Name ID 1552
Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 06d
Extract Date: 1905
All resistance to the Germans in the interior ceased and they could now set out to organize Deutsch Ost Afrika.
They continued exercising their authority with such disregard and contempt for existing local structures and traditions and with such brutality that discontent was brewing anew and in 1902 a movement against forced labour for a cotton scheme rejected by the local population started along the Rufiji.
It reached a breaking point in July 1905 when the Matumbi of Nandete chased their akida and suddenly the revolt grew wider from Dar es Salaam to the Uluguru Mountains, the Kilornbero Valley, the Mahenge and Makonde Plateaux, the Ruvuma in the southernmost part and Kilwa, Songea, Masasi, and from Kilosa to Iringa down to the eastern shores of Lake Nyasa.
Known as the Maji Maji war with the main brunt borne by the Ngonis, this was a merciless rebellion and by far the bloodiest in Tanganyika.
Germans had occupied the area since 1897 and totally altered many aspects of everyday life. They were actively supported by the missionaries who destroyed all signs of indigenous beliefs, notably by razing the 'mahoka' huts where the local population worshipped their ancestors' spirits and by ridiculing their rites, dances and other ceremonies. This would not be forgotten or forgiven; the first battle which broke out at Uwereka in September 1905 under the Governorship of Count von Gotzen turned instantly into an all-out war with indiscriminate murders and massacres perpetrated by all sides against farmers, settlers, missionaries, planters, villages, indigenous people and peasants.