Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art
The Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art is a vibrant hub for art, culture, and education nestled in the heart of Mua, a village in the Dedza district, central Malawi. About a two-hour drive from Lilongwe and three from Blantyre, the Centre is located above the lake plain, offering breathtaking views of the lake and the African Rift Valley escarpment. Its landscape is adorned with a variety of tropical trees and shrubs, creating a lush botanic garden.
Founded by the White Father Claude Boucher Chisale, the Kungoni Centre was conceived with the mission of providing local carvers with comprehensive training in various artistic forms. This initiative aimed to enhance local incomes and foster economic development in the community.
However, the Centre's contribution extends beyond art. It has developed a culture sector which includes the Chamare Museum, a research centre, a local traditional dancing troupe, and cultural courses. The Centre employs over 120 carvers and is in the process of establishing a new project, Kumbewu (The Seed). This project is designed to offer skill training for women and host various information sessions, including AIDS education, agricultural diversification, and money management.
The heart of the Kungoni Centre lies in its carvings, which were initially facilitated by Father Boucher to teach local artists new techniques. Today, the Carving Centre is a space for experienced carvers to impart their knowledge and skills to younger, emerging artists. The artworks created here are sold to tourists, shops, and even find their way to prestigious locations such as the Vatican Museum and Buckingham Palace, as well as Churches and private collections across Africa, Europe, and North America.
In 2009, the Centre opened an art gallery to document and celebrate the history of carving in the community, showcasing the evolution of themes and craftsmanship over the past three decades.
The Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Malawi and stands as a beacon for artistic expression and cultural preservation.
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