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Songs Of The Bagobogobo In Praise Of The Hoe

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Chapter Summary

Hoe imagery is a prominent and historically recurring trope in Sukuma song texts. A part of this immigrant collective was the Balongo iron smelting clan, who first introduced iron and hoe making technology to Northwest Tanzania. An important interregional caravan in the nineteenth century, were the trips to Geita to trade with the Balongo-Sinza iron forgers for hoes and nghiinda bells. Hoes very quickly became a major unit of trade, and thus became the reason for interregional travel to the Balongo iron forger settlements, to procure hoes. Hoes were used as currency, as was salt. A hoe was worth two goats, and vice versa. Farmers who compose and perform music, introduce themselves in public discourse as farmers first, Mimi ni mkulima, nashika majembe, and as musicians second, Mimi ni mchezaji, na viringisha magembe.

Keywords: Balongo; hoe imagery; northwest Tanzania

10.1163/ej.9789004184688.i-536.27
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