Introduction / History
The Rangi are farmers, their principal crops being maize and millet. They live in the hilly region of north central Tanzania, surrounded by scrub forest. Despite the wild vegetation their land has suffered from massive erosion. The terrain surrounding the villages in the area is rugged and hilly with small rivers that render many of the roads impassable during the rainy season. During the dry season the rivers stop flowing and the people must dig for their water.
The Rangi believe that their ancestors traveled southward through the Rift Valley passing through Ethiopia and Kenya. The Rangi were water diviners, and as they traveled they were continually searching for permanent water sources. Tradition says that after moving to Tanzania they continued south until they came to the place called Haubi. This was a place where the "water did not go out." This became the new land of the Rangi, and Haubi is well known today as the place where the Rangi people have originated. It is situated near a recently dried-up lake, yet still supplies much of the fruit for the region.
The Rangi are predominantly Muslim. Only a small percentage has been affected by Christian influence as represented by the Roman Catholic church. Protestant churches have had very little impact among the Rangi despite a large number of outside (i.e., non-Rangi) pastors and evangelists. Many of the traditional religious beliefs of the Rangi have been incorporated into their present day religion. Reports of witchcraft among these people are common and sometimes people from other parts of the country fear to move into the area for this reason.
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