Marangu

Name ID 1652

See also

Fosbrooke, H.A. The Early Exploration of Kilimanjaro: A Bibliographical Note
Page Number: 10
Extract Date: August 1884

Sir Harry Johnston

Sir Harry Johnston was however a serious contender, when, during the course of.his six months sojourn in Chaggaland in 1884 he made two attempts at the mountain. On the first, made in August/September 1884 from Moshi (Mandara's) he climbed to 9,000 feet (Johnston 1886, pp. 229-237) whilst on the second he left Marangu in October, and spent most of that month camped above the forest at nearly 10,000 feet (op. cit. pp. 259-274). From this camp, which he estimates was 4 miles from Mawenzi and 7 from Kibo.

He, unaccompanied, made a determined attempt at the latter. He reached the snow line and thought of turning back but states "Nevertheless I thought 'only a little farther and perhaps I may ascend above, the clouds and stand gazing down into the crater of Kilimanjaro from its snowy rim" . So, encouraged by this thought, he struggled on to an altitude he puts at 16,315 feet, but by 4.30 p.m. he was forced to turn back. Next day but one he made a second attempt, but was turned back by bad weather.

The interesting point about this account is the reference to the crater. To date, no one had claimed to have climed Kibo or mentioned the existence of a crater; was this just deduction on Johnston's part or had he in fact picked up a story from some local Chagga who had in fact scaled the mountain and told him of the existence of a crater ?

Some years later Hans Meyer, the Conquerer of Kilimanjaro, refutes the claim of Abbott and Ehlers to have reached the summit because they made no mention of a crater. This is logical enough but they could if they had wished, have claimed the existence of a crater merely by referring to Johnston.

Extract ID: 4553

See also

Fosbrooke, H.A. and Sassoon, H Archeological Remains on Kilimanjaro
Page Number: 063
Extract Date: 1900

The early Chagga have left their mark

More recently, the early Chagga have left their mark on the landscape. The trenches which were dug between the early kingdoms are difficult to discern but remains of the forts which some chiefs constructed can still be seen at Marangu and Kibosho (see an article H A. Fosbrooke "Chagga Forts and Boltholes," TNR No 37, p116; and also pictures facing pp. 72 and 92 in Sir Charles Dundas' Kilimajaro and its People).

A more interesting but less apparent relic of the days of inter tribal warfare is to be found in the bolt holes or underground shelters. (See Bishop Wynn Jones, "African Dugouts " TNR, No. 11; and article in No. 37 above.)

In the thickly populated and cultivated area of Marangu there are some engraved rocks which are associated with the Chagga initiation ceremonies. One of these rocks, at Longoro, is a large block of lava about 9 feet long, projecting six inches above ground-level; at its.broadest point it is 6 feet 9 inches wide. The rock is covered with long, meandering incised lines, evidently engraved with a pecking technique, and there are also two small kidney-shaped depressions which are clearly man-made. The rock also bears numerous pock-marks which look natural, but which, according to recent oral tradition, are man-made.

Chief Petro Marealle first drew attention to this engraved rock. In his book (1951) he describes how, until about 1900, Chagga youths used to be introduced to the mysteries of manhood. As part of his ceremony twelve youths, selected from the age set under instruction, were taught the meanings of the engravings on the rock and how to incise them. This was done, on completion of the lessons, by the instructor using a `small axe'; the length of the line cut depended on the number of youths in the age-set. The instructor also bored the pock-marks into which the youths had to spit to seal their oath not to reveal the secrets they had been taught.

Within twenty yards of the rock of Longoro, described here, there are two other engraved rocks; and there is another two miles to the north-west of the Longoro group. All these rocks have been described by Fosbrooke and Marealle in their two papers in Man, 1952, 244 and 263.

Extract ID: 4562

See also

Sadleir, Randal Tanzania, Journey to Republic
Page Number: 201a
Extract Date: 1957

Kibu Hotel

So important was Moshi in my work that I normally spent about a week every month on safari in the district. I would be based either at the KNCU Hostel or the Kibo Hotel at Marangu, a delightfully old fashioned establishment run by an elderly German, Mrs Bruehl, 20 miles or so from Moshi and 6000 feet above sea level.

Marangu was one of the most beautiful places in Tanganyika and the headquarters of the Vunjo district led by Chief (Mangi Mwitori) Petro Itosi Marealle and Paramount Chief (Mangi Mkuu) Thomas Marealle, installed in 1951, who lived in Moshi itself. It was also the centre of the tourist trade - such as it then was - and the base for climbing the mountain.

Extract ID: 4382
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