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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Forgotten Caravan Towns in 19th Century Tanzania: Mbwamaji and Mpwapwa
Author:Rockel, Stephen J.
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Notes:biblio. refs., ills., maps
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
Subjects:mercantile history
social relations
small towns
History and Exploration
History, Archaeology
Tanzania--History--19th century
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00672700609480432
Abstract:This article highlights changes in the pattern of urbanization in 19th and early 20th-century Tanzania, with more detailed discussion of social, economic and cultural dynamics in relation to the caravan system. The focus is on two small but historically important towns: Mbwamaji (a caravan terminus and coastal trading centre) and Mpwapwa (a junction town). The case of Mpwapwa is based on source material that enables an investigation into economic, social and cultural relations between the settlement's inhabitants and the large migratory population of caravan porters. For Mbwamaji, conclusions are drawn concerning the town's position as an economic and cultural mediator between the world of the western Indian Ocean and the caravan routes of the near and far interior. The transformation of urban networks was related to shifts in long-distance caravan routes, reorientation of wider trading links and, in the case of Mpwapwa, the construction by the German colonial government of the central railway that bypassed the town. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]