Ayande people are geeks. Consider computer wizards. Smart and talented. Shy and introverted. They are kind. They can fit in any social situation. They are our social chameleons.However they are truly themselves mostly in their closed circles where they are comfortable enough to try things.
Going out for drinks with friends is the most preferred activity for the Ayande people.
Hiking/camping and watching documentaries are a close second with both of them being tied.
Reading non-fiction, meditation and playing board games is their least preferred activities of choice
Does this describe you? Find out more about your tribe by learning its heroes and origins below.
Read Also: Origins of The Ayande Tribe
The Ayande village, in the South of Mbiu sat animated by the active clinks of metals being molded, the argillaceous odour of clay and the animated chatter of children dancing about the village, throwing stones and occasionally breaking into a dance. It was a beautiful cohesion, where the women sat humming while weaving as the men laboured their day away, casting the iron into more useful items. The children and older folk aimlessly sat around, playing Kora on the ground with stones or teaching each other generation-old songs and dances. It was in this semblance of a nearly perfect community, that Bonza was born into. Her father hailed from the second clan, the clan of blacksmiths, while her mother traced her roots to the clan of weavers.
Bonza grew up being a very sociable child, having families in both clans. She spent her childhood in between learning how to cast the iron into various shapes- a sacred art of controlling the nature and use of the force Bayanze. When she was not chiming her day away in the unnerving midday sun, she was swiftly weaving a basket with her grandmother. She commanded such a presence with two things: first, her genuine love for tradition of the Ayande that earned her a soft spot with the elderly while her love and absolute skill in Kora and the Ayande dance made her an envy from her peers. The second and arguably most distinct thing about Bonza was her striking physique. The first thing that you noticed was her bald shiny head. She wore her hairless head like an invisible crown. She had milk-white eyes that contrasted her obsidian black flesh like marbles. Her teeth were perfectly symmetrical, almost too good to be real, with an impeccable tooth gap in between her incisors. She had a slender frame, and with one look you would tell she was a dancer. She had long legs that moved swiftly with each step she took almost as if she was gliding across. She wore several beads on her slender waist and a signature bracelet and anklet that she never removed, almost as if she was born in them. Her dark skin went on for miles, flawless almost like a new-born lamb. She had well-toned muscles from the constant casting she did. Albeit having such a strong and solid form, the suppleness of her body did not go unnoticed. She had perfect reflexes and poise and was able to gracefully sit cross-legged for hours on end, as she helped her mother weaving baskets, fabric and mats.
When Bonza completed eighteen moons, she was ready for initiation, along her peers. They were initiated and kept in seclusion from the rest of the community. While the young women were in solitary confinement, they were trained by the older women and guided through the transition through womanhood. Each young woman was given a shield and was trained on how to fight for protection of the community. The training also covered the symbolic Ayande dance, which was the highlight of the ceremony. The young women would have a dance off amongst themselves to showcase their prowess and earn a coveted spot in the community. Upon completion of the rigorous and tradition-filled ceremony, the council of ministers organized the phenomenal rite of passage festivities, officiated by the Queen Ayorwe who led the monarch in rituals and other spiritual duties, as the King sat in quietude awaiting the coronation. The beauteous ceremony was punctuated with the beautiful sounds of drums, a joyful ululation here and there, sisal skirts swaying from side to side as the women gyrated in synch to the symphony of the horns and clinking of their anklets. The dance-off started with a general dance from the young women. They were then put into three groups and the elimination process began. The first group was eliminated, leaving behind two groups. Each group produced three dancers to compete against the opposing team to the final competition that would have only one person from each team who was tested on the mastery of the Ayande dance. Bonza danced her way to the finals, her suppleness not failing her even once. With grace of a swan, she shuffled her feet in swift and precise movements as if to prove that she was what dance was made of, and not vice versa. Sweat glistened her bald head and trickeld through her back, making her obsidian skin even glossier. The village cheered her on, and her metallic bracelet and anklets chimed in as if praising their master for her undeniable prowess.
At the end of the ceremony, the council of ministers and the King had a private consultation as the villagers impatiently waited for dance champion to be announced. The King finally stood up to address his people and to call upon the dance champion, and the most admired woman amongst her peers. After the short speech, Bonza was named the dance champion. The village was animated with joyful animation as her group carried her shoulder high towards the King. She was then given the Ayande shield in honour of the tradition of the monarch, ahead of her military training after initiation.
Read Also: Origins of The Ayande Tribe
The people of Ayande tribe were the craftsmen and blacksmiths in the Mbiu nation. The traditional blacksmith’s identity was brought by the almost-mythical prestige that he commands and by the near-mystical power that he wields and manipulates, after an extensive, secretive initiation. The blacksmith was a veritable force-tamer, with his uncanny, trans-mundane ability to harness iron and clay that is believed to animate all things. They believed in benign power of a god, Inake the god of iron and metal working. Apart from being blacksmiths, the Ayande tribesmen were traditional weavers who made objects and fabric from sisal and reeds and practised tanning in the process.
The Ayande blacksmith holds an important position in society. Blacksmiths were often called upon by the King for guidance in major decisions regarding the village. The power of the blacksmith was thought to be so great that they are also feared. Ayande Blacksmiths control a force called Bayanze. This means that they control all energy and power in the village as well as the makeup and workings of the Ayande society. The ability to control such a force was not given to just anyone. A single family in the village is designated to produce blacksmiths. The boys from that family are taught the secret knowledge about the use and nature of Bayanze. It is the foundation that nourishes the institution of smiting, so that it may nourish society, is the simple axiom that knowledge can be power when properly articulated. They begin training at an early age, as an apprentice in order to master the techniques of blacksmithing by the time they reach adulthood and become an Ayande Blacksmith.
The Ayande were more traditional in their way of life and less inclined to exploration. They were more sociable and eager to belong, which was quite evident in their pure love for entertainment. They welcomed people from other tribes into their community through trading. Items exchanged included their woven baskets, fabric and iron knives, swords, amulets, arrowheads and shields for food items like honey, meat, fruits, milk and sometimes gold. In as much as the Ayande were social, they were more conservative than liberal and not open to intermarriages albeit openly interacting with other tribes of the nation. Their keen attention to detail was more evident in their detail-oriented dance that was taught from a very early age and was an essential fabric to their identity. Ayande music and dance was however not a substitute for happiness, but an expression of it.
The children start learning dance routines and drum playing at an early age. As they start spending less time with their grandmothers and more time with other children, they begin to participate in music making more often and sing songs and musical games. The little children would enjoy making things and many of the top craftsmen started learning their skills at a very early age from their grandmother or father. Little boys would make toy cars which they push a round for most of the day. The Ayande children and adults played several games, probably the best known was played by making a few holes in the ground and moving stones around in a logical and tactical manner. The women would spend most of their time in between weaving baskets and sisal mats and taking care of the homestead.
The Ayande tribe was a monarch led by a King and assisted by his wife, the Ayorwe, the Queen. As the King performed duties that affected the tribe, the Queen carried out the rituals and consecration ceremonies. The monarch was assisted in its duties by a council of ministers, appointed by the King. The tribe was subdivided into three clans; the royalty, the blacksmiths and the weavers- managed by a council of elders. Each clan had a military sub-unit that was selected after the traditional circumcision ceremony presided over by the King. The young men were initiated and trained by older and more experienced men on how to fight and protect themselves using the phenomenal Ayande shield. Each military subunit took turns in protecting the monarch against external attacks and often carried out competitions to showcase their expertise amongst themselves in different social celebrations in the monarch.
Read Also: Who is a Ayande?