/chay"wah/, n.
1. a member of a Bantu-speaking people of Malawi.
2. Also called Chichewa. the Bantu language of the Chewa people, widely spoken in Malawi.
Also, Cewa.

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Bantu-speaking people of eastern Zambia, northwestern Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

They practice shifting (slash-and-burn) agriculture and they hunt and fish. Slavery was once universal among the Chewa. Descent, inheritance, and succession are matrilineal and polygyny is general. Chewa settlements are governed by a hereditary headman and a council of elders.

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      Bantu-speaking people living in the extreme eastern zone of Zambia, northwestern Zimbabwe, Malaŵi, and Mozambique. They share many cultural features with their Bemba kinsmen to the west. Their language, Chewa, is also called Chichewa, Nyanja, or Chinyanja and is important in Malaŵi.

      The economy rests primarily on swidden (slash-and-burn) agriculture, major crops being corn (maize) and sorghum. Considerable hunting and fishing are done.

      Descent, inheritance, and succession are matrilineal. Polygyny is general. The Chewa occupy compact villages, which are commonly stockaded. Each settlement has a hereditary headman and an advisory council of elders. See also Maravi.

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Universalium. 2010.

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