Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art

Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art, Mtakataka: Address, Phone Number, Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art Reviews: 4.5/5

Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art

Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art
4.5
What people are saying
occhiolist
By occhiolist
Great for Gule Wamkulu information
Jul. 2018
This is a "5* for Malawi" rating - don't arrive expecting a big, shiny western-style museum. However, if you're interested in the traditions of different enthnic groups and specifically the Nyau secret society/Gulu Wamkulu of the Chewa people it should not be missed. The first room is fairly dull with little explanatory text, although I think it's meant to be about the interaction of missionaries/Christianity and traditional beliefs. The second room is amazing - a huge tree hung all about with dance masks, with larger basketry animals and full size models at the bottom. Around the railing are cards detailing the names of the masks and explaining the dances they are used for and the stories they tell. It does get frustrating craning your head to find mask numbers and trying to find the information that goes with each one, but you could spend hours reading all the information. Around the outside walls extensive photo series explain traditions surrounding birth, puberty, marriage, etc. The final room is about the Ngoni and Yau ethnic groups; there is also a lot of information here but I didn't have the energy for it as I'd spent so much time reading about the masks. Behind the main museum is an interesting art gallery; if it's closed ask in the shop. I found the shop a little disappointing; the carvings were not as interesting as I'd hoped (especially in comparison with the gallery) and the other souvenirs a bit generic.

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4.5
18 reviews
Excellent
12
Very good
4
Average
2
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DareAcceptor
Orem, UT75 contributions
Cultural Center is a Must!!
Aug. 2018 • Friends
Before going to the museum, walk down the lane to the river, follow the river back up and around to see some locals doing wash or children playing in the river. Walk up through the trees to spot a few monkeys and arrive back at the museum. Fascinating, well planned cultural center that I highly recommend. Keep expectations in line with Malawi, not western culture, and you won't be disappointed. Very interesting and informative. Spend some time wandering the shop, and don't be afraid to enter the rooms in the back where they have overflow of the carved items for purchase.
Written 31 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

occhiolist
Hong Kong, China144 contributions
Great for Gule Wamkulu information
Jul. 2018 • Solo
This is a "5* for Malawi" rating - don't arrive expecting a big, shiny western-style museum. However, if you're interested in the traditions of different enthnic groups and specifically the Nyau secret society/Gulu Wamkulu of the Chewa people it should not be missed.

The first room is fairly dull with little explanatory text, although I think it's meant to be about the interaction of missionaries/Christianity and traditional beliefs. The second room is amazing - a huge tree hung all about with dance masks, with larger basketry animals and full size models at the bottom. Around the railing are cards detailing the names of the masks and explaining the dances they are used for and the stories they tell. It does get frustrating craning your head to find mask numbers and trying to find the information that goes with each one, but you could spend hours reading all the information. Around the outside walls extensive photo series explain traditions surrounding birth, puberty, marriage, etc.

The final room is about the Ngoni and Yau ethnic groups; there is also a lot of information here but I didn't have the energy for it as I'd spent so much time reading about the masks. Behind the main museum is an interesting art gallery; if it's closed ask in the shop. I found the shop a little disappointing; the carvings were not as interesting as I'd hoped (especially in comparison with the gallery) and the other souvenirs a bit generic.
Written 28 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HenryBromelkamp
Minneapolis, MN54 contributions
beautiful accommodations and a great museum and gallery
Feb. 2018 • Friends
I've stayed here many times, and look forward each time. The museum. the only cultural museum in Malawi, has detailed displays about rights of passage of the main Malawian tribal groups. Right next door is a showroom/gallery of the most intricate artistic wood sculptures in southern Africa- once you visit here, you'll recognize Mua carvings in curio markets all over southern Africa. The BEST is the beautiful accommodations, with spacious huts housing two rooms with two people in each room, and a very nice restaurant with a set menu each night. If possible, try to visit Mua!
Written 23 February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

