The Maji Maji ("sacred water". Maji was a drink of water mixed with millet given to the warriors before they went to fight.) War was an armed rebellion against German colonial rule in German East Africa and lasted from 1905 to 1907. The war was triggered by a German policy designed to force the indigenous population to grow cotton for export. Villages were ordered to grow cotton as a cash crop for expor). Each village was charged with producing a quota of cotton. The headmen of the village were left in charge of overseeing the production, which set them against the rest of the population.
The rebellion spread throughout the colony, eventually involving 20 different ethnic groups all of whom wished to dispel the German colonizers. As such it was the first significant example of interethnic cooperation in the battle against colonial control.
The German army adopted famine as a weapon and starved their opponents to death by destroying fields and killing livestock. It is estimated that over 50% of the Matumbi people died, and 75% of the Pangwa people died.