Kulamba

Kulamba is a Chewa traditional ceremony in which Chewa chiefs pay homage to their King, Kalonga Gawa Undi. During the ceremony, the chiefs brief the King on the situation in their Chiefdoms highlighting major issues and developments. They also present gifts to the King. Kulamba ceremony started before the15th century.

The ceremony is held at Mkaika in Katete Zambia. Mkaika is the official traditioinal Chewa Headquarters. Chewa chiefs and their people from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia grace the occasion. The Kulamba ceremony fosters unity among the people, promotes trade and facilitates the integration of the economies of these three countries.

In 1934, the British colonial authorities, under pressure from the missionaries, banned the Kulamba ceremony. The missionaries viewed Kulamba as a pagan ritual which promoted immorality and was a barrier to their mission of converting Africans to Christianity. It is also possible that the colonial authority felt threatened by the Kulamba ceremony as it had the potential of eroding their control over the Africans. The Kulamba ceremony remained banned for 50 years and was not revived until 1984.

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King (Paramount chief) Kalonga Gawa Undi the XI

 

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