History of Mwani People of Mozambique

History of Mwani People of Mozambique

Mwani People also known as Kimani , Mwane or Mamwani People can be found in Mozambique, they are part of the Bantu Speaking People and they are related to the Sena People of Malawi and Mozambique . They speak Kimwani language which has some of Swahili phrase and It is spoken on the coast of the Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique , It is believed the word “ Kimani” comes from the word “ Mwani”, meaning the beach and Kimani literally means the language of the beach . The Mwani live along the coast of Northern Mozambique , and on the Islands close to the coast .  
According to their Mwani Oral history , The word “ Mwani” means the beach in their language , It is believed around 1,100 years ago , Arabs came down to Present day Mozambique and the east coast of Africa, Arabs captured Mwanis and sold them to Pakistan , Iraq, India , Bahrain , Oman , some parts of Yemen and Turkey during Arab Slave Trade.

It is believed they started practicing Islam due to the Arabs , It is said their laws never allow them to take Muslims as their slaves so they converted them and they forced them to build Islamic School , they were forced to learn Arabic how to recite Quran both reading and writing.
 Europeans also came and sold them to Brazil ,México , Cuba , Venezuela , USA , Canadá , Paraguay , Peru , Uruguay , Chile , Costa Rica and Portugal in Europe . 
According to Aspx account on Mwani People of Mozambique , The Mwani People of Mozambique are part of the Bantu , Swahili People cluster within Sub- Saharan and their primary language is Kimani Language . It is believed Arab Muslim traders Invaded their land , 1,100 years ago and It is believed they were convinced to be Muslims in order for the Arabs to avoid enslaving them or capturing them into captivity . The Mwani , Nahara and Makhuwa are grouped into subgroups who live along the Northern Coast of Mozambique .  

According to Takarana’s account , Mwani live on the coast of Northern Mozambique and follow a tradition of Islam mixed with African Indigenous Spirituality . 

In Mwani Concept , Mwandenga is the traditional Priest also referred as the Spiritual leader or the creator’s holy man who is a mediator between God and the Ancestors . 

Mwane Ni Manaofa is the Caretaker of a custom house , they chose a person as the custom house caretaker . Mwane ni Mao is the traditional dancer and Mwani are located in Cabo Delgado Province coast north of Pemba , Arimba , Palma, Mocimboa de Praia and Querimba . They grow crops such as Cashews , Pineapple , Peanuts , Cassava , Coconut ,Yam , Plantain , Corn , Cotton and other fruits . Mwani food can be baked , dried in the sun , or mashed with water to form a Porridge . Corn is another staple food both corn and cassava and was introduced by Mwanis to Americas and some parts of what is called the Middle East . 
Their diet Includes more fruit and rices as well as seafood dishes such as Macaza , Bacalhao , Chocos , food is seasoned with peppers , onion and coconut their palm wine is known as Shema and food is a part of many celebrations , It is customary to serve a meal at ceremonies and other crops are cultivated such as Sugarcanes, Corn , Cassava , Citrus and Mushrooms. 
In Mwani Culture , they have kept their traditional garb of long strips of fabric that are wrapped around the body , under the arms , and over one shoulder and they follow a matrilineal descent of Inheritance , they traced their ancestry through the mother’s side and at marriage the man becomes part of the wife’s family same as the women belong to the man’s family according to others who traced to the Patrilineal lineages.
They produced traditional sculptures and wood carving . Using hardwoods primarily mahogany and Ironwood , their musical traditional song serves a Purposes, Including Spiritual connection relating to current events and making friends.
 They have traditional instruments such as drums , cow animal horns used for horn blowing , gourd , marimba Instruments and According to the late Cabo E. Delgado's account , It is said Mwani can be found in 16 districts in Mozambique such as Ancuabe , Balama , Chiure , Ibo , Macomia , Mecufi , Meluco , Mocimboa da Praia , Montepuez , Mueda , Namuno , Nangade , Palma , Pemba- Metuge and Quissanga also according to Magzter’s account , Magzter quoted , “ I believe “ Mwani means “ The People of the Sea or tidal flats “ and the word “ Kusi in Mwani language means Southerly wind that blows during the winter . It is said many many years ago Arab traders used this wind to sail home , their dhows loaded with Ivory , animal skins and Mwani who were captured as Slaves from Present day Mozambique to Present day Iraq , Oman , India , Yemen , Bahrain and Turkey during that time , the Kaskazi blows a northerly wind that would usher the Arab traders south back down the coast of Africa . 

In Mwani tradition , Elders and those in positions of authority are respected and treated with deference and respect, when someone is visiting the villages , they ask the People to see the Chief you can't just visit the Chiefs if you refuse to do so you will face the consequence for being arrogant and disrespectful . 
In Mwani Concept , Diviners or Traditional Priests often carry a small sack of bones generally matching male and female parts of the same species which facilitate communications with their Ancestors.

