Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art
The Kungoni Centre includes the Chamare Museum, a new Kafukufuku Research Centre, a centre for wood carving and other crafts, art shop, gardens and animal sanctuary. A programme of residential courses on local cultures and demonstrations of local song and dance are also available.
The Kungoni Centre was started by a Canadian White Father, Claude Boucher, in 1976. It has grown into a world recognised centre of cultural information and art training. Fr Boucher is still actively engaged in directing the Centre.
The Chamare Museum is described in separate section.
At the carving centre, experienced wood carvers train new recruits. Over the years, more than 100 carvers have been trained. Some continue to work at Mua while others have set up independent businesses in other parts of Malawi. Carvings of all sizes and types depict a wide range of secular and religious themes. The Centre has a reputation for the standard of its work and pieces are in collections across the world.
The carvers are required to obtain wood in an environmentally sustainable way. They can be watched at work in a large open sided rondavel near the museum. Their work is displayed for sale in the shop alongside the museum. Other craftwork is available, including painting, batik, beadwork and embroidered clothing. Money earned from the art supports the artists, their families and the wider community around Mua.
There are also examples of woodcarving in the church opposite the museum. Visitors can walk through the pleasant gardens and animal sanctuary where there is seating for a picnic and toilets.
A new library and research centre is being opened with a collection of research papers, videos of dances and ceremonies, photographs and slides and over 1000 books. People will be able to make arrangements to use this material to study the culture of Central Malawi.
A programme of cultural dances is available on request, provided that at least 7 days notice is given. This presents a selection of traditional songs and dances from the Chewa, Yao and Ngoni cultures, performed in traditional regalia. The origins of each dance are interpreted for the audience. The group rehearse at 3pm every Tuesday and visitors are welcome.
Cultural courses offer participants the opportunity to learn about Malawian culture, history, art and language. They include a visit to the museum, group participation, videos and free access to the library. Courses of 3 or 4 days are arranged periodically and open to individuals or organisations. Arrangements can also be made to customise courses as part of an organisation's training or a retreat. Accommodation is in the Pantondo Chalets (see accommodation section).
Information is available on the website www.Kungoni.org. Enquiries about cultural events or courses should be made to the contact below.
Telephone: +265 999 511 884, +265 999 294 320, +265 1262 706
PO Box 41