The Ruga Ruga were gun men operating in East Africa during the late 19th Centuryt and early 20th Century.
Their origins are from young men employed to guard caravans that travelled through the region, usually recruited from the dispossed and runaways. Their complex history developed into two major power blocks in what is now modern day Tanzania, one led by Mirambo and the other by Nyungu.
The Ruga Ruga were characterised by outlandish appearance, drug taking and the use of terror to maintain their power. Their chief income came from ivory and slave raiding.