This study focuses on Tanzania's efforts to use elements from ethnic expressive arts in political propaganda and in the creation of a national culture after Independence. It analyses why nationalized traditional dances failed to work as national symbols, and futher shows how certain central aspects of traditional ritual performance - aspects lost with the nationalization and modernization of the dances - are now being carried on in a genuinely new cultural form: commercial popular theatre to entertain the low-income masses in Dar es Salaam.

See also: