The Itore Dance of the Shi people in South-Kivu

[Original French text is inserted below]

The ‘intole’ dance in Bushi, the region of the Shi people, and ‘intore’ in Rwanda belong to the two neighboring peoples in the eastern Congo and in Rwanda. (The pronounciation of this word is slightly different in the two peoples.) It’s a cultural dace of these two ethnic groups around the Lake Kivu! The two groups resemble in the field of cultural custom: intore dance, basic food such as beans, banana, and cow milk.

Their economy relies on cattle breeding and agriculture. These two peoples that live very close to each other have been often in wars for land, while one wanting to conquer a rich land of the other.

The dance shows that they are neighbors for as long as several centuries.

This dance is performed with gesture right and left pretending to throw a spear with a smile on the lips! The dancer put on just a small cloth with his thigh almost naked and with some bells tied on the leg.

Small jumps try to show the life and the elegance.

Songs with the words that sings about the glory of the courageous and strong kings, the chiefs.

Very often they sing about the history of people, their chief. It is to give courage to the young.

The dance is performed for festivities, theater, wedding and other cultural activities.

by Issa Norbert
(Translation by Kawabe)

==ORIGINAL TEXT IN FRENCH==
La Dance Intore Chez Les Bashi au Sud-Kivu

La danse ‘intole’ au Bushi, ‘intore’ au Rwanda appartient a deux peuples voisins a l’Est du Congo et au Rwanda ; c’est une danse culturelle de ces deux ethnies autour du Lac Kivu ! Les deux ethnies se ressemblent sur le plan des habitudes culturelles : danse intore, nourriture de base haricots et banane, lait de vache

Leur économie repose sur l’élevage et l’agriculture

Les deux peuples très proches ont été souvent en guerre foncière, l’un voulant conquérir la terre riche de l’autre

Ceci pendant bien des siècles pour dire ; la danse elle montre qu’ils sont proches ;

Cette danse s’exécute par des gestes a gauche, a droite en signe de jeter une lance avec sourire aux lèvres ! Le danseur lui, porte un cache sexe ses cuisses presque nues, avec des clochettes a la jambe ;

De petits sauts cherchent a montrer la vie et l’élégance ;

De chansons avec des mots qui chantent la gloire de rois, des chefs courageux et forts :

Très souvent l’on chante l’histoire du peuple, de son chef, il s’agit de donner du courage a la jeunesse :

La danse est bonne pour les fêtes, théâtre, mariage et autres activités culturelles ;

Par Issa Norbert

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