Updated: Feb 28
Zaramo are an east central Bantu peoples whose ancestors most likely immigrated into modern day Tanzania sometime during the first millennium A.D. Oral histories suggest that the Zaramo moved eastward into their current location from the mountainous Luguru and Kutu areas around the turn of the 18th century. Linguistic evidence supports this history. Trade and slave caravans in the 18th century passed through Zaramo territory on their way to Lake Tanganyika, bringing Islam along with them. As Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, has grown exponentially in the last twenty years many Zaramo settlements have been incorporated into the city, and many more Zaramo people have immigrated into the city in search of work.
Most Zaramo cultivation is done by women using a hand-held hoe. They grow maize, millet, and rice near the coast. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cassava, cucumbers, and various other vegetables are grown. Tropical fruits, including mango, bananas, and coconut are abundant. In the past fishing and hunting were important, but have largely been replaced by raising domestic animals. Dried fish, brought inland from the coast, are commonly eaten. The Zaramo supply much of the fruit and vegetables that are sold in the markets of Dar es Salaam. Sisal, which is used for making ropes, is grown on large plantations throughout eastern Tanzania. Tanzania is the number one exporter of sisal.