The Yao people, Wayao, are a major Bantu ethnic and linguistic group based at the southern end of Lake Malawi, which played an important part in the history of Southeast Africa during the 19th century. The Yao are a predominantly Muslim people group of about 2 million spread over three countries, Malawi, northern Mozambique, and in Ruvuma Region and Mtwara Region of Tanzania. The Yao people have a strong cultural identity, which transcend the national borders.