Jawei chiefdom traces its origin to a warrior named Yavai, who migrated to the area from Topowahun, in what is now Malema chiefdom in an war party that included other great warriors named Seigoweh, Made Babay, Dalagbata, Maadaborbor Wah Kallon, Gombu Clare. Yavai is remembered to have had supremely good eyesight, and the ability to notice enemies from a great 44 distance away. One day, after a long hike, he entered Jawei with his war party, and his wife who was in labor. They settled in for the night for her to give birth. Unfortunately, she died. They named the area Kambama, which means gravesite in Mende, and established a settlement there.
The current chief is Musa Gombu Clare, a Mende elected in 2003. The chiefdom was under a series of regent chiefs during the war
Von Kallon - This house is the lineage of Wah Kallon. When Yavai died, he passed the chieftaincy on to Kallon. A chief of the Von Kallon line is mentioned in Abraham (2003, pg. 98) as having been involved in the events leading to the downfall of Ndawa, a great Mende warrior of the 19th century
Gombu clare - This house traces its legacy to Gombu Clare. A member of this family succeeded the first Kallon as chief.