Dwindling band: The last of the Hadzabe

In pictures: Tanzania's indigenous hunter-gatherers

Delme Cupido's picture

Author

Senior Programme Officer: Indigenous Peoples Rights

July 28th, 2011

The Hadzabe, or Hadza, are one of the last groups of indigenous hunter-gatherers in the world. They live in Tanzania around Lake Eyasi and the Serengeti Plateau and number 1000-2000, although just 300-400 still live a traditional, hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They were once thought to be related to the San of southern Africa, but modern genetic studies link them to the pygmies of west and central Africa. The Hadzabe are superb, opportunistic hunter-gatherers - as you can see in this remarkable series of photographs by Matthew Oldfield. They hunt large and small animals and birds, and collect honey, fruit, tubers and berries for food. They also use a wide variety of plant species for medicinal purposes. But the future of the Hadzabe is very uncertain. Their existence is threatened by land encroachment by farmers and herders, lack of game to hunt, diseases including TB and HIV and AIDS, and substance abuse.

About the author(s)

Delme is the Indigenous Peoples Rights Senior Programme Officer. Delme was the APM in OSISA’s HIV programme from 2006-2010. Prior to joining OSISA, he was the Coordinator of the AIDS Law Unit of the Legal Assistance Centre, a public interest law centre based in Namibia. Delme was active in the international HIV Treatment Access movement, was a founding trustee of the AIDS Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, a founding member of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, the Pan African Treatment Access Movement and the Collaborative Fund for HIV. Delme holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cape Town, and obtained a bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of the Western Cape.

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