Culture, History and Politics in Malawi: The Production of National Heritage, 1964-2009
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This thesis is essentially about how Malawi’s national heritage was constituted, in particular how heritage emerged and how it has changed over time. It largely looks at the period from 1964 to 2009. This is significant period which covers the transition from colonialism to independence; dictatorship and the emergence of multiparty democracy. The study explores the changing governments during this period in relation to how knowledge about Malawi’s pasts were constructed and reconstructed as heritage using different cultural forms: national museums, ethnic festivals, cultural performances, national language, commemorations and memorials (monuments, commemorative days and biographical memory) and the framing of traditions and customs into what is referred to as intangible cultural heritage. The overarching question of the research is what changes were made to national heritage in relation to the changing of governments during this period? In response to this question multiple historical modes of inquiry were used to study and examine the production of different aspects of heritage during this period.