The 'Iron Ring' of Land Alienation
The threat of colonial labour demands to the domestic economy was largely deflected, however, large-scale land alienation fundamentally threatened Arusha and Meru long-term survival and would become the central economic and political issue in both societies over the course of the twentieth century. The German administration's attitudes to land were contradictory at best, favouring European settlement in some areas, while sharply restricting it in favour of African smallholder production in others. The cool and fertile highlands of northeastern Tanzania was one of the favoured settlement areas, but the conquest of Usambara had led to such an orgy of land grabbing by European speculators that the government started in 1895 to restrict alienation to leasehold grants of unoccupied land and required leaseholders to clear and develop 5 to 10 per cent of their land annually. From Shambaa, the settlers moved on to Kilimanjaro and Meru, but there was little unoccupied land on the congested mountain sides themselves, and settlers were forced to accept lower land around the bases of the mountains, rapidly ringing each with a chain of European farms and plantations.
Kurt Johannes approaches the Arusha
On 19 October 1896, a German captain, Kurt Johannes, approached the Arusha in an attempt to secure diplomatic relations with local chiefs, but the Arusha warriors, unable to forget a German raid of the previous year, attacked and killed two missionaries. Captain Johannes returned to his base in Moshi,where he persuaded Rindi to side with him and mobilize Chagga troops to retaliate.The Arusha were easily defeated by the punishing onslaught: their weapons and food reserves were confiscated and their houses were destroyed, until they were forced to bow to German control.
Construction of the boma
In 1899 the Germans began construction of a strong fortification, a boma, which they forced the Arusha to build. Maasai in Arusha still remember the humiliation of this task:the new colonists took pleasure in riding around on the backs of the Arusha and Maasai men, egging them on with whips. One Maasai recorded the growing resentment at this form of transport in his memoirs. He was particularly enraged by an unusually heavy cargo; passing the river with his charge set heavily across his back, his patience snapped and he tossed his 'master' into the water. Fearing the consequences, many Maasai went into hiding in the bush, until a Maasai chief was sent to find them.The chief explained to the mutinous group that he was acting as a mediator, and that if the group returned to work all would be forgiven.The runaways marched back into the new town in a column of about 400 men; as they strode down Boma Road, the entire troop was gunned down in the street - one of history's many warnings never to trust a 'safe conduct'. It is said that the 'mediator' was promptly promoted.The bloodstained fort was completed in 1900 and became a barracks for 150 Nubian soldiers, later being made the regional government offices until 1934. when it was turned into the Arusha Museum of Natural History.
How Germans gained control over Waarusha. After defeating them, Germans built a Boma as symbol of superiority
Adapted from A History of the Lutheran Church Diocese in the Arusha Region from 1904 to 1958 by Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Parsalaw. Dissertation: Erlangen University, Germany, February 1997.
But this was not enough, Captain Johannes wanted complete control. And three years later, in 1899, he was to get what he wanted. After receiving consent from his superiors in the German Administration, he began the construction of a fort that would symbolize German control over the territory.
With this development the Waarusha were to suffer their worst humiliation. They not only suffered the shame of watching the enemy’s fort being built in their territory, they were forced to participate in the actual construction of the Boma.
The once-fiery warriors used their swords to dig out limestone and their shields to carry it to the site. Younger women brought banana fibres for thatching. Older women pounded mud with their feet, while others fetched grass for the Captains donkeys.
And so the Waarusha toiled to construct the new building. And the toil was not easy, as one elder, Lonyuki Lekichawo described to H. A. Fosbrooke who quotes him in the 1955 publication of Tanzania Notes and Records:
"Seeing the trees being cut down around Arusha Boma reminds me of my youth. At that time, the whole township area was cultivated and covered with banana groves and huts, and the German Administration was centred round the place where the Clock now stands. The present Boma had only just been started and the walls were perhaps three feet high. In common with the rest of my age-set, I had been put on to this building job. At that time our fighting with the Germans was over: they did not attack us nor did we attack them.
"One day when we were at this work, six of us were called out and told to climb a very tall tree standing to the West of the Boma where the Police car park is. We were told to climb up with our axes and cut the branches from the upper part of the tree. We climbed up with the aid of a locally made rope such as is used for honey hunting. The Nubi askari pulled the rope away whilst we were up the three. Meanwhile others were cutting the trunk of the tree with a saw. These were people of some other tribe that had been brought in as labourers by the Germans. While we were still up the three, it started to fall. There was nothing we could do as the rope had been removed. We all came down with a crash. Of the six of us, three were killed on the spot and three of us escaped. Luckily we were no more than bruised and scratched."
But from the lost lives and from the toil and humiliation grew a Boma, and around the Boma grew Arusha town.
By 1900 the fort was completed and Captain Johannes used it to house a troops of 150 Nubian soldiers. Soon, the Imperial German Ensign was flying from the flagstaff and the fortification was henceforth used by the Germans for regional government offices until 1934.
