Departmental Bulletin Paper Tongwe Names of Mammals: Special Reference to Mammals Inhabiting The Kasoje Area, Mahale Mountains, Western Tanzania

NAKAMURA, Michio  ,  NAKAZAWA, Nobuko  ,  NYUNDO, Butati R.  ,  ITOH, Noriko

38 ( 4 )  , pp.221 - 242 , 2017-12 , The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Indigenous knowledge is nowadays considered essential in regard to understanding and conservation of wildlife, especially where biological diversity is high. The Mahale region in western Tanzania is included in one of the biodiversity hotspots and also is a long-term field study site of chimpanzees and other wildlife. The Tongwe people are the area’s original inhabitants, with rich traditional knowledge about wildlife. We collected Tongwe names of mammals and updated Jun’ichiro Itani’s list, which was compiled about 40 years ago. We also provided information on updated scientific names, equivalent Swahili names, and the current existence of these mammals in Mahale. We listed 66 Tongwe names of mammals, excluding synonyms. Twenty-one names had synonyms of non-identical lexical origin. Among the 66 names, four are used collectively for multiple species, and some had subcategories. These collective names are mostly for smaller mammals like mice and bats. While most Tongwe names are of single primary lexemes, Swahili names are often compounded by adding adjectives to primary lexemes. From these outcomes, we discuss the several utilities of indigenous knowledge in the context of conservation activities, including environmental education of local youngsters.

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