7 Slices
Medium 9780253002150

Epilogue: Independence and After

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

This book is about the colonial experience in Ukaguru, and therefore by strict standards it should not consider events after December 1961, the beginning of Tanganyikan (Tanzanian) national independence. Yet the end of colonialism was not sharply defined. It lingered for at least two more years. The colonial world of Ukaguru truly ceased when the Kaguru chiefships and Native Authority were dissolved in early 1963 (Tordoff 1965:80).1 Yet other aspects of colonialism lingered on even after the end of Indirect Rule. Many of the changes that eventually took place can best be understood as outcomes of the earlier colonial system. I briefly mention here a few of the changes that Ukaguru and the Kaguru subsequently underwent.

Tanganyika’s transition from colonial territory to African nation-state has often been wrongly described as a great success, a model of painless and constructive social planning (Pratt 1982:249). The transition probably appeared successful to some European and American writers because it was peaceful, and because it provided so little initial independence to local Africans. For the first year it was difficult for many, including me, to believe much had changed. British ran nearly all senior administration. At independence, a few high-level posts in the central administration in Dar es Salaam were held by Africans. All provincial commissioners were British, as were 55 out of the 57 district commissioners (Pratt 1982:272–273; Dryden 1968:6).

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253002150

4 Court Cases: Order and Disorder

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

A Kaguru chief’s court was ordinarily held every Saturday at the Native Authority courthouse, usually starting about nine or ten in the morning and continuing nonstop until about four or five in the afternoon. Occasionally court was held on additional days as well. Very rarely a chief might hold an open-air court in an outlying area if he thought the cases and people involved merited this.1 Applicants with cases registered their suits a few days to several weeks ahead, paying three shillings registration fee (uda) in civil cases, a fee later paid by the defendant if he was found liable. Criminal cases did not require a fee.2 The length of time taken for a case to reach a hearing and settlement after its registration depended on many factors. Weeks might be lost trying to trace an unwilling defendant or witness who had fled, or in seeking someone living in another court district. Sometimes delays were made by the court itself in order to increase chances of securing a particular judgment or to avoid hearing a case at all. Sometimes an accused, especially if he was a Baraguyu or Maasai who would be hard to recapture, was kept in the lockup for many days.3

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253002150

5 Subversions and Diversions: 1957–58

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

This chapter is about discontent, about Kaguru striving to change their social world. In 1957–58 Indirect Rule and the Kaguru Native Authority were presented by those in power as manifestations of a social order redolent of Kaguru tradition, an order legitimized by its supposed ties to the past and to Kaguru ethnic identity. These constructions were, at best, half-truths. At worst, the system was oppressive and frustrating, resented by many Africans who lived under it. For many decades the Kaguru colonial world continued against little opposition. Yet the foundation supporting this seeming stability was the fact that Africans knew the British would use force if necessary to impose their will, whatever Kaguru thought. In 1957–58 this ugly fact was recognized by all fifty thousand Africans living in the chiefdom, though the only times Kaguru were openly confronted with British armed might were during the monthly forays of Tanganyika territorial police who came up to maintain order at the Chakwale cattle market. Otherwise, a Kaguru had to venture to the lowland estates during a labor riot or perhaps to Dar es Salaam to see armed police or soldiers guarding important public buildings. Yet, as John Iliffe observes: “Behind the whole structure, latent and rarely visible, was the underlying violence of colonial government” (1979:326).

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253002150

2 Ukaguru 1957–58

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

This volume is an account of political life in Ukaguru, Kilosa district, during the years prior to the end of British colonial rule. To make this political account convincing I preface it with information on the general social and economic life within. In this chapter I briefly describe local African settlement and social organization and the ways Africans made a living, the markets, roads, climate, and terrain. I also briefly describe Kaguru beliefs and values, and the Christian mission and government schools, which changed traditional thinking. My study mainly involves the Kaguru, but it also involves the Baraguyu, Kamba, and Ngulu ethnic minorities; African outsiders working for the Native Authority, for the mission, and in the Asian shops; and the few Asian and Somali merchants and white missionaries. I therefore briefly remark on them as well.