Meanwhile, the town spread around the Boma. In 1906, the second modern construction, a residential building called the White House, was completed in Ilboru and a road was built to link the two sites.
Gradually, Indian traders, German farmers and traders, as well as immigrant Africans settled in the surrounding area. A market cropped up on the banks of Themi River and in 1914 construction of the first school. Boma school was started in the area where the present Arusha Town Lutheran Church stands. This was completed in 1924 and by then a hotel and several other buildings had been constructed in the vicinity.
The completion of the rail-road to Moshi in the early 1920s led to a further influx of immigrants and the town’s population has been increasing and the metropolitan area expanding ever since. By 1948 Arusha had a population of 5,300 people and in the 1970s it reached 100,000.
In a hundred years the village around the fort has grown into a busy Metropolitan area. Today Arusha Town boasts a population of more than 350,000 people and covers an area of 82.5 square kilometres. And it hasn’t stopped growing. Today Arusha opens its doors to myriads of newcomers just as it did in the time of the Boma’s glory.
Influx of traders and farmers
A steady influx of traders and farmers into Arusha in the 19th century, notably Indian traders, private German farmers and immigrant Africans, stimulated economic growth, prompting the German administration to conceive an 'idealistic' vision of a vast white settlement of their own construction. The Germans came up with several schemes to import settlers-from bizarre backgrounds.
The first of these plans back-fired when the Boer farmers of German origin who had taken up the offer of free farmland proved too uncouth for the ideal community; they were mainly squeezed out into Kenya.
The grand scheme was revised: now 10,000 German peasants from settlements around the Volga Basin and Caucasus in southern Russia were to be imported. The four families who arrived as a test project were painfully disappointed to discover that Arusha did not have four harvests a year, as they had been led to believe, and soon made their way to Tanga begging to be sent back to Russia.
Although small, Arusha is as well known as Dar es Salaam
Although small, Arusha is as well known as Dar es Salaam. From a tiny German military garrison in 1900, the town has grown to become the 'tourist' capital of Tanzania. Its position at a central point between Cairo and the Cape puts it at the heart of Africa. This position helped Arusha's rise to fame which began when it became the headquarters of the former East African Community.
An Evolution of a Hunting Hub
Arusha town is beautifully set in a landscape of rolling green foothills at the Southern base of Mount Kilimanjaro’s sister mountain called Meru. This frontier-like town with a hint of western flavor was, from its origins, as is still to today, an important center for all sorts of hunting and photographic safaris.
The town originally grew around the “Boma”, (Swahili word for a cattle corral), a German Fort built in the late 1800’s. Throughout the years Arusha has remained a relatively small town with a predominant safari and farming community; characterized as a melting pot for a variety of international settlers ranging from Asians, Germans and Greeks to South Africans and British.
A German captain, Kurt Johannes, one of the town’s first foreign settlers approached the WaArusha people, in 1896, in an attempt to secure diplomatic relations with the local chiefs. The WaArusha, were a long established tribe of pastorialists and farmers originating from a mixture of the Maasai and Meru tribes. Their social structure, heavily influenced by their Maasai ancestry, was based upon warrior class and status according to age. Kurt’s efforts at diplomacy failed due to attempted previous German raids on the area and two of the missionaries in the group were killed. An infuriated Captain Johannes returned to his base in Moshi, on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and there persuaded Chief Rindi of the Chagga people to mobilize troops and join forces with him in the take-over of the WaArusha, who were actually Rindi’s allies in many previous local battles.
So by1898, the betrayed WaArusha were easily defeated by the punishing onslaught of the two forces. Their weapons and food supplies were confiscated, their houses destroyed and they were finally forced to bow down to German control. The colonists moved into the area, and in 1899 begun the construction of the Boma’s strong fortification, forcing the local WaArusha and Maasai to build. The WaArusha still remember the humiliation of this task. Their spears were turned into digging tools, shields served as crude wheelbarrows and machetes were used to cut down trees. Young women and children had to carry thatching material whilst older men and women had the task of stamping barefoot on the wet mud used to join the stones of the construction.
One Maasai recorded the growing resentment towards the Germans and their acts on the people. They used to take pleasure in riding around on a laborers backs, egging them on with whips. One day while crossing a river a laborer became enraged with the particular heftiness of his charge, lost his patience and tossed his “master” into the water. Fearing the consequences many of the Maasai went into hiding until a chief went to find them. He told the mutinous group that he was acting as a mediator and that all would be forgiven if they returned to work. The 400 or so runaways headed back into the newly emerging Arusha town and as they marched up Boma road the entire troop was gunned down in the street – one of history’s many warnings never to trust a “safe conduct”.
Another Arusha Maasai elder remembers, “when employed on this construction work, six of us were called out to climb a very tall tree to cut the upper branches. We climbed using a locally made rope, such as the one for honey hunting. Whilst we were up the tree the Nubu askari (watchman) pulled the rope away. Meanwhile another party was cutting the trunk of the tree with a saw. The tree started to fall with us still in it, powerless as the rope had been removed. We all came down with a crash. Of the six of us, three died on the spot and three escaped with nothing more than bruises and scratches.”
