Firstly, PANKYA is the Jukun transition ceremony for the Aku to the great beyond. The Aku does not die. He is a ‘son’ of the gods, the guardian and protector of his people. His place is between the mortal and the immortal. The Aku is not venerated or honoured, no, he is WORSHIPPED by his subjects. He is a priest-king to whom libation is offered every morning. Again, he is not associated with affairs of mortals like funeral and wedding. He is beyond emotions and weakness. Thus, he DOES NOT DIE. There will is no ‘funeral rite’ for him but the of journeying to NANDO and finally KINDO.
The PANKYA is a mystery. A mystery is what cannot be comprehend using human logic. Only those inserted into its cult (cult as in its true meaning and implications) and ‘educated’ in its practice can make sense of it.
So, the PANKYA is not just a ceremony or rite, it is a religious rite perform by cultic priests and worshippers. All others are just onlookers.
Because he does not die, there are no undertaker’s, coffin or grave, that will make him mortal. He rides majestically on his royal horse to meet his forebears. The young man with him serves as his sheath bearer. But also serve as the proverbial scapegoat, on behalf of the community.
ABAGA’IDU NASHA’IN has gone to KINDO, his mission accomplished here. Another will take his place. May his reign last long in peace.
So, in summary, the Jukun culture is deeply religious, steep in mysteries. Any religion without mysteries is a fable. Thus, the PANKYA MUST BE UNDERSTOOD within the context of religion, for so is the Jukun world view..
CHIDON KU YII WATASHUMA.