Hadzabe life and Culture in Tanzania
Hadza lead a stress-free, simple life without worries. Unlike us, they are not interested in materialistic possessions. Traditional Hadzabe, they live almost completely without things. They have a cooking pot, a water container, an ax – all can be wrapped in a blanket and carried around the shoulder. They sleep when they want to. Some do not sleep most of the night and doze off in the heat of the day. Dawn and dusk are the best hunting times. When they do not hunt, men often spend time in the camp, straightening arrows, twisting arches, making chords from a giraffe or impala ligaments, hammering nails into the arrowheads.
Even if they do not find food, they do not worry and remain patient with nature. They live for the moment and their only goal is survival. Maybe that’s why agriculture has never appealed to them – growing plants requires planning; the seeds are sown earlier to eat the crop in months. Domestic animals must be fed and protected long before they are ready for slaughter. It doesn’t make sense to Hadzabe. Why grow food or raise animals when it’s all ready in the bush? When they want berries, they look for a berry bush. When they want baobab fruit, they go to baobab trees. Honey is waiting for them in wild beehives. And meat, fresh, keep in the largest warehouse in the world – on their land. All you need is a moment of tracking and a well-fired arrow.
Hadza day begins early in the morning, people wake up slowly and chat at the morning bonfire. After a while, most adults leave the camp to gathering food. Women walk in groups, usually accompanied by one teenage boy who goes with them to protect them from possible violence of neighboring tribes.
Men usually linger alone or in pairs. The children remain in the camp; they play and collect food all day. Children’s games and activities often involve collecting and processing food. Children themselves collect a large percentage of their food and are also fed by family and friends. In the middle of the day, most of Hadza is resting. Regardless of whether they are in the camp or outside, they rest until the heat in the middle of the day calms down. Most camp members return before dark when evening dinner preparations begin. Preparation of a Hadzabe meal is simple – the meat is placed directly on the fire. No grill, no pan. Everyone sits densely around the fire and waits for the meat to be ready to eat. Then everyone grabs their piece of meat with their teeth and tries to cut the torn piece with a knife. The bones are crushed with stones and the marrow is sucked out. Fat is rubbed into the skin as a type of moisturizer.
Hadzabe’s bodies are often covered with dust because they rarely use baths. Hadzabe men say that they prefer their women not to take a bath – the more time between baths, the more attractive they are. Water is not considered necessary for survival and they are not looking for sources that could quench thirst or washing. A muddy, large puddle is all they need for a bath. A handful of mud is rubbed into the skin as an exfoliating agent.
Hadzabe are free people. Free of property, most social and family responsibilities. No religious restrictions. They live without a schedule, without money, without attachment to the workplace. However, their lives are extremely risky. No medical attention. Women give birth in the bush, squatting. About one-fifth of all children die in the first year of life, and almost half of all children fail to be 15 years old. They have to deal with extreme heat, frequent thirst and swarming tsetse flies and malaria-spreading mosquitoes.
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