After many such incidents the bloodstained fort, built mostly of stone rag (uncut stone), was completed in 1901 and initially became the barracks for 150 Nubian soldiers. The structure endured and throughout the years, it served as a police station and jail till 1934, as regional government offices till 1965 and finally as the Arusha Museum of Natural history as it still remains today.
The Boma formed the nucleus of Arusha as it remained under rigid German rule. The town slowly grew with German staff quarters mushrooming to the east of the Themi [Temi] River, which flowed past the Boma. Beyond the Boma the town’s first commercial area developed with the establishment of about 30 Indian, Greek and Arab owned shops selling cloth, trinkets, soap, enameled plates, bowls, beads and copper wire. One shop even had a sewing machine that produced jackets and trousers for the German soldiers as well as the “more progressive natives.” The township was spotlessly clean as the Germans had the natives walking around with little baskets picking up any litter lying around. The streets were laid out with fine sidewalks and cemented gullies.
The European settlers came in initially as missionaries, then as Government officials and finally as settlers. Most of the immigrants were, of course, Germans and this prompted the German administration to conceive an “idealistic” vision of a vast white settlement of their own construction. At first they imported South African Boers, of German origin, as farmers but found them too uncouth for their “ideal community” and consequently squeezed them out. They then imported German peasants from the Volga Basin and Caucasus in Southern Russia but the test families which came soon discovered that Arusha did not have 4 harvests, as they were led to believe, so they made their way back to the port begging to return home. In the end Arusha ‘s international medley of settlers moved in at their own accord, with the South African Dutch as farmers, the Greeks initially as railway contractors and then farmers and, the Asians, as traders, clerical and professional workers.
Kenyon Painter, an American millionaire banker from Ohio, enchanted by Africa, arrived in Arusha by ox wagon in 1907 to go on a 3 month hunting safari. He was one of the first paying clients to come out on a safari to Tanganyika. At this time the town boasted only one tiny hotel bearing the name of it’s Jewish owner, “Bloom’s”. As Brian Herne put it, “Bloom’s was nothing more than a whitewashed, mud-brick building with a roof of corrugated iron sheeting. It had a dozen bedrooms, a chintzy lounge, and a bar cum dining room overlooking a fast snowmelt stream called the Themi [Temi] River.”
Right next to “Bloom’s’ hotel was John Mulholland’s store. This was a grocery store with a twist as the owner “dealt in everything from rhino horn and ivory tusks to trophies of every sort, along with the best groceries in town”. One could also buy pistols, rifles, tents, bedding, pots and pans and saddles there. Other than this, the town was made up of a few other modest dwellings, that included the original Indian owned “dukas” (shops) around the “Boma”, a telegraph office, a blacksmith and livery stables. There was also “half a dozen shops owned by Germans, Greeks and South Africans trading in farm implements, seed beans and cattle”, as farming was becoming a fast growing industry.
The influx of professional hunters and hunting clients started at around 1913. Their safari adventures mostly took them to the Serengeti where the wildlife was plentiful, especially the lions. Seven years later an American arrived with a strange new contraption, known as the Ford motorcar, and the news that the wonders of the Serengeti had reached the outside world. The first game laws were introduced in 1921 where a Game Preservation Ordinance demanded that any and all hunting should be on a license for which fees were laid down. Certain methods of hunting were prohibited but still, at that time, there was no special regulations pertaining to either the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro, which could be hunted over just like anywhere else. As lion, at that time, were classified as vermin, they could be shot without restriction.
Later in 1921, however, the British authorities decided to turn the Serengeti into a partial Game Reserve, with restricted hunting on lions in fear of them becoming scarce. It was turned into a full Game reserve in 1929 and with the growing awareness of the need for conservation it was upgraded to a National Park in 1951. The neighboring Ngorongoro Crater, another hunting destination, was declared a Complete Reserve where all hunting was prohibited in 1928. However, about one third of the crater floor was in the private ownership of Sir Charles Ross, so that area had to be excluded from the order. This said, there is no evidence whatsoever that Sir Charles, or any of his friends, ever took advantage of this position of privilege. On the contrary he was one of the earliest to regard the crater as a Game Sanctuary. Ngorongoro was finally turned into a Conservation Area in 1959.
Kenyon’s first safari, back in 1907, had led to an astonishing collection of animal and bird species thus resulting in a total of 31 extended safaris to Tanganyika in the time period of 1907 to his death, in 1940. He was guided by various “white hunters”, (a term used in those days to describe the men that operated “in a professional capacity taking out hunting parties for a living”), ranging from George Outram and Ray Ulyate too little known hunters, like Thompson and Noadi.
