A German rifle casing and Chief Mkwawa of the Wahehe: the colonial and post-colonial significance of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania

Author
Willoughby, Pamela R.
Biittner, Katie
Bushozi, Pastory M.
Miller, Jennifer M.
Faculty Advisor
Date
2019
Keywords
Iringa , Uhehe , Mkwawa , historical archaeology
Abstract (summary)
During the 2010 excavations of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania, a single rifle bullet casing was recovered. Analysis of this casing found that it was manufactured in 1877 at the munitions factory in Danzig for the German infantry’s Mauser 71 rifle. This casing is thus directly linked to the period of German colonization of Tanganyika, during which Iringa was a key centre of anti-colonial resistance. Mlambalasi was the location of the last stand of Chief Mkwawa of the Hehe people, and this bullet casing provides a tangible link to his uprising during the 1890s. In light of this colonial context and our ongoing research at Mlambalasi, this find is used to illustrate that a single artifact can reinforce multiple narratives about the past and the significance of an archaeological site.
Publication Information
Willoughby, P. R., Biittner, K. M., Bushozi, P. M., & Miller, J. M. (2019). A German rifle casing and Chief Mkwawa of the Wahehe: the colonial and post-colonial significance of Mlambalasi rockshelter, Iringa Region, Tanzania. Journal of African Archaeology, 17, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1163/21915784-20190004
DOI
Notes
Item Type
Article
Language
English
Rights
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)