Gule Wamkulu – ‘Big Dance’

Bryony reports on a cultural experience- watching a local dance troupe.

A Gule Wamkulu is a traditional tribal dance that involves dancers taking on the persona of spirit while wearing a mask.

The dance has three functions:




    Gule Wamkulu often take place on special occasions or at prestigious events.

The dance also involves music and singing. It begins when the drumming begins.

Hoards of onlookers came running to the middle of the village and within minutes the whole area was full!

More information on the student blog at:

The musicians and dancers pose, without their masks

The musicians and dancers pose, without their masks










The drums arrive in the village on a bike

The drums arrive in the village on a bike










Nyau mask

A nyau mask

The monkey

The monkey












Patricia Lund

I teach on cell biology, human genetics and cancer biology modules in the Department for Applied Sciences & Health (DASH). I have organised a work experience trip to Malawi (first one in August 2014) using contacts and experience from my field work in Africa and started this DASH to Africa blog to engage all our students (and others) in our international engagement.
More about my research: studies on the genetic condition albinism in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana have been wide reaching with multiple partners and funders. Information has been gathered on the frequency of albinism in different populations, mutations in the gene causing the condition, sun protection strategies adopted to reduce the risk of developing sun induced skin damage, health (especially genetic) care for this vulnerable group, education (mainstream versus special schools) and social perceptions (and misconceptions) about albinism in African communities. These multi-faceted studies have been enriched by collaborations with local albinism associations in Africa and. I have also been privileged to meet many families with albinism.

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