Name ID 1541

See also

Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 03h
Extract Date: 1860-1880

A formidable clan

Between 1860 and 1880 a formidable clan rose to power in the Southern Iringa Mufindi region when the head of the Muyinga family, Munyigumba of the Hehe united more than 100 clans into a single politically centralised society. Defending his territory against constant raids by the Ngoni, whom he virtually annihilated, he was succeeded at his death around 1880 by Paramount Chief Mkwawa who extended his dominion and won more wars against the southern Mshope Ngoni whilst halting the cattle-raiding Masai from the North.

His kingdom covered 14,000 square miles between lfakara and Kilosa in the East to Lake Tanganyika and Nyasa in the West and up to the Ruhinga - Kilombero river. He fortified his capital in Kalenga with an 8-mile long 12-foot high wall, organised armed camps, military service and encouraged agricultural irrigation techniques.

He was to become one of the staunchest opponents of German colonisation and was a courageous ruler much revered by Tanzanians.

Extract ID: 4000