International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Material Culture and its Functional Importance to the Gogo Community in Tanzania in East Africa
Sadasivuni. Krishna Rao, E.L. Temu

Gogo/Wagogo, a Bantu speaking ethnic group in Dodoma region of Central Tanzania had long been identified as traditional hunter-gatherers prior to their occupation as pastoralists and agriculturists. Nowadays they are also employed in producing drought resistant crops such as sorghum, millet and corn. Our study of the Gogo material culture, their manufacturing techniques and the raw materials they used, revealed the socio-economic and technological dynamics of the community. Our ethnographic survey in the Ntyuka, Makulu and Ng’ong’ona villages has established several facts relating to the Gogo lifestyle which is similar to that of the ancient pastoral Neolithic culture which includes use of earthen handmade pottery, calabashes, wooden furniture, agricultural implements, hunting tools like bow and arrow, skin hides and beehives; drums for entertainment during festival; beads, animal feathers, leg bells, etc constitute decorative ornaments. Other household objects comprise of wooden pestle and pounder, and grindstone and stone pounder. It is interesting to note that the Gogo have vast indigenous medicinal knowledge to cure several diseases. The functional importance of their material culture becomes the significant part of the Gogo life system that needs to be preserved.

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