Maravi

Last updated

Coordinates: 15°S35°E / 15°S 35°E / -15; 35

Contents

Kingdom of Maravi
malaŵí
c 1480–1891
Maravi Kingdom map c. 1650s.svg
The Maravi Kingdom at its greatest extent in the 17th century.
Capital Manthimba, Mankhamba
Common languages Chewa, Yao, Tumbuka
Government Monarchy
History 
 Established
c 1480
 Disestablished
1891
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Chewa culture
British Central Africa Protectorate Flag of British Central Africa Protectorate.svg
Portuguese Mozambique Flag of Portuguese East Africa (proposal).svg
Today part of Malawi
Mozambique
Zambia

Maravi was a kingdom which straddled the current borders of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, in the 16th century. The present-day name "Maláŵi" is said to derive from the Chewa word "malaŵí", which means "flames".

History

At its greatest extent, the state included territory from the Tonga and Tumbuka people's areas in the north to the Lower Shire in the south, and as far west as the Luangwa and Zambezi river valleys. Maravi's rulers belonged to the Mwale matriclan and held the title Kalonga. They ruled from Manthimba, the secular/administrative capital, and were the driving force behind the state's establishment. Meanwhile, the patrilineal Banda clan, which traditionally provided healers, sages and metallurgists, took care of religious affairs from their capital Mankhamba near Nthakataka.

After contact with the Portuguese, trade intensified. It included such items as beads of the Khami type and Chinese porcelain imported via Portuguese intermediaries. In the 19th century, the state declined and the Maravi were frequently raided by their neighbours the Yao and captured for sale as slaves. David Livingstone visited Lake Nyasa in 1859, and other Protestant missionaries soon followed.

The Maravi Confederacy was founded by the Bantu people immigrating into the valley of the Shire River (flowing out of Lake Nyassa) around 1480 AD. It prospered into the late 18th century, extending to reach what is now belonging to Zambia and Mozambique. In the 19th century the neighboring Yao raided on them, selling captive Maravi on the slave markets of Kilwa and Zanzibar. In the 1860s, Islam was introduced into the region through contact with Swahili slave traders. The region was visited by David Livingstone and stations were set up by Protestant missionaries in 1873. A British consul was also sent there in 1883.

Beginning as early as the thirteenth century, the first signs of a large-scale migration of related clans entered the region of Lake Malawi. Traditional accounts indicate that these people originated in the Congo Basin to the west of Lake Mweru, in an area that subsequently formed part of the Luba Kingdom. The movement continued during the succeeding two or three centuries, but it appears certain that by the sixteenth century the main body of these people, known collectively as the Maravi, were settled in the Shire River valley and over a wide area lying generally west and southwest of Lake Malawi, including parts of present-day Zambia and Mozambique. The first (colonial) historical account of the Maravi was by Gaspar Bocarro, a Portuguese man who traveled through their territory in 1616. [1] The picture presented in the 1660s by Father Manuel Barretto, a Jesuit priest, was of a strong, economically active confederation that swept an area from the coast of Mozambique between the Zambezi River and the bay of Quelimane for several hundred kilometres into the mainland. An account from the following century implied that the western limits of the confederation were near the Luangwa River and that it extended on the north to the Dwangwa River. [2]

"Maravi" is therefore a general name of the peoples of Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and the eastern part of Zimbabwe. The Chewa language, which is also referred to as Nyanja, Chinyanja or Chichewa, and is spoken in southern and central Malawi, in Zambia and to some extent in Mozambique, is the main language that emerged from this empire.

Related Research Articles

The History of Malawi covers the area of present-day Malawi. The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.

Zambia Landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern, and East Africa

Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa, although it is typically referred to as being in South-Central Africa. Its neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west. The capital city of Zambia is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the north, the core economic hubs of the country.

The history of Zambia experienced many stages from colonization to independence from Britain on October 24, 1964.

Zambezi Major river in southern Africa

The Zambezi River is the fourth-longest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000 square kilometres (540,000 sq mi), slightly less than half of the Nile's. The 2,574-kilometre-long river (1,599 mi) rises in Zambia and flows through eastern Angola, along the north-eastern border of Namibia and the northern border of Botswana, then along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique, where it crosses the country to empty into the Indian Ocean.

