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Open AccessArticle

Cults, Crosses, and Crescents: Religion and Healing from Colonial Violence in Tanzania

Studies in Historical Trauma and Transformation, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa
History Department, Stella Maris Mtwara University College, P.O. BOX 674 Mtwara, Tanzania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2019, 10(9), 519;
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 31 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 September 2019 / Published: 8 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interfaith, Intercultural, International)
More often than not, Africans employed local religion and the seemingly antagonistic faith of Christianity and Islam, to respond to colonial exploitation, cruelty, and violence. Southern Tanzanians’ reaction during the Majimaji resistance presents a case in point where the application of local religion, Christianity, and Islam for both individual and community spiritual solace were vivid. Kinjekitile Ngwale—the prominent war ritualist—prophesied that a concoction (Maji) would turn the German’s bullets to water, which in turn would be the defeat of the colonial government. Equally, Christian and Islamic doctrines were used to motivate the resistance. How religion is used in the post-colonial context as a cure for maladies of early 20th-century colonialism and how local religion can inspire political change is the focus of this paper. The paper suggests that religion, as propagated by the Majimaji people for the restoration of social justice to the descendant’s communities, is a form of cultural heritage playing a social role of remedying colonial violence. View Full-Text
Keywords: Majimaji War; colonialism and religion Majimaji War; colonialism and religion
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Rushohora, N.; Silayo, V. Cults, Crosses, and Crescents: Religion and Healing from Colonial Violence in Tanzania. Religions 2019, 10, 519.

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