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Market day in Chisunga

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Market day in Chisunga
 
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Market day in Chisunga


     The sun had not yet risen, and the people were already there. They slept on the ground. They came from afar, some of them went a 20-kilometer way. They started the way the day before, in order to be here today and to have time to take a better place. Because today is Friday - market day. The day when farmers, fishermen, artisans and simple traders gather on the land of Chisunga in order to sell and buy.

     Chisunga is the name of a tea estate and one of the busiest markets in Thyolo, Malawi. The market is small, it is limited to a tea plantation on the one hand and a bamboo plantation on the other. It is believed that this piece of land previously belonged to the tea estate, which transferred it to community members for opening the market here.

     Chisunga Market works on Friday and Monday, these are established days for trading. On other days, there are few people here, only a few shops are constantly open, but on Friday and Monday everything changes, the market comes to life - there is trade.

     Most of the goods on the Chisunga market are agricultural products of local farmers. Many farmers use an irrigation system, so the harvest of vegetables does not depend on the time of year. Vegetables are cheaper here than in the nearest large city, Blantyre, which explains the great interest in the Chisunga market from wholesale buyers from Blantyre.

     Nine o'clock in the morning, trading is already underway:

Chisunga Market Malawi

Chisunga Market Malawi

     Many trousers, there are different, even yellow and orange:

Chisunga Market Malawi trousers

Chisunga Market Malawi

Chisunga Market Malawi trousers

     Iron bowls, slippers, plastic basins:

Chisunga Market Malawi iron bowls

Chisunga Market Malawi plastic basins

     What is in Africa, that in Siberia, potatoes are the same everywhere:

Chisunga Market Malawi potatoes

Chisunga Market Malawi potatoes

     Onion:

Chisunga Market Malawi onion

Chisunga Market Malawi onion

     In the photo above we can see, in addition to the onion, also colorful textiles, rolled up in the form of cones. This is Chitenge, or Nsalu, an element of the Malawian female costume. In fact, Chitenge is just a fabric, usually of a bright color, which women wrap around the waist in the form of a skirt. Chitenge can also be used by women to tie babies to their backs.

     Chitenge skirt is widespread in Africa. For example, in Nigeria both women and men wear Chitenge. But in Malawi, Chitenge is an item of exclusively women's wardrobe. Moreover, it is a wardrobe item of a predominantly rural Malawian woman. In large cities (Blantyre, Lilongwe) we almost never meet women in Chitenge.

     Chitenge:

Chisunga Market Malawi Chitenge

     Sugar cane, in use squeezed out of it sweet juice, bagasse remaining after juice extraction, as a rule, goes in waste:

Chisunga Market Malawi sugar cane

Chisunga Market Malawi sugar cane

     Dried or smoked fish:

Chisunga Market Malawi fish

     Utaka, a kind of local fish. The fish gets bronze color as a result of smoking:

Chisunga Market Malawi Utaka fish

     Mats are made from cane or sisal (fiber extracted from agave). Such mats are used in Malawi in rural areas, these mats are laid on the floor:

Chisunga Market Malawi mats

     The young man with the bottles is the healer. He sells healing potions of herbs. One mug of potion costs 100 Kwacha:

Chisunga Market Malawi

     Motorcycles are public transport. There is no bus service in the countryside of Malawi; there are motorcycle rickshaws running here. Sometimes pedal bike rickshaws. The motorcycles that you see in the photos below are waiting for passengers, the minimum trip price is 500 Kwacha (0.7 dollars):

Chisunga Market Malawi motorcycles

Chisunga Market Malawi motorcycles

Chisunga Market Malawi motorcycles

     This was the Chisunga market in Thiolo, Malawi, Africa.

        
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