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Douglas Curran: The Elephant Has Four Hearts
Nyau Masks and Ritual

Presentation House Gallery
North Vancouver BC thru Feb 27, 2005

Doug Curran - Alaula, context
Doug Curran, Mfiti Alaula “The witch is revealing itself”, context


Vancouver photographer Douglas Curran has produced movie stills for over eighty feature films and television projects on sites from Baffin Island to Kenya. He is widely known and respected for his explorations of “outsider” subcultures and societies.

Doug Curran - Alaula Temb
Doug Curran, Mfiti Alaula “The witch is revealing itself”


This exhibition features Curran's startling photographs of the mysterious and guarded world of “Nyau”, a secret spirit/dance mask society of the Chewa peoples of Malawi and Zimbabwe, Africa. Curran spent years immersing himself in their fascinating culture before he gained entry to the brotherhood that guards the Nyau, their ancestral spirit entities. With their permission, he has been encouraged to record the masks, costumes and rituals of the Chewa and their Gule Wamkulu (Great Dance).












Doug Curran - Atsala Kumema
Doug Curran, Atsale Adzamange “May the Survivors Prevail”


Curran has witnessed and recorded flying saucer cults, the Métis settlers of northern Alberta, tent preachers in the American south and migrant farm workers in Malawi. His work raises questions about documentary photography and how photographers acquire the right to record the life and activities of people. A colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Doug Curran - Kanyoni Madz

Doug Curran, Kamvulumvulu “the Whirlwind”


Doug Curran - Kanyoni Madz
Doug Curran, Kanyoni ”the District Commissioner”


Doug Curran -  Ndapita Kalindiza
Doug Curran, Ndapita ku Maliro “I’m going to the Funeral, Lock up the Chicken”

Mia Johnson

 Fri, Feb 4, 2005