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Art and Culture: Benshangul-Gumuz state kicks off three days Culture and Zumbara Festival

Addis Abeba -The Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State kicked of Culture and Zumbara Festival celebrations today; the festival will take place for the next three days until 29 May, the regional state said.

Zumbara is a distinctly unique cultural music by the Benishangul (formerly Berta) community, a small community group that reside mainly in the seven Woredas of Assosa, the capital of Benishangul Gumuz regional state. More than 96.3% of the Berta population is Muslim and about 95% depend on subsistence farming, according to a 2009 survey.

The Culture and Zumbara Festival was officially opened today in the presence of federal and regional leaders, including the Minister of Culture and Sports, Kejela Merdasa. The delegation also paid a visit to Sheikh Hojele Hall in Assosa city and the regional archives.

Various Zumbara culture groups from different woredas of Assosa zone performed traditional dance representing various ethnic groups in the state. In addition, an exhibition showcasing the region’s traditional food and cultural clothing, as well as other traditional artefacts of the region.

In 29 March, at the 13th regular session of the 5th year, 7th term of the council’s meeting, the Regional State’s Council unanimously approved the renaming of Berta national group to Benishangul nation. It followed an earlier decision by the lower Council of the Berta people which took place in Kurmuk wereda, which approved the renaming of Berta to Benishangul based on the history of the nation. AS

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