Cultural Exploitation of the Hadzabe by German and Swiss Institutions

http://www.khoisanpeoples.org/peoples/hadza-1.htm

Cultural Exploitation of the Hadzabe
by German and Swiss Institutions 

written by FdN e.V. (fPcN Germany), 2004 

Stolen artefacts

Kohl-Larsen, a Nazi, who called himself “Anthropologist”, robbed during the he-days of the Third Reich artefacts of extrordinary cultural and spiritual value from the Hadzabe (Hadzapi, Hadza, Kindiga), an east African tribe of hunter and gatherers and from what was called in those days Tanganyika (the mainland of todays state of Tanzania).

The stolen artefacts are still held by a former director of an Institute from the German University of Tübingen and the dealing with these exhibits seems still to be a good business in form of exhibitons, which are organized by emeritus Prof. Müller-Beck.

The Hadzabe

The Hadzabe are the last true hunter and gatherers in east Africa and their culture is very close to the San bushmen of southern Africa. Their ancestral homeland is located in the region of Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. Like all hunter and gatherers the traditional Hadzabe are not sedentary and they use an area only temporary before they looking for another zone of their homeland to live in.

This autonomous lifestyle has always been a problem for the Tanzania Government, the Development Organisations and Christian missionaries. At all times they tried to settle the Hadzabe and want to control them. This is going so far that the Government ruled to stop the Hadzabe in what they have been doing centuries- sustainable hunting within their ancestral homeland. Hadzabe who break these rules are put in jail and often were brutally tortured. But till today they are some Hadza groups who still are living their traditional life in the East African savannah, though Christian missionaries abducted with the help of the Tanzania military forces Hadzabe kids from the bush camps of their families and forced them into boardings schools far away, where they are also often beaten. To beat a child is completely unknown in Hadzabe tradition. Since the year 2002 the Tanzania Government tries to register all free-living Hadzabe for the national elections and it is feared that the registered Hadzabe will have to pay taxes in future. Many more Hadzabe thereby will be forced into casual labour dependency.

The situation in the area where the Hadzabe live today is different to what is promised in many tourist brochures. For touristic ventures the Lake Eyasi region became an alternative destination due to of the continuous armed attacks in the Loliondo and Natron regions of Tanzania. With the help of some tourist companies from Arusha / Tanzania, most of the tourists exploited then Hadzabe and furthered their deline to become alcoholics. Alcohol is used to forget today by many Hadza, who realised that they had sold their culture and identity, while showing their traditional dances for money and while serving as statists for many home-videos and so called documentaries.

Exploitation – big style !

German and Swiss Institutions plan now to exploit the Hadzabe again. Prof. Dr. Hans Jürgen Müller-Beck hansjuergen.mueller-beck@uni-tuebingen.de who is responsible for the Kohl-Larsen- Collection and who is the former head of the responsible Institute from the University of Tübingen opened in the summer 1997 the exhibition: “Hadzapi -History and Archaeology of an East African human race”. In this exhibition also a photo of Kohl-Larsen himself under the Nazi-flag in front of
his tent in Tanganjika was presented. That already was a scandal.

Hadzabe protest

Furtheron, FdN had assisted Mr. Mahiya, a Hadzabe elder, to be present at the opening, since also many spiritual artefacts from the Hadzabe tribe were shown. Mr. Mahiya declared already during the official opening and in front of all invited guests and the media that all the Hadzabe exhibits must be given back to his people in their ancestral homeland and immediatley demanded to not show to the public certain artefacts of spiritual or intimate cultural value . In the presence of Mr. Mahiya as well as the former chairman of fPcN-Germany (FdN), Mr. Hartmut Heller, Prof. Müller-Beck promised that after a second exhibition in the German town Blaubeuren (28. 3. – 1. 11. 1999) the University of Tübingen would make the arrangements together with FdN to return all artefacts and the whole set of Hadza exhibits to Tanzania. The organizations ECOTERRA Intl. as well as the German-Tanzanian Friendship Association supported that decision and promised to assist with arrangements in Tanzania. But until today the artefacts have not been given back to the Hadzabe, are still kept by with the University of Tübingen and are used for further lucrative exhibtions by Müller-Beck.

The return was promised but never followed up seriously by Müller-Beck and he is still using the Hadzabe-Collection to make own arrangements for exhibitions.

This shows clearly the thinking of so called Anthropologists about hunters and gatherers and other “primitive people”. Such anthropologists still believe they can continuously misuse and exploite tribal peoples! For us, the clear parallel to the Nazi-thinking is hereby obvious.

But it comes worse

A new psycho-project is planned now: In collaboration with Müller-Beck a swiss national Mrs. Jeannette Fischer (schanet.fischer@bluewin.ch) , apparently shrink from Zurich/Switzerland and the Yugoslav dissident Mrs. Marina Abramovic (m.abramovic@hbk-bs.de , marinaxabramovic@hotmail.com) , a performance artist and part-time teacher at the arts college in Braunschweig/ Germany plan another scam . This project is said to get even support from the museums Rietberg/ Zurich (museum@rietb.stzh.ch) and Beyeler/ Riehen (fondation@beyeler.com)  in Switzerland.

The latest plan is to misuse the Hadza in a performance with “Mirrors” for European sick behaviour and have a live stream on 06th of June this year into the museums with the title: “How fear should be handled”.

As a hightlight in this project it was or still is planned that Hadza in front of a moving camera shall approach a pride of Lions (such shall be filmed during the time 29. 05. – 12. 06. 2004).

Other museums in Switzerland already rejected similar projects of Jeannette Fischer (see: Pacific-project). Though the University of Tübingen did not comment so far, Müller-Beck wants to go ahead together with the two happening artists and only states: “It is an intercultural exchange between different peoples”.

Such kind of projects will only promote the desastrous ethno-tourism into this region and the further destruction and assimilation of a traditional tribal people, thereby contributing to outright genocide against them, is the oppinion of most serious people, who worked with the Hadzabe. Fischer seems to be ignorant and a first filming for this project is now already planned for May 2004. But also in Tanzania strong resistance from indigenous peoples rights groups as well as the traditional Hadza themselves is waiting for her.

“We see that nothing has changed for such anthropologists and happening artists from Europe in their way of thinking and acting concerning tribal peoples, and they just continue to misuse the first peoples as objects for their own prospects”, says Steffen Keulig, chairman of FdN, the German branch of Friends of Peoples close to Nature (FPCN)

Together with many other organizations and individuals they strictly demand to stop such voyeuristic happenings and the continuous exploitation of tribal peoples, though there is fear that maybe some of the Hadzabe were already bribed and still might agree to perform within this dangerous performance,
which will help the Hadza in no way to succeed in their struggle.

The Fischer / Abramovic project MUST STOP

Mrs. Fisher herself has so far been only one time for three days in Hadzabeland and also reached there only with the help of a tourist company, who works together with already assimilated Hadzabe. Mrs. Abramovic never even saw a Hadza alive, but both feel to be experts and to have the right to take the Hadza for another ride. Nobody should object, the “artists” feel, because they b(r)ought Müller-Beck and a Mr. Woodburn, another highly controversial anthopologist from the UK, into the
project. While Müller-Beck’s intentions to hold onto and to market the exhibition are obvious, it is not clear what drives Woodburn back to the Hadzabe, since many Hadza disagree with him personally and he had to leave the area.

All organizations, who ever worked for the rights of the Hadzabe, demand to stop all such activities with the Hadzabe people and specifically the “happening”, planned by Fischer / Abramovic. Even the largest Association of indigenous NGOs in Tanzania PINGO refuses this project.

In addition it is now paramount to hand back to the Hadzabe all the stolen exibits, which still remain with the University of Tübingen as well as those, which were sold from there into private collections. But a recent repeated request by FdN to the University of Tübingen to return and hand the artefacts
over to the Hadzabe was again denied by Müller-Beck with the comment: “It is not clear where the Hadzabe-Collection could be deposited savely in Tanzania.” … and “it is a global heritage!”