British Central Africa Protectorate British protectorate from 1893 to 1907

The British Central Africa Protectorate (BCA) was a British protectorate proclaimed in 1889 and ratified in 1891 that occupied the same area as present-day Malawi: it was renamed Nyasaland in 1907. British interest in the area arose from visits made by David Livingstone from 1858 onward during his exploration of the Zambezi area. This encouraged missionary activity that started in the 1860s, undertaken by the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, and which was followed by a small number of settlers. The Portuguese government attempted to claim much of the area in which the missionaries and settlers operated, but this was disputed by the British government. To forestall a Portuguese expedition claiming effective occupation, a protectorate was proclaimed, first over the south of this area, then over the whole of it in 1889. After negotiations with the Portuguese and German governments on its boundaries, the protectorate was formally ratified by the British government in May 1891.

Luangwa River River in Zambia

The Luangwa River is one of the major tributaries of the Zambezi River, and one of the four biggest rivers of Zambia. The river generally floods in the rainy season and then falls considerably in the dry season. It is one of the biggest unaltered rivers in Southern Africa and the 52,000 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi) that make up the surrounding valley are home to abundant wildlife.

Shire Highlands

The Shire Highlands are a plateau in southern Malawi, located east of the Shire River. It is a major agricultural area and the most densely populated part of the country.

Ngoni people

The Ngoni people are an ethnic group living in the present-day Southern African countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Ngoni trace their origins to the Nguni and Zulu people of kwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The displacement of the Ngoni people in the great scattering following the Zulu wars had repercussions in social reorganization as far north as Malawi and Zambia.

T4 road (Zambia) Major road in Zambia

The Great East Road is a major road in Zambia and the main route linking its Eastern Province with the rest of the country. It is also the major link between Zambia and Malawi and between Zambia and northern Mozambique. However, the route does not carry as much traffic as many of the other regional arterial roads and between the main cities it serves, Lusaka and Chipata, it passes through rural and wilderness areas. In Lusaka the road forms the main arterial road for the eastern suburbs. The entire route from Lusaka to Chipata and the Malawi Border Post is designated the T4 Road on Zambia's road network.

Eastern Province, Zambia Province of Zambia

Eastern Province is one of Zambia's ten provinces. The province lies between the Luangwa River and borders with Malawi to the east and Mozambique to the south, from Isoka in the northeast to the north of Luangwa in the south. The provincial capital is Chipata. Eastern province has an area of 51,476 km2 (19,875 sq mi), locally shares border with three other provinces of the country and is divided into eleven districts.

1890 British Ultimatum British diplomatic ultimatum to Portugal

The 1890 British Ultimatum was an ultimatum by the British government delivered on 11 January 1890 to the Kingdom of Portugal. The ultimatum forced the retreat of Portuguese military forces from areas which had been claimed by Portugal on the basis of historical discovery and recent exploration, but which the United Kingdom claimed on the basis of effective occupation. Portugal had attempted to claim a large area of land between its colonies of Mozambique and Angola including most of present-day Zimbabwe and Zambia and a large part of Malawi, which had been included in Portugal's "Rose-coloured Map".

Pink Map Portuguese diplomatic document

The Pink Map, also known in English as the Rose-Coloured Map, was a map prepared in 1885 to represent Portugal's claim of sovereignty over a land corridor connecting their colonies of Angola and Mozambique during the Scramble for Africa. The area claimed included most of what is currently Zimbabwe and large parts of modern Zambia and Malawi. In the first half of the 19th century, Portugal fully controlled only a few coastal towns in Angola and Mozambique. It also claimed suzerainty over other almost independent towns and nominally Portuguese subjects in the Zambezi valley, but could rarely enforce its claims; most of the territory now within Angola and Mozambique was entirely independent of Portuguese control. Between 1840 and 1869, Portugal expanded the area it controlled but felt threatened by the activities of other powers.

Luangwa is a town in Zambia, at the confluence of the Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers, which was called Feira until 1964. It is headquarters of a district of the same name in Lusaka Province.

The Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1891 was an agreement between Great Britain and Portugal which fixed the boundaries between the British Central Africa Protectorate, and the territories administered by the British South Africa Company in Mashonaland and Matabeleland and North-Western Rhodesia and Portuguese Mozambique, and also between the British South Africa Company administered territories of North-Eastern Rhodesia, and Portuguese Angola.

