The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Gule Wamkulu Term Analysis

A secret gang of stilt dancers, who legend says are the spirits of ancient ancestors come back to life. The Gule Wamkulu dance at important events for the Chewa people, including funerals and initiation ceremonies when boys become men. These dancers have the power to bewitch children who watch them dance for too long, or who are caught wandering alone in forests and marshes. It is bad luck to even speak of the Gule Wamkulu.
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Gule Wamkulu Term Timeline in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The timeline below shows where the term Gule Wamkulu appears in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
Science vs. Superstition and Magic Theme Icon
As a boy, William did not worry about animals, but he was afraid of the Gule Wamkulu (a secret gang of magical dancers, supposedly the spirits of dead ancestors.) The Gule Wamkulu... (full context)
Chapter 3
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
Science vs. Superstition and Magic Theme Icon
...Banda’s thirty-year dictatorship had made the Malawian people angry, and even the intimidation of the Gule Wamkulu is not enough to convince the people to stop protesting. Banda, unlike many African rulers,... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Science vs. Superstition and Magic Theme Icon
...as William walks to the field, the only time William is still afraid of the Gule Wamkulu . (full context)
Chapter 13
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
Science vs. Superstition and Magic Theme Icon
...pay their respects, while William and Geoffrey try to comfort Gilbert. At the funeral, the Gule Wamkulu dance over Chief Wimbe’s gravesite and Chief Wimbe’s coffin is laid into its special compartment... (full context)