Pre-colonial states of central Malawi: towards a reconstruction of their history

Using reconstructions based on oral sources combined, where possible, with written ones, the author presents an outline of the major political changes that took place in Central Malawi, an area coterminous with the administrative unit known by that designation, with extensions into parts of eastern Zambia and western Mozambique, from the later Iron Age between 1200 and 1500 AD to the advent of Christian missionaries and the harbingers of colonial rule in the 1870s and 1880s. Four phases in the precolonial history of Central Malawi can be discerned: the advent of the Maravi or Phiri State-builders and their interaction with the proto-Chewa inhabitants whom they found already in occupation of the land; the growth and expansion of the Maravi States, including the impact this had on neighbouring peoples; Maravi political decline and the rise of successor Chewa States; and the ascendance of States created by 19th-century immigrants such as the Ngoni, Yao, and Swahili-Arabs. Notes, ref.

Title: Pre-colonial states of central Malawi: towards a reconstruction of their history
Author: Phiri, K.M.
Year: 1988
Periodical: The Society of Malawi Journal
Volume: 41
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-29
Language: English
Notes: biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms: Malawi
Central Africa
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/29778587
Abstract: Using reconstructions based on oral sources combined, where possible, with written ones, the author presents an outline of the major political changes that took place in Central Malawi, an area coterminous with the administrative unit known by that designation, with extensions into parts of eastern Zambia and western Mozambique, from the later Iron Age between 1200 and 1500 AD to the advent of Christian missionaries and the harbingers of colonial rule in the 1870s and 1880s. Four phases in the precolonial history of Central Malawi can be discerned: the advent of the Maravi or Phiri State-builders and their interaction with the proto-Chewa inhabitants whom they found already in occupation of the land; the growth and expansion of the Maravi States, including the impact this had on neighbouring peoples; Maravi political decline and the rise of successor Chewa States; and the ascendance of States created by 19th-century immigrants such as the Ngoni, Yao, and Swahili-Arabs. Notes, ref.