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Initially, due to lot of migration and conflicts, there existed no Malawian society. Late in the 20th century, the distinctions between different tribal groups decreased to a great extent. Despite some frictions, the Malawian society and culture have emerged strongly. The people of Malawi are basically conservative and traditional.
Chitenje is a very popular clothing of the Malawi women. This fabric forms a very important part of the Malawi culture since its uses are varied. The Malawi ladies wear it over their skirt using it as an apron. This is also used as a potholder or a baby carrier. For every auspicious occasion, it is a popular custom of the Malawi women to buy matching patterns of this fabric.
Different types of food play an important role in their culture. The Malawi food is a very significant aspect of the Malawi culture. Nsima (maize porridge) is the most common cuisine of the Malawi people. Malawians also prefer eating rice, potatoes and cassavas, though rice is regarded a luxury. In a nutshell, this is a brief synopsis of the Malawi culture and society.
The music traditions of Malawi are rich with cultural influences that include those of the Zulu Ngoni people from South Africa, the Islamic Yao people of Tanzania and others.
Most tribes have their own individual songs and dances. Common musical instruments found include drums, the mambilira, (which is similar to the western xylophone) rattles of different types and sizes, shakers which are tied to dancers' legs and arms and are often known as maseche.