The Wakwere and Wadoe tribes

The Wakwere and Wadoe tribes

As I had the occasion of underlining several times, tribes in Tanzania are numerous and each one has its own features, language and habits. This is the time of Wakwere and Wadoe tribes. They are both Bantu speaking communities and their original land is on the coast of Tanzania, particularly in the cities of Bagamoyo and Kibaha, in a region called Pwani. They share language and some beliefs with the Wazaramo tribe of the near Dar es Salaam city.

These two tribes are respectively matrilinear and patrilinear and they are traditionally farmers: maize, millet, cassava and paddy cultivation. Obviously, living on the coast, fishing is as much important as agriculture and they also practise hunting and animal husbandry.

All the tribes have their own typical hut.

The Wakmere and the Wadoe are no exception. Their house is called BANDA and the structure stands on big wooden poles tied together with smaller poles. The roof is covered with bundles of grasses called VINGONDWA and the external walls are plastered with clay soil.

The family configuration includes polygamy, even if nowadays it’s rare to witness it. Anyway, let’s assume that we are looking at a typical house. Internally it is divided into two sectors: the senior wife’s and the junior wife’s ones. Even the daughters’ bedrooms are separated.

Outside the family house there is the DUNGU, a storage hut with a special space for goats and poultry.

This hut belongs to the father.

And now comes the most astonishing part of the customs of these two tribes: they use traditionally healing system.

I know I have spoken about traditional medicine before, but here we’ve got something more.

They use to build two special huts for their community: one is called KINYAMKERA and it’s a sort of first aid corner. It is used for healing and visit the patients with offerings. The other one is called SATANIC HUT and in this one they treat patients who suffer from evil spirits.

As you can see, habits are really important for these groups and come from ancient practices. Whether we can understand them or not, they are part of the culture of people who deeply believe in them. That’s the fascinating part of it all.