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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Mysticism: Sufism and Yao Identity in Southern Malawi
Author:Thorold, Alan
Year:1997
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Volume:15
Issue:1
Period:January
Pages:107-117
Language:English
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:Sufism
Yao
elections
1994
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589009708729605
http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=4003AF1339E80E9A987E
Abstract:In 1994 the first free election was held in Malawi since independence in 1964. The election brought about the end of the repressive regime of Dr Hastings Banda and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The new president, Bakili Muluzi, is a member of the predominantly Yao-speaking minority of African Muslims in the south of the country. A recent analysis of voting patterns in the elections concludes that regionalism, rather than tribalism or ethnicity, was important in determining the outcome of the elections. Most Malawians, however, see tribal affiliation as the determining factor. The present author argues that what is needed is an attempt to explain the vigour of tribes rather than another one that tries to explain them away. His primary aim is to consider the influence of Sufism on the Yao. He argues that Sufism has had much to do with the maintenance (although not the origins) of a Yao tribal identity, and that there also is a link between Yao tribal identity and the success of Muluzi and his United Democratic Front (UDF). Bibliogr.
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