Mua Mission

Mua Mission

Today famous for being the capital of the Maseko Ngoni who ruled the area from 1898 till present. Historically significant to the Chewa tribe as the traditional home of their medium and rain priestessMwali plus their king Karonga who were thecenter of spiritual and political power of the lake shore. The Mua Mission is found just off the main lakeshore road, the M5.

Aiming at preserving the area, its people, their culture and surrounding flora & fauna as close to its original state as possible. In the early 1900s, the White Fathers established a catholic mission at the area. In 1976 a Canadian missionary Fr.Claude Boucher Chisale established KuNgoni Center of Culture & Art, Fr. Boucher dedicated his life to researching, recording and preserving Malawian culture The mission is particularly famous for its wood carvings and artwork, which are made on commission and displayed around the world.

A stopover at the mission would not be complete without visiting the Kungoni Centre, the Chamare Museum, its art gallery and showroom, a tribute to the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao people which illustrates their history and culture. The museum is beautifully decorated with murals depicting scenes from Malawi history. The Museum has 3 rooms; the first room covers the history of Mua and the Roman Catholic Church in Malawi.The second dwells into Chewa, Yao and Ngoni dances and tradition and the third is a total knockout, upon getting there your Confronted by the “tree of the spirits”, hung with 280 GuleWamkulu masks, with interpretive panels explaining the Chewa masks meanings.

The church is unique and is amongst the most unusual and famous in Malawi. Visitors can watch the carvers at work and visit the show room on site after a picnic lunch near the Nadsipokue river that flows through the mission and leads to the Kungoni Falls. This trip is a cultural experience that cannot be matched elsewhere in Malawi.

Things to do

  • Learn about Malawi with a timeline dating back to the very early 1900’swhen the Mua mission was founded.

  • Explore the Kafukufuku Research Centre a great information source which has archives of Malawian culture in videos, books, photos and more.

  • On the walls of multiple buildings outside you can also enjoy in sequencedepictions that tell a story starting from the creation of the earth according to the Chewa myth till the time the British colonialists came to Malawi.

  • You can also buy carvings here with a wide variety to choose from than most places in the country.

  • At the center there’s also a zoo where you can appreciate a variety of different species of animals.

What to look out for
The three rooms at the Museum recall the tents of the mission’s three founders, while the model baobab in the courtyard refers to the tree they camped under on arrival in 1902.
The Museum is named after the French missionary Father Champmartin, who arrived in 1908 and taught the localscarpentry. They shortened his name to Chamare. The Museum describes the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao Cultures, their rites of passage, their interaction with one another and their encounter with Islam and Christianity. Traditional dances, Village tours and traditional meals can be arranged.

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