Tanzania

The Hadzabe Tribe

Hunting with the prehistoric man

They are called Hadzabe and are amongst the very few genuine hunters and gatherers left on earth. Except for a few details, they live in the same way that mankind did for about a million years, before discovering agriculture, pastoral farming and the various forms of social and political organisation. An encounter with them is the same as coming face-to-face with our origins, the way we were before undergoing a multitude of cultural and technological conditionings. They live around Lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania, not far from where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of the first Hominidae which proved the African origins of man.

With their lethal poison arrows, the Hadzabe hunt giraffe, antelope, hippos, leopards and even lions. The poison only takes effect after about 15 minutes. Once wounded, the animal must be shadowed, following in its tracks until it falls to the ground. The Hadzabe also watch vultures circling in the sky in order to pinpoint a carcass, drive away the scavengers and break the bones in order to suck the marrow, just as Homo erectus did in the past. The men climb trees like monkeys in their search for wild honey, while the women, as they did in prehistoric times, dig for roots with sharpened sticks and pick wild berries and fruit.

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