Mua Parish on the M5 Road (Mtakataka), Mua Mission, Malawi
www.kungoni.org - +(265)1 262 706/+(265)999 294 320/+(265)999 511 884
Chamare Museum Mua Mission Reviews
Chamare Museum, the best museum in Malawi Sep 14, 2009
The Chamare Museum is a compact ethnographic museum and is undoubtedly the best in Malawi. The museum was established in 1976 by a Canadian missionary Fr. Claude Boucher Chisale. Fr. Boucher has dedicated his life to researching, recording and preserving Malawian culture. The museum is a visual feast in three parts. It describes the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao cultures, their rites of passage, their interaction with one another and their encounter with Islam and Christianity. It also holds a unique display of over 400 Gule Wamkulu masks.
Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside. The first section tells the story of Christianity being introduced to Malawi, starting with the exploration of the region by Dr. David Livingstone. From there they tell the story of the Roman Catholic arrival into the area and the advent of the White Fathers. The other parts of the museum were the most interesting to us. With detailed photographic displays of birth, puberty, marriage and funeral as well as fabulous actual masks, costumes, artifacts and characters, the history and culture of the three primary tribal groups that live in Malawi.
The Yao, Ngoni and Chewa was depicted. We had an excellent guide, Robert Kalindiza, who explained the information in detail. All three groups are Bantu tribes. The Jao originats from Mozambique and settled in the south and around the lake and were heavily influenced by the Muslim traders there. They converted to Islam and sold their African brothers to slave traders in the Middle East until the British took over the area and stopped the slave trade. And in current day Malawi, most Muslims are of Yao descent. The Ngoni came from South Africa and Zululand and today they live in the central and north Malawi. The Chewa came form the D.R. of Congo and live in the north.
The historical murals on the museums outside walls are worth being guided around as they give a pictorial history of Malawi.
The museum is open from 07:30 - 16:00 except Sundays and the entrance fee is 900 kwatcha (6 USD).
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