Nancy A. RUSHOHORA
(Stella Maris Mtwara University College –Tanzania / University of Pretoria-South Africa)
Keywords: memorial, battlefield, public, audio-visual
Majimaji was a war of resistance against the German colonialism which occurred in 1905-1907 covering more than 260,000 square kilometers of southern and eastern Tanzania regions of Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Njombe and Pwani. Majimaji War studies are very few and none have been conducted with the intention of eliciting public awareness and perception of the battle sites and how the memories of the war resonate into people’s minds. Elsewhere, memories of conflicts, graveyards and battle sites of a recent past are more attached to the communities affected by the battle. Therefore, communities perception of the battlefield is that of a tomb, holding the bodies of most of those who died there, a perpetual shrine and memorial which engage thought and reverence. The connection between the battlefield and the memorial can easily be lost, as the memorial itself becomes the symbol of the event. This highlights the need to physically record where the boundaries of conflicts lie and where the exact location of the battlefield is certainly. This paper presents an archaeological investigation of the Majimaji battlefield and the documentation of the battle sites collaboratively between professional archaeologist and the communities which utilizes and encounters the battle sites in the present as it was the past. Documentation will also involve presentation of the findings through formal classroom lectures, audio and video recordings, written brochures in English, Swahili as well as vernacular languages. This will facilitate the dissemination of the archaeological findings to a wider public of both literate and illiterate societies which characterize majority of the African societies. A proper documentation will then be left under the custodian of the district commission for each region under study for record keeping.