The famous Yauri Rigata and Cultural Festival is to take place from 8th to 10th February, 2024 in the ancient city of Yelwan-Yauri in Kebbi State.
The National Chairman of the Festival who is the Secretary to the state Government, Alhaji Yakubu Bala Tafidan Yauri, announced this at a news briefing in Birnin Kebbi this Thursday.
The event will feature book launch on the history of Yauri from 1411 to date, trade fair exhibition, agricultural show, cultural performance and the grand finale, Rigata.
The reinvigoration of Rigata and its adoption by Kebbi State Government as paramount cultural event was facilitated by the present 42nd Emir of Yauri, Dr. Muhammad Zayyanu Abdullahi.
Rigata is a word in the local dialect of Gungawa people depicting marine warfare.
The Festival involves riverine maneuvers including water sports and entertainment which began 200 years ago as a display of naval strength of Gungu people where Gungu warriors attacked the most dangerous hippopotamus on the River Niger.
Warriors used to board canoes of different sizes with various weapons to attack the wild marine mammal.
The water maneuvers also served as training exercise for upcoming Gungu warriors.
The advent of Europeans led the colonial government to ban hippopotamus hunting to preserve the specie.
Afterwards, Rigata became prestigious display of wealth, power and influence during wedding ceremonies of highly placed households.
The trend prevailed until the visit of the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardaunan Sokoto, to Yelwan-Yauri during which Rigata alongside Agricultural show were organised to honour the Premier.
Credit: YAHAYA SARKI,
Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity to Kebbi State Governor.
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