Cokwe musical heritage on display at the Camões Cultural Centre

Copyright Jornal de Angola.  © Photo: DR

According to a statement from the cultural institution, the ceremony, which is open to the public, will present the main results achieved by this initiative, and will be attended by the ambassadors of Portugal, the European Union and Spain, as well as representatives of various institutions from the Angolan Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Thambwé project is coordinated by ethnomusicologist and composer David López Sáez.

The work achieved in terms of digitising and recovering the Dundo Regional Museum’s phonographic collection is one of the most significant results to be presented in this multidisciplinary exhibition, which uses photography, video and audio to bring Cokwe music to the Angolan capital.

The museum’s collection consists of recordings made in the mid-20th century by the now defunct Diamond Company of Angola (Diamang). The public will also be able to see the results of research in the villages of Lunda Norte, which made it possible to create a map of musicians and craftspeople living in these communes in the north-east of Angola. The musicians and artisans were supported by commissioning instruments and creating recordings to publicise their musical groups.

The creation of a school of traditional music at the Dundo Regional Museum, covering singing, drumming, dance and kisanji classes, is another of the achievements made during the implementation of Thambwé. The songs transmitted come from the music recovered through the museum’s magnetophonic tapes.

Finally, the creation of a musical instrument construction school in the village of Cambuaji, in the municipality of Lóvua, has increased employment opportunities in the region. 15 young people are being trained, learning a trade while at the same time rescuing and valuing important cultural values that are on the verge of extinction. Instruments built by the school will be on sale during the exhibition.

The Thambwé project, which has been running in the province of Lunda Nort since March 2022, is supported by Procultura, an action funded by the European Union, co-financed and managed by Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, I.P., and supported by the Spanish Embassy in Angola and the Open Earth Foundation (Brussels). The project has been implemented at the Dundo Regional Museum, with the support of J.R.S. (Jesuit Refugee Service Angola) in financial management.