Ethnic Groups in Malawi

Ethnic Groups in Malawi

Many of today’s Malawians are descended from the Bantu people who migrated across Africa to Malawi for hundreds of years until the 15th century.

Malawi has a diverse mix of tribes with the Chewa being the largest tribe, accounting for 34% of the population according to the 2018 census.

Other tribes include the Lomwe (19%), Yao (13%), Ngoni (10%), Tumbuka (9%), Sena (4%), Mang’anja (3%), Nyanja (2%), Tonga (2%), Nkhonde (1%), Lambya (1%) and Sukwa (1%).

The Chewa who make up the largest part of the population are concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country.

The Yao are mostly found around the southern part of Lake Malawi, while the Tumbuka live in the north.

Each tribe has its own culture in terms of dress, dance and language.

Masks are often used in various dances and ceremonies, but these usually vary from tribe to tribe.

The most well known is the Gule Wamkulu performed by the Nyau of the Chewa tribe.

The Chewa

The Chewa PeopleThe Chewa People The Chewa, one of the Bantu ethnic groups, are the...

The Lomwe

The Lomwe PeopleThe Lomwe People The Lomwe are the second largest ethnic group in M...

The Yao

The Yao PeopleThe Yao People The Yao are a Bantu people who originated in Mozambi...

The Ngoni

The Ngoni PeopleThe Ngoni People The Ngoni are an ethnic group living in the southe...

The Tumbuka

The Tumbuka PeopleThe Tumbuka People The Tumbuka are the main tribe found in the nort...