Segments in this Video

Hadza Overview (02:10)


The last hunter-gatherer tribe in Africa faces threats from development.

Hadza Hunting and Tracking Skills (02:52)

The Hadza have lived in the Rift Valley for over 50,000 years. Mbugoshi discusses preferred animals. His tribe most closely resembles how humans lived for most of our history. Mwapo tells a hunting story.

Tikiriko Bird (03:04)

Mwapo, Mohana, and Johana explain how to track the Honeyguide bird to find beehives. Honey is the most important food for the Hadza; they use smoke to tranquilize the bees and leave honeycomb for the bird. They trade honey for cornmeal from Miramba farmers at market.

Hadza Origin Story (02:48)

Mbugoshi's father Nhyoha explains that their tribe comes from the Ukelewe. As modern theory holds that humans evolved from a common primate ancestor, their mythology says they descended from baboons. Gudo shows rock paintings of people carrying meat back to camp.

Hadza Food Sources (03:52)

The only animal the Hadza are afraid of is the elephant. Men butcher an animal and roast ribs in the field before bringing the rest to the village. Gathering provides the majority of food; roots provide nutrients and water when no other food is available.

Contact with Outsiders (03:27)

Common DNA among humans shows that we went through a near extinction 70,000 years ago. The Hadza likely predated neighboring tribes in the Rift Valley. Since 1915, colonialists, missionaries, and governments have tried unsuccessfully to modernize them. Learn about a failed attempt to place them in villages in the 1970s.

Indigenous Rights Victory (02:12)

Anthropologist Peter Matthiessen was struck by how much leisure time the Hadza have. Governments take issue with their lack of material wealth and "primitive" lifestyle. When the Tanzanian government gave the Eyasi basin to an Abu Dhabi family for their hunting grounds, Washington Post coverage caused the deal to fall through.

Hadza Social Life (01:50)

The Hadza do not store food, confident they will find sustenance each day. Wande explains how they share meat with unmarried women. Small groups and cooperation are crucial for survival.

Hadza Cultural Identity (03:53)

Only 1,000 people speak Hadzane, an unwritten language. Alyssa Crittenden discusses its unique qualities. Many Hadza have learned Swahili through contact with outsiders. Baobab fruit is a staple food for the tribe.

Building Shelters (02:44)

Hadza women sing as they gather branches and grasses for hut construction. The nomadic tribe changes camps with the seasons. Women and children spend up to 6 hours collecting food; foraging parties bring home five kilograms of berries.

Learning to Hunt (02:12)

Hadza boys fashion mini bow and arrow sets for their younger siblings to practice with. Neeje and Shinje shoot birds and small game.

Division of Labor and Marriage Practices (02:05)

Hadza men make weapons; women make nearly everything else. Teenage girls fashion mud dolls. Young men ask their partners' consent for marriage; the couple's mothers work together to build a wedding hut.

Longevity and Social Order (03:20)

The Hadza have a high infant mortality rate due to their remoteness and lack of modern healthcare, but adults live into their 60s and 70s. Crittenden explains their system of using birth order to keep track of age. They have no hierarchy; members can move between camps and choose who to live with.

Education (04:05)

Approximately 300 of 1,000 Hadza members practice the hunter-gather lifestyle. Mangola has a boarding school for children seeking formal education; some adapt, but others return to the bush. Neeje and Shinje went home in protest of corporal punishment.

Hadza Land Infringements (03:24)

Kaunda believes tribal children should go to school, since their way of life is endangered. The Mangola region has attracted farming tribes. Difficulties of adapting to town life include affording rent, buying food, and alcoholism. Critterdon gives Medi modern medicine for her pneumonia.

Hadza Fire Mythology (02:58)

Hear the story of Haine teaching people to use campfires to cook meat. Paolo chooses traditional fire starting technology over buying matches.

Fire and Human Evolution (03:27)

Cooking meat saves us hours of chewing. Richard Wrangham explains the theory that, as our digestive systems shrank compared to other primates 1.9 million years ago, our brains grew larger. The Hadza teach their children, sing, and dance at night by campfires.

Poison Plant (02:50)

The Hadza extract a neurotoxin from the roots of a plant called the desert rose. They boil the liquid to concentrate it and use it to hunt large animals. They kill the Black Mamba snake upon sight; it is among the deadliest animals on Earth.

Tensions over Resources (03:32)

Drought has compelled the Hadza to dig water wells. Dagota tribe members bring their cattle to drink—even when asked not to. Herd animals eat Hadza fruits and berries and drive away wildlife. The Datoga have also been pushed off their land.

Losing Territory (03:43)

The Hadza are infringed upon by other tribes, agriculturalists, and commercial game reserves. Hadza men are forbidden from hunting on land the government has leased for safari tourism. Tribal land has decreased from 2,500 to 500 square kilometers since 1940.

Taking a Stand (02:42)

The Hadza convened in 2010 to determine their future. Daudi Peterson is helping them to set territorial boundaries against other tribes. In 2011, they received a government land grant.

Future of the Hadza (04:56)

A Tanzanian government land grant has proven unenforceable and a Hadza scout was killed while confronting a poacher in 2012. Experts discuss how globalization is pressuring the tribe to modernize; losing their way of life will be a loss for humanity in terms of understanding our history.

Credits: The Hadza: Last of the First (02:21)

Credits: The Hadza: Last of the First

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The Hadza: Last of the First

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One of the last true hunter-gatherer tribes, the East African Hadza try to maintain their sustainable lifestyle. They have lived on their land near the Rift Valley in Tanzania for over 50,000 years. Like other indigenous peoples around the globe, the Hadza now face grave challenges to their way of life. The Hadza: The Last of the First is a call to action to guarantee a land corridor for their survival.

Length: 71 minutes

Item#: BVL118331

ISBN: 978-1-63521-453-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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