Ede ethnic group considers that K’pan chair is not only the property of a house owner or the spiritual object to show the prosperity of each family but also the pride of the whole village.
The symbol of prosperity
The K’pan chair is made from wood with 15m in length, 65 – 85cm in width, 45 – 50cm in thickness and 45 – 50cm in height. It is slightly curved at two sides to create strong and powerful shape.
Not always any home can make K’pan chair, only one or two families are able in a village. If a village is wealthy, there will be more three or four families. To make a K’pan chair, everyone in a village will join hands because one family can hardly do this without any help. Thus, the chair is also the symbol of solidarity of whole Ede ethnic group.
Those who want to get community’s support to hold the K’pan festival are rich, kind and always help other people. In addition, the family who holds the festival not only has enough buffalo, pig, chicken, wine, rice for villagers but also organizes other ceremonies for community.
Process of making the K’pan chair
Ede people follow the matriarchy so the finding of material is discussed in wife’s family and a woman has right to select a tree for making the K’pan chair. It is an ancient tree which is tall, big, straight and allowed to cut by god of scared forest.
Going to the place of selected tree, the sorcerer and the host must choose the direction of fallen tree following water flow. When the tree falls down, everyone cleanly cuts branches and leaves. Then, the sorcerer and the host walk on that tree seven times to expel evil spirits. After that, craftsmen begin to carve into boat shape with strong lines. Everyone uses the red cloth to cover the K’pan and brings it back home and then, puts it in the back yard of the home.
Several days later, skillful craftsmen will carve patterns of traditional symbol on the K’pan. When the chair is completed, the host and the sorcerer do a ceremony again to expel unluckiness and worship gods. The K’pan will be placed along the west wall in the guestroom.
Ceremony of the K’pan chair
There is a ceremony to receive the K’pan chair. Everyone who joins in ceremonial day wears traditional costumes of Ede ethnic group. Artists will bring musical instrument to perform. A group of 14 – 20 young men following the sorcerer will carry the K’pan chair.
The offerings include five jars of wine, five cups of wine, five bowls of rice and five dishes of meat, a pig head, a rounded banana leaf. When everything is ready, the sorcerer will begin the ceremony. After finishing, everyone will together join in a small party and dance with gong sounds. According to the ancient notion, the family who makes the K’pan will rest for two days. However, on the third day, they must open a jar of good wine to celebrate the completion of the chair.
Ceremony of the K’pan chair is the typical tradition of Ede ethnic group. Thus, the preservation of the ceremoney is a good opportunity to recall and keep the unique subculture of their community. This is also the way to educate children to remember community’s cultural activities with Ede ethnic identity.