"Material relating to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in Moshi, Tanzania"

Following the creation of the German protectorate in 1885, German missionary societies established themselves in different parts of Tanzania. The Leipzig Mission founded its first station on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1893. By 1939 half of the (predominantly peasant) Chagga population had been converted; today most people are Christians. Although German rule ended in 1919, German missionaries returned in 1926, including a leading figure in German anthropology and mission history - Bruno Gutmann (1876-1966). In 1963 the mission church became the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania in Northern Tanganyika [later: Tanzania], consisting of 5 dioceses: Northern, Pare, Arusha, Meru and Central. The archive of this church in the small town of Moshi in the centre of the Northern Diocese houses records which extend back to 1895. Some are in English, others in German or Swahili. Most researchers studying the history or anthropology of northeastern Tanzania visit this archive, although the conditions for research are far from ideal. The material, produced by missionaries and subsequently by African converts, falls into seven categories, of which the first is the most important in terms of quantity: church registers (births, baptisms, communion, catechists, marriages, funerals); mission council records; education records; diaries; files on individual missionaries, notably Bruno Gutmann, and on African teachers, pastors and evangelists; photographs; first prints of hymnals and portions of the Bible in African languages.

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