oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Customary family law in colonial Tanganyika: a study of change and continuity



This contribution gives only an idea of the kind of information which can be gained by analysing existing but virtually forgotten material on research in customary law in colonial Tanganyika. It is, of course, necessary to inquire about the questions and the respective answers and to consult additional literature on African customary law. An isolated analysis restricted to the results of the two research projects as a source for the explanation of the changes and continuities of African customary law makes little sense. Nevertheless, the answers given to the questionnaires in 1910 and 1961 about customary rules represent a rare resource of information for certain aspects of African family and succession laws. The collected material, therefore, can be an important source for research into legal anthropology in colonial Tanganyika if considered together with additional literature on African customary laws.


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