Mwera, Mwela in Tanzania

Joshua Project has identified the Mwera only in Tanzania





Largest Religion

Main Language


Mwera People Video

Source:  LinkUp Africa      Download
Introduction / History

The Mwera are a Bantu people group with roots in the northern part of Uganda near Lake Albert. Today the tip of their homeland touches the Indian Ocean at Kilwa Kivinje, Tanzania; moves inland with the Matumbi on their northern border and drops south to the Makonde escarpment.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Mwera area is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Tanzania with only ten people per square kilometer. Rainfall is very light and the rivers flowing through their homeland dry up during the dry season forcing people to depend on waterholes for their normal supply of water.

"Mwera" is a word which means "those living in the mainland" far from the coast. Generally Mwera are known to be very peaceful. They live in small oval-shaped huts with grass thatched roofs. Building a Mwera house is a family project. The men cut poles for framing the house, the women gather grass for thatching the roof and the young boys dig clay used to fill in the mud walls.

Tradition dictates that certain tree species cannot be used for building houses. It seems the reason for this ban is the belief that an evil spirit would haunt such a house. The apparent benefit of the prohibition is protecting those selected trees from extinction.

The Mwera are mainly subsistence farmers with beautiful fields of maize and peanuts. Due to tsetse flies it is impossible to raise cattle. They get most of their meat from hunting and fishing. Cashew nuts are the main cash crop but marketing charcoal is good income too for those living within 20 kilometers of coastal cities.

The Mwera are a matrilineal society in which marriage requires the husband to move to the wife's premises. The children are named after the mother's brother, the maternal uncle who is responsible for important rituals and ceremonies. Both boys and girls go through traditional initiation rites which moulds their cultural identities as men and women.

Leisure time is filled with drinking tea and loitering around the shops in the market at the center of the village. It is a time to visit, play games, tell stories and take care of business.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mwera are an animistic people who converted to Islam when Arab slave traders came and settled in their villages. Today all villages have a mosque but rarely a church. Folk Islam provides the people with a façade but below the surface, they are very much into witchcraft and traditional African religion.

Prayer Points

* Funds and personnel tagged for research throughout the Mwera homeland to determine the need for safe drinking water. It appears this will be an automatic inroad into almost all of their villages.

* Churches and individuals to focus on presenting a contextualized message of the gospel to the Mwera.

* Believers to respond to the Lord's appeal for laborers among the Mwera; individuals who will live with the people, enjoy them and model a living Christian witness.

Profile Source:   Link Up Africa 

People Name General Mwera
People Name in Country Mwera, Mwela
Population in Tanzania 692,000
World Population 692,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Mwela, Wamaraba, Wamwera
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Makua-Yao
People Name General Mwera
Ethnic Code NAB57b
People ID 13906
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, mostly Lindi region, Nachingwea, Ruangwa, and Lindi Urban and Rural districts, north of Makonde.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Mwera (692,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Mwera 692,000
For Primary Language: Mwera

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2011)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 9.00 %)
31.00 %
Ethnic Religions
3.00 %
0.00 %
66.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
10.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
65.0 %
Photo Source: Link Up Africa  
Video Source: LinkUp Africa
Profile Source: Link Up Africa 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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