Art in Malawi
Malawian artists have traditionally preferred the three-dimensional world of sculpture to painting and drawing.
Elaborately carved wood and stone sculptures are a traditional art form in Malawi.
Malawian art often depicts people, animals, everyday village life and dances, and can be found everywhere from the oldest rock paintings to traditional wood carvings.
In recent years, there has also been a growing appreciation of painting as well as digital art, especially among young people.
Of note are the rock paintings found in the Chongoni Rock Art Area in central Malawi.
This area has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as having the highest concentration of rock paintings in Central Africa.
The red paintings by the Akafula depict scenes of hunting, while the white paintings depict scenes of peaceful farming by the Chewa who later settled in the area.
Masks are also a common type of artwork typically associated with festivals and ceremonies.
Making masks from bronze, wood, feathers and other objects has been a traditional practice in Nyau society for centuries.
A typical Nyau mask features an elongated face and a beard made of cloth, leather or human hair.