Introduction / History
Bembe or Wabembe are Bantu people, occupying the whole coast of Lake Tanganika of the Kigoma Region. All of them are descendants of those who came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo a long time ago. Some of them changed the tribe name and are now called Wamanyema, others mixed with the Waha tribe (the majority ethnic group of the Kigoma region).
Where Are they Located?
The Wabembe of Tanzania occupy the entire coastal region of Lake Tanganyika, from Kagunga to Mgambo. Their population is not totally known. This is because most of them claim to be Wamanyema, Wagoma and sometimes Waha people. 85% of Ujiji population, Kigoma region, are Bembe people.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Their ancestors believe in a deity they see as the living God - the Yehova. Ancestors used to give offerings through prayers which they call "Iyela or Lo'elo" when famine or illness come into the village. They also strongly beilve in the spirit of the dead which they call "Oci". Oci are considered as the messenger from ancestors which come to visit the surviving children and grandchildren. Oci comes in the form of a spirit talking to people through a human being. for the Oci to come everytime, a small round house must be built in the form of Msonge- which serves the purpose of invoking the ancestor. They speak Kibembe or Ebembe.
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