Kalacha Cultural Festival 2014, Trust for African Rock Art

Kalacha Cultural Festival 2014

In early December, TARA was again invited to the Kalacha Cultural Festival in Marsabit County.  TARA was represented by it’s Chairman, David Coulson, Community Consultant, Wanjiku Mwangi of Porini and TARA’s intern,  Josue Cardenas.   The festival was organised by the Kivulini Trust.

This five-day event showcased the diversity of the region’s  cultural and natural heritage through artistic expressions, medicinal plants, exhibitions of traditional foods, songs, dances, and a guided visit to a rock art site.   Participating communities included: Samburu, Gabbra, Daasanach, Rendille, Boran, Somali, Turkana, Konso, El-Molo, Garri, Burji, Saakuye and the Waata tribe. Nearly 50 performing community groups performed.

This year’s festival brought together pastoralists, fisher folk, metal artisans, hunter gatherer and agricultural communities of the region to share and celebrate their cultural and natural heritage in order to promote cultural diversity, social harmony and sustainable development.  The importance of harmony in the region was emphasised by different speakers in the light of the many development challenges which the region now faces.

TARA gave two presentations, the first a keynote speech by David Coulson on the “Treasures of Northern Kenya” with special emphasis on the region’s rock art heritage.  The second presentation was a talk to about 100 young people by David Coulson and Wanjiku Mwangi.  On Sunday 7th, David Coulson led a trip to the Afgaba rock art site north of Kalacha.  About 50 people came on the trip, mainly young people.

Most of the rock art is found along the eastern shores of Lake Turkana and in the northern Chalbi Desert area between the Huri Hills and Lake Chalbi. Most of the animal depictions are of giraffe and sometimes camels. Other animals depicted include antelope and elephant. Geometrics are also common and often occur together with animals. The art could be the work of ancestral Batwa (hunter-gatherers) who were forest people dating from a time when the vegetation was different.

December 11, 2014

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Kalacha Cultural Festival 2014