Tanzania Human Geography

By | October 19, 2021

According to threergroup, the population of Tanzania originated in very remote times: this appears confirmed by the existence in the country of an ethnic Khoisanide substratum (population similar to the Bushmen), today largely assimilated to the Bantu populations, largely predominant, but still represented by some small residual groups such as the sandawe (sandavi). According to some hypotheses, scientifically unconfirmed, the Khoisanids could be the distant descendants of those Paleolithic men directly derived from the oldest known hominids who had their home in Tanzania and Kenya; similar to the Bushmen but partly Hamitized would be the iraqu (iraku), also witnesses of the ancient population of the country. In the northern section we recognize the presence of an Ethiopid substrate or, at least, with traces of Europoids that characterize the so-called Cafre populations in southern Tanzania. The penetration and spread of the bantoid peoples, which took place gradually and in small groups, they seem to have begun as early as the first millennium BC. C., but only from the century. IV we can speak of a conspicuous bantoid presence in the territory. It is strengthened subsequently and in the sec. XV-XVI there is a definitive consolidation of those large and small human groups that still today form the ethnic backbone of the country (Africans make up 97% of the population), in which, however, the coastal strip has its particular characteristics, being a region very permeable from the outside and therefore subject to immigration of non-African people.

The Bantu settlement is almost general on the other lands, with the exception of the northern steppes, on the border with Kenya, where, following a selection based on the genres of life, through long contrasts with the Bantu farmers, but you know. In the following centuries, due to colonization and the slave trade, the settlement underwent significant modifications and degradations, but did not substantially change the distribution of the various ethnic groups. On the coast the Arab commercial penetration begins as early as the century. VIII, but only later, between the sec. X and XI, it is consolidated through the creation of commercial bases, including Zanzibar, Tanga, Bagamoyo, Kilwa etc. The Arabs inserted themselves, in these coastal lands, on an African human and cultural fabric but already predisposed to commercial traffic, which dated from several centuries to. C., and conditioned the organization of the region, where city-states were formed in close relationship with the inland areas; this organization promoted by the Arabs was strengthened, centuries later, with the expulsion of the Portuguese and in Zanzibar it also survived with the arrival of the Germans and the English. In relation to these different developments in political and economic history, the coastal region, culturally involved in the area of ​​the Indian Ocean (with several distinctive elements, ranging from the pirogue to the rocker, to Islamization, to the commercial spirit, to the lingua franca, the kiswahili), stood out from the inner part, which remained deeply African. Here, in addition to the Masai, farmers and once very skilled warriors, large groups still find themselves today The Indian Ocean (with several distinctive elements, ranging from the pirogue to the rocker, to Islamization, the commercial spirit, the lingua franca, Kiswahili), stood out from the inside, which remained deeply African. Here, in addition to the Masai, farmers and once very skilled warriors, large groups still find themselves today The Indian Ocean (with several distinctive elements, ranging from the pirogue to the rocker, to Islamization, the commercial spirit, the lingua franca, Kiswahili), stood out from the inside, which remained deeply African.

Here, in addition to the Masai, farmers and once very skilled warriors, large groups still find themselves today Bantu, such as the sukuma on the southern shores of Lake Victoria, the nyamwezi in the central section of the highlands, the kondas in the southern areas, the hage between lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, the chaga, highly evolved farmers of the Meru and Kilimanjaro area, the gogo in the central-eastern section of the plateau etc. However, Bantu groups are also found in the coastal strip (kutu or wakutu, mwera etc.) and in Zanzibar, where they were mostly introduced by the Arabs with the slave trade. This trade, which was completely eliminated only at the beginning of the twentieth century, had as its collection and sorting centers the sultanas, to which up to 400,000 individuals a year were diverted annually, raided in inland areas. Part of them were on their way to Arabia, others were used for work on the plantations that the Arabs had established in the region, especially in Zanzibar and Pemba. The Arabs, once numerous, are now reduced in number (0.3%): many have left Tanzania and a considerable number perished in the course of the revolution which, with the fatality of a historical nemesis, was unleashed in the 1964 in Zanzibar by the African population. More numerous than the Arabs are the Asians (0.6%), who arrived here for the first time perhaps 2000 years ago, then brought in as manpower by the Portuguese and above all by the British; have become over time a very powerful community, are today also greatly reduced in number and importance as a consequence of the Africanization policy that in Tanzania, as in the rest of the former British East Africa, it was initiated by independent governments. Europeans (0.1%) are mostly settled in the fertile areas at the foot of Kilimanjaro and Meru. Unlike neighboring Kenya, European immigration here was never conspicuous. The other groups are 2% of the population.

Tanzania Human Geography