African History: Everything About “Hadza Tribe”, Why They Don’t Grow Food, Culture, Belief
Hadza Tribe – While many visitors to Africa are familiar with the Masai people, the Hadzabe of Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi region are no less fascinating or representative of African culture.
Still leading the same hunter-gatherer lifestyle that has sustained their people for generations, the Hadzabe make use of locally made poisons and ingenious camouflage to hunt.
Visitors to Tanzania can not only visit with these traditional people, but also witness a thrilling sunrise hunt to see just how these hardy people have survived in the sometimes harsh Tanzanian wilderness for thousands of years.
About the Hadzabe People
With an estimated population of less than 2,000 individuals, the Hadzabe are one of the last tribes to stay true to their tribal history. Existing far from the crowds and globalization that inevitably follow tourism, they exist much as they always have.
Men typically hunt and bring home honey to feed their families, while women and children gather fruits, berries, and roots with which to supplement their diet.
The men are particularly adept hunters, and their daring and inventive hunting style is a sight to behold. Using parts harvested from other animals, they cunningly lure and put down game. As this is their only source of food, they are the only tribe permitted to hunt in the Serengeti.
The Hadzabe people live in caves near Lake Eyasi, and their isolation and shrinking numbers have allowed them to avoid the HIV epidemic and other diseases that have spread due to intertribal marriages.
An interesting facet of Hadzabe culture is their language. Believed to have some kind of relation to the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, the Hadzabe language is a distinctive tongue of clicks that is similar to that of the famous Bushmen. Despite this and their similar physical appearances, DNA testing has shown no relation between the two groups.
What you need to know about Hadza tribe
The Hadza are a modern hunter-gatherer people living in northern Tanzania. They are considered one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa with approximately 1,300 tribe members. Their native homeland includes the Eyasi Valley and nearby hills. The Hadza remain an important study focus for anthropologists, as they represent a modern link to ways of human existence and survival largely abandoned by most of humanity.
As a hunter-gatherer society, the Hadza have no domesticated livestock, nor do they grow or store their own food. The Hadza survive by hunting their food with hand-made bows and arrows and foraging for edible plants. The Hadza diet is primarily plant-based but also consists of meat, fat, and honey. They create temporary shelters of dried grass and branches, and they own few possessions.
What language does Hadza speak?
The Hadza speak a unique language known as Hadzane, which incorporates clicking and popping sounds as well as more familiar sounds. According to their own history, which they preserve through oral tradition, the Hadza have lived in their current environment bordering the Serengeti plains since their first days as a unique group. This is relatively close to the spot where Homo habilis, one of the earliest hominids, lived 1.9 million years ago. Genetically, the Hadza show one of the oldest lineages of contemporary humans.
Contemporary settlements and farming practices currently threaten the lifestyle of the Hadza. They have lost between 75 percent and 90 percent of their land over the past 50 years. The Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania is the last true nomadic tribe of Africa.
Hadza Tribe Religion
The Hadza tribe doesn’t follow a formal religion, believe in life after death, or engage in worship. They pray to Ishoko (the sun) or Haine (Ishoko’s husband) during a hunt and conduct rituals like the monthly epeme dance for men at the sight of the new moon. They also hold the less frequent maitoko circumcision ritual and coming-of-age ceremony for women.
The use of trees and plants by the Hadza
One of their ancient skills is how to make fire from rubbing some wood, the Commiphora tree. Other uses of some trees include using the same Commiphora tree to extract the sap that is believed to be a mosquito repellent. They use the Sansaveria tree to make a snake bite cure and the aloe vera is used by the African Bushman as a treatment for cut wounds. The Baobab fruits are used for making a nice drink.
What has kept the Hadza at the same place for so long is believed to be they habit of not using calendars and not counting time. The Hadzabe Bushmen are said to use only the different stages of the moon to count time. They do not own belongings other than what they need for survival like the bows and arrows and some pots for cooking. These hospitable tribal men are equal and there is no one superior to the other in their society.