Zambian Cultural Heritage – Chewa Folks – Their Record and Society

Zambian Cultural Heritage – Chewa Folks – Their Record and Society

The Chewa folks of Zambia dwell in the Japanese Province of the country. The language of the Chewa is Chichewa and Chichewa talking persons are Malawi and Mozambique. The purpose for this is that historically just before the white colonial masters arrived to Africa, the Chewa people today of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique experienced a person ruler – His Royal Highness Kalonga Gawa Undi. But when the colonialists came and developed nationwide boundaries, the Chewas were being divided and located them selves living in a few countries with unique colonial masters. Zambia and Malawi fell below the British colonial rule though Mozambique belonged to Portugal.

Nevertheless, the Chewa continued to recognise by themselves as a single despite colonial rule and new region boundaries. The standard Zambian Chewa headquarters are in Mkaika, Katete and right now ceremonies (in unique the Kulamba Ceremony) choose put each individual 12 months that carry the leaders of all 3 international locations with each other.

The Chewa folks are acknowledged for their appreciate of farming and in distinct for their craftsmanship – the ladies for their pottery abilities and the guys for their abilities in earning bamboo basketry, hoes, axes, arrows, reed mats and palm tree leaf mats. The gentlemen are also great hunters and fishermen and these abilities are believed to provide honour to manhood. The Chewa are tricky working persons who are identified to despise any sort of laziness believing that it leads to the demeaning follow of begging.

The sacred websites of the Chewa

  • The royal cemetery at the Mano headquarters in Malawi
  • The shrines at Msinja and Mankhamba
  • The grave of Undi Chisakamzondi who dies even though travelling in Mozambique
  • Kaphirintiwa in Malawi where marks in the rocks resembling human and animal footprints which is thought to be the area of development
  • The ancestral graves at the Mkaika Standard Headquarters

The Chewa clans

The initial two principal clans have been the Banda who traditionally were being healers and mystics and the Phiri who ended up claimed to the aristocracy. Other clans are:

  • The Mbewe’s known to take pleasure in the delicacy of mice feeding on (although the Phiri’s and Banda’s will also take pleasure in this delicacy)
  • The Kwenda clan which will come from the word ‘mkwenda’ which suggests ‘the stripper’. The tail implies a gentleman from the Phiri clan inappropriately stripped his sisters’ apparel while travelling – the rest is historical past!
  • The Mphandwe clan who are an offshoot of the Banda clan. The story goes that a man eloped with a girl of his clan (a disgraceful factor to do) and as a consequence preferred to be regarded as Mphandwe not Banda
  • The Mwale clan from the phrase ‘kumwalira’ which implies ‘to die’. Background indicates there was a bloody battle amongst two groups of folks since they shot an animal and could not agree on how to divide the head.
  • The Linde clan from the word ‘kulinda’ which implies ‘to watch’. This was the group who did not sign up for in the earlier mentioned battle but alternatively watched in excess of the carcass of the animal that was being fought more than.

Management and political organisation

Apparently the common Chewa social composition is matrilineal – home and land rights are inherited from the moms and it is the woman’s bloodline which keeps the lineage alive. The traditional Chewa chief is typically male but the descendance is carried as a result of the female facet deriving its identity from the female and villages are manufactured up of matrilineal kinfolk by relationship.

The general Chewa leader is identified as the Kalonga Gawa Undi who is in demand of all Chewa chiefs who in turn supervise village headmen. Kalonga Gawa Undi has the following indicating:

  • Kalonga: ‘one who identifies and installs office environment in others’
  • Gawa: ‘one who allocates land and shares wealth with others’
  • Undi: ‘one who protects citizens, keeping them less than his wings as a hen protects its young’

Those in line for leadership compete for their Chieftainship suitable but contrary to popular belief this does not essentially suggest conflict. Intelligent chiefs will select a nephew as their successor and send out their other nephews to establish subordinate chiefdoms. In simple fact, this process has avoided big dispute for hundreds of years.


The Chewa people will acquire offense if they are mistaken for the Nyanja because this propagates the colonial misinterpretation of their origin. Although the Nyanja and Chichewa languages are identical they are various and to say they are just one and the exact same denies the validity of the Chichewa language.

An additional taboo is to point out, connect with or compose the birth title of the successor to the Kalonga Gawa Undi. The business office of the Kalonga Gawa Undi ought to be seen to in no way die. In advance of the burial of the Kalonga Gawa Undi his successor is preferred by the royal household and the beginning title of his successor is ceremonially buried collectively with his forerunner. The name of the latest Gawa is as a result only Kalonga Gawa Undi XI.

This posting is motivated by the e-book ‘Ceremony! Celebrating Zambia’s Cultural Heritage’. It really is fantastic and a visually satisfying reserve which I would stimulate you to get. I obtained mine from ZAIN in Lusaka, Zambia. It is posted by Celtel Zambia PLC and Seka. First photography, Francois d’Elbee. Coordinating writer, Tamara Guhrs. Editor, Mulunga Kapwepwe. Contributing authors, Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Prof Mapopa Mtonga, Mulenga Kapwepwe, Isaac Smogy Kapinga, Miranda Guhrs, Msatero Tembo, Matiya Ngalande and Joseph Chikuta.

Zambia encourages tourists to witness classic ceremonies and you are going to discover community tourism company suppliers particular practical.