After German East Africa became Tanganyika and Arusha was taken over by the British on March 20th 1916, Painter became one of the town’s most significant investors, having invested over a million dollars in the area. He built Arusha’s first post office, church and hospital. In 1927, Painter acquired land on the south side of the “Arusha Clock Tower”, (donated by a Greek, Galanos, and still standing, today), and started building the “New Arusha Hotel” as there already was an “Arusha Hotel” , previously known as “Bloom’s”.
In 1928, Ray Ulyate, owner of Meru Estate farm at Lake Duluti, leased the newly finished “New Arusha Hotel” from Kenyon, as world recession and coffee market prices made it virtually impossible for him to carry on farming. During the same period, in return, Painter purchased the 11,000 acre Meru Estate and gradually developed it into a premier coffee estate.
The opening ball of the New Arusha Hotel was attended by the Prince of Wales, Edward the eighth (the uncrowned King). The hotels’ renown grew and Mr. and Mrs. Ulyate managed it efficiently for many years. Its dining room was unique, from the wainscoting to the ceiling, the walls were covered with a painting of the Great Rift Valley depicting all the familiar peaks and lakes. This was designed by Ray and painted a by a down and out painter looking for work. In the lounge and dining room hang original photographs taken by wild life naturalist Cherry Kearton, including the first ever flash light photographs depicting a Lion and Rhino. The verandah of the Hotel overlooked the car park that was often full of safari trucks and farmers vehicles, especially at lunch times and on Wednesdays, which was farmer’s market day. The hotel’s hype was further intensified by its location, In the front of the hotel the sign explained:
THIS SPOT IS EXACTLY HALF WAY BETWEEN THE CAPE AND CAIRO AND THE EXACT CENTER OF KENYA, UGANDA AND TANGANYIKA
New Arusha Hotel was sold to the African Tours and Hotel group in 1947 and their decision to re-build it in 1953 was met with certain sadness by the numerous Arusha residents. The sadness was because of the disappearance of a “piece of history” - thousands of tourists and VIP’s had passed through the New Arusha over the years and numerous dances and dinners had been held there. “How changed life would be when it was no longer possible to sit on the verandah of the “New A” and watch the world go by”.
Arusha town grew slowly and surely with an expanding farming and safari community. However, “even at its zenith of prosperity in the late 1950’s, Arusha was never a large town”. It only had a total population of around 8,000 people, this inclusive of about 1,000 white settlers that were not actually resident in the immediate township but on outlying ranches.
Another noted landmark addition to Arusha in the late 1950’s was the “Safari Hotel”. “Newer and fancier that the New Arusha it lacked the trout river frontage, lovely grounds and the old-world charm of it’s rival”. However, it was masterfully managed by an Englishman, Ben Benbow, who was on a first name basis with every white hunter as well as with celebrity actors such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne and Harry Kruger that visited and stayed, during the filming of “HATARI” in 1961. The place had a beautiful copper bar and “the walls were decorated with framed and signed photographs of white hunters with their clients and trophies”.
Arusha town over the years has grown immensely in population size, with a large influx of natives moving from the bush to the town, searching for jobs, as well as foreigners, of many nationalities, looking to make their fortunes. This has led to an expansion of the town, on the residential side, with houses mushrooming all over its immediate surroundings. However, funnily enough the actual town center remains unchanged, the “Boma’ still stands as the Natural History Museum, New Arusha Hotel, with a new owner and recently rebuilt, welcomes many travelers, and the Clock Tower, still standing marks the center between Cape and Cairo. One sad thing is that The Safari Hotel, even though still there, has lost its bronze bar. The town, much to it’s resident’s frustration, still only has one main road through it!
On the safari side, in the early 1930,s Ray Ulyate’s formed the first official photographic safari company known as “Tanganyika Big Game and Tourist Organization” operating out of the New Arusha Hotel. He was the first person to organize six day long trips, by road, to the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. On the hunting side the “white hunters’ were numerous and Tanganyika attracted a large share of celebrity and other tourist hunters.
The first Tanganyika Guide for Hunters was published in 1929 and in its descriptions it described a safari starting from Tanga, the port of arrival on the Tanganyika coast, through to Lake Victoria, where the game was most prolific. It says that “there is an abundance of the commoner antelope, and in certain parts the rarer species such as the Greater and lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, etc…are still fairly plentiful. Big Game like the Elephant, Rhinoceros, Lion and Buffalo, all of which hold for the hunter a new thrill and experience, are to be found in this area in such a variety of country and cover that the Hunting of no two animals is ever alike.”
The Hunter’s guide continues to say that “game animals that inhabit the northern area are well protected and their existence is assured to prosperity by great game sanctuaries and regulations which govern the hunting or photographing of game”. In the Northern areas, at that time there was six complete reserves and two closed areas – Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Lake Natron, Northern Railway, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The closed areas were “Pienaar’s Heights”, near Babati and the “Sangressa Steppe” in the Kondoa district.
