Sunday, May 4, 2014

‘Ancient Malawi fishermen catching Two Fish types with hands’

Fishing net in Lake Malawi water used by fishermen 
“Urrrrrrgh” scream a group of young topless fishermen who struggle to pull in a green net full of fish from Lake Malawi onto the shores of the beach they’re temporarily using in this century.
It’s not easy as the sweating men seem to fight the “weight” of the water or something, to bring in their expected heavy load of fish for the day.
Strangely in ancient times some men would just put their hands in the water and manage to capture plenty of fish which would somehow just appear says a female Sapitwa healer.
She stresses these men would consult the “spirits” of the water who would somehow give the fish to them so all they would have to do is put their hands in the water go some oral Malawi stories sourced by this blogger.
Of these fish Chambo and Matemba with one thorn (minga) like in a fish bones or something like that could appearin the freshwater.
Oreochromis of the squamipinnis group.
Photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver taken from
She also claims some fish would have treasure inside and dreaming of a fish being cut open with a gold handle sword symbolizes that.

“Chambo” (Oreochromis sp. etc.) is the most popular and favored fish in Malawi. This includes a few kinds of large cichlids that reach to 30 cm.

“Some of them are found at offshore on the lake and another is found at weedy point in the river. They usually swim in the water in groups.
Matemba (Barbus paludinosus) inhabits in somewhat muddy water such as the river, marsh and pond rather than in big lakes. Lake Chirwa is a main habitat of this small fish. Matemba is a cyprinid fish same as Usipa,” according to
Ancient Egyptian fishermen Internet photo 

A quick Google search by this blog only shows most likely lost gold rings being found in fish from freshwater but not treasure.  There is only information online about pearls including “Mozambique Pearls found on
The closest to fish is the “pearl fish” which are usually associated with many species of clams, oysters and cucumbers.
“Perhaps some of the most common natural pearls are those usually referred as blister pearls in English, “ampollas” in Spanish or as “ampulles” in French, and we could even say that these laid the foundation for the eventual production of mabé pearls (also known as blister or half pearls).
“These pearls are commonly found formed on the pearl oyster’s shell, as a response from a very active “Bio-terrorist” (usually an animal that actively drills through the oyster’s shell),” partly reads

Another source shares information about these beautiful marine gems and how they are created among other things.
Collage-Blister-Pearls taken from the Internet

“During the era scientific enlightenment in the late 1800′s, scientists from all over the world were searching to understand how pearl oysters were able of producing pearls, and their discoveries were fascinating.

“But some of the first things they discovered at to do with the internal structure of the pearl, since in order to obtain the truth it was necessary to cut open pearls and inspect their core.  And what they found is that pearls are very much like onions, at least structurally.

“When an onion is cut in half what we see inside are numerous concentric layers, each stacked on the previous one, and in a similar manner pearls are produced: the original seed that caused the pearl to originate will be found at its core, surrounded by millions of micron thin layers of Aragonite.”
Pearl like onion photo taken from
A pearl is is hard object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable read the online Wikipedia.
“Most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China. Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, family Pteriidae, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls,” further reads the Wikipedia.
Now this blog is still doing online research to figure out the name of the fish which represents good luck and treasure as seen in a vision by a young Malawian woman.
She saw a huge two-edged sword locally known as kandalanga with a white handle and pure gold handle and couldn’t help but notice how the gold seems polished and sparkling, its effects seeming to hit her eyes.
Not sword connected to this story but just to give an idea as the one seen had real gold and was sparkling.
She struggled to carry the sword assisted by a hexagon-shaped man like a Sapitwa stone/rock with a yellow measuring tape who is trying to make her cut a huge silver fish in shallow water.
Trying to make sense of the dream, the woman noticed how the fish wriggled but couldn’t use the heavy sword to catch it the way a fish eagle locally known as mvundulamadzi does.
Hexagon-shaped Sapitwa rock
This is also the nickname for a mythical two-edged sword used by ancient Malawi’s rainmaker Mbona for its actions were considered to cause confusion the way a fish eagle does when it touches down with a thud to stir up the water and confuse the fish upwards so go some oral stories.
This blog is trying to establish if the fish is Lake Malawi’s Tilapia (chambo) fish species or another type found in other rivers of Malawi.
However there are many other types of fish species in salty waters including the Indian Ocean which can be accessed from Mozambique which borders with Malawi.
In ancient Egypt two fish were very powerful symbols with a deep meaning. Both fish were Tilapia and the Nile perch and iniconography, there was often a man spearing both at the same time, in reality it was quite impossible.
Fish eagle photo from the Internet
“And that’s where it gets interesting. Indeed, if tilapia is a fish living in shallow water, mainly in lakes, river banks or ponds, the lates is living in the waters dark and deep, in the bed of the river. 
"You could not catch them at the same time and therefore the representation of a man catching both at the same time, has a hidden meaning.
Tilapia was associated in many ancient poems with sunrise and the light blue of turquoise and with protection because the female is during danger sheltering her babies in its mouth among other things.
The two fish were also represented following the solar boat since one represented the night and the other the day.
In the “Book of the Dead” song 14, it is said the deceased when he wants to join the solar bark: “You see a real Tilapia in its turquoise pool…”And” I hold the true tilapia guiding the speed boat on the water…”
And catching at the same time, two so different fish in ancient Egypt iconography is first to be didactic, a good teaching method to remind and warn about the properties of the different fish but it is “mostly a representation for man of his control on the day and on the night: it is to say his mastery on his destiny,” partly reads

Mount Mulanje, home to mythical Sapitwa of the “dead”

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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of Sapitwa and the Sirius star. this space.