All Hadzabe as well as all organizations, who defend the rights of the Hadzabe oppose this vehemently and declare that stolen artefacts with deep cultural and spiritual value of a still existing
tribe never can become a so called “global heritage” and their return is urgently demanded.

The Hadzabe through Mr. Mahiya urged already in 1997 that a Hadzabe community museum should be established and integrated into the landscape, which could easily provide the required temperature and humidity regimes recommended by museologists, since there are many appropriate and suitable caves in Hadzabeland, which even offer better conditions than the catacombes of the University of Tübingen.

FdN e.V. (fPcN Germany), fPcN Intercultural, ECOTERRA e. V., ECOTERRA Intl. and other organizations in Tanzania demand again from the University of Tübingen to immediately return the
Hadzabe-Collection to their rightfull owners, the Hadzabe, and to provide the necessary funding for an appropriate return as well as for the community museum in Hadzabeland. are willing to assit with the logistical issues in Tanzania.

 

How a Hunter-gatherer from the Hadzabe Peoples met Contempt and Prejudice in Europe

September 1997 by Hartmut Heller († 2003)

Mahiya is the first spokesman for the Hadzabe (singular: Hadza) to visit Germany . The Hadzabe, one of the last few aboriginal peoples in East Africa , want to continue to live as free hunter-gatherers, as they have done for a hundred thousand years, without schools, churches, hospitals and government pressure.

However, in Germany this demand from Mahiya was repeatedly met with fear, prejudice, and incomprehension. Before his journey to Europe , Mahiya was confirmed as speaker for the Hadzabe by each of the available Hadzabe elders. The Hadzabe have no hierarchy, no leaders. Even before his departure from Tanzania , Mahiya’s journey was beset with great difficulties.

As a traditional hunter, he does not fit into the modern systems of administration and law. These systems do not tolerate the existence of aboriginal hunters and gatherers. Mahiya’s motive in coming to Europe was precisely to protest against their situation, against the oppression which is driving his peoples to the edge of extinction. Mahiya’s passport was received only after weeks of considerable effort and expense.

To get the passport a pre-paid airplane ticket had to be shown. This was not available in Tanzania to some-one without a valid passport. Only in Kenya could a ticket be obtained and then only from one airline company. A German visa was the next hurdle. Although four invitations were presented – from the United Nations Working Group for Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, from the London School of Economics, from the University of Tuebingen, and from the Friends of Peoples Close to Nature, – Mr. Gruber in the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam insisted on Mahiya’s presence. He demanded bona-fides, and that the illiterate Mahiya be brought from the bush to his office. In the time remaining for the flight this was impossible. A car was sent from Hamburg to Frankfurt to collect Mahiya at the airport. He did not arrive on the scheduled flight. His appearance at the opening of an exhibition in Tuebingen on the Hadzabe appeared unlikely. Two days later however he arrived on another flight.

The exhibition at Tuebingen documents the human life at Lake Eyasi over three and a half million years using skull fragments and artifacts of the Hadzabe. During the final preparation and the opening day, which he reached just in time, Mahiya put in strong words the demand that the exhibited artifacts, important for his peoples, be returned to them. From the old ones of his peoples he had learned that they were stolen from them. Mahiya stated that the culture of the Hadzabe, and in particular the mysterious epeme dance should be of no concern to others than the Hadzabe. Similarly, he said that it was not important that the Hadzabe should know much of the culture of other people, or of civilized society.

Eventually an agreement was reached to bring the whole exhibition to Hadzabeland, or to make some financial compensation.

One part of the exhibition devoted to the German colonialists – including a photo of gang leader Lettow von Vorbeck – and a reference to the fact that the Hadzabe were once seen as subjects of the German Government was greeted by Mahiya with a disparaging smile.

