Culture & Art from Central Africa

Thomas Mpira

Thomas Mpira – Paschal Candle (Celestial Village)

Malawi – Dedza District – Mua Parish   The Paschal candlestick has at its centre a depiction of the risen Christ, with stigmata. Through Christ’s suffering he incorporates the people gathered around him into the celestial village. At the foot of the candlestick parents are passing a new-born child over fire: this is the Chewa…

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Thomas Mpira – Lectern (Holy Trinity)

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   This is the first example (in this collection) of a number of intricately carved wooden lecterns by the artists of Kungoni Centre that have found their way to churches around the world. Here Thomas Mpira reflects on the creative power of the Holy Trinity…

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Thomas Mpira – Head of Mbona

Malawi – Private Collection   Thomas Mpira works in many idioms: Chewa and Ngoni, Christian and African Traditional Religion (ATR). For this piece he was commissioned to represent (for the first time in art) the severed head of Mbona, the rain priest who is commemorated in Nsanje (in the far South of Malawi) as having…

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Thomas Mpira – Mother & Child

England – Oxfordshire – Drayton – St. Peter’s Church   It seems appropriate to begin The Kungoni Weblog from Oxford on the morning of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which is also New Year’s Day, with a Kungoni image of Our Lady which has found a home in the (Anglican) parish church of…

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