jueves, 27 de agosto de 2009

Description and demonstration of Zambian dances

Zambia is a country located on the Southern region of Africa.

It has 73 ethnic groups and these ethnic tribes live in nine provinces of the country namely Eastern, Southern, Western, Northwestern, Luapula, Northern, Central, Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces.

Kamanga Dance Ensemble performs at least three or four dances from each province. These dances have meaning and why they are performed. Some are ritual dances, initiation, spiritual and healing dances.

1. Nyakasanga
It is a circle dance from North Western Province of Zambia. It is performed by Luvale, Chokwe, Mbunda and Luchazi speaking people. This dance is performed during beer parties, weddings, graduation of (tundanji) young boys who are circumcised during the Mukanda ceremony. Their protection loose skin of their penis is removed. During this period the tundanji are kept at the camp for 6 months. They are taught good morals and to allow sores to heal.

2. Ndendeule
It is an initiation dance from Eastern Province of Zambia. It is performed by the Nsenga speaking people. When a girl has reached puberty age she has become of age (Ndola). She tells her grandmother what she has seen, the first menstrual blood, then the grandmother arranges for a traditional attendant called Phungu who puts her in a hut for a period of six months. If there are two or three girls who have become of age at the same time in a village, they are put together in one hut at the same time. This Phungu teaches them how to take care of their loin cloth during menstrual period. She teaches them how to do waist wriggling during sex with their husband when married.

3. Moba
It is a spiritual healing dance from Central Province of Zambia. This dance is performed by the Lenje speaking people. When one is ill or possessed by evil spirits, he/she is taken to a spiritual healer who does this dance to determine whether it is a natural illness or has been bewitched. If it is just a natural illness a patient is given medicine to treat the illness. But if the person is possessed by evil spirits, drums are played and songs are sung to make those spirits be detected. Some are bad spirits full of jealousy, if it is a woman then she is married to those male spirits, if he is a man then he is married to those female spirits. Some spirits come into people to make them become healers. They will be dreaming of roots and leaves to heal different diseases which people suffer from. Then they perform this dance to bring out spirits which mention their names and how many they are.

4. Nyau
It is a ritual dance performed by the Chewa speaking people of Eastern Province of Zambia. Long time ago, it was a traditional school for young men where they would be taught on how to behave and have good morals in the society. It is believed that when you are not initiated by the Nyau Secret Society then, you are not considered as a real man. Women will be rejecting you whenever you propose them for marriage. When a Chief or an important person is dead in the village this dance is performed from the time that person died up to the time of burial.

5. Pantomime
It is a dance drama based on HIV/AIDS pandemic that has not spared Zambia. Youths are the most vulnerable on the prevalence of this pandemic in our society because they lack social amenities where they can keep themselves busy and not indulge themselves in illicit activities that make them contract HIV/AIDS. This pantomime depicts people’s behavior when they have taken opaque beer that makes them become careless of their lives especially the youths.

6. Vimbuza
It is a spiritual and healing dance from Eastern Province of Zambia. It is performed by the Tumbuka speaking people.

7. Kalela
It is a dance from Luapula Province performed by the Ng’umbo and Bisa speaking people. This dance originated at Chishi and Chilubi Islands of Luapula Province of Zambia. People who went (on Chibalo) to go and work on the gold mine in South Africa and on the Copperbelt of Zambia were taken by force from their villages. During weekends each ethnic group would perform dances from their homeland.

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