The Chewas of Malawi will have a lot to report to their paramount chief Kalonga Gawa Undi at this yearâ€™s Kulamba ceremony being held at Mkaika Headquarters in Katete District, Zambia.
From stories of our harvest this year, to the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, the succession into power of President Joyce Banda, and the recent elevation of T/A Mkanda to senior chief, the list is endless.
According to Chewa Heritage Foundation publicity secretary Mack Zilirakhasu, the celebrations will take a whole week and the climax is on Saturday, August 25, when Gawa Undi who has been in seclusion for purposes of meditation for a week comes out and meets his people.
â€œIt is at this time that chiefs representing the various countries will come out and pay homage to our leader. We will present him with gifts and an account of what the people have faced in the past year,â€ he said, adding that in the past he used to be in seclusion for 40 days of meditation.
The event, which has become a great tourist attraction, is attended by high profile government leaders from the three countries where Chewas settled, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
During the annual ceremony held on the last Saturday of August, several traditional dances and other rich Chewa cultural activities are showcased.
Zilirakhasu said the Chewas are one cultural grouping which has strived to keep their traditions and culture intact. The tribe has specific rituals performed at birth, marriage, rites of passage for boys and girls, funerals and chieftaincy.
The Chewas most popular traditional dance is the masked Gule Wamkulu (great dance).
The dance was recognised by Unesco and declared a masterpiece of oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Other dances include; Chitelera, Chintali, Mganda, Kazukuta and Kamtchoma.