Introduction / History
The Kagulu live in a relatively small geographical area of central Tanzania, but they reside at various levels of elevation. Some live in the lowlands, others on plateaus, and still others in the cold and rainy Kaguru and Nguru Mountains. Although some Kagulu are found in urban centers, many live in villages without electricity or running water. They live in rectangular houses which are framed with branches and plastered with earth, although houses of clay bricks or cement blocks with tin roofs are becoming increasingly common.
Like many other groups in Tanzania, most Kagulu are farmers, growing crops such as sweet potatoes, beans, maize, and rice. Many Kagulu also raise animals, including chickens, ducks, sheep, and goats. They are also known for making wooden bicycles, which they sell to people from other tribes. Men often wear Western-style clothing, but women usually wear the colorfully printed cloths known as 'kanga' that are common throughout the country.
Anglican missionaries brought Christianity in the late 1800s, and now several denominations have churches throughout the Kagulu territory. The vast majority of Kagulu would call themselves Christians, but in reality this could mean anything from being a true follower of Jesus to merely a name. Traditional religion still has a strong hold on the people, and many who profess Christianity continue to struggle with the tension of trusting in God or relying on traditional attempts to appease spirits, including those of their ancestors. Christian leaders among the Kagulu are eager to disciple their own people and many receive training at Bible schools. They are also hopeful that the Kagulu translation of the Scriptures, which is currently underway, will be a great blessing to their tribe.
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