Forest Dwellers: Culture, Traditions and Society in Mufindi, Tanzania, 1940-2015


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




In Africa exotic tree species were imposed through colonialism. Those exotic tree species interfered with the culture and traditions of the communities around those planted forests. In Mufindi district of Iringa region in Tanzania, the British introduced exotic tree species namely pines in 1939 from which after independence its acreage was increased to become the biggest plantation forests in Tanzania with 135, 903 hectares. Because of such big chunk of land taken by the state for plantation forests some cultural institutions for the Hehe were compromised. Those exotic tree species have brought changes to the adjacent communities with regards to what they eat and drink, their burial areas, land tenure and access to medicinal herbs. This project will explore historically the memories of the people of Mufindi around the plantation forests on their memories between 1940 and 2015. The end product of the project will be a book manuscript