Licensing ranged from a Visitor’s license to a Resident’s license with extra licensing fees charged and stipulations set on a Giraffe and an Elephant license. Additionally, to hunt the Black Rhinoceros in the Northern province one was required to hold a Governor’s license, as well as pay an extra fee, and this would entitle the holder to hunt one male Rhinoceros.
The revised Tanganyika Guide of 1948 had a typical safari starting from Arusha town, that could now be reached by air, road or railway. The safari route was also a bit more adventurous. From the Rift Wall and Lake Manyara going northwards along the Rift Valley to Engaruka, to visit the stone ruins and Maasai Bomas, and to hunt the Kitete swamp and forest belt for buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant and hippopotamus. At Engaruka plains one could collect a general bag of the commoner antelope. From there the trail would take one to the “Maji Moto”, (hot springs in Swahili), which is described as “a game photographer’s paradise”. Following we return to the old route, a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater and a stay at the “Ngorongoro Crater Rest camp”, (now the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge”), where one could enjoy beautiful views and great concentrations of game on the crater floor. Then on to the Serengeti plains where “it is not uncommon for visitors to photograph as many as fifty different lions in a stay of only a few days, and the masses of game have to be seen to be believed”. Finally you were invited to finish off your safari with a visit to Mongalla, situated to the west of Oldeani mountain, Basotu Lake, Hanang Mountain and Babati Lake, for a bit more hunting of hippo, rhino and other big game before your return to Arusha. This was a month long trip “which for a lover of wild life could not be surpassed, and it was only one of many that could be made in the game areas of Tanganyika Territory, the finest hunting ground in the world”.
In 1965 safari hunting in East Africa was forever changed by the “masterly blueprint of Brian Nicholson, a former white hunter turned Game warden”. He came up with a plan for administering Tanzania's expansive wildlife regions and changed most of the vast former “controlled hunting areas” into hunting concessions, that could be leased by outfitters from the government for a period of two or more years. In the same instance he also demarcated the Selous Game reserve’s 20,000 square miles into 47 separate concessions. Each concession was assigned a limited quota for each game species and outfitters were expected to utilize quotas as fully as possible, but not exceed them. Trophy fees were set so as to provide government revenue for anti-poaching, development and research. This form of hunting management continuous to govern the hunting industry of today.
This plan gave the outfitting company exclusive rights over the hunting land that it was allocated providing a powerful incentive for them to police it, develop tracks, airfields, camps and, most importantly, preserve the wild game in the area. Once the system was in effect, it was only the larger safari organizations and outfitters, that could muster the resources to bid for the most desirable blocks of land and who had the clientele to fulfill the trophy quota requirements, set by Nicholson, that got the concessions. The smaller companies and operators, that could not compete, ended up forming alliances so that they too, could obtain hunting territories.
The only hiccup, in all the years of Tanganyika/Tanzania hunting occurred on 7th September 1973 when, overnight, the Tanzania government issued a ban on all hunting and photographic safaris in its territory. Authorities “moved quickly to seize and impound all foreign registered Land Cruisers, supply trucks, minibuses, aircraft and equipment.” They bundled up all the safari clients, mountain climbers and bird watchers that happened to be visiting the country “at the time of the inexplicable edict” and summarily escorted them to Kilimanjaro airport, just outside of Arusha, and to Namanga, the Border post to Kenya, to await deportation. All tourist businesses were closed down and no government refunds were ever made to the local or foreign outfitters, or the deported tourists.
Paper III. Urban Development & the Growth of Communications
The only significant urban development in the region is Arusha Town, the building of which commenced at the turn of the century. A site was chosen by the Germans in the middle of a thickly populated and cultivated area, and the local inhabitants were moved out. The first headquarters, doubtless of a temporary construction, was on the site of the Clock Tower. Then the building of the Boma commenced; one Arusha elder reminisced:- "when employed on this construction work, six of us were called out to climb a very tall tree and cut the upper branches. We climbed with the aid of a locally made rope such as we used for honey hunting. The Nubu askari pulled the rope away whilst we were up the tree with a saw. Meanwhile another party was cutting the trunk of the tree with a saw. Whilst we were still up the tree, it started to fall. There was nothing we could do as the rope had been removed. We all came down with a crash. Of the six of us three were killed on the spot and three escaped: luckily we survivors were no more than bruised and scratched.".
The Boma was completed and formed the nucleus of the new town and of which one or two of the original German staff quarters remain, one in the hospital compound, another in the A.I.C.C. grounds. But the main staff area was to the east of the Themi [Temi] River, where the houses of the Regional Commissioner replaced the old German structure in the post World War II period. The German gaol was only recently demolished to make way for the E.A. Community Building.
Great North Road
In the aftermath [of the disasters of the 1890’s and the German conquest], men and women alike were conscripted to build roads and the German boma. [in Arusha]
Many Afrikaners (Dutch Boers) were exciled after the Boer War for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the British Government in South Africa. By ox-wagon they had trekked up to Tanganyika, then German East Africa, where they were received with open arms by the wily Huns, who gave them land at Arusha.
