By CIC Traditional Affairs and Research.



In contraposition to Munokalya Mukuni is a woman of Royal lineage by the tittle of Be-Dyango.i.e. Tribal Matriarch and Queen of sacred rites both rolled in one tittle- BE-DYANGO.

Her spouse goes by the tittle of Nedyango (consort) while the Munokalya, through his prime minister, Mwendambeli is confined to the everyday run of things; to political, judiciary and executive functions with minimum and symbolic ritual functions, BE-DYANGO is the chief priestess of the Bene-Mukuni of the Nshyungu Branch dealing with cases of land tenure and distribution, birth and death reports and all religious issues, hence she organises ceremonies connected with rain making, death rituals, epidemics and general prayers to the ancestors in times of Social stress.

The role differentiation has a structural significance, maintaining a dual composition in matters affecting the Bene-Mukuni Nshyungu society.

The Munokalya’s functions are counter balanced by those of the BE-DYANGO. Absolutism on the part of the Munokalya is kept in check; the female sex generally regarded, in most of African cultures, as of a lower status than the male sex is elevated by the representation they are given in this society through BE-DYANGO and her underlings- Bana be Dyango and Basimuse.

BE-DYANGO, who deals with the ritual life of the community, unlike Munokalya, has nothing divine about her. Her ritual power ceases with her death or removal. That this is so may be proved by the fact the this society’s religious concepts do not postulate divine beings other than dead male Munokalyas headed by a supreme being, Leza. All prayers are addressed to the Munokalya, who in turn intercedes to Leza for the people and ensure that the pleadings and wishes of their people are not ignored or unfulfilled.

Whereas Munokalya Mukuni plays a symbolic role in ritual life and an active one in the realm of the dead, BE-DYANGO play an active role in the here and now ritual matters. Her activities extend to the spheres of war, epidemics, royal successions, deaths and births. Only BE-DYANGO has the right to admonish Munokalya Mukuni for his daily errors of omissions and commissions in the day to day running of Royal office.

In that sense there is no room for absolutism on the part of the Munokalya Mukuni’s rulership.

BE-DYANGO, sitting in council with her conclave consisting Bana-Bedyango (Regional Matriarchs), Basitusiansia (Religious and Cultural officiants) and Basimuse (Village Matriarchs), determine tribal practices, norms and traditions. Thus they constitute traditional Legislature.

Where as the Munokalya may leave office only through death coming either naturally or induced by BE-DYANGO in consultation wit the Royal Establishment, BE-DYANGO may leave office either through death, voluntary or through forced resignation and in this event, she hands instruments of power to the Munokalya on Ntantala at the behest of the Royal Establishment.

Below is a picture of Be – Dyango Mukalunga II
Number 20 in the line of succession from the time Mukuni arrived in the Leya country.
(Current Dyango in office).



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