2 maps, 3 drawings, appendix: poems about the Maji Maji War, index
Text language: German
Whereas historians have published extensively on the events and socio-economic background of the Maji-Maji war, this conflict has so far eluded comparative interest by anthropologists. Yet the Maji-Maji war belongs to a number of very similar movements in Africa, Polynesia, Melanesia and South America at the turn of the 20th century against the oppression by the European colonial powers. In all these conflicts, the spiritual and magical beliefs held by the indigenous participants played a very important role.
Special emphasis is placed on eye witness reports that have hitherto not gained appropriate attention. At the start of hostilities the German colonial administration was surprised by the determined opposition offered by the population, who developed a spiritual and ideological programme transgressing ethnical boundaries to organize their efforts.
Following an introduction discussing the different theories on socio-religious movements, the historical and social developments in Tanzania preceding and the course of events during the war are elaborated. The author analyses the religious beliefs of the participating ethnic groups, and describes the influence of prophet Kinjikitile and the motivation and actions of the leadership of the Maji-Maji movement in detail.
The final part of the book weighs the gathered results against the different theories concerning socio-religious movements discussed previously and offers a closing appraisal of the long term effects of and the current view in Tanzania on the Maji-Maji war.