People & Culture
People | Languages | Religion | Cooking & Recipes |
Music | Art & Craft
Malawi is often
called the "warm heart of Africa." because of the warms and friendliness of the
people. Malawians typically live with their extended families in huts that are
grouped together in villages. A spirit of cooperation prevails as family
members share both work and resources.
Malawi has a population of about
10,000,416 (July 1999 est.), with 90% of the population living in the rural
areas, and population growth rate of 1.57% (1999 est.).
people are of Bantu origin with the ethnic groups including Chewa, Nyanja, Yao,
Tumbuka, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, Ngonde, Asian and European.
Chichewa (Chewa) people forming the largest part of population group and are
largely in the central and southern parts of the country.
people are predominately found around the southern area of Lake
Tumbuka are found mainly in the north of the
There are very small populations of Asian and European people
living mainly in the cities.
Malawi National Anthem
Words of the
English is the official language and is
very widely spoken, particularly in main towns, but sometimes also in remote
is the common national tongue widely used throughout the country where, from
1968 until recently, it has served as the national language.
Background & History
words/phrases and their meanings in English.
Centre for Language Studies - to promote and develop Malawian
languages - offers courses in intense Chichewa
Of the other
languages spoken in Malawi, Tumbuka is spoken by about 500,000 people in the
north, and Yao is spoken by about 600,000 people in the south.
Chewa people, who form the largest part of the population predominantly
Christian/Protestant and the Yao people are mainly Muslim
religious groups in Malawi can be broken down aproximately as
Roman Catholic 20%
traditional indigenous beliefs and other minor religions 5%
COOKING & RECIPES
The staple diet is white
maize eaten with vegetables and, on occasion, fish or meat.
Nsima - Staple Food
Mbatata Biscuits - sweet potato
Malawian Desserts - recipes including
Mbatata (sweet potato) Cookies
Mtedza (peanut) Puffs
The music traditions of Malawi are rich with
cultural influences that include those of the Zulu Ngoni people from South
Africa, the Islamic Yao people of Tanzania and others.
Most tribes have
their own individual songs and dances. Common musical instruments found include
drums, the mambilira, (which is similar to the western xylophone) rattles of
different types and sizes, shakers which are tied to dancers' legs and arms and
are often know as maseche.
Dancing Prophets : Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing
(amazon.com) - USA (amazon.co.uk) - UK
For the Tumbuka people of Malawi,
traditional medical practices are saturated with music. In this ground breaking
ethnography, Steven M. Friedson explores a health care system populated by
dancing prophets, singing patients, and drummed spirits.
Northern and Central Malawi
(amazon.com) - USA
Southern and Central Malawi (amazon.com) - USA
Res [IMPORT] Malawi Rocks (amazon.com) - USA
Other websites of
Enjoy Malawi Music
WAV songs for your to listen
Malawi's all hit Music Radio Station
ART & CRAFT
Malawi produces various colourful
arts and crafts which are handworked to a high standard. There are many craft
markets spread throughout the country and along the roadsides.
Chief chairs are a very
popular item and can be found throughout the country. We have many available in
The batiks in particular
capture the vibrancy of Malawian culture, depicting the traditional with a
modern appeal. Batik cloth prints are created using a traditional wax resist