The country of Zambia is located at the southern part of the continent of Africa.
Welcome to the first ever Bisa Tribe web site. It is dedicated solely to promote & inform the world community of the rich culture that the Bisa of Zambia have to offer.
The Bisa are a tribe of Africa that migrated from what is now the Democratic Rebulic of the Congo into the northern part of Zambia close to the city of Mpika.
The one who rules this tribe, is the Paramount Senior Chief Kopa. His duties are to help govern his tribe according to the local traditions.
During events such as the traditional ceremony held in September, he wears two different outfits. The first one starts with a tall fluffy white hat that is made of fine feathers, followed by a flowing purple silk robe trimed with white.
The second starts with a tapered hat made from the spotted leopard that has a matching vest & pants. With both outfits, he carries a scepter with elephant hair to drive the insects away.
Senior Chief Kopa hosts the annual event within the October & November months. "The climax of the ceremony is where the people all eat from one large pot with the chief. The chief gets some of the meat from the pot and then all the people partake of the meat. This is considered special because normally the chief does not eat with his subjects."
At one time during historical migration of the Bisa from the area where DRC now is, the people found a dead antelope. Traditionally, the people interpret such occurrences to mean they have been welcomed in the area. There was only one pot, hence Chinanmanongo, which means "eating together from one pot."
In today's ceremony, proceedings begin at the chief's palace; from there the procession moves to a central arena where festivities are carried out.--but no ancestral worship is conducted. Tribal elders present historical narratives pertaining to the migration.
Different groups of traditional dancers take their turn displaying their skills which they practised during the year.
While the different festivities are going on, children play in the field where maize is grown & atop a mound portraying the Bisa flag.
Waiting patiently outside of the palace for the Chief to come out are the Bisa guards. The men in the gray shirts are the ones who carry the chief on his chair. The men and women who are wearing the red scarves are warriors who are to protect the chief from any harm
This is the Chair which is carried by six men. It is covered with different animal skins and furs.
When the chief is seated in the chair, the procession starts. A servant walks in front of the line holdng an impala head and horns leading them to the open arena. followed by the warriors.
Once in the arena, he sits with his 11 junior chiefs who are under his rule. His royal family and distant relatives sits on mats in front watching the dances and speeches.
Chief Kopa marches toward the "meat in the pot" while his warriors sing a chant waving their spears.
Here is some of the wild game that was hunted for this special event.
This Bisa is the one who makes fire from sticks then lights the pot of meat.
This is the meeting place where discussions take place.
At the end of the day, the Chief retires to his palace where he sleeps to the beat of drums.