Malawi: Culture and Arts

The warm heart of Africa

Malawi Culture and Arts

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 that are tied to dancers' legs and arms and are often know as maseche.

Malawi produces various colourful arts and crafts, which are hand worked 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.

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 dyeing process.

Traditional dance plays a part in most ceremonies in Malawi. The Gule Wamkulu (performed by the Chewa and Mang’anja), with its heavily carved masks, feathers and skin paint, is an important dance in Malawian culture.