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Haya tribe | Mwanza Cultural Tourism

Haya tribe | Mwanza Cultural Tourism

The Haya Tribe:

Bukoba is the heartland of the Haya people, one of Tanzania’s largest tribes and a prominent player in the country’s history. The Haya had one of the most highly developed early societies on the continent and by the 18th or 19th century were organised into eight different states/kingdoms. Each was headed by a powerful and often despotic mukama (king) who ruled in part by divine right. It was the mukama who controlled all trade and who, at least nominally, owned all property, while land usage was shared among small, patrilineal communes. Order was maintained through a system of appointed chiefs and officials, assisted by an age-based army. With the arrival of the colonial authorities, this political organisation began to erode. The various Haya groups splintered and many chiefs were replaced by people considered more malleable and sympathetic to colonial interests.

In the 1920s, in the wake of growing resentment towards these propped-up leaders and the colonial government, the Haya began to regroup and in 1924 founded the Bukoba Bahaya Union. This association was initially directed towards local political reform but soon developed into the more influential and broad-based African Association. Together with similar groups established elsewhere in the country, notably in the Kilimanjaro region and Dar es Salaam, it constituted one of Tanzania’s earliest political movements and was an important force in the drive towards independence.

Today the Haya receive as much attention for their dancing (characterised by complicated foot rhythms, and traditionally performed by dancers wearing grass skirts and ankle rattles) and singing as for their history. Saida Karoli, a popular female singer in the East African music scene, comes from Bukoba.

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More Mwanza Travel Ideas:

Planning your trip? Whether you’re looking for things to do in Mwanza such as events and attractions, key traveller information to make your Mwanza visit run smoothly or are planning where to stay in Mwanza, you’ll find everything you need for your Mwanza holiday on Our Website. Mwanza City Travel guide has the information about latest events not to miss while you visit Mwanza – there’s always something going on, so don’t miss out on the latest exhibitions, shows and more on your trip to Mwanza

Discover the best day trips from Mwanza or try one of the best tours Mwanza and nearby regions. If you’re here as a family, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Mwanza with kids and find suitable accommodation such as Mwanza holiday apartments. Whether you’re looking for the best weekend breaks in Mwanza or planning a longer holiday in Tanzania, you can be sure you’ll find all the information you need. 

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