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David Choe Went Baboon Hunting with the Hadza People of Tanzania


Hadzabe tribe: the last hunters and gatherers of Tanzania - Edited by Carmine Salituro

The hadzabe tribes, which live around Lake Eyasi, are formed by the last hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. It is an exceptional ethnicity, a real anthropological rarity, which amazes scientists, especially linguists, who for years have been trying to decipher their curious idiom made of countless pops.
The history of this people is rather obscure, certainly today the Hadzabe are reduced to a few hundred, divided into small groups, living in modest huts built simply with the branches of the trees, and are arranged in camps camouflaged in the bush of the savannah.
They keep their ancestral customs almost intact. They have always refused to convert to agriculture and cattle breeding. They are nomads, they are always moving in search of berries, edible roots, wild fruits and game, such as baboons and antelopes, which hunt with bow and arrows impregnated with a poison that is derived from a variety of euphorbia, a plant that grows abundant in this region.
Nowadays their millennial traditions and their territories on which they have always lived are threatened by modern civilization, which invades their ancestral habitat and risks to overturn the social equilibrium.
The local authorities oppose these communities to the point that today the scholars and the Tanzanian press raise the alarm: the last bushmen, the men of the savannah, among the most ancient peoples of Africa, holders of an inestimable cultural heritage, risk disappear in the name of progress.
My experience in this village brings me back to prehistoric times with its rhythms of life marked by the rising and setting of the sun, the daily material needs of hunting and gathering, the primitive hunting tools, the clothing and the ornamental objects of the body, to finish the particular mode of lighting the fire by rubbing a long wooden stick.

Gli Hadzabe, diffusi attorno al lago Eyasi, sono gli ultimi cacciatori-raccoglitori della Tanzania. Si tratta di una etnia eccezionale, una vera e propria rarità antropologica, che non finisce mai di stupire, soprattutto gli studiosi di linguistica, che da anni tentano di decifrare il loro curioso idioma fatto di innumerevoli schiocchi e suoni vibranti e secchi.
La storia di questo popolo è piuttosto oscura, di certo oggi gli Hadzabe sono ridotti a poche centinaia di unità, divisi in piccoli gruppi, che vivono in modeste capanne costruite semplicemente con i rami degli alberi, e sono riunite in accampamenti mimetizzati nella boscaglia della savana.
Mantengono pressoché intatte le loro usanze ataviche. Hanno sempre rifiutato di convertirsi all’agricoltura e all’allevamento del bestiame. Sono nomadi, si spostano in continuazione alla ricerca di bacche, radici commestibili, frutti selvatici e selvaggina, come babbuini e antilopi, che cacciano con arco e frecce impregnate di un veleno che si ricava da una varietà di euforbia, una pianta che cresce abbondante in questa regione.
Oggigiorno le loro tradizioni millenarie e i loro territori sui quali hanno sempre vissuto sono minacciati dalla civiltà moderna, che invade il loro habitat ancestrale e rischia di stravolgerne gli equilibri sociali.
Le autorità locali contrastano tali comunità al punto che oggi gli studiosi e la stampa tanzaniana lanciano l’allarme: gli ultimi “bushmen”, gli uomini della savana, tra i più antichi popoli dell’Africa, custodi orgogliosi di un inestimabile patrimonio culturale, rischiano di sparire in nome del progresso.
La mia esperienza in questo villaggio mi riporta nella preistoria con i suoi ritmi di vita scanditi dal sorgere e dal tramontare del sole, dalle necessità materiali quotidiane di cacciare e raccogliere, dagli strumenti di caccia primitivi, dall'abbigliamento e dagli oggetti ornamentali del corpo, per finire alla particolare modalità di accendere il fuoco strofinando un lungo bastoncino di legno.

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A Glimpse of Hadzabe

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Hunting with the Hadzabe

A clip from Return to Africa by Travel the Road, where missionaries Tim Scott and Will Decker get an introduction to the Hadzabe way of life.

We Are What We Eat: Tanzania | Nat Geo Live

(Part 7 of 7) Photographer Matthieu Paley joins the Hadza of Tanzania--the world’s last full-time hunter-gatherers. The Hadza work hard for their food and reward themselves generously with marijuana.
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We Are What We Eat: Tanzania | Nat Geo Live

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The Hadza - The Last of the First

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A unique look at the way of life of one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes.

One of the last true hunter-gatherer tribes, the East African Hadza are fighting to maintain their sustainable lifestyle. They have lived on their land near the Rift Valley in Tanzania for over 50,000 years. Like other indigenous peoples around the globe, the Hadza now face grave challenges to their way of life. This programme is a call to action to guarantee a land corridor for their survival.
The Hadza’s tribal way of life is under threat: matches mean they‘re losing their fire-making skills, modern medicine is replacing traditional remedies and alcoholism is threatening their peace. Modern civilisation is eroding their ancient traditions. In spite of these threats, it’s perhaps surprising how much of their culture still survives unchanged.
An insight into their unique way of life, this moving film follows the Hadza as they are caught between traditions and modern ways of life. It uncovers a clash of cultures that could mean the loss of a vital connection with our past.
“Hauntingly vivid” – Jane Goodall.
See also our earlier film The Hadza (1966) by James Woodburn. It’s very interesting to compare the two.

Distributed by Concord Media



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