Kwita Izina Gorilla Naming - Rwanda

The timeless Rwandan ceremony kwita izina (to give a name) is part of the celebration of the birth of a new child in a family. This name is selected by family members and is announced during the ceremony. For three decades this same ceremony has been performed for Rwanda’s newly born mountain gorillas by rangers, researchers and those charged with the safekeeping of these unique animals. In 2007 the Ceremony was officially named Kwita Izina and has become an exciting part of Rwanda’s tourism and conservation calendar. The event is a celebration of Rwanda’s conservation efforts in protecting the endangered mountain gorilla. The ceremony’s main goal is in helping monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention both locally and internationally about the importance of protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitats in the Virunga Mountains in the north of the country.

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