The Rangi (Rongo) are a prominent, Bantu speaking people who live in Central Tanzania. Rangi are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group of mixed Bantu and Cushitic heritage in the Dodoma Region of central Tanzania.
In 2022, the Rangi population was estimated to number 880,000.
The majority Rangi living n rural areas are hoe farmers, raising sorghum, millet, maize, cattle, sheep, and goats. A few Rangis also raise peanuts and castor oil plants as cash crops.
The Rangi political system revolves around small chiefdoms. Until the early 1970s, most of the Rangi lived in isolated homestead settlements in the bush country of the north or the scrub región of the south. But, in 1974, Tanzania officially launched its ujamaa program, gathering the Rangi (and other groups) into larger villages where education, commercial agriculture, and political control would be easier to implement. Islam first reached the Rangis in the nine- teenth century when slave traders carne into central Tanzania
Today, more than 80 percent of Rangis identify themselves as Muslims—Sunni Muslims of the Shafi school. Strong elements of their traditional animist faith, particularly wor- ship at rain shrines, nevertheless survive, and relatively few people conduct their daily Islamic prayers or observe Ramadan.
Most ethnologists believe that the gathering of the Rangis into larger villages, towns, and cities will accelerate their conversión to Islam.
The Rangi use the endonym Valangi to refer to themselves, however the Swahili exonym Warangi is more commonly used in Tanzania to refer to group. Likewise, the Rangi use the endonym Kilangi to refer to their language, but most people in Tanzania use the Swahili exonym of Kirangi instead. In English, the Swahili plural prefix of Wa and the Swahili artifact prefix of Ki are often dropped, resulting in both the people and language being referred to as Rangi.
Sources differ on when the Rangi became a distinct ethnic group, with some suggesting approximately 300 AD and others say around the range of 1500-1700. Despite being a Bantu ethnic group, most Rangi do not believe that their ancestors came from the West, and that they actually came from the North and East (Ethiopia and Sudan). Meanwhile, other Rangi believe that their ancestors originated from the West. This makes sense as the Rangi have both Cushitic (Northeastern) and Bantu (Western) heritage. When the Rangi arrived in the Dodoma region they began assimilating surrounding Cushitic peoples, primarily the Alagwa and Burunge. The Rangi also assimilated the neighboring Nyaturu people, another Bantu ethnic group.