HADZABE GATHERERS

There is a division of labor between the men and women. Men are the hunters and women are the gatherers. However, this is a very egalitarian society in which the women have as much power as the men. They determine when the group moves their camp based upon the supply of tubers and berries, as well as the water source. 

The daily activities of the women include searching out tubers, and digging them out of the ground with sticks. In the photo below you will see a vine on the left side of the image. They look for that vine, the root of which is the tuber. The root can be eaten raw, peeling off the outer layer, or mashed and stewed.

Another source of food was a variety of berries of which we saw three in abundance.


The women also go for water, which in this case was about a mile away in a dry river bed where Hayde-i, Shakwa's mother dug down to where there was water mixed with the sand.


As with all activities, all the women did everything together as a group, including the nursing babies and small children. So after the buckets were full they would carry them back to camp. These five gallon buckets, when full would weigh 45 pounds. They probably weren't totally full, but were clearly quite heavy and skillfully balanced on the heads of the women. The walk back to camp was about a mile.

Another activity done by the women was to build the huts the tribe used to sleep in. This would take only a few hours, and involved branches tied together at the top end while put into holes at the bottom. They were then covered with grass, collected by all the women.

Collecting grass and carrying it back to camp.




Also, in the afternoons the women often sat under an acacia tree and made beaded necklaces and bracelets that they would share with each other, or trade for other goods. 


I encourage you to watch a short film of Hayde-i describing her daily activities as well as her desire to continue this way of life.


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