The Fourth Nuba Mountains Cultural Heritage Festival took place last Friday and Saturday, the 18th and 19th of December 2015, in Al-Kharsana square in Ombada locality, Khartoum state.
The annual festival organized by the Higher Committee of the Nuba Mountains Cultural Heritage Festival was held under the theme “my culture: created to strengthen the present and guarantee the future”. The festival represents a rare chance to showcase the culture of the Nuba people who have been victimized by ongoing attacks since the early 1990s by the central government leading to massive human losses and displacement from their home area in the Nuba Mountains. The latest conflict that erupted in 2011 directly threatens the survival of their culture. The festival is one of the few opportunities for Nubas to reclaim space in Sudan’s capital and display several music and dance performances as well as cultural exhibitions bringing together over 50 tribes of the Nuba Mountains.
This year, the festival began with an acknowledgment of the perseverance of the people of the war-torn areas of the Nuba Mountains followed by the festival’s anthem and performances by 118 popular bands and seminars discussing aspects of Nuba culture and traditions.
Seven girls submitted their application for one of the most popular segments of the festival, the annual Nuba Mountains beauty queen contest. In this contest, young Nuba women contest for the title of the Nuba Mountains Beauty Queen based on several rules: not using skin-bleaching creams, passion for realizing women’s rights in their communities and speaking local Nuba dialects. The former Nuba Mountains Beauty Queen is Natalina Yagoub who is a student at Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman, Sudan and a peace activist. The committee will announce the winner of this year in the coming days in another event.