The Kalela Dance of Northern Zambia has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Orgainistaion (UNESCO) List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) at the on-going 17th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the 2003 ICH Convention in Rabat, Morocco.
In a press statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today, Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer, Sakabilo Kalembwe said this recognition will bring feasibility not only to the dance troupe alone but also to market the country internationally.
He said the Kalela Dance troupe will now be on the UNESCO List of ICH for the 2003 Convention on ICH.
Mr Kalembwe added this will also increase attention for documentation and research and increased Cultural Tourism for the Dance Element.
He explained that historically, the Kalela dance originated on the Bangweulu Swamps, in Luapula Province, in the colonial times and was adopted on the Copperbelt by mine workers.
“From that time, the dance became domesticated for entertainment at the chief’s palaces, during traditional ceremonies, funerals, harvest celebrations and any other important occasions,” Mr Kalembwe said.
Mr Kalembwe noted that Zambia now has five elements on the list that includes Gule Wamkulu, Makishi, Mooba and Budima Dances and Songs.
Kalela is a kind of dance drill formation in which the dancers normally form two or three lines as they dance forwards and backwards as they sing to the drum sounds.