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                     TANZANIA PEOPLE AND CULTURE


Culture and Traditions

  Tanzanian's Social fabric charm is the prime attraction for cultural and eco-tourism. The folklore, the traditional "ngomas" and the dancing styles vary from one tribe to another. When dancing, the Makonde vibrate their bottoms in "Sindimba" frenzy and the "Zaramo" bounce the undulating "Mdundiko" procession. The Maasai in their leaping dance going simultaneously with rhythmic chant of their deep voices which can scare even a he lion! The use of live snakes by the "Sukuma" such as embracing huge pythons and struggling with during the "Bugobogobo" dance turn such occasions into unforgettable scenes to a visitor. Each of the 120 tribes has its ngoma(traditional drum) and dancing all of which styles are quite fascinating and sometimes sexy.

  Various dressing styles are also rare attractions to a visitor. The Masai men put a light toga-like drape inadequately covering their lithe bodies while carrying traditional weapons such as spears, clubs and large knives. The Maasai women, on the other way, heavily load their necks, arms, legs and ears with jewelry ranging from beads to metal ornaments. Usual men smear their bodies with ochre mixed with animal fat and plait their hairs.

Again, the Makonde people indulge in filing their teeth and tattooing their faces and bodies a combination of which appear tantalizing! Makonde are the masters in their carvings which depict human struggles, conflicts, love, passion, good, evil and cooperation all of which are very attractive and mind provoking indeed!

For the coastal and island dwellers, it is the painting of hands, feet lips and nails with henna according to occasion, which look very luring.

Of the unique ethic groups, are the almost extinct people of entral Tanzania. These are Sandawe (ethiopian cushitic related) whose neighbours are the Iraqw gorowa and burungi, and the Hadzapi also alternatively refer to as Tindiga Kindiga and Kangeju are Hottentot - Khoisan related people who speak click languages. The Ndorobo are also click speakers but they are more adaptive to external culture. These Tanzanians are nomads, gatherers, hunters, collectors; and fishers who live in the area surrounding lake Eyasi just a few Kilometres from the famous Ngorongoro crater. Today it is claimed that the number of these people is hardly 5,000 when it was over 30,000 in 1965. The challenge here is to help the government of Tanzania to save these people from the verge of extinction. In these respect, the areas around Lake Eyasi are ideal indeed for one to do scientific and anthropo-genealogic related researches for the future record. Implicitly then, one should reckon that an immediate touch is ideal now or never when those people will have become extinct.

History & People

The history of human habitation in Tanzania goes back almost two million years, and the fossils found at Olduvai Gorge by Louis and Mary Leakey now stand among the most important artifacts of the origins of our species. Artifacts of later Paleolithic cultures have also been found in Tanzania. There is evidence that communities along the Tanzanian coast were engaging in overseas trade by the beginning of the first millennium AD. By 900 AD those communities had attracted immigrants from India as well as from southwest Asia, and direct trade extended as far as China. When the Portuguese arrived at the end of the 15th century, they found a major trade center at Kilwa Kisiwani, which they promptly subjugated and then sacked. The Portuguese were expelled from the region in 1698, after Kilwa enlisted the help of Omani Arabs. The Omani dynasty of the Bu Said replaced the region's Yarubi leaders in 1741, and they proceeded to further develop trade. It was during this time that Zanzibar gained its legendary status as a center for the ivory and slave trade, becoming in 1841 the capital city of the sultan of Oman.

In Tanzania's interior, at about the same time, the cattle-grazing Maasai migrated south from Kenya into central Tanzania. Soon afterward the great age of European exploration of the African continent began, and with it came colonial domination. Tanzania fell under German control in 1886, but was handed over to Britain after WWI. Present day Tanzania is the result of a merger between the mainland (previously Tanganyika) and Zanzibar in 1964, after both had gained independence. Tanzania has like many African nations experienced considerable strife since independence, and its economy is extremely weak. However, political stability does appear to have been established in recent years.

We are member of: Tanzania Association of Tour Operators(TATO), Africa Travel Association(ATA) and we are also recognized by Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) as A registered and licenced Tour Operator in Tanzania


     Atta Tanzania Tourist Board TTB

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