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The Royal Investiture


sacred trees Burundi

The successor of a king might be enthroned following a well known ritual. After the death of the king, while the ritualistic staff ‘Biru’ took care of the body, all the personnel of the crown and the princes, came to Mwihangarizo, where mourning was observed for three months till the enthronement of the new monarch. The place was the departure point of the investiture procession.

The ambience was very festive, enhanced by the spectacular drumming of Gishora, praise-poetry, and exhibition of different dances. It was a very important day, on which all kings might accomplish some pre-ordained rites: planting sacred trees and groves, very venerated, what was the living symbol of the permanence and sustainability of the Burundian monarchy and its sacredness. The sacred groves of Ntare Rugamba, Mwezi Gisabo, Mutaga Mbikije, Mwambutsa Bangiricenge, and the last of the kings of Burundi Ntare Ndizeye, are still remarkable on the top of the mount Rubumba.

The investiture of a new king, recalls the ancient Burundian religion, where Kiranga (mediator between God and Burundians), royal secrets keepers and seers might invoke the intervention of the supreme God, and request his blessings on the king and the kingdom.

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