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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Drought, Migration and Chronology in the Lake Malawi Littoral
Author:Webster, J.B.
Periodical:Transafrican Journal of History
Geographic terms:Southern Africa
Drought and Desertification
Urbanization and Migration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24328551
Abstract:This paper surveys the history of migrations into Malawi co-ordinating them where possible with known or suspected droughts in the central African region. it postulates that the Lake Malawi-Shire littoral was seldom subjected to a drought severe enough to force people to emigrate but that Central Africa has witnessed droughts of such length and intensity that numerous peoples have been compelled to migrate into the littoral for survival. The lakes, Shire river and highlands of Malawi have provided a refuge within a drought-prone climatic region. This paper is based on the following sources: 1) the low or summer Nile levels which reflect precipitation levels in the interlacustrine region of East Africa and correlated with about sixty interlacustrine traditions dated by the genealogical method; 2) an analysis of the tree rings of an ancient Yellowwood (Podacarpus Palactus) in Natal which began its growth around 1300 A.D.; 3) oral references especially fram Mutapa historical traditions and Portuguese written sources for Central Africa. Notes.