Mwera in Tanzania

The Mwera have only been reported in Tanzania
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

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.

Scripture Prayers for the Mwera in Tanzania.

Profile Source:   Link Up Africa  

People Name General Mwera
People Name in Country Mwera
Alternate Names Mwela; Wamaraba; Wamwera
Population this Country 986,000
Population all Countries 986,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 13906
ROP3 Code 106984
ROP25 Code 305761
ROP25 Name Mwera
Country Tanzania
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Lindi region: Nachingwea, Ruangwa, and Lindi urban and rural districts, north of Makonde; Mtwara region.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Tanzania
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Lindi region: Nachingwea, Ruangwa, and Lindi urban and rural districts, north of Makonde; Mtwara region..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

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 %
Primary Language Mwera (986,000 speakers)
Language Code mwe   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Mwera (986,000 speakers)
Language Code mwe   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Mwera

Primary Language:  Mwera

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2011)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2019)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mwera Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app: Mwera YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Mwera YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Photo Source Link Up Africa 
Profile Source Link Up Africa 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

Joshua Project logo    Joshua Project    Copyright © 2024