Iraqw Cultural Home
ZARA Highview Hotel
Karatu is not more than a very big village, it has a colourful market and is mainly inhabited by the Iraqw people. A tribe that several hundred years ago worked its way south from southern Ethiopia, through Kenya to settle in the neighbourhood of the Ngorongoro. Local Masaai raided the Iraqw settlements on dark nights, to defend themselves and their cattle they developed a unique system. They built extensive systems of underground houses that when unwittingly walked on by Maasai warned the Iraqw of the raid who could then arm themselves quietly and try to catch the intruders.
In the post independence period the old underground were ordered to be demolished in order that the Iraqw could be rehoused in better housing closer to schools and medical facilities.
Iraqw traditions are being preserved and revived by a few of the locals notably Daniel A Tewa, Box 219, Karatu who welcomes visitors to his Axwesso Iraqw Cultural Home where he enthusiastically shows them around explaining the traditions and culture of the Iraqw people.