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The Unique And Rich Malawi Culture

By Leonor Rivera

Located in the south east part of Africa, Malawi is said to be a country that is populated with hundreds of tribe and has one of the richest cultures in the entire continent. Because of the immense number of different types of tribes in the country, the Malawi culture has seen a lot of unique variations and such. However, there are some traditions and practices that all tribes in the country would still carry out.

The Malawians have a very unique set of languages and dialects that are actually very unique to the other people of the entire Africa. Now for those who do not know, the three main languages that are being spoken in the country are Chiyao, Chitimbuka, and Chichewa. Chichewa is known to be the most used language because the Chewa tribe, the tribe that created the language, makes up a very large population of the entire Malawi.

As for the religions of this country, many would believe that African tribes would still be practicing their old traditions and religious practices. Although this may be true for a few tribes, many have already left their old traditions and started to go to new ones. In fact, majority of the population are either split into Islam or Christianity.

Now up until today, the Malawians are still living in their huts or long houses which is where their forefathers stayed in. It is true that there are places in the country that have been modernized but many still do not want to let go of their old ways. However, these days the huts and long houses are now made out of better material like bricks other than the flimsy straw material.

The Malawian people are also known to have captivating dances that stem from their religions and traditional practices. The most common one would be the Gule Wamkulu which came from one of the more secretive tribe religions. Back in the olden days, this dance was said to be able to bring forth the spirits of people who have died as well as forest and animal spirits.

Now aside from these religious dances, the Malawians also had dances that were done just for entertainment or for fun. The Chitalele is one of them and is done usually at night by the young women of each tribe. There are even competitions held where in each tribe will send a representative who will compete in an inter tribe dance battle.

Now the clothing of Malawians are also very unique because it can only be found in this region. The women in particular have a special piece of clothing called the Chitenje which can be used for so many things. Women may use this cloth as a basket, a baby carrier, or even for many other things where in they need to carry their other belongings.

So if one would want to learn about Malawi culture, then he should take a look at the most basic things about them. The most basic things like the language or the religion will be the ones that will tell the most about a certain ethnic group. This is because it is the basic things that every person in the country will share even if they all belong to different tribes.

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