The Gogo: History, Customs, and Traditions

By Mathias E. Mnyampala; Gregory H. Maddox | Go to book overview

Introduction: The

Ironies of Historia,
Mila na Desturi
za Wagogo

Gregory H. Maddox

In 1954 Mathias E. Mnyampala published a brief history and ethnography in Swahili of the Gogo people of central Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Historia, Mila na Desturi za Wagogo (History, Customs, and Traditions of the Gogo) was sponsored by the British colonial government in an attempt to combat "detribalization" and the rise of an African nationalist consciousness. The work, based on Mnyampala's reconstruction of oral traditions, is an important source for the precolonial history of central Tanzania, an artifact of colonialism, and part of the creation, by its very existence, of a national consciousness in Tanzania. It stands at the intersection of, on one hand, the British colonial policy of supporting "traditional" political authorities through what was called Indirect Rule, and, on the other, the rise of a mass, pro-independence political movement, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) led by Julius K. Nyerere. A critical study of this

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The Gogo: History, Customs, and Traditions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: The - Ironies of Historia, Mila Na Desturi Za Wagogo 1
  • A Note on the Translation 35
  • Introduction 39
  • Part 1 - History of Dodoma 41
  • Part 2 - History of Manyoni 85
  • Part 3 - Customs and Traditions 97
  • In Praise of Dodoma (inasifika Dodoma) 123
  • Notes 127
  • Glossary 139
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 145
  • About the Authors 151
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