Communication and masks
Their language, Chewa, also called Chichewa, Nyanja, or Chinyanja, is one of the major languages spoken in Malawi. As already highlighted, the Chewa also communicate through their popular dance Nyau or Gule Wamkulu, which serves as the bridge between the living and the dead.
The dance includes songs performed by individuals in masks that represent spirits or animals, even though in recent times masks represent items such as motorbikes or cars.
A DW report says “each kind of mask has a set of rules, a drum beat, a rhythm and a kind of performance associated with it. Every aspect of a mask’s shape, coloring and material has a metaphorical, religious meaning.”