By Mustapha Jarju
Over two thousand Bainunka’s across the sub-Region over the weekend gathered in the Gambia to celebrate the 3rd Bainunka International Festival in Jarrol village, Foni in West Coast Region.
Speaking to The Voice newspaper about the festival, Baboucarr Sambou the Secretary General of the Bainunka Family Association in the Gambia said, Bainunkas from Cassamance, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal including those in the diaspora have created time to come together to grace the festival.
“This year`s festival is successful as we can record between 2000 to 3000 participants who had come from across the sub-region to join us in the celebration of the festival. After the first edition, every year we have more people, interestingly, at each celebration participants from different countries will motivate more people to come and witness the festival,” he disclosed.
He added that the Bainunka Organization has decided among themselves to create an event that would bring Bainunkas together from across the region to show their different types of culture and tradition which includes marriage, circumcision among others while activities for the celebration include the parade of masquerades, and different cultural performances.
which includes the types of masquerades they use, which were all sure cased at the Festival.
SG Sambou added that Bainunkas is believed to be one of the first settlers of Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea Bissau which they have been occupying for centuries before the coming of other tribes. But unfortunately for more than a century now the Bainunka ethnicity has been going dormant to an extent that it nearly gets excluded as an ethnic group and the language has almost faded away.
According to him, Bainunkas are still in the sub-region, the language is hardly spoken, and having an organization that will be forced on building and reviving the Bainunka Culture and language will go a long way to help them as Bainunkas.