MAMMALS IN MTANGA
Notes on Ha and Bembe Ethnomammalogy in a Village bordering Gombe Stream National Park, Western Tanzania.
The following notes on local knowledge of mammals in Mtanga are based uponinformation gathered during an action research exercise, which was conducted in thevillage on 13-18 January 1997. This information was recorded in the context of discussions about the history of environmental impacts in Mtanga and relationsbetween the village and the neighbouring Gombe Stream National Park (the overallfindings of this research will be presented in the final report of the exercise). Nosystematic attempt was made to collect ethnomammalogical data, there beinginsufficient time to do so. These notes should therefore be treated as no more than astarting point for future work of this kind, should it ever be undertaken.
Most of the information recorded below was provided by two informants, one anative Ha speaker and the other a native Bembe speaker. Interviews were conductedin Swahili, both informants being good second-language speakers of the nationallanguage and local
. Further background information on these two keyinformants and the context of the interviews is given below.(1)
OB = Omari Bulio, a Ha speaker aged c.80 years, was interviewed by the authoron a number of occasions on four consecutive days, 15-18 January 1997. MzeeBulio was born in Kalinzi, and left when he was about 10 years old, following hisfather, who was the founder of Mtanga and its first chief (
, 1/2). He wastherefore one of the first Ha settlers in Mtanga, arriving at a time (in the mid-late1920s) before the original forests had been cleared. He later succeeded his father asthe
of Mtanga, and after Tanganyika’s independence in 1961 became thefirst village chairman. Further background information on him can be found in theaccompanying
Preliminary Glossary of Ha Plant Names
. Notes on Haethnoherpetology from the same informant are included in the companion paper
Snakes and other
Reptiles in Mtanga
(see the references at the end of this paper).Most of the interviews with him took place at his home in Mtanga “A” sub-village,and during them various other household members and passers-by contributed to ourdiscussions.(2)
KB = Kamili Barabara, a Bembe speaker, was interviewed in Kazinga sub-villageon 16 January 1997. He was born in Mlimba-Kasaba on (what is now) the Zairean1