The Lions of the Gule Wankulu


The Gule Wankulu, means "Big Dance" in Chichewa, the main language in Malawi. It is a dance performed by men who dress up in eleaborate costumes to conceal their identities. Legend says they are possessed by spirits so women and children run away from them. The members of the Gule Wankulu usually perform for ceremonies like funerals, weddings, pillar ceremonies, etc. Towards the end of the dance there are large "animal" costumes that come out as a finale of sorts. These are the twin lions of my community's Gule Wankulu.



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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.