The Hadzabe
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The Hadzabe

Hunter-gatherers

Hunter-gatherers

Adventure into the wild African savanna with its last remaining hunter-gatherer tribe, the Hadza—meaning ‘human being’.

Experience a world where time doesn’t dictate, instead let the sun, moon and stars guide you alongside these spiritual tribes people.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Southern Africa

  • Climate here is Mild

  • The challenge here is Intense

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

The Hadza is split into groups of 30 men. The men hunt for many hours, while the women forage for herbs, berries, and honey from Baobab trees. Unlike many other tribes, they don’t raise cattle as they believe wild foods equate to a better diet. They live by the law of probability—believing that if someone was to gain something they are likely to lose it—therefore they don’t exchange gifts and avoid personal possessions.
Home

Home

The Hadza home changes with the season. In Spring and Summer they move every six to eight weeks, depending on hunting. They also relocate after a death or illness. During this period they live in huts. The huts are made from a framework of large branches woven together at the top. Smaller branches are then tightly interlaced to make up the second layer. This is then covered using a variety of materials, such as long grasses, liana, or tree trunks. There are also larger community spaces for cooking and dancing. In the rainy season the groups find homes in caves, located high up in the mountains.

Culture

Social Structure

The Hadza community usually has 20-30 people. There is no hierarchy within the group, in fact they are strong believers of equal rights with any decisions being made as a mutual agreement. Relationships are monogamous.

Religion

Instead of following a religion, the Hadza’s main faith is cosmology, which includes the sun, moon, stars, or ancestors. They also have rich traditions of mythical and heroic storytelling.

Traditions

The Hadza celebrate the manhood of adult Hadza men, known as ‘epeme’. Epeme men, in their early 20s kill large animals and consume the epeme parts of an animal, usually the organs. On moonless nights when the Hadza village is in complete darkness, the epeme men take part in special dances wearing black capes, ostrich-feather headdresses, and bells around their ankles — the women participate by watching, singing, and dancing around them.

Language

The Hadza speak their own language that echoes similar clicks to other neighbouring tribes, although it doesn’t sit within a specific language group.

Art

Beaded jewels are their main art form. They use tiny multi-colored beads to create stunning pieces. They’re also skilled carvers, creating weapons, such as arrows from wood and animal bones.

Celebrations

With no religious beliefs, the Hadza aren’t bound by any particular rituals or any passage of time, such as hours, days, weeks or years. Therefore, they don’t celebrate life milestones, such as anniversaries or birthdays.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

The Dorobo Fund has been working with the Hadza, along with other tribes within the area, to secure the first ever communal land title in Tanzania. This is to help the community protect their communal rights on territory and help them live more sustainably.

Please be mindful of the amount of waste you produce. It could contribute to the local marine and land pollution.

Please be considerate when taking photos and always ask permission.



Photo credit: Female Lion
iStock.com/Kenneth Canning

Photo credit: Portrait of Hadzabe young bushman
iStock.com/chuvipro

Photo credit: Hadzabe young bushman making the arrow
iStock.com/chuvipro

Photo credit: Hadzabe child
iStock.com/ranplett

Other photos credit: Shadows of Africa