A history of the Malende among the Tonga of Southern Province of Zambia : A case study of Chief Hanjalika's area, 1890-1980

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Machila, Emmerson Lucky Mwiinga Chilala Muntu-Omwami
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This dissertation is a study of the history of malende among the Tonga of Southern Province of Zambia, covering the I period from 189O to 19860 The study focuses on CJhief Hanjalika's area in Mazabuka Districts Malende are community shrines believed to be dwelling places of spirits called basangu which take care of the welfare of societyo Malende intermediaries were basimalende (basangu mediums) and beendelezi(custodians of malende where there were no mediums).The dissertation examines the impact on malende and j malende priests and mediums of colonial policies such as the bureaucratization of rule, the separation of religious and political powers, the introduction of tax which stimulated!labour migration, land alienation which led to the resettlement of people in 'Reserves',the spread of new agricultural technology, the introduction of European medicines, western education and Christianity. The combination of such factors led to the loss of some of the rituals associated with malende, such as those for planting, harvesting, scaring birds and rodents^ hunting, warfare and health for both people and livestocko It also diminished the importance of priests and mediums The coming of independence continued to undermine the malende until now their function has contracted to that of regulating rain and they are peripheral to most of present Tonga life.Medende are threatened with complete extinction as evidenced by the sporadic nature of ritual activitieso In the precolonial period malende rituals held together the cultural fabric of Tonga society through their regulation of various activities associated with agriculture, fishing, hunting ajid gathering, health and warfare© By the end of the nineteenth century the malende came to operate within a new environment and were put to test© The iaposition of British rule and the spread of western ideas, attitudes and values, including Christianity significantly affected their control over local communities.After independence schools, health services and the J new agricultural technology became even more generally available, while many Tonga no longer depended upon agriculture for a livelihood Where the new technology and political order provided proven alternatives, people saw no need to approach the basangu through malende with requests for assisteuice. Droughts, however, continue to occur and the new technology is powerless to prevent them and government is slow to provide assistance when crops failo When rains fail people continue to seek the help of spiritual forces, either through the churches or through malende, or sometimes through both* Some fflalende continue to serve Tonga communities, but as last resort, when rains fail and hunger threatens.
Shrines - Zambia