Makwe in Tanzania





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

They have 50% linguistic similarities with Swahili, Mwani and Yao but different enough to disserve its own translation. There is great interaction between men, especially because of trade. Swahili is understood by the majority of men, but amongst women there is little comprehension. In the Palma district all men can speak Makonde. Those who attended school can speak and read in Portuguese or Swahili.

Where Are they Located?

They are located in the province of Cabo Delgado in one area stretching from the Tanzanian border to the interior of the province, alongside the Rovuma River. There is a greater concentration of people in the costal area of the province going down to the districts of Quionga and Palma.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their subsistence activities are agriculture, trading and fishing.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are Muslims or animists. Even those who are Muslims are highly syncretistic. Even though they have Islam as their formal religion, in their daily lives when facing problems they go to the traditional healers. There is high resistance to other religions.

What Are Their Needs?

There is a small chance for them to know de Gospel through the Makonde or Swahili. Little willingness from the nationals to reach out the Muslim groups. Their needs are in the areas of health, education/sports and social development.

Profile Source:   Ethnic & Missiologic Research  

People Name General Makwe
People Name in Country Makwe
Population in Tanzania 14,000
World Population 49,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kimakwe, Macue, Palma
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, East-Coastal
People Name General Makwe
Ethnic Code NAB57j
People ID 13429
Country Tanzania
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank 33  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Southeast.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Makwe (14,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Makwe 14,000
For Primary Language: Makwe

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
30.00 %
0.00 %
68.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
5.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
30.0 %
Roman Catholic
65.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Ethnic & Missiologic Research  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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