Saints Day at Walande

This weekend I joined Bishop Willie and his daughters, Kate and Barbara, on a trip to Walande for St Michael’s Day. While the trip was not particularly useful for my research as everyone was very busy with the preparations for the festivities, it was amazing to experience the celebrations.

People from 8 surrounding villages came to join the festivities at Walande. The village was packed. Youth groups from the different communties performed custom dances and action songs until late in the night and continued the following day. Everyone came to join the big church service on Sunday morning. And the whole event was a big feast. I learnt that the village spent weeks preparing the event.

I very much enjoyed participating in the celebrations and spending time at Walande. The village seems to be very organised and I look forward to return next weekend to conduct some interviews and workshops here to learn more about the history of the place and the impact of climate change on Walande people. The whole community had to relocate to the mainland after the original settlement on a small artificial island off the coast had been washed away by a storm in 2007.

Remains of Walande Island in 2019

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