msagar
Framingham, MA129 contributions
Excellent Museum at a Heritage Mission, Part of the Great Tour
Jan. 2018 • Solo
I visited this site with my Driver Jason. It was part of a full-day (12 hours) tour that started and ended in Lilongwe, visiting Dedza, Golomoti escarpment, Mua Mission and Kungoni, and Salima and Livingstonia beach. At Dedza, we saw the Pottery factory and since we were short on time, decided to come back next day. Then onto Golomoti Escarpment and ended in Mua Mission. Mua Mission has Heritage Church as well as the Kungoni Arts center. Father Serge St-Arneault gave me a great overview of the history of the Mua Mission and the Kungoni Arts Center and Museum. For the admission fee of 3500 Kwacha, the guide took me around and gave indepth historical overview + information about the 3 tribes - Chewa, Yao and Ngoni - including the dance masks. If possible, contact them in advance and try to visit when they have mask dances scheduled. Next we went thru Salima to Livingstonia Beach which is a secluded paradise on Lake Malawi and a perfect place to relax and soak some sun. On the way back from Livingstonia, do stop at the local art market and do some souvenir shopping!
The tour I did was the cheapest one possible due to hiring my own driver. If you need any other info, feel free to contact me.
Written 30 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chieka C
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan187 contributions
Learn about different Malawian tribal culture
Nov. 2017 • Solo
The Kungoni Museum was informative about the history of the Mua Mission and the differences between the tribes in Malawi. I recommend taking the tour through the museum as the guide can talk about cultural practices and traditions; it also gives you an opportunity to ask questions along the way. The museum walks you through three separate buildings. While you are permitted to take photographs in the first building, you are not in the second and third buildings. Please be respectful of that request.
Written 28 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BrabbenTE
Reading, UK83 contributions
Visit this fascinating centre while in Malawi
Sep. 2017 • Friends
We really enjoyed the cultural show (at least 2.5 hours). Lots to take in and learn. We all had big smiles watching the intricate dances and listening to the descriptions given by Claude and his team. Well worth seeing. We were honored that we could also give a (poor) demonstration of our own dance skills! In addition to our personal show we had a detailed guided tour around the museum containing rare cultural artefacts. Really good.
Accommodation at the paNtondo Lodge at Namalikhate is convenient but was suffering when we were there from regular and long power-cuts and water shortages. Food was simple but OK. A greater use of solar power might help.
Written 23 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tino S
2 contributions
Mua mission kungoni Museum pantondo lodge
Mar. 2017 • Couples
Mua mission: village, important tribe and mask museum, unescu cultural heritage, weekly dances, art center, hospital, catholic mission, morning church service, pan tondo lodge, remote riverside area. Nice package for 1-2 days on the road between Salima and monkey bay. Must have!!!!
Written 16 March 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

westerntraveler2013
London, WV65 contributions
Fabulous place and must visit
Oct. 2016 • Couples
This is certainly one of the highlights of our trip. When traveling from Lilongwe to Lake Malawi National Park via Salima one must stop and Mua Mission to visit the Kungoni Centre. Here there are fabulous murals of the history and legends of Malawi and a magnificent culture Museum. Also the church is a must see as well as all the magnificent carvings make by local sculptures. Google the site for details on the Centre. We loved the place and the friendly people.
Written 4 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dark Z
8 contributions
magical Malawi a must !!
Apr. 2016 • Business
This has to be one place you visit in Malawi, The centre offers mix of Malawi culture with a shop that contains some real treasures at a great price. There is a museum open theatre the people are friendly and the surrounding area has much to offer in sculptures/buildings. We stayed for 5 nights the food is good but expensive at Mk 6000 per meal around the accommodation is wonderful ruff round the edges but clean and comfortable. rooms including breakfast are mk 22000 which is reasonable for the level of service and amenities.

this place is the best we have seen in terms of cultural Malawi and is a good marriage between the catholic and local traditions.

over all the food is over priced the accommodation is reasonable and service is fair. What makes this place is the wealth of culture, atmosphere and shire delight in a Malawi that is the cultural heart of the central region.
Written 23 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lioux11
Cardiff, UK10 contributions
Fascinating insights
Oct. 2015 • Friends
The centre is well worth a visit to gain a better understanding of Malawian culture. There are three main display rooms in the museum explaining the cultural background of the three main groups of people in malawi. However the (very informative) guide did whizz us through them quite quickly - although his commentary was very informative I would have a liked a few more minutes in each room to read some of the wall displays for myself in a bit more detail.
The attached art gallery and shop are highly recommended - brilliant talent on display in a range of media, although wood-working dominates. The work for sale in the shop is beautiful and amazingly cheap. I only wished I'd taken a bigger suitcase so I could have brought more home!
Written 26 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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