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bryan
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Pics of Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018


     The festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe of the culture of the Lhomwe people in Malawi was first held on October 25, 2008. The festival was founded with the support and inspiration of the former President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, who himself was the son of the Lhomwe people. The festival is held annually, as a rule, at the end of October. The venue for mass cultural events is the Lhomwe Cultural Center in Chonde, in Mulanje District.

     The aim of the festival is to consolidate in the people's memory the cultural traditions of Lhomwe, which are already forgotten by the younger generation. So that young people know how their ancestors lived. The festival is dominated by a dance program, in addition, traditional household items are shown, souvenirs and healing potions are sold.

     Among the potions, the most important is the root of the plant, called the Gondolosi. This is tonic drug, something like Viagra, it is used by men. Pieces of root chew or brew like tea.

     On October 21, 2018, the 11th Mulhako wa Alhomwe festival took place in Malawi. Pictures of the festival:

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     Dancers from various local dance groups compete at the festival. Representatives of the group holding a sign with its name. "NAMUNNA SINI GAWANI" is the name of the dance group from the area of Limbuli in Mulandje, "PHALOMBE SOOPA" is the dance group from Phalombe:

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     Many spectators, many dancers, many signs in hands. A big cube in the air standing on sticks in the background is just a water tower:

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     A dedication ceremony is held in every community of the Lhomwe people. The meaning of the rite of initiation of boys is circumcision. Currently, the circumcision is performed in the hospital after the ceremony, at the ceremony the boys receive advice on how to respect the elders. Circumcision is not religiously motivated; the idea of ​​combating HIV is the reason for circumcision. Male circumcision is considered to reduce the likelihood of infection or transmission of human immunodeficiency virus.

     For girls, the essence of the initiation rite is that they receive instruction on issues related to sex. Instructions on how to be a good wife when they marry. Lhomwe women believe that they are good wives.

     These young people show the dedication ceremony, this is a mixture of girls and boys. The stick that the boys hold in their hands does not have a clear sacred meaning, or that meaning has been lost. Probably, the stick symbolizes the spear. Balls at the top of the stick are used to decorate:

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Malawi Africa rite of initiation on the festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa rite of initiation on the festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     Dancers are in reed skirts, these ribbons are long reed leaves. Reed leaves are also used to make mattings and chair seats. Reed skirts were previously worn by both men and women, now this is only dance clothing:

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reed skirts Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     Dancers:

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dancers Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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girls malawi africa festival mulhako wa alhomwe 2018

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Malawi Africa Festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     On the outskirts of the festival, on a spontaneous market, you can buy traditional healing potions:

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market Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     In the foreground we see a paper pack. This Chibuku beer, made from corn, is common in southeast Africa, including Malawi. The strength of beer is 12% alcohol, a liter pack costs 400 Kwacha (0.5 USD):

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market Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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potions Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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potions Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     Women in Chitenge skirts, traditional drums, traditional Lhomwe house. On the ground are empty beer paper packs of Chibuku beer:

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hut Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

     The house of the people of Lhomwe has a round shape, covered with straw on top. These houses are still used today in remote rural areas of Malawi:

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hut Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

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hut Malawi Africa festival Mulhako wa Alhomwe 2018

        
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