Mountain Farmers: Moral Economies of Land and Agricultural Development in Arusha and Meru

Overview

This is the first extended study of one of the most historically and culturally interesting regions of Tanzania in East Africa. Mountain Farmers is a detailed comparative history of two ethnic groups who share one mountain home—the Meru are traditionally farmers; the Arusha cattle-herders related to the Maasai. Thomas Spear's engaging study, based on recent archival and field research, ranges across several centuries of political and economic history, comparing the responses of these very different peoples to the...

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Overview

This is the first extended study of one of the most historically and culturally interesting regions of Tanzania in East Africa. Mountain Farmers is a detailed comparative history of two ethnic groups who share one mountain home—the Meru are traditionally farmers; the Arusha cattle-herders related to the Maasai. Thomas Spear's engaging study, based on recent archival and field research, ranges across several centuries of political and economic history, comparing the responses of these very different peoples to the settlement of Mount Meru, to colonial conquest, and to increasing land shortages. Spear moves away from models of social history that tend toward economic determinism, and instead seeks to understand the role of culture in socio-economic change.

As he traces the history of settlement on Mt. Meru since the seventeenth century, Spear focuses on the coming of colonizers and missionaries and local resistance to them; the transition from German to British colonial rule; colonial struggles over land, taxes, forced labor, coffee cooperatives, Christianity, education, and more.
In addition, Spear explains the background to one of the most famous episodes in Tanzanian political history, the Meru Land case.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520206199
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Spear is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of Kenya's Past: An
Introduction to Historical Methods in Africa
(1981) and coeditor of Being Maasai: Ethnicity and Identity in East Africa (1993).

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Table of Contents

List of Maps, Photographs and Tables
Glossary
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
I Settlement of Mount Meru 15
1 Mountain Farmers: Meru & Chaga from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries 17
2 Maasai Farmers: Arusha & Pastoral Maasai in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 35
II Colonialism & Resistance under German Rule 59
3 Blood on the Land: Talala & the Germans 1881-96 61
4 Conquest & Colonization, 1896-1916 75
5 Establishment of the Mission, 1902-16 91
III Colonialism & Agricultural Development: 1916-61 107
6 Recolonization 109
7 Land, Population & Agricultural Development 118
8 Christians, Coffee, Culture & Class 158
IV Politics of Land & Authority 173
9 Struggles for the Land 175
10 The Politics of Land & Authority 194
11 The Meru Land Case 209
Conclusion 236
Bibliography 242
Index 257
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