Ifanaiya Banana

Ark of taste
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This is an indigenous banana variety from Machame village, in Kilimanjaro region. It is very short and the inside is white.

Ifanaiya is very resistant to poor soil and to an arid climate; like other bananas in the Kilimanjaro region, it is cultivated by way of inter cropping. It is normally inter cropped with cassava, coffee, sunflower and even Amasoma Vibere (a type of climbing yam).

Ifanaiya is a banana variety which plays an important part in Chagga culture, because it is used to make the traditional brew Mbege. Mbege is used in most Chagga celebrations, especially during dowry ceremonies and weddings. In the olden days, there were various special rituals which were carried out during weddings and dowry ceremonies, some of which are not practiced today. As the tafura, where a man who could not afford a big wedding, would invite the woman who had caught his eye over to his home, but when the time came for her to return to her home, he would not permit her to leave and the morning after, he would have his friends send Mbege to her family, to announce that, she is now his wife.
Nowadays, Ifanaiya is slowing being replaced by other common varieties, as Ndizi Mshare and Ndizi Bukoba. Mshare has no particular meaning, however, Bukoba is the name of a city in Kagera in the great lakes region, on the border of Tanzania and Uganda. Evidently, varieties such as ndizi Bukoba are not from the area but they have slowly found their way into Chagga soil.

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Other info


Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Chagga
Nominated by:Aikande Charles Kileo