This was not as a benevolent gesture, but so that they could be used as a buffer against the savage, marauding Masai warriors. They suffered sorely at the time, but after the Germans had tamed the Masai, by force and worse, the exiles were left in peace and found that they had been alloted the most fertile land in the country.
From Arusha and Moshi, with their lovely climates and beautiful permanent streams, came the best coffee, fruit, vegetables, the later mostly grown for their seed which was exported to wholesalers in South Africa.
Paper 1 Land Tenure and Land Use
Arusha town was established by the Germans at the beginning of the present century and has grown to a population of 55,281. Several of the Afrtican groups, particularly the Somalis, are of non-Tanzanian origin. The Tanzanians themselves came from different tribes; the Arusha themselves, on whose land the town is situated account for only 18.7% of the population (1967 figure).
The Europeans came in, first as missionaries, then as Government officials and then as settlers. The immigrants were of course largely German, but the government encouraged South African Dutch to migrate from South Africa where they found British rule unacceptable after their defeat in the Boer war.
A small settlement of Russians was established around Engare Sero, but failed.
The Greeks started largely as railway contractors, but many took up ex German farms after World War I.
The Asians came in as traders, and later as clerical and professional workers. They now number about 4000 being largely from India and Pakistan.
Boma and Chiefs: 1900-1916
The boma that Meru and Arusha were forced to build in 1900 was a solid statement of the imposition of a new political and moral order. Set on a small hill at the base of Mount Meru, the fortress-like building faced out over the plains below. One approached along a 'fine wide road, equal to a well-kept highway in England', that was `carefully marked off in kilometres', the adventurer John Boyes noted on a visit in 1903.
"The road led to a place called Arusha, and as we approached it we came to our astonishment in sight of a truly marvellous building, erected in European style and surrounded by a moat....
The boma was a one-storey building of stone and mortar, with a huge tower in the centre and the whole glistened bright in the sunlight, like an Aladdin's Palace transported from some fairy-land and dropped down in the heart of the tropics. Emblazoned on the front of the tower were the Royal Arms of Germany, which could be seen nearly a mile off....
The station was walled off and, being furnished with a Maxim and a machine gun, made a formidable stronghold...."
Standing in the midst of the 'lush plantations of the Waarusha', one approached the fort along a wide straight path and entered through a heavy stone portal into an open courtyard, surrounded by stone walls, with a square, flat-topped tower in the centre and Swahili-type houses arrayed along the back wall. Boyes was impressed by the amenities:
"Water from neighbouring gullies was laid on throughout the building, and a plentiful supply was available for all purposes. Water-power was used for driving a lathe in the workshop, and the officer had a staff of trained Natives. The wood-work especially was particularly well done. Even the tiles on the roof were made by the Natives, and the building was made entirely from local material. The inside of the station was paved with stone; the living rooms were fitted with electric bells; and Herr Küster said he hoped to install electric light at an early date."
The town itself lay below the boma and consisted of some thirty Indian, Greek, and Arab shops selling cloth, trinkets, soap, enamelled plates and bowls, beads, and copper wire. One even had a sewing machine out front and produced jackets and trousers for the German soldiers and 'more progressive natives'. Boyes found:
"Everything about Arusha was equally surprising, the streets being well laid out with fine side-walks, separated from the road by a stream of clear water flowing down a cemented gullyway. We had discovered a real oasis in the wilderness. The township was spotlessly clean and we saw Natives with small baskets picking up any litter lying about, as though the place were the Tiergarten of Berlin and not the wild interior of the Dark Continent....
Attached to the fort was a splendid kitchen garden in which grew almost every kind of European vegetable, and next to that a coffee plantation)."
The German administration, like the boma, was built on solid military lines meant to impress. German military officers served as both local commanders and district officers, alternately administering and punishing their unruly subjects. Mount Meru had been administered, largely by means of punitive raids, by Captain Johannes from Moshi. With the completion of the boma in 1901, colonial troops were garrisoned in Arusha under the command of First Lieutenant Georg Küster, and Arusha remained under military rule until the general transfer to civilian administration throughout Tanganyika in 1906. Even under civil rule, however, district officers continued to wield considerable power in the exercise of their authority, and they did so largely free of troublesome constraints imposed by the central government. Few remained in Arusha long enough to gain much of an understanding of the local situation. Eleven district officers served an average of sixteen months each during the period of German rule from 1901 to 1916.
German officers ruled through local Arusha and Meru leaders, but in the aftermath of the mass hangings of 1900 they had difficulty identifying likely leaders and persuading them to serve. The Germans initially chose Masengye (1900-01), a son of former Mangi Matunda (1887-96), to replace his executed brother, Lobolu (1896— 1900), as Meru chief, but Masengye was deposed and imprisoned within a year for murder (see Table 4.1: Meru Mangi). Abandoning the royal Kaaya clan for a nominee viewed as a more reliable collaborator, the Germans then appointed Nyereu (1901-02) from the Nasari clan, but he too was soon imprisoned, allegedly for neglecting his duties and procuring girls for German soldiers. The Germans finally found the nominee they had been seeking when they appointed Sambegye (1902-25), a member of the Nanyaro clan and favoured neighbour of the missionaries newly re-installed at Nkoaranga. Sambegye prospered as chief, taking ten wives by 1905, and he continued as chief until 1925. He soon ceased being a mission favourite, however, and in 1905 Rev. Krause complained that his overt friendliness was but a mask for covert opposition: 'How could it possibly be otherwise! His friends are beer and women, and he knows these do not mix with the new teachings.'
