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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Land tenure: the case of the Salima district, central Malawi
Author:Kishindo, PaulISNI
Periodical:Malawi Journal of Social Science
Geographic term:Malawi
customary law
land law
Abstract:The Malawi Land Act of 1965 defines three categories of land: private, customary, and public. Most smallholder agricultural production is carried out on customary land. Drawing on data collected during fieldwork in 1982 and 1985, the author describes the rules which govern access to arable land among the matrilineal Chewa of Salima district, central Malawi, and discusses the implications of the various modes of land acquisition for security of tenure. Normatively, rights to arable land belong to women, while men acquire them indirectly, through marriage. In addition, a man can obtain land directly from a village headman by virtue of being a member of one of the matrilineages which form the core of the village, or as 'akudza' (co-villager) in a village where he has no roots; he may borrow land from a family which has more land than it needs, or which cannot cultivate all its holdings in a particular year; and he may informally lease land. The degree of security of tenure enjoyed by a person on the land is influenced by that person's status in the local community and the arrangements under which the land was obtained. Ref.