“Malende: An aural projection of Tonga Ecological Ritual” live from Zambia at ifa Gallery Berlin and on Cashmere Radio

In ancestral Tonga society, malende (shrines) were the dwelling place of basangu (spirits). These dwelling places were in trees, rocks, deep pools and other natural objects which were then treated as sacred shrines (malende). A ritual at sacred shrines is told through the voices of ancestral mothers, portals between the flesh and spirit.

Our stories are layered and inscribed in nature: in mounds of red clay, in the outer bark of trees, in hills and in rivers. Landscapes are portals or tangible reminders of ancestral practice and knowledge which have long existed in the Zambezian context of Banji Chona’s artistic practice. Chona reconstitutes the connection to nature and ancestral spirits by decoding messages of ancestral restorying through the use of earth-based and often ancestral mediums, like soil and leaves.

… tune in at 18:30 on Cashmere Radio for ‘Tsi i ge ge hahe II’, a mixtape by Listening at Pungwe (Memory Biwa & Robert Machiri).

© Victoria Tomaschko