A Travellerspoint blog

BUSHMEN, DATOGA TRIBE AND TIME IN KARATU

A DAY OF CULTURE

sunny 30 °C

Today we had the opportunity to visit two different tribes and both were fascinating experiences. It really is hard to believe that people still live this way but at the same time it was wonderful to see such raw tradition.

The first tribe are known as the Bushmen. They came to Tanzania about 1000 years ago from South Africa by way of the Congo. I have never seen anything so primitive and felt privileged to be welcomed into their village. These people live quite remotely and after quite a drive we walked in to another world. The tribe who hunt by bow and arrow had recently killed a large antelope and our first sight was the hide stretched out for drying. In the nearby trees was every piece of the animal being dried in the sun for food. There was meat hung like jerky, the stomach, innards and the head proudly displayed.

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One tree had all their bows and arrows and a local guide explained how they use certain trees for poison to kill larger animals like buffalo. No poison is required for the baboons, antelope or other smaller animals. Many of the men were wearing animal hides or baboon fur on their heads and bodies.

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We had a chance to try fire lighting and shooting with a bow and arrow. We were curious how they got the steal tips for their bows and we learned they trade meat for them with another nearby tribe. They also have a marijuana connection and trade meat for weed. Only the men smoke weed while the woman smoke tobacco. Apparently this tradition goes back a long way. They were not shy about smoking weed while we were there and Isaac got a real thrill out of that, especially the bone weed pipe.

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The woman are segregated from the men during the day and were all gathered under a tree with their babies. Some tightly strapped to their back so much so the heads were hidden. They were all so young and so beautiful.

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From there we drove to the tribe that actually trades with the Bushmen for arrowheads. This tribe are primarily blacksmiths who make recycled metal into arrow heads, jewellery and tools. They use a small charcoal fire to melt the metals which is a slow and tedious process. The chief, or head of family (pictured with the kids) has 2 wives, the first, wearing the colourful skirt, has bore him 9 children and the second wife, four. She is the lady who taught me to grind the maize. I never dreamed I would have such and experience.

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One of our soccer balls in use

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After all that we went into the village of Karatu. Our wonderful guide took us to the local Kanga shop where the locals buy their fabric for their traditional dress. Although I had no intention, I did buy myself an outfit. While we were waiting for Lorna’s to be prepared we also walked through the market. This was a real taste of Tanzanian life.

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It was the kind of day that I absolutely love. There is no way to really explain how these people live but it was probably the most fascinating thing I have ever seen.

I know I have included a ton of photos but I took so many. Unfortunately we were there mid day and with the sun beating down from above it was hard to get the shots I really wanted.

Posted by curlygirl 12:04 Archived in Tanzania Tagged africa adventures bushmen tribes

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