The United Republic of Tanzania 2005


The expedition of Russian anthropologists worked in Tanzania from April 11 to May 11 2005. The expedition was initiated and organized by the Center for Civilizational and Regional Studies, Institute for African Studies (both under the Russian Academy of Sciences), the Russian Center of International Scientific and Cultural Co-operation, and the University of Dar es Salaam. The expedition was supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanitarian Studies and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United Republic of Tanzania. The first fieldwork season took place in April – May 2003, and the second one continued the field research in East Africa.
The research staff of the expedition included the fellows of the Center for Civilizational and Regional Sciences Dmitri M. Bondarenko (the head of the expedition), Ekaterina B. Demintseva, Oleg I. Kavykin, Daria A. Khaltourina, and Andrey V. Korotayev, as well as Nelli V. Gromova from the Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Moscow Lomonossov University, Artem V. Gerasimov from the Russian State University for the Humanities, and a free-lance scholar Elena A. Stroganova,
The expedition focused on interethnic relationships in Tanzania because of multicultural nature of the state, which is inhabited by representatives of more than 120 ethnic groups. Besides autochthonous peoples, there are well established Indian, Arab and Greek communities to what the current intensive inflow of immigrants from neighboring countries and from China must be added. Remarkably, this variety of ethnic groups does not disturb social and political stability of the state.
The goal of the expedition was to explore the models and mechanisms of the relationships between different ethnic groups. A set of related factors directly connected with the central problematic of the expedition was taken into account, such as age, gender and social stratification of the population, its educational level, family and marriage relationships and so on. The data collected during the first season of the expedition that studied inter-religious relationships in Tanzania, were also considered.
The research goals determined the choice of methods. The three main methods employed were questioning, interview and observation.
A questionnaire of 37 questions was developed. It was the same for all ethnic groups. There were questions aimed at determining of the parameters of interethnic tolerance, ethnic aspects of political culture, as well as the influence of ethnicity on family relationships. There also were questions that marked the attitude towards geopolitical aspects of interethnic relationships. The questionnaire was available in Kiswahili and English.
The questionnaires were filled in by representatives of various ethnic groups. 1012 questionnaires have been collected. The data were collected mostly in Dar es Salaam with some pilot research on Zanzibar and Pemba, and the sample included all the major ethnic, religious, social, age, gender, and other groups of the country.
About 70 semi-formalized and non-formalized interviews were made with common people, as well as with leaders of ethnic and religious communities, journalists, teachers and so on. The majority of these interviews were taken in accordance with a special plan. Each interview took about 40 minutes. Expert interviews were based on another plan and took about an hour. Finally, some interviews were conversations without a special plan and lasted, on average, for an hour and a half.
Special attention was paid to the method of observation of both ordinary life and celebration activities of the peoples of Tanzania. The observation was included when it was possible and was accompanied with taking photos and making audio records.
After processing of all the collected evidence, the expedition members will start working on a collective monograph and a series of articles for national and international journals.