Just Beautiful: Meet The Wagogo People; A Dancing Tanzanian Tribe That Rocks Everywhere They Go

by Abigail Oluwakemi
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The Gogo (or mgogo singular and Wagogo plural) are ever-happy, dance-loving and agriculturalist Bantu ethnolinguistic group living in the Dodoma Region of central Tanzania. In the past Gogo people were known pastoralist and patrilineal (tracing descent and inheritance through the male line) ethnic group, but many contemporary Gogo now practice settled agriculture, have migrated to urban areas, or work on plantations throughout Tanzania. They are well-known for their musical prowess and their Gogo music has achieved an international reputation.

 

The Wagogo ocucupy a land in Tanzania known as Ugogo (Gogoland), and it covers most of Dodoma District. This region covers an area of 25,612 square miles, with an altitude of 480ms to 12ms above sea level (Cidosa, 1995).

Wagogo people speak Cigogo language which belongs to the eastern group of Bantu languages. Wagogo keep their Cigogo language strong within the family, even as they are now speaking Kiswahili, the official national language of Tanzania which is utilized in telecommunications, trade and commerce.

Dodoma (Tanzania, United Republic of) became a name before it became a town. There are different stories about how it happened. One story is that some Wagogo stole a herd of cattle from their southern neighbours the Wahehe; the Wagogo killed and ate the animals, preserving only the tails, and when the Wahehe came looking for the lost herd all they found were the tails sticking out of a patch of swampy ground. ”Look”, said the Wagogo, ”Your cattle have sunk in the mud, Idodomya”. Dodoma in chigogo means ”it has sunk”.




There is yet another story which is most commonly accepted on the name Dodoma. An elephant came to drink at the nearby Kikuyu stream (so named after the Mikuyu fig trees growing on its banks) and got stuck in the mud. Some local people who saw it exclaimed ”Idodomya” and from that time on the place became known as Idodomya, the place where it sank.

Source:TRIP DOWN Memory LANE

Tanzania Culture

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