Arusha, unlike Meru, had no tradition of chiefdom, so the Germans appropriated the tradition of regional spokesmen (laigwenak) that had first emerged during the warriors' raids of the 1850s, and called them Mangi after the Meru term for chief.15 Having hanged Maraai and Rawaito, the spokesmen from Boru (upper Arusha) and Burka (lower Arusha) respectively, however, they had to find replacements. The new Arusha spokesman for Burka was Ndasikoi, but the Germans also wished to reward their Afro-Arab ally, Saruni, and so they split Burka between the two men (see Table 4.2: Arusha Mangi/ Olkarsis). Both men remained in office for the duration of German rule. Sabaya (1900-11) was appointed in Boru and served until his death, when he was replaced by his eldest son Leshabar (1911-16). Arusha opposed Leshabar and burned down his home, however, forcing the administration to replace him with Lairumbe (1916-33), a wealthy cattle trader associated with the Lutheran mission.
The Germans also appointed local headmen to rule over individual districts below the chiefs. In Meru, these came initially from the ranks of local lineage or clan leaders (vashili), who normally were chosen by local clan members to mediate disputes among them and represent their interests with other clans and the mangi. Vashili became increasingly dependent on the administration, however, as they became encumbered with the unpopular tasks of raising labour and taxes.
In accord with differences in local Arusha politics, headmen were initially drawn from the ranks of local age-set spokesmen (laigwenak) chosen by their age-mates to mediate internal disputes and to represent their interests with other sets. As in Meru, however, their traditional legitimacy quickly broke down before the illegitimate nature of the tasks they were asked to assume by the authorities. Thereafter, headmen, like chiefs, increasingly became drawn from an emerging group of younger men associated with either the government or the mission.'7
While there is no direct evidence to assess the impact of these changes on the nature of local leadership in Arusha and Meru, we can place them within the context of Arusha. While neither society had a tradition of strong central authority, the military successes and increasing wealth of the warriors during the 1880s and early 1890s enhanced their status and power while eroding whatever authority the mangi in Meru or the logwenak in Arusha had possessed previously. German conquest and rule reversed this process, for not only did Talala's crushing defeat in 1896-7 damage their self-confidence and reputation, as shown by their disintegration in 1900 but, more critically, the warriors lost nearly all their cattle as well as the means to replenish them. As power and wealth shifted to chiefs and headmen appointed by the administration, the influence of the warriors continued to wane. No future Arusha age-set attained the fame of Talala; joint activities by Arusha and Meru warriors ceased; and Meru slowly withdrew from the Maasai age-set system altogether until they refused to join with Arusha to initiate Terito in the mid-1920s.
Chiefs and headmen appointed by the Germans after 1900 saw their potential power and influence increase as a result of their newly institutionalized authority, their support from the colonial administration, and their ability to use their new-found power to gain wealth. At the same time as power and status were shifting from the warriors to the chiefs, the means of attaining them were also shifting from criteria based on age, respect, wealth in cattle and bananas, and the size of one's following to those based on education, affiliation with the government and mission, and wealth gained from wages.
While the means of achieving power were changing, the ways in which it was deployed through wealth in cattle and social investments were frequently similar, thus obscuring the more fundamental changes taking place under the surface of Arusha and Meru social relations. Chiefs became known for their large cattle herds and number of wives and, following the bumper harvest of 1907, there was a spate of 'ox-hangings' around the mountain as wealthy men competed to see who could distribute the most meat to their friends and followers so that they might be 'lauded by the people'.° Such changes were gradual at first, scarcely noticeable during much of the German period, but they would become more prominent in the years to come.
Chiefs' newly-enhanced power and status did not come without costs, however. Chiefs and headmen were frequently unpopular with their followers as they became increasingly answerable to their German patrons, losing their own legitimacy in the process. Just as the Germans quickly abandoned appointing Meru chiefs from the royal Kaaya clan, so all chiefs came to owe their office to the whim of the government rather than to whatever influence or status they possessed locally. Increasingly, one's patrons became more important than one's clients, as chiefs came to have a share in the power of others, rather than exercising it on their own.
