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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social and political organization in pre-colonial societies
Author:Nindi, B.C.ISNI
Periodical:Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research
Geographic terms:Tanzania
colonial conquest
ethnic groups
Abstract:Although they are now known as one of the largest ethnic groups in Tanzania, the Hehe originally consisted of about fifteen small ethnic groups that welded themselves into one. The consolidation of this ethnic group in the 19th century was achieved by two remarkable chiefs, Muyugumba and his son Mkwawa. The Muyinga clan started to extend its authority by conquest and eventually established its hegemony over the majority of the ethnic groups comprising the Hehe. The chief controlled the ivory trade himself and every year he sent ivory to Bagamoyo. In return he got guns, cloth, beads and spirits. A group of blacksmiths who controlled the manufacture of weapons of war and agriculture made a significant contribution to surplus generation. When the imperial German government took over direct political supervision of the colony of German East Africa from the Deutsche-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft in 1891, the Germans realized that the Hehe were a major obstacle to their conquest of the interior. Hehe resistance ended with the death of Mkwawa in 1898, and the violence of the initial German-Hehe encounter was replaced by colonization through economic relations, accompanied by political domination. Notes, ref., sum.