Mahiya then came to Lauenburg, where he was visited by Dr. Selmeci, a representative of the Society for Threatened Peoples in Goettingen. The visitor wished to speak with Mahiya as the basis for an article in the magazine “pogrom”. Mahiya’s previously expressed wish for a fee for this was rejected. Mahiya accused his visitor of being nothing other than a business man, and the visitor, angry, departed. An earlier article in the magazine, by the English anthropologist Woodburn had created difficulties for the Hadza. On a visit by Mahiya to England , Woodburn, hoping to please him, took him to a zoo, and showed him elephants and rhinoceroses. The ancestral lands of the Hadzabe, where once elephants and rhinos were numerous, have been stripped of their wildlife by trophy hunters. There are no rhinos left in the Hadzabeland. For Mahiya, the elephants and rhinos in an English zoo were evidence of theft. He demanded their immediate repatriation to his tribal land. Woodburn, a former big-game hunter, was speechless.

Mahiya had been invited to attend this year’s session of the Working Group for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in Geneva . His attendance showed a deep gap between on the one hand the hundreds of established delegates of ”indigenous” peoples and human rights organizations and on the other hand Mahiya, the only genuine illiterate hunter-gatherer present. Mahiya, whose words represent the feelings of a large part, if not the majority, of tribal peoples, was met by most of the delegates not only with a lack of understanding, but with contempt and open hatred. In particular the Pygmies and Bushmen (the Hadzabe belong in a wider sense to the Bushmen) already well manipulated by white dominated schools, churches and human rights organizations had evil and derogatory words for the uneducated and wild Mahiya. He countered that, although his people had also been made poor, they were at least still free and independent, thanks to their strict denial of western influence, and that the Hadzabe were still able to enjoy life with dignity.

Mahiya was also repeatedly criticized and attacked by NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) representatives. It was irresponsible, they said, not to send Hadza children to school. How should they feed themselves without education? One cannot turn back the wheel of history. The time of the hunters and gatherers is past. Mahiya told them that the Hadzabe have lived freely as hunters and gatherers since ancient times, and that they will continue to do so. He said that the Hadzabe were glad and ready to show how life with nature is still possible, without schools, churches, hospitals and the oppression of government.

Mahiya returned gladly to the land of his people, happy to leave a Europe which he found filled with people with pathological ideas, where there is no natural and unencumbered sexual behaviour, where there is no place left to hunt with bow and arrow, where old people are cast out, where there is often less room for children than for dogs, where almost every step is hindered by regulation, and where the purpose of life is to earn money.

Source: Friends of Peoples Close to Nature

 

WHAT CHANCE THE SURVIVAL PROSPECTS FOR EAST AFRICA’S LAST HUNTING & GATHERING TRIBE, THE HADZABE, IN A GAMELESS ENVIRONMENT ?

27/05/97

Written by Richard Rainsford FPCN England

From 17th March until 7th April 1997, Richard Rainsford and Jane Lang of FPCN-UK and Hartmut Heller of FDN Germany visited their friends the Hadzabe, around lake Eyasi, in northern Tanzania. Our trip began from Arusha and headed north west via Karatu from where we left the road that circum navigates the Ngorongoro crater national park and headed south west to Mongola. At the southern end of Mongola were the first Hadzabe community we stayed with. In this place the traditional lifestyle of the Hadzabe can no longer continue due to the proximity of the neighbouring settlement. The main reason for their needing to be in this place is the fact that the Matete (Chem Chem) spring located 2km to the south is the only source of spring water coming from the crater from 20sq. kilometres. Not to long ago the area was traditionally a watering hole used by the Hadzabe. But now with the assistance of white expatriate settlers and the establishment of the newly formed village councils, the Hadzabe are not even allowed to go to the watering hole, unless FPCN representatives are present. We gave them three 20k-bags of maize over our visit and refused to pay the requested 2000 TSh for camping at the green site in sympathy for our friends.

