Molefi Kete Asante
The Chewa people live in Malawi and Zambia. There are more than 2 million Chewa spread throughout these countries. They claim origin from the Nyanja people, who were part of the great migration of the tropical people from West Central Africa to the southeast. The Chewa people believe, as told in their oral traditions, that they came from the region of Nigeria and Cameroon around 1000 AD. They are related to the Baluba of Congo. Many of the people moved to the high mountainous region of northeastern Zambia and northern Malawi, where they are concentrated around the city of Lilongwe. This entry looks at their culture and the religious roles of men and women. The Chewa people have always been deeply devoted to their ancestral traditions, exercising an enormous energy toward preserving the records of their origins and migrations. They are rich in cultural forms, dances, societies, and art. They ...