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Culture of Tanzania

Tanzanian culture is a product of African, Arab, European, and Indian influences amalgamated and adapted to fit into traditional African values. Each ethnic group has its own collection of myths, legends, folk tales, riddles, proverbs, and sayings that embody that particular tribe’s cultural heritage. Tanzanian music and dance is very lively and a definite source of entertainment. While the women take active part in the dance men are not to be left out and participate on musicals instruments like the drums. Strong in rhythm and renowned for hard-hitting lyrics, the country's Swahili-based songs are popular with all age groups and form a major tourist attraction in the live performances in the cities. The tarab or sung poetry tradition is kept alive in Zanzibar and can be heard at religious and cultural events.

Tanzanian society continues to be a traditional one with all ethnic groups laying emphasis on family values and strict morals. In Zanzibar, marriages are arranged in the traditional fashion and divorce, although permitted, is frowned upon. Muslim law permits polygamy but it is not very rife in the islands as only the very rich can afford bride prices of more than one wife!

Tanzania has a long history of black magic – ‘Juju’ is the form or belief in a powerful spirit world, which is placated through rituals and rites of worship and sacrifice. Juju abounds in traditional spells, medicines and cures, used to control and command the believers. The witch doctor or ‘waganga’ is a powerful force and people from all walks of life to seek a cure for a mental or physical ailment or to regain lost luck or cast a spell on an enemy.

Beadwork, wooden masks, shields, spears, fabrics, bone carvings and beautiful ebony wood items are some of the Tanzanian crafts.

Brrr... it’s cold and damp and you need to escape the winter chill. Dreaming of a beach to feel the ...
Vidastu, our driver had a long scar on his cheek signifying that he belonged to a particular tribe. In his ...

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