Shambala language

Shambala or Shambaa is a Bantu language of Tanzania.

Native toTanzania
EthnicityShambaa people
Native speakers
660,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ksb


Shambala, also Kishambala, (ki)Sambaa, (ki)Shambaa is spoken by the Shambaa in the Usambara mountains in the Lushoto District and Muheza District, Tanga Region, of northern Tanzania. Some dialectal variation exists between the language as spoken in the area around Lushoto and the areas around Mlalo and Mtae, possibly also between the Shambaa of the Western Usambara Mountains and the Eastern Usambara Mountains.


  1. ^ Shambala at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Shambala". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online

External links


Fortition, also known as strengthening, is a consonantal change that increases the degree of stricture. It's the opposite of the more common lenition. For example, a fricative or an approximant may become a stop (i.e. [v] becomes [b] or [r] becomes [d]). Although not as typical of sound change as lenition, fortition may occur in prominent positions, such as at the beginning of a word or stressed syllable; as an effect of reducing markedness; or due to morphological leveling.

Jakob Erhardt

Johann Jakob Erhardt, or John James Erhardt, (17 April 1823 – 14 August 1901) was a German missionary and explorer who worked in East Africa and India.

Although he remained on or near the coast of East Africa, he contributed to European knowledge of the interior through gathering descriptions from local people who had traveled there. His map of the region stimulated dispatch of the expedition of Burton and Speke.


Mbegha was the first "Lion King" (Shambala language: Simba Mwene) of the Shambaa people, modern-day Northeastern Tanzania, who lived during the first half of the 18th century. While his existence is undisputed among historians, his biography is mainly based on oral traditions. Numerous legends have made him a mythic hero.

Mbegha was born to the Ngulu people from the hilly area of the Nguru Mountains. Because of disputes with relatives and because considered supernaturally dangerous, he was condemned from his homeland. He fled to Kilindi, where he became a hunter, hunting bush pigs with the local chief's son. While on a hunt, the chief's son was accidentally killed. In order to escape punishment from the chief, Mbegha had to flee again, this time further north into the Usambara Mountains. He lived in the open near a place called Ziai, in caves and camps, hunting wild animals.

Upon learning that Mbegha was a skilled pig hunter, the locals asked him to rid their village of pigs, which kept on destroying their agricultural produce. He killed all pigs and was welcomed by the Shambaa. He was invited to live in Vuga, near modern-day Bumbuli, then chief town of the Shambaa people. Mbegha also helped the people of Vuga and all the other villages and was awarded with the kingship. He became known as a lion slayer after killing a lion on the way to their village. The grateful farmers gave him wives from each major clan and the respective firstborn sons were placed in charge of all clans, thereby also forging regional unity.

Mbegha's son Buge grew to become the chief of Vuga and when Mbegha died, Buge succeeded him as king.

Buge's son Kimweri ye Nyumbai ruled the kingdom at its greatest extent. After he died there was a succession struggle, and in 1890 the Germans took control.


Sambaa may be:

Shambaa people

Shambala language

Shambaa people

The Shambaa people, also called the Sambaa, Shambala, Sambala or Sambara, are an East African ethnic and linguistic group. They are found in the Usambara Mountains of northeastern Tanzania and in the Kilimanjaro and Manyara regions. The word Shamba means "farm", and these people live in one of the most fertile Tanzanian region. In 2001, the Shambaa population was estimated to number 664,000.

Official languages


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