Tchopa is practised among Lhomwe communities in southern Malawi. The dance is usually performed during celebrations after good harvests and successful hunting trips and during offerings to ancestral spirits after calamities such as droughts and outbreaks of disease. Knowledge and skills for the dance are transmitted by bearers during practice sessions and occasional performances. Tchopa strengthens social cohesion among Lhomwe communities, with members providing mutual support in times of need, such as during ill health and bereavement, and assisting with communal labour in the field.
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