 Capulans is also one of their traditional thick cloth with colorful art of what they are wearing and is wrapped from the waist downwards and Scarves are wrapped around their hair , or on the top of their heads , sometimes used as a pillow when carrying goods .
 Traditionally , Mwani musical instruments Include handmade from wood , fruits and animal skin , such as the lupembe , the marimba and the timbila . They also used wind Instruments made from dry and hollowed calabashes , which produce a similar toa trumpet . 
Traditional Musicians in bands play instruments of different sizes and maize or corn , fish , sheep are usually prepared with sauces and the traditional clothing such as capulans or headscarves are still worn and coconut milk is another staple item which is used by Mwani descendants in India , Bahrain , Brazil , Pakistan and Oman.
 Dancing is also a form of expression to be rooted in their culture and they use it to communicate with their Ancestors, Initiations , Rituals , to ask good things from the gods of their land , Mwani traditional dances involve some sort of costume which frequently includes rattles tied to the legs . If you hear drumming the late afternoons , it likely means they are making masks for dancing , the dancers wear a unique wooden lipiko mask , with decorated with exaggerated features , hair and facial etching . The dancers body is completely covered with large pieces of cloth wrapped around the legs , arms and body . 
Mwani were part of the Manica Kingdom in the 8th Century , later they came under the control of Munhumutapa Empire and It is believed they had commercial relations with regions . According to Diego Desta’s account , Mwani ethnic group is grouped into subgroups such as Mwani and Wamaraba in the Northern Mozambique , they moved to the coast , when they met Makwe People and God is referred as Mwenyezi Mungu and they are very aware of the Supernatural world.
It is said women are more connected to the Spiritual world they are also referred as the mothers of the Spiritual world and many ceremonies are tied up with protecting the rice harvest for the gods and to celebrate the annual rice harvest festival.
They also celebrate wedding and mourning the deceased person furthermore , It is believed they celebrate the life of the dead for several reasons . Handmade Crafts , Sculptures and Painting , Literature , Music , Dance , Cultural considerations are part if their tradition also women covered their face with white mask whose effect looks like a piece of it on a stone along with water to make it liquid . They put it on the face until it dries and the skin begins to stretch and the effect is similar of applying a clay . Ceramic pots and baskets woven , colorful straw mats made up of palm , gold and silver jewelry in addition , Mwani celebrate a festival known as Xihua , Xihua festival is a source of Strength and wealth.
 The festival is said to be the representation of the African Identity which has relied on Oral transmission of Knowledge from generation to generations . Basket making is one of their crafts which is categorized as coiled, twined and plaited therefore Mwani craftsmen are renowned for their Splendid wood carvings , which are Inspired by a rich culture , and historical tradition furthermore , these traditions are in the form of song , oral poetry , dance performances .  
It is said Mwani migrated from what is now Central African Republic then settled in Present day Chad , Present day Dr. Congo , Present day Tanzania , Present day Zambia before Mozambique became their final settlements and It is believed Mwani and Shona customs including traditions are similar , Nyau festival is also celebrated by some of the Mwani People this include Purity of the Spirits, happiness , harvest and another styles of music include Marrabenta , Pandza , Timbila , Lusophone , Fado , Samba , Bassa nova and Maxixe.
 Mwani People perform a traditional dance known as Tuto to celebrate Islamic holidays , there is also believed in Gamba which is the possession of ancient warriors and soldiers who passed away and they are been invoked by them. Mwani festivals include Tropical Zouk which is celebrated on April , Azgo and Strab which is celebrated on May , Tambo which is celebrated on July , Timbila festival also known as M’saho festival celebrated on August , Dockanema which is the annual rice harvest festival celebrated on September and Wine festival celebrated on October and November . 
 Mwani have a traditional bowls which is designed with different colors or colours others claimed Mwani originally came from Eastern Malawi and Somalia others also claimed Mwani were part of the Lomwe ethnic group and their language is writing using Roman or Greek alphabets that is also a myth.
 Mwani also celebrate festival known as Annual Gwaza Muthini which is to pay homage of their Ancestors who revolted or resisted from Portuguese Colonial rule and every year they honor people who died in the 1895 Battle of Marracuene . Mwani have a traditional beer made up from local Amarula tree it is also referred as the Divine tree , tree of life and eternity tree also Polygamy is practiced traditionally and both spouses share ownership of property and decisions about where to live marriages include feasting , music and dancing , they lived together under one roof . 
Brandon .S. Franklin’s according to his account , Vamizi Islands lies in the region of the Mwani People of Mozambique , The Island was known as Amisa Island which the Portuguese named the Island when they took over Mozambique during Colonialism before Mwani changed its name to Vamizi Island in the 14th Century.
 From the early 9th and 10th Century onwards they lived along the east coastline and were converted to Islam by the Arabs which it is said the conversion to Islam was to avoid enslavement by Arab traders from Saudi Arabia , Vamizi Island had Ivory , gold , shell , copper , diamond , shells , snails and there is an area which traditional cloth is made , dyed silk and Cotton.
 Portuguese brought Roman Catholicism , Protestantism in their region in the late 16th , 18th and 19th Century , Including Portuguese building Catholic and Protestant churches and forts followed by Slavery which they sold them to Brazil , Hungary , Portugal but it is said the Spanish only sold them to Chile and Cuba the Arabs were the first to have started slavery in their regions which they sold Mwanis to Iraq , Bahrain , Oman , Turkey and some parts of Yemen in the early 14th , 15th and 16th Century . 
Traditionally , It is said Coconut crabs known as Birgus latro , is one of the coolest crabs in the Vamizi Island and Coconut crabs come into two main color forms such as the red and blue coconut crabs and coconut crabs are crabs which are excellent climbers , known for keeping or storing foods , raiding bird nests , their ancestors once said the coconut crabs had a thorax which looks very reptilian before recently Europeans came to confirmed in the 20th Century during their search for knowledge on ancient animals in Africa and Mwani basket tray , tabar are weaved of natural plants , fibre and coloured in different forms .
 According to Stumble Digg’s account , Srab festival of the Mwani People of Mozambique is an Ancient Egyptian Concept , the Scarab of Kemet became Scrab which was well known among the Pharaohs the designing as well.
 It was designed by Kemetians for good luck charms and for goodluck made from clay the rich colors used in the Scarab design the red symbolized the god Ra , the yellow symbolized the Sun and desert and the color blue for the nile finally the green for wisdom and growth and during Mwani’s Scarb festival there is a season , with often tropical weather , clear skies , plenty of Sun and almost no rainfalls.
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