Chagga women who control land on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, have a deep and profound sense of attachment to their lands and homes. This thesis compares their reasons for attachment to the systemic model. The systemic model states that community attachment is dependent on social ties and interactions. The three factors that lead to these ties are length of residence, social status, and age. In-depth interviews with women in 2002 and 2003, a survey from 2002, and field notes from 2002 and 2003 are used to explain the main factors of attachment of women in three villages on the mountain: Mbahe, Marangu, and Chekereni. This research finds that social ties are not dependent on length of residence, but do have some connections with social status and age. Women have social ties regardless of their length of residence. They interact with each other no matter the social status of the other, but this occurs more frequently as the women are more involved in education and religion. Western influences, land shortages, and economic pressures are causing the interactions of the young and old to be more strained. Though social ties are partly related so social status and age, this thesis finds that the attachment of Chagga women does not completely follow the systemic model. Instead, the women's attachment is primarily associated with family ties. The land has provided food and income for their families for generations and it is the hope of each of the women that it will continue to care for their families in such a way.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Geography



Date Submitted


Document Type





Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, women, community attachment, Chagga, family, social ties, length of residence, social status, systemic model, Chaga



Included in

Geography Commons