The Chagga House

Maasai spears

The CHAGGA TOUR xxxxx I had a brochure for a program that benefited local schools through tourism. I wanted to be certain I participated in that. I didn't get much for my money except satisfaction for helping a good cause.

The main ethnic group in the area was the Chagga people. I had no interest in hiking to waterfalls, and certainly no desire for a five-day trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro (at over $100.00 a day), but I was interested in the Chagga cultural tour. The Chagga wore no traditional clothing and very few lived in traditional homes. The wood carver wasn't carving and had no finished work. No traditional blacksmiths were at the shop - but the guide located one man who demonstrated how Maasai spears were made. (Apparently, Maasai people weren't blacksmiths. They traded for "Maasai spears" made by the Chagga people.)

Nearby the hotel was a traditional Chagga hut. Apparently, not many were left. This particular home was 18 years old. It was beehive shaped. Although small, the interior was divided into several compartments. A second floor attic was for storing bananas. The ground floor had several partitions around the central cooking area. There was a divider that separated the goats, an area for children to sleep, the parents' sleeping area, and another storage place. Pretty good use of space!

Copyright 2001 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.