Matengo People - Social Practices

Social Practices

The Matengo society follows the patrilineal hierarchy and is polygamous. The land holding of each family is normally a small ridge of the hill region adjoining streams for supply of water for cultivation. The land they cultivate is termed as "ntumbo". Married women hire the ntumbo land from their father-in-law and are usually engaged in growing staple food crops such as maize and beans. They also raise livestock of cattle and pigs to supplement their income. The men, however, exclusively grow coffee, as cash crop to ensure economic prosperity.

Musical changes that have occurred here are a reflection of economic and political changes as well as the gendered decision of the highland dancers.

Matengo people live in one-room jiko (house) tenements which serve as their kitchen, dining room, and favourite place to entertain guests. Ugali, is their main daily diet which is thick corn porridge; fish or meat are also added to the ugali.

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