The Hadzabe - Encounter Africa’s People

The Hadzabe are hunter-gatherers living in small communities fringing Lake Eyasi in Central Tanzania. They are considered the last true hunter-gatherers of Africa.

Hadzabe at a Glance - some quick facts

  • today there are just under 1000 Hadzabe people remaining
  • time is not measured - no clocks and no calendars 
  • numbers greater than four are not part of their vocabulary
  • many Hadza live in much the same way that their ancestors did thousands of years ago
  • child raising responsibilities are shared in their communities
  • the only Tanzanian people that don't pay local or national taxes 

Taking a look at the Hadzabe

Hadzabe of Tanzania

Fantastic photographs of the Hadzabe on Flickr.

The Hadzabe do not farm or own livestock, the women collect berries, fruits and tubers and the men hunt. Only about 300 Hazabe live traditional lifestyles in camps within the Great Rift Valley area. Hadzabe society is unstructured and does not follow rules and hierarchies.

The men make their own bows out of animal tendons and use poison made out of local plants. These resourceful people also use plants to repel insects, heal cuts, cure snake bites and make medicine.

Interesting YouTube video about the Hadzabe - Dawn of Social Networks: Hunter-gatherers Provide Clues About the Evolution of Cooperation by Coren Apicella, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Visiting the Hadzabe is a unique and rare cultural interaction, requiring a limited impact approach as tourism can negatively affect traditional societies. The Hadzabe tribe is not without its challenges as a primitive society having to withstand outside pressures and influences, such as safari hunting and loss of territory.

For more info on the Hadzabe check out the Hadza on Wikipedia.

Related reading: More about Tanzania Travel or Tours to Tanzania.

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