Near Lake Eyasi in Tanzania there is an ancient tribe of about one thousand surviving members, the last hunter gatherers in the country. Ninety percent of their traditional lands have been encroached upon by neighboring pastoral tribes. There have been attempts by missionaries and the government to assimilate them, all of which have failed. It would be misleading to characterize them as "primitive" except in the respect that 90% of human history we have all been hunter gatherers. However, this is not a backwards society, but a thriving culture that wishes to continue to live in their traditional manner. They view "modern" society as detached, distracted and overstimulated; thereby "lost" from their roots and soul.
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These photos and videos were produced for the Jimmy Nelson Foundation: https://jimmynelsonfoundation.com/projects/the-hadzabe . I was part of a team of four photographers who spent four full days with a group of Hadzabe men, women and children. We witnessed and participated in their daily activities, and they were actively involved in our project. They wanted to see their culture portrayed accurately and positively so the outside world could understand their desire to continue to live in the bush as they have done for centuries. The mission of the Jimmy Nelson Foundation is to document indigenous cultures around the world, preserving them before globilization swallows them up, much like Edward Curtis did with the American Indians in the early 20th Century. They have produced two coffee table books (available on Amazon.com), and had numerous exhibits around the world. They were a perfect fit for me, as I have had a personal project for decades called 1Planet1People.org. We
Hadzabe men spend a majority of their time hunting, or making their bows and arrows. Due to the shrinking size of their hunting grounds they often have to travel away from the group to reach the game. Their favorite prey is baboons which they shoot in the trees during a new moon. They also use blinds near watering holes. Many of the men wear impala skins, another favored large game. They will, however, shoot game large and small including birds and bush babies. They are extremely skilled and accurate with bows and arrows. They spend a lot of time fashioning arrows, straightening them with their teeth, and adding feathers and metal arrowheads they get from the neighboring Datoga tribe. Their bows are from the same branches, but thicker and shaped after being heated and bent in the crook of a tree. They can have a pull of 100 pounds. Arrowheads are made from old nails from the Datoga tribe, and are given to the Hadzabe in exchange for meat or honey, or through visit