The warden called over the chairman of the village council, Julius Meruss (Barabaig), chair of the Qangndend village council, PO Box 255, Karatu, Tanzania. During the discussion it was learnt that the Hadzabe were allowed to go to the water hole when the village council and warden had arranged a
party of tourists to watch them sing and perform. It was quoted that while a 20 strong tourist group were paying 300,000 TSh to the council, for filming, only 10,000 TSh would be paid to the total 500 Hadzabe community. Julius Meruss told us that the village has a 25 councillor committee with not one Hadzabe. When asked about this, Gudo Mahiya, a respected Hadza spokes person said “we are not interested in changing our culture to conform to the policy of the aggressors”. He added “that even in Arusha there were some 250 councillors, but still the Hadzabe have no representation, or wish to have”. He does though want to go to Arusha to protest about the council here”. “He went on to say they are charging the tourists while not giving the Hadzabe any of this income or allowing them access to the water”. When asked about farming and cattle he said “we do not want cattle, just wild animals to hunt and water that we can drink”.

FPCN International asks “Is it right that a people should be driven into extinction just for not wanting to change and adopt the western mentality of profit and greed driven motives”. Needless to say we continued refusing to pay the campsite fee for visiting and giving humanitarian aid to our friends. Even after Police were called by the ‘campsites’ (Barabaig ) warden, Momoya Muhidoti of PO Box 120 , Karatu, Tanzania the police couldn’t believe why they had been called and laughed about it at the end
with us. Two other officials that were in attendance were Alfred Ligubi, District Commissioner of Karatu district, PO Box 5 Karatu, (Tel. 32) and Fready B. Meope, Assistant Officer Commanding, Karatu Police Station, PO Box 155, Karatu (Tel 9). Alfred said “he had no problem with what we were
doing only that next time this could be prevented by writing to his office in advance and he would issue us with a letter that explained to all concerned the purpose of our visit”. It was agreed that on the next visit this would be done in advance. The protest was felt and noticed and FPCN International advises any visitors to the Matete spring to do likewise, until such time as the Hadzabe are allowed full access to the water as are the dozens of cattle that are brought to the spring each day.

“One to thirty, was the quoted ration of game over cattle” a figured quoted by one of the occupying expatriate settlers, Ms Jeannette Hanby (Mama Simba) who lives with David Bygott in abstract denial over the rights of the Hadzabe. They can be written to at S.L.P. 161, Karatu, Tanzania. The ecologists Bygott and Hanby live on sacred Hadza ground but they deny that the Hadza have ever inhabited the area around the only spring fro 20k.Something that only a visit to the area will clearly show is an statement if denial.

There are three situations that FPCN International was asked by this community to communicate and present to the international community.

CASE 1 ENSLAVED PROSTITUTION:- Through the middlemen, European priests and “sisters”. Sabina’s sister Mele Abande and Salibogo’s daughter along with many others have been tricked into prostitution by being taken to Arusha with the promise of work. Only to find themselves enslaved in prostitution. FPCN proposes to act on the wishes of the Hadzabe and bring all held Hadzabe woman back to their homeland.

CASE 2 ENFORCED SCHOOLING:- There have been times when the military has searched for Hadzabe children hiding in the bush to escape the duty of being schooled. Hadzabe girls often complain about being raped by the teachers in Endamaga school. This happens even with Hadzabe mothers. Later the Hadza girls are compelled into prostitution. FPCN has previously been successful taking back some of these unlucky girls to their bush homestead and families. But if caught again these school escapees have to fear severe corporal punishment. This kind of discipline is very common in these schools. When asked, all but maybe a handful of the brainwashed Hadzabe say
that this schooling has a negative effect on them and they say is of no benefit to them. Some Hadzabe have even been taken to colleges in Dar es Salaam. Currently they are all without jobs and are now even more frustrated and irritated. They now also behave as being uprooted from their own society. One really must, when considering this difficult issue, try and not see it from our western educated stand point. For these people that are not even on the bottom rung of the surrounding social hierarchy, what use is learning English or reading Swahili or even mono agriculture for that matter. Quite clearly the only benefactors, would be there greatest emery, the manufactured and western propped up government of Tanzania and the countries they export to, on condition of aid.

