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‘Nudity’ as a Strategy of Cultural Preservation among Ingoma Dancers of Mzimba District

Albert Mtungambera Harawa


Nativists worldwide cry over the past that has been overtaken by the fast-changing world. In the middle of cultural diversity brought by  lobalisation, some cultural adherents encourage ‘nudity’ as one of the strategies for decolonising the minds of the indigenous people because nativism involves  “return to the indigenous practices and cultural forms as they existed in the pre-colonial societies” (Ashcroft et al., 2000 159). Although some pro-  modernists think that ‘nudity’ relegates humanity to carnivals, beasts or cannibals, some cultural enthusiasts have maintained their traditional  attire, especially cultural events. For example, one of the cultural events in Malawi involves Ingoma, a Ngoni warrior dance. This paper argues for  the importance of traditional attire and ‘nudity’ in the service of identity formation and preservation of culture. Using Bakhtin’s idea of the  carnivalesque, the paper argues that the carnival culture presented through the ‘nudity’ of Ingoma dancers is employed as a celebration of  liberation from colonial culture.