The Hadzabe Tribe, Part 3 – When they get a big kill they will bring meat to surrounding tribes

Posted on: June 7th, 2011 by Amy 1 Comment

We weren’t too successful day hunting. As we were headed back to the bushmen camp, Obama Hadzabe climbed up this huge Balboa tree, cut open a hornbill nest, and grabbed the two babies. Rather than killing them, he just put them under his belt alive and walked back home. When we got there he took the baby birds and gave one to Johan and one to another child, maybe three years old. Obama Hadzabe explained that each time they get baby animals they bring them back to the children to teach them not to be afraid and to help them learn the behavior of the animal. Johan takes the bird and the bird moves its wings; Johan drops it and screams. His father tells him to pick it up. He does, and now he is squeezing it tight to his chest. His father tells him not to kill it.

The Hadzabe are not selfish people, when they get a big kill they will bring meat to surrounding tribes. The Hadzabe, unlike the Datoga and Maasai, don’t deal in cows or money. When they need something, they will trade arrows, fresh kill or local weed. As we were talking, Obama Hadzabe told us that they are being pushed further and further away from their land. He explained that the local population has increased, but the newcomers don’t understand that the trees that they are cutting down for their houses are trees that the bushmen use for medicine for themselves and for animals. He gets animated as he is toking his stone pipe, explaining that the poachers now are too many for them to control. He says that the poachers don’t understand that there is a balance out here between man, animals and land. I ask why they don’t marry outside of their tribe; he just shrugs his shoulders, takes a smoke and says that women from the other tribes are too difficult! Sounds familiar……

One Response

  1. Keith says:

    These teachings must be centuries old. It’s too bad that modernization has to have it’s way. Thank goodness you guys are there to get their story before it’s too late.

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