A chitenje is the multi-purpose, can't do without, colourful piece of material every Malawian woman has got!
It's a rectangular piece of fabric about 2m by 3m. It is used as a wrap over a skirt, to carry children, as a shawl in the cold or rain, and as a head wrapping. All the village women wear them. They are less common in the city, as professional women wear uniforms or current western fashions.
Some of the girls on the Ahtanum team brought their own pieces of fabric from the US with them. Before they returned home they sorted through their things and decided to leave their US chitenjes behind. None of the locals claimed them and so some cute girls asked if they may have them and have worn them on more than one occasion already:)