African Ecotheology: A Water Purification Shrine dedicated to the Zaramo ethnic group in Pugu Hills

Zolani Armede Gomba

M2

Unit Choice Award, Transformative Pedagogy Prize

Supervisors:

Dr. Finzi Saidi, Jabu Absalom Makhubu, Dickson Adu Agyei, Mandy Schindler, Prof Antonio Tomas

Unit:

15 X- Remembering public Space

Email:

“Animism is the belief in a supernatural power that organises and animates the material universe.”
- Ella Pedeupe

My project engages in the process of understanding animism through exploring an African ecotheological theory that speaks to the Zaramo ethnic group in Pugu Hills, and the way this group relates to the landscape. The Zaramo is the largest ethnic group in Dar es Salaam. I was attracted by the origins of the Zaramo that can be traced back to a sacred spiritual cave known as ‘Mwenembago’ meaning "the lord of the forest" of the Wazaramo found in Tanganyika, known and believed to be human ghost/s. Using principles of daily rituals and custom practices of the Zaramo, and in parallel with understanding the Shinto ethnic group (who practice shamanism) as a case study, I aim to create informed urban landscape spaces that speak to African ecotheology.

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