The German administration, like the conquest that had established it, was viewed as harsh and unjust by Meru and Arusha. They called Lt Küster Bwana Fisi', or Mr Hyena. The missionaries thought that his successor, Baron Ludwig Friedrich von Reitzenstein, was 'kindly' and 'well-disposed toward the natives', respected by them because he allowed `no idling or disobedience from his chiefs or their underlings', held court according to local custom while making 'sure it was not spoiled by the long-windedness of the natives', and successfully built roads without resorting to the feared kiboko (whip).'' The missionaries' notion of respect gained by the firm exercise of authority was not the same as that held by Arusha and Meru, however, who objected to the continued use of corvée (unpaid labour) for public works, the collection of taxes, the corruption of chiefs and, most of all, the seizure of precious land for South African and German settlers. In their exercise of unfettered power and their continued reliance on military force and coerced labour, German officials must not have appeared to be very different from the predatory trading chiefs who had preceded them elsewhere in the Pangani Valley.
The first commercial area
Paper III. Urban Development & the Growth of Communications
The first commercial area lay between the Boma and the Clock Tower, with a hotel on the site of the present New Arusha Hotel. Commencing with single storey thatched roof duks, some double storey iron roofed buildings went up in German times and were only demolished in the post war period.
After leaving Kilimanjaro we were astonished to come upon a fine wide road, equal to a well-kept highway in England. Such a road as this, in the depths of uncivilized Africa, was the last thing one would expect to find. My men knew of it, and said fearfully that we were coming to the boma of Bwana Fisi, which means "Mr. Hyena," of whom they were evidently in great fear. We were not sure, being English, what sort of a reception awaited us, but we could not help admiring the man who had been able to build such a fine road, carefully marked off in kilometers. The road led to a place called Arusha, and as we approached it we came to our astonishment in sight of a truly marvelous building, erected in European style and surrounded by a moat. Everything about Arusha was equally surprising, the streets being well laid out with. fine side-walks, separated from the road by a stream of clear water flowing down a cemented gully-way. We had discovered a real oasis in the wilderness. The township was spotlessly clean and we saw Natives with small baskets picking up any litter lying about, as though the place were the Tiergarten of Berlin and not the wild interior of the Dark Continent.
After pitching our camp we went across to the boma and introduced ourselves to the officer in charge, who struck me as the living image of "Captain Kettle." He was a trim, dapper little man with a pointed red beard, who looked-and was-a stern disciplinarian. He had certainly accomplished wonderful results. The boma was a one-storey building of stone and mortar, with a huge tower in the center, and the whole glistened bright in the sunlight, like an Aladdin's Palace transported from some fairy-land and dropped down in the heart of the tropics. Emblazoned on the front of the tower were the Royal Arms of Germany, which could be seen nearly a mile off.
Lieutenant Kuster, as this officer in charge of the station was named, very kindly showed us round, and we were amazed at the ingenious devices adopted by this enterprising military pioneer. Water from neighboring gullies was laid on throughout the building, and a plentiful supply was available for all purposes. Water-power was used for driving a lathe in the workshop, and the officer had a staff of trained Natives. The woodwork especially was particularly well done. Even the tiles on the roof were made by the Natives, and the building was made entirely from local material. The inside of the station was paved with stone; the living-rooms were fitted with electric bells; and Herr Kuster said he hoped to install electric light at an early date. The station was walled off and, being furnished with a Maxim and a machine gun, made a formidable stronghold. Attached to the fort was a splendid kitchen garden in which grew almost every kind of European vegetable, and next to that a coffee plantation. A market was held not far from the boma, and in the town itself were about thirty Indian and Arab stores.
Lieutenant Kuster entertained us most hospitably and invited us to dinner, which was served in a very comfortable dining-room, furnished in European style with furniture made by the Natives. The various dishes were passed through an opening in the wall, and as each course was finished our host made a sign which was well understood by the Native servants who went about their duties without a word. Everything was done with military precision, and it was evident that the Natives stood in awe of their master, which accounted for the title he has earned of Bwana Fisi.
Avoiding Mbugwe and Arusha
Before leaving Mgodi we laid in a good supply of provisions, as the road we intended to take to British territory lay through an uninhabited part where food could not be obtained and water was also very scarce. On the fourth day of our march we came to Irangi. We had a badly needed wash and then got our papers ready to go to the boma. The Government officer was away hunting, but the sergeant in charge was very friendly. I camped near the Government station, and had all the Indian shopkeepers and traders round my tent during the day. While waiting I bought a number of head of cattle at a dear rate. Then I went up again to the boma to get my papers signed, and was advised not to go near Mbugwe or Arusha, where cattle disease had broken out. Having learnt that there was a path through the wilds which avoided these places, I decided to take it. All round I noticed dried up rivers, but in the rainy season the country must be a huge swamp. The Natives were Wagogo, much resembling the Masai in appearance.
Our next march was to Buyuni, going through a forest without seeing a drop of water from leaving camp at 6 a.m. until our mid-day rest at 2. Marching on again for an hour and a half, we went into camp near a very large mbuyu tree, in the trunk of which a hollow was cut about six feet square, forming a little cabin in which some of the men slept. It was now a nightly occurrence for the hyenas to come howling round.