Tuesday, August 5, 2008
From what I have learned the Gule wankulu consists of a secret society based on animism. Most of the costumes represent animals. These men are usually tribal dancers. They often are used for entertainment, such as weddings or celebrations. When a new chief comes to a village they are hired to dance. Their meetings are taken place in graveyards. This is where they initiate new people and where they all get dressed and prepared for meetings. They almost always have a group of women following them. They dress as different characters or different animals. When they put on the costume they are no longer human, they are the type of animal they are wearing. One of the pictures I have taken looks like the men are wearing my grandma's aprons. Quite amuzing. Although most of them are just for entertainment, some are also used to call spirits. We have seen some while driving and instead of wanting to laugh, I have felt a need to pray. They made me feel very uncomfortable. Some like the ones in the aprons.. we just laugh at and try to figure out what kind of animal they are trying to be. What do you think these men are???