Culture July 12, 2020 at 09:00 am

A look at the Chewa people of Malawi and their secret cult of dancers

Novieku Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

Novieku Babatunde Adeola July 12, 2020 at 09:00 am

July 12, 2020 at 09:00 am | Culture

Malawi. Journey Into The Chewa Cultural Heritage. - News & views ...
Photo: Southworld

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.

Culture and my survival as a young woman | Voices of Youth
The men wear masks whenever they intend communicating to the gods_Photo: Voices of Youth

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.”


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