John Buchanan (1855–1896), was a Scottish horticulturist who went to Central Africa, now Malawi, in 1876 as a lay member of the missionary party that established Blantyre Mission. Buchanan came to Central Africa as an ambitious artisan: his character was described as dour and devout but also as restlessly ambitious, and he saw in Central Africa a gateway to personal achievement. He started a mission farm on the site of Zomba, Malawi but was dismissed from the mission in 1881 for brutality. From being a disgraced missionary, Buchanan first became a very influential planter owning, with his brothers, extensive estates in Zomba District. He then achieved the highest position he could in the British administration as Acting British Consul to Central Africa from 1887 to 1891. In that capacity declared a protectorate over the Shire Highlands in 1889 to pre-empt a Portuguese expedition that intended to claim sovereignty over that region. In 1891, the Shire Highlands became part of the British Central Africa Protectorate. John Buchanan died at Chinde in Mozambique in March 1896 on his way to visit Scotland, and his estates were later acquired by the Blantyre and East Africa Ltd.

The M'Bona Cult is a system of religious beliefs and rituals which is currently restricted to the most southerly parts of Malawi, but which probably extended more widely, both in other parts of Malawi and adjacent parts of Mozambique. The cult is found mainly among the local Mang'anja people and its former extent reflected that people's wider past distribution. It aims to secure abundant rains at the appropriate season through the making of propitiatory gifts at cult shrines, and includes rainmaking rituals in the event of drought. It has been related to a number of other territorial cults among the Maravi cluster of related African peoples which aim to secure the well-being of the people of a particular area secure from drought, floods or food shortages. The cult is believed to be a long established one, although estimates of how long it has existed are speculative, as the earliest definite record of its existence dates from 1862.

Chikunda, sometimes rendered as Achicunda, was the name given from the 18th century onwards to the slave-warriors of the Afro-Portuguese estates known as Prazos in Zambezia, Mozambique. They were used to defend the prazos and police their inhabitants. Many of the chikunda were originally chattel slaves, raised to the status of soldiers, traders or administrators of parts of the prazo as a client or unfree dependent.

Leroy Vail whose birth name was Hazen Leroy Vail was an American specialist in African studies and educator who specialized in the history and linguistics of Central Africa and later extended his interests to Southern Africa. He taught in universities in Malawi, Zambia and the United States and his research in the first two countries inclined him toward the view that Central Africa underwent a period of underdevelopment that began in the mid-19th century and accelerated under colonial rule. After his return to the United States, he cooperated with Landeg White on studies of colonial Mozambique and on the value of African poetry and songs as a source of oral history.

The Makololo chiefs recognised by the governments of colonial Nyasaland and independent Malawi have their origin in a group of porters that David Livingstone brought from Barotseland in the 1850s to support his first Zambezi expedition that did not return to Barotseland but assisted Livingstone and British missionaries in the area of southern Malawi between 1859 and 1864. After the withdrawal of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa those Makololo remaining in the Shire valley used firearms provided by the Europeans to attract dependants seeking protection, to seize land and to establish a number of chieftainships. At the time that a British protectorate was established in 1891, there were seven Makololo chiefs of which six were recognised by the government. Five survived to be given local governmental powers in 1933, and these powers continued after Malawi became independent. Although called Makololo or Kololo, after the ruling group in Barotseland in the 1850s, the majority came from peoples subject to the Makololo who adopted the more prestigious name. As, regardless of their origin, they took wives from among the inhabitants of the Shire Valley, their modern descendants have little connection with the Kololo people apart from their name.

Jan Mathijs Schoffeleers (1928–2011), who published many of his works in English as Jan Matthew Schoffeleers or Matthew Schoffeleers was a Dutch missionary and member of the Montfort Fathers order who became an important figure in African research as an anthropologist of African religion, particularly that in Malawi, where he spent around 16 years, first as a missionary and then as a lecturer. He continued his academic career later as reader and professor in religious anthropology in the Netherlands, continuing to concentrate on African themes.

References

  1. Huhn, Arianna. "History".
  2. "Maravi Confederacy | historical empire, Africa | Britannica".