Chic African Culture Blog

DR Congo Festival of African Dance

The Democratic Republic of the Congo Gungu Festival masks, dances and songs are seen as African art in America.

African dances, songs and masks are sacramental, ritualistic, and an important piece of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Africa.

Festival culture of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

African masks, dances and songs have spiritual significance

African masks, dances and songs have spiritual significance at the DR Congo Festival of African dance. DR Congo Gungu Festival is African art. Masks and headdresses are used in dances, marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, and other special events. 

The National Gungu Festival, FESMAG, is an annual gathering that embraces the musical and dance cultures of the DR Congo. In the 1980s the Democratic Republic of the Congo became well known in the African music world known as Congolese music or rumba. 

Masks have always been important to the peoples of Africa. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo  the Gungu Festival first took place 1925-1960 under the name Saga or Luvidi Pende to observe the independence of the Kingdom of Belgium in the capital of the territory of Gungu.

From 1986-1998 the festival returned under the name Festival Gungu, but once again the festival became inactive. However, in 2008 the festival was once again renamed the Socio-Cultural Festival Gungu and is now known as the Gungu National Festival. 

The National Festival Gungu or FESNAG is held in Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province in the southeast of The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The National Festival Gungu aims to promote and make known to the Congolese people diversities of cultures of different communities of the DRC.

 Artists from all 11 provinces of the DRC, from Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Congo, Mali, and international artists participate in the festival. The National Festival Gungu is usually 3-7 days spent enjoying traditional songs and dances. 

From July 19 to 22, 2014 the 14th festival took place in Bukavu, capital of South Kivu province, the theme was "National cohesion, consolidation of peace and the fight against violence against women in the region by the traditional culture." This year’s event is scheduled for July 13-15, 2015 in Gungu, Kikwit in the southwestern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The theme for this year’s festival is “The permanence and revival of cultural values, a catalyst for development."

At the DR Congo Festival of African Dance.


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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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