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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Making it Rain in Malawi Africa

Mbona worshipers rainmaking ceremonies bring relief in times of drought, floods and troubles. 


Mang'anja are Chewas from the Southern region of Malawi. Chewa or Nyanja people are the largest ethnic group in Malawi with four historical groupings. Even though there is doubt with modern scientists toward rainmaking ceremonies, the practice remains popular. The rainmaker is an important person in the African community, performing rituals and wielding great power. 
Rain making ceremonies were controlled by the Mbona Tribe.
Rainmaking ceremonies were controlled by the Mang'anja Mbona Tribe. Mang'anja Tribe, Mbona worshipers offer sacrifices to their God in times of drought and troubles. Rain is essential for life. All living things need water to live. If you control water you control the very essence of life. The Khulibvi shrine is a symbol of authority, if you were in control of the shine you controlled the lives of the people who are spiritually united with the religious shrine.



Mbona folklore has several versions however two versions are widespread:

Mbona folklore #1
Flooding African villageMbona was not a legible heir of chief Lundu and therefore he was never supposed to perform rain ritual dance. The entire legible heir performed the dance but rain did not fall. The elders of the village suggested that Mbona should perform the ritual dance and the chief agreed. In the process of Mbona's dance heavy rain felled and one of chief Lundu's son was killed by the lightening. Chief Lundu was angry with the death of his son, therefore he sent his men to kill Mbona. Mbona was killed by Lundu's men at a mountain and his blood turned into a river. Before he died he ordered the men to construct a shrine on the mountain. Every chief sent his regular offerings to the shrine to ask for rains.

Mbona folklore #2
Failed rains and rising temperatures,  by Neil Palmer CIAT Mbona was a renowned figure with unworldly powers who lived in Malawi during the rise of the Lundu Kingdom. Mbona is said to have magic powers of bringing rain, creating wells of water on sandy lands, creating forests where they did not exist and hiding from enemies by turning into many types of living things. Mbona's uncle Mlauli, who also had unworldly powers became jealous of his nephew and wanted to kill him. No matter how hard Mlauli tired, he could not kill Mbona. One day Mbona finally was ready to die and told Mlauli and his enemies how to kill him; they cut his throat with a leaf of a tall reed. Mbona's head was cut off by the reed and placed at Khulubvi now located in the lower Shire Valley in Southern Region of Malawi.


No matter the version of the story, the Mang'anja tribe pay tribute to the sacred Shine of Mbona's head at Khulubvi. The Khulubvi Shrine is a small hut located in the interior of thick under bush and trees of the Lundu, Malawi. Followers of Mbona worship at Khulubvi still to this day maintaining the scared ground as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.

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