The defensive measures of certain tribes in North-Eastern Tanganyika

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The article which follows is the first of a series of four, descriptive of the measures which certain tribes of North-Eastern Tanganyika undertook to defend themselves against their enemies. The tribes concerned and their defensive measures will be dealt with as under: Part I (published below): The Gweno Bolt Holes. The Gweno are a group numbering about 14,000. living in the northern tip of the North Pare Mountains: they like to consider themselves a tribe apart from the Pare or Asu, but the process of merger seems inevitable. In common with the neighboring Asu they excavated elaborate tunnels and chambers in which to conceal their women folk and cattle in time of tribal war. Part II: Iraqw Housing as affected by Inter-tribal Raiding. i* The Iraqw, over 100,000 strong, are the chief tribe of the Mbulu District, dwelling in the highland area immediately to the west of the Rift Wall. A feature of their culture is their housing, excavated dwellings with the eartJi roofs little above ground level, remarked on by all visitors to their country, and observable even to those who only touch the fringe of the area, as when on a visit to Ngorongoro Crater. This mode of construction, generally considered typical of the Iraqw, is not the only type of house in use. Dwellings range from completely subterranean houses, now very rare, to walled and thatched structures completely above ground. These are described and illustrated and the relationship between the type of dwelling and its strategic position is discussed. Part III: Chagga Forts and Bolt Holes. These are the work of the Chagga tribe, a group now about a quarter of a million strong, living on the southern and eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro. They were first described and illustrated in this Journal (No. 10) by the late Bishop Wynn Jones. But since his publication the existing remains have deteriorated considerably. Every effort is being made to arrest the decay, but it is at the same time felt advisable to publish further photos and descriptions, to provide a permanent record of these structures which cannot by their nature be preserved indefinitely.
Available in Print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, ( EAF FOS F78.D4)
Iraqw of Mbulu, Defensive measures, North-Eastern, Tanganyika
Fosbrooke, Henry A. (1980) The defensive measures of certain tribes in North-Eastern Tanganyika