Tanzania: Indigenous Ethnic Groups


Blair Francke

World History- Hjelmgren

5/6/09 Period 1

          In Africa, there are many ethnic groups that have lived in the country Tanzania. All of these ethnic groups were Swahili speaking tribes originating from Bantu tribes. Tanzania is the home to more than 120 different tribes, the Chagga, Masai, Datoq, and Hadzabe to name a few. The Masai were and are still nomadic herdsman and fighters. They worry about fighting with neighboring tribes, but not their own. The Hadzabe were known as hunters and gatherers who lived a very “nomad-like” life; they still live this way today. The Datq tribe was nomadic as well and frequently relies on cattle (JMT African Heart Expeditions Ltd). Finally, the Chagga tribe have profited from their location from the climate, giving them the advantage to be wealthy from their agriculture (Tanzania Adventure). Generally speaking, all of Tanzania tribes were greatly a part of trade, especially with Arab-speaking cultures. Luckily for the tribes in Tanzania, they were not affected by slave trade. Slave trade was not common in East Africa.

        Although the tribes in Tanzania were not affected by slave trade, they were colonized by the British. After World War I, a territory called Tanganyika was claimed as a League of Nations Mandated Territory controlled by the British. To have control, the British used indigenous political systems. With this British control, Tanzanian socialism was established. Colonization also brought these indigenous groups a new language that would later be adopted, English. Unfortunately, colonization brought diseases to Africa as well.

         Currently, the Tanzanian tribes are still living in Tanzania, some still using the same ways of life that they did from years ago. Fortunately, there is not a lot of war and violence in Tanzania. All tribes have the common language of Swahili, some speak English as well due to the colonization, this in a way brings them closer together. There of course is always conflict between tribes that have different ways of life and different opinions, but generally, the Tanzanian tribes are easy to communicate with and are in peace.

Mini Paper #1 Bibliography


"Tanzania: People." World Geography. 2009. ABC-CLIO. 5 May 2009 <http://www.worldgeography.abc-clio.com>.  

This website was useful when learning about the colonization of Tanzania. This again was an essential part to be included in my essay, and this website helped me get the information to do so.            


“The Chagga-Tribe around the Mount Kilimanjaro”. Tanzania Adventure. © 2004 - 2008 tanzania-adventure.com.


This source gave me information about the Chagga group in Tanzania. It was very helpful to me for information on the Chagga. This information greatly contributed to my paper.


“Tribes of Tanzania”. JMT African Heart Expeditions Ltd.  © 2000 JMT African Heart Expeditions Ltd.


As well as the other website, this website gave me more information on more tribes. Given my topic for this paper is indigenous groups in Tanzania, this website was very helpful. It told me about the Masai, Datq, and the Hadzabe. Knowing these tribes was essential to a good mini paper (on my topic).


Last Updated by Blair Francke on May 22, 2009