argungu going more than three thousand fishermen from all over Nigeria and even from neighbouring countries. It attracts not only teams from major cities and fishing villages, but and lovers single. A small town is no longer able to accommodate all guests, so in its vicinity built a special “village festival” with motels, hotels and restaurants.
According to tradition, as many years ago, the festival was opened by the Emir Argungu. And first item on the agenda is the election of “miss Argungu”, which, in addition to the honorary title, and gets expensive gifts. In recent years the festival Nigerians began to organize the exhibition. Them peasants demonstrate the results of their hard labour and artisans are amazing products, which were willingly bought by many tourists.
On the sports field competitions in Boxing and wrestling at local strongmen. Support them and guests of the festival who also want to show their prowess and skill. In between the rooms of the sports program are the performers of national dances.
And the dances are usually as diverse as inhabiting the country of nationality. Almost every village has its own dance that reflects the history and peculiarities of life in this village. Dancing fascinate with its rhythm, pace and flow of his performers.
These people can often be seen pumpkins-gourds with small stones inside that while dancing fractional tap each other. On the hands and feet of dancers – bracelets and copper bells, wooden sticks and seashells. During the dance they make sounds that correspond exactly to any movement girls: greater unity of music and dance is hard to imagine.
Important role during a performance of dance plays a drum: he deaf hoot warns when and which way to turn, move forward or backward, change the tempo or instantly freeze in place.
The main event of this festival on the river. Did anyone catch the fish or wild duck with your bare hands? Yes even in front of merry crowds of spectators? Not have easier and rowers who blindfolded trying on their boats to race each other. Applause or uncontrollable laughter accompanied their every move is correct or awkward.
But the finale of the festival, as before, are competitions fishermen – what’s brewing is a fun, rambunctious celebration. Under the terms of which are established in 1934, the chiefs of the tribes and which since then has not changed, the winner is the one who catches the weighty fish. Competitors are usual for these places fishing gear – mesh in two or three square meters stretched over a wooden poluobrazy.
On the last day of the festival the “festival village” becomes even more crowded. It come from neighboring villages and settlements permanent participants of the competition. They often win. Here the fishermen line up in a solid wall at the edge of the river, and the audience stopped at some distance from the shore. On symbol Emir drums will roll, drawn out singing of trumpets and the shouts of the spectators in Rome catches the avalanche of half-naked people.
The river itself is in these places has a width of about seventy meters, but in her usual quite large fish. The most respectable inhabitants of the local waters – the Nile perch, whose length reaches two meters. And weighs as much as sixty pounds! For such sizes and obstinacy of temper fishermen had called him “master of water”. Gradually the scales near the podium of the Emir, a queue. Sometimes the announced prizes can immediately get a hundred fishermen, so the glimmer of hope and for a long time does not fade for many.
The winner gets a free ticket to the Hajj in Mecca. motorcycle, radio, watches and money. The second winner gets the same gifts, only a little less money. Received prizes and other competitors – on the embroidered shirt and some money. And every single one of the Souvenirs of the festival. No one is left out!
Until late in the evening on a small town melodies in honor of the winners. Only in the morning, the participants and the spectators begin to disperse from Argungu to next year to meet again at the festival, which has become a real holiday for more than two hundred ethnic groups of Nigeria.