Wahinda

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The Wahinda tribe of Eastern Africa, are mentioned in Richard Francis Burton's The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration, Vol. 2., P. 219.

..."Of the tribes dwelling about the Nyanaz, ... Remain the Wahinda, a clan or class alluded to in this and a former chapter...

The Wahninda (in the singular Muhinda) are, according to some Arabs, a foreign and ruling family, who coming from a distant country, probably in the neighbourhood of Somaliland, conquered the lands, and became Sultans. This opinion seems to rest upon physical peculiarities – the superiority of the Wahinda in figure, stature, and complexion to their subjects suggesting a difference of origin. Others explain the word Muhinda to mean a cadet of royal family, and call the class Bayt el Saltanah, or the Kingly House. ...

The Wahinda are found in the regions of Usui, Karagwah, Uhha, Uvinza, Uyungu, Ujiji, and Urundi, where they live in boma -- stockades—and scattered villages. Of this race are the Sultans Suwarora of the Wasui, Armanika of Karagway, Kanoni of Uhha, Kanze of Uyungu, Mzogera of Uvinza, Rusimba of Ujiji, Mwezi of Urundi, Mnyamurunde of Uyofo, Gaetawa of Uhayya, and Mutawazi of Utumbara. The Wahinda affect a milk diet which is exceedingly fattening, and anoint themselves plentifully with butter and ghee, to soften and polish the skin. They never sell [i.e. enslave] their fellow clansmen, are hospitable and civil to strangers, seldom carry arms, fear nothing from the people, and may not be slain even in battle. There the Wahinda reigh, their ministers are the Watosi, a race which has been described when treating of their headquarters Karagwah."

Under Musical Instruments - Drums this reference was found:

One East African tribe, the Wahinda, believed it was so holy that seeing a drum would be fatal to any person other than the sultan.[1]

Another reference to the Wahinda in relationship to drums and drumming comes from a Sacred Beat: from the heart of the drum circle, by Telesco and Waterhawk [2]

...[T]here is one "myth" about the drum that needs to be clarified. Many people think of the drum as a man's tool. However, the histories of Egyptian, Semitic, Sumerain, and Wahinda people all tell us of women using these instruments. ... [A]mong the Wahinda of East Africa, it's considered a death wish for a man to even look at a drum. They will only dare to carry it at night, and even better during the dark moon so it cannot be seen. ...

Today, the Muhinda seem to inhabit parts of Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda, at the very least. (according to whom)

The late Sam Magara, a Ugandan military leader was from the Muhinda clan of the Bahima.[3]

Again, the princes of Unyoro are called Wawitu, and point to the north when asked where their country Uwitu is situated, doubtfully saying, when questioned about its distance, "How can we tell circumstances which took place in our forefathers' times? we only think it is somewhere near your country." Although, however, this very interesting people, the Wahuma, delight in supposing themselves to be of European origin, they are forced to confess, on closer examination, that although they came in the first instance from the doubtful north, they came latterly from the east, as part of a powerful tribe, beyond Kidi, who excel in arms, and are so fierce no Kidi people, terrible in war as these too are described to be, can stand against them. This points, if our maps are true, to the Gallas — for all pastorals in these people's minds are Wahuma; and if we could only reconcile ourselves to the belief that the Wawitu derived their name from Omwita, the last place they attacked on the east coast of Africa, then all would be clear: for it must be noticed the Wakama, or kings, when asked to what race they owe their origin, invariably reply, in the first place, from princes—giving, for instance, the titles Wawitu in Unyoro, and Wahinda in Karague — which is most likely caused by their never having been asked such a close question before, whilst the idiom of the language generally induces them to call themselves after the name applied to their country.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sachs, Curt (1940), The History of Musical Instruments, Dover Publications.
  2. ^ Sacred beat: from the heart of the drum circle. Telesco, Patricia and Don Two Eagles Waterhawk, Time's Beat: a Brief History of Drums, p. 8.
  3. ^ http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4535&Itemid=59, accessed: 3 Oct 2009
  4. ^ The Discover of the Source of the Nile. John Hanning Speke, Chapter IX.