Picture Reels: Leboku Festival 2023 Unites Cross River Communities

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Ugep, Cross River stateThe Leboku Festival, a cultural extravaganza unique to the core Yakạạ-speaking communities of Ugep, Idomi, Ekori, Mkpani, and Nko in Cross River state, has once again captivated hearts and minds as it marks its 2023 edition NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed. This revered festival, which pays homage to the king of crops, yam, and seeks blessings for bountiful harvests, showcases the rich cultural heritage of these communities and fosters a sense of unity and togetherness.

Lasting three weeks, the festival is a vibrant tapestry of events, embracing the yam harvest, appeasement rituals, the enchanting maidens parade, and the prestigious Mr. & Miss Leboku contest. The deep significance of the Leboku Festival goes beyond celebrations; it is a time of reverence for the earth goddess and ancestral spirits, a time to seek peace, good health, and prosperity for the land.

Indigenous people, whether living locally or afar, converge to partake in this enthralling celebration. Families, friends, and tourists alike unite to share in the joyous festivities, showcasing the culture’s beauty and fostering a profound sense of camaraderie.

Captivating photographs from various sources have captured the essence of the Leboku Festival. These images not only showcase the vivid colors, ornate costumes, and mesmerising dances but also capture the heart and soul of a people dedicated to preserving their cultural identity. As the saying goes, “Umor otûtû jebûje, jebûje,” which translates to “Harvest time calls for celebrations, so let’s celebrate.”

The cultural splendor of the Leboku Festival goes beyond its vibrant displays; it also resonates with the significance of preserving tradition. The festival stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Yakạạ-speaking communities, their reverence for the land, and their commitment to unity and harmony.

Obol Lopon of Ugep receiving guests at the event and rendering traditional blessings

The 2023 edition of the Leboku Festival had the people of Ugep and its surrounding communities eagerly anticipating the event whose schedule climaxed at 20th of August. As the festival showcased the very essence of Cross River state’s culture and traditions, it promised and was actually a time of jubilation, connection, and blessings.

In a world marked by rapid change, the Leboku Festival stands as a beacon of cultural preservation and community bonding. As it brings together the rich heritage of the Yakạạ-speaking communities, it reminds us all of the beauty, depth, and unity that our traditions can foster.