The annual cultural festival, the National Festival of Arts and Dary Cultures is on going in Ndjamena, the capital city of Chad. The event was launched on Saturday December 24th by the president of the republic General MAHAMAT IDRISS DEBY ITNO.
The ministry of cultural affairs of the republic of Chad gave the starting signal of that event that according to him, provides important social and economic benefits. For him culture enhances tolerance and opportunities to come together with others, culture enhances our quality of life and increases overall well-being for both individuals and communities. The participants are mainly people from Chad coming from all the different regions and ethnic groups that composes the Republic of Chad.
Beginning of the Event
The event started timidity with few people wandering around the tents. You would loose interest at first sight but a little patience will be rewarded by an amazing crowd and cultural demonstrations. The tents are made in the image of the traditional housing.
Timber & Non-timber forest products
The month long event gathered people from all walks of life. After the official opening ceremony, place to the cultural expressions through handicraft products, timber and non-timber forest products exhibition.
Throughout the festival site, it is given to observe many wooden made products such as carving at works, home tools, wooden made musical instruments and so on.?
As mentioned earlier the event started timidly with few visitors especially in the mornings. But latter on we observed a big affluence in the afternoons. Visitors, mainly Chadians come by thousand to experience their culture for the first time some, or to reconnect with it for others.
Chad is a huge country with a land area of 1,284,000 km2, 16,000,000 of population and a diverse ethnic group and languages. It is composed of 23 provinces. Like GUERA in the picture below, most of the provinces are represented at Dary Festival to showcase the cultural diversity.
Wood Culture at the Dary Festival
The making of sculpture in wood has been extremely widely practiced around the globe. It forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures . At the Dary Festival the woodcarving art pieces displayed are said to have different meanings and their purposes are very varied. In chad like in many other African countries sculptures are directly linked to tradition.
We met Mr Begedo a woodcarver who is exhibiting at the festival. According to him and generally speaking some woodcarving art pieces bring fertility, rain, good harvests, warding off disease, natural calamities, evil spirits. Some helping with social decisions and judgments. It is also used to convey some important messages without using words.
Music of Wood
African Musical instruments serve a variety of roles: some may be confined to religious or ceremonial occasions, others are used in a more secular fashion for entertainment. There may be restrictions to the age, gender or social status of the player in some cases.