The main east-west road of central Tanganyika ran through the center of Ukaguru. At the time of my major fieldwork even this road was unpaved and consequently sometimes difficult during the peak of the rains, when upgrades were very difficult to climb even for vehicles with four-wheel drive or tire-chains. I often saw vehicles bogged down for many hours or even days, even though drivers had come with shovels and ropes. This main road passed by only one important Kaguru settlement, the sub-chief headquarters at Geiro on the western border of Eastern Province. To reach other Kaguru settlements one had to travel three to fifteen miles over minor, more difficult roads leading off from the main road. The roads to these more distant sites were sometimes very difficult during the height of the rains, so sometimes messages and packets had to be sent out on foot. Sometimes rivers crossing the roads were not fordable for several days, even by trucks. (There were no bridges in the upland area of the chiefdom.) There were small African and sometimes Asian shops at these sites. Native Authority trucks brought supplies and carried messages every week or so to many of these areas. Africans sometimes paid money to hitch rides on these vehicles. Asian-owned trucks, usually driven by Africans, brought in merchandise to many of these shops about once a month. Missionaries and some European administrators visited these areas, though often only once or twice a year. Only settlements such as Berega (because of the mission and its middle school and small hospital), Chakwale (because of the cattle market), and Geiro (being on the main road and with a petrol station) were visited more often. The Protestant CMS Mission ran the only postal service in the chiefdom. Native Authority trucks brought mail in and out of this area almost every week. Anyone wanting to send or receive mail had to hike or bike to Berega, often a day’s round trip from much of the chiefdom even for a strong biker, since the chiefdom was so hilly. Traffic greatly increased after the rainy season ended, both because then roads were more traversable and because that was the time when crops were harvested and taxes due, so that markets and courthouses had to be visited. It was then too that Kaguru and other Africans had plentiful grain for beer to celebrate marriages and initiations. Then Asian trucks came weekly to government-run markets to purchase produce, tax-collectors came to collect from Africans attending markets, and sales at the cattle market increased on account of the need to pay taxes. Many Kaguru and Ngulu sold metal goods, tobacco, mats, beads, and pottery to Baraguyu flush with ready cash from livestock sales. The rainy season was the time for intensive agricultural labor and little travel in Ukaguru, and the dry season the time for travel, when cultivation tapered off and visiting, marketing, and celebration of initiation and marriages led to a stream of Africans trekking and bicycling over the roads and paths. It was also the time for Kaguru to do road work in lieu of paying cash for taxes.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253002150

6 The World Beyond: Kaguru Marginality in a Plural World, 1957–61

T. O. Beidelman Indiana University Press ePub

Ukaguru is the main subject of this book, but it needs to be seen within the larger context of the colonial system in which it was set, however insignificantly. For this reason, I here consider the chiefdom within the broader context of Kilosa district and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Province. Broader concerns of the district and provincial administrations, the nature of the British colonial civil service, the everyday worlds of the Europeans, Asians, and non-Kaguru Africans who lived outside Ukaguru must be understood to grasp what went on in Ukaguru itself. I began this consideration earlier with a study of the CMS (Beidelman 1982a, 1982b, 1999), so I do not discuss here again the important aspect of outside Christian missionary influence upon Kaguru and their land. Ironically, while the concerns and attitudes of outsiders often determined how Ukaguru was treated politically and economically, most of the time these strangers thought little about Ukaguru and Kaguru.

In 1957–61 the Kaguru chiefdom occupied the northern portion of Kilosa district, the westernmost district in Eastern Province.1 Eastern Province was about 40,000 square miles in size (like Ohio or a bit larger than Indiana) and had a population of slightly over a million people.2 This population was overwhelmingly African, although a large number were transient, ethnic outsiders employed on the many Greek- and Indian-owned sisal estates scattered throughout the region. There were about 6,000 Europeans in Eastern Province, but over 4,500 of these resided in the territorial capital of Dar es Salaam.3 The rest, most of them Greeks, were scattered thinly over the remaining area. The large Asian population, mainly Indians, Goans, and Pakistanis, numbered over 32,000, but over 27,000 of these resided in Dar es Salaam. The other 5,000 were scattered fairly evenly through the towns of Eastern Province as traders, shopkeepers, clerks, and artisans. In smaller trading centers they were replaced by Arab, Somali, or African merchants. The administrative headquarters for Eastern Province was Morogoro, an attractive town of over 14,000. It was a major transportation hub lying on the main east-west railway as well as at the intersection of major roads going north-south and east-west. The beautiful mountains south and west of the town were extremely densely populated.

See All Chapters

See All Slices