CASE 3 BAD RELIGION :- Many times white parsons tried to baptise the Hadzabe and to destroy their admirable traditional beliefs and lifestyle. FPCN tells the Hadzabe that these missionaries are just business men who often have accumulated quite some wealth from their job. The hatred against these strangers grows among the Hadzabe. FPCN stands ready to sanction and assist with the burning out churches on Hadzaland in following, with the similar successful explosion that occurred at Sanola.

After two days with them there it was decided to go down the eastern side of the dried out Lake Eyasi, to attempt, a trip around the lake in a clockwise direction. The intention being to visit the Hadzabe communities on the west side. Approximately 40k down the eastern side we stopped to
visit and give food to what appeared to be the least well off community so far. The community consisted of approximately 40 families, of 5-6 members and about 50% made up of infant’s. In the area to the south and west there are a further, 10 families approximately in each location, separated from the main camp due to their leaning towards the christian faith. The elder of the clan wants nothing to do with white mans religion.

This clan at Nat//ko-(Lion Camp) had the unenviable disposition of sharing a green and stagnant water hole, some three hours walk, with the surrounding Barabaig’s cattle. Even one of our party, a neutral journalist from Norway, Arild Andersen, found himself infested with worms after drinking from the source. It was clear to us all that most of the Hadza children had permanently to endure the same affliction.

Whilst there were several hunting trips were made to ascertain the level of available game, that these people largely depend on. The only recorded sighting in their region was a couple of Dik dik (Small dog sized mammals) to feed a population of around 200. The result was is these people are solely dependant on the gathering of the three types of berries they are lucky enough to have around them.

After two attempts to go south around lake Eyasi and being forced back by rain it was decided that a visit to important camps around Sanola. On first impressions Sanola didn’t appear to be as welcoming as the previous camps. That was explained later due to the work of anti-traditionalist’s like Bruce, a CUSO field worker, that had just the week before with Shanny the district game warden from Embola, been hunting in the area. We were also told that Momoya Muhidoti, the “camp site warden” at Chem Chem, from Mongola had also recently been with Arab’s and Germans illegally hunting in the area. Proof of this was in the signed visitors book. It is also know by the inhabitants of Sanola that Bruce is responsible for the killing of the last Rhino in this area. A nice achievement for an aid worker ! During his visit, the week before, Bruce had discussed with the Hadzabe how they had stopped all white trophy hunting in the area. FPCN says that is quite an accomplishment when you take into account that there really isn’t any game left to hunt.

Sanola now, once rich in wild life, game and fresh water has none. The disposed Barabaig herders with the expanding livestock numbers have completely taken over the river water resource. The river a bit like lake Eyasi is in the main dried out during the dry season. The Barabaig have erected small dams and water traps for their livestock, creating the same polluted water, not fit of human consumption, found at Nut//ko. FPCN finds this quite intolerable because it is not even a short term solution. FPCN asked and explained to the Barabaig that this can not continue. It is feared though that more than requests will be needed to persuade them to use only some of the available water holes. Methods of persuasion will be discussed, agreed upon and action taken.

In conclusion FPCN says “We were all so alarmed to discover that these small communities had become so dispossessed by the ever increasing encroachment of the Barabaig settlers and cattle, onto their homeland. But the Barabaig are not the only intruders, the Maasai were also bringing more and more cattle into the region as a result of their expulsion from the Ngorongoro crater, to make way for a dollar earning national park”.

FPCN asks all interested groups and individuals to write to all mentioned in this report and ask them how their conscience is and whether they are interested in the survival of this culture and community.

The overall effect has been so devastating that the game the Hadzabe were dependant on have all but been decimated or moved off. Add to this the adverse effects on the few water holes, infected with amoebas by the cattle and you are left with an population worm infested and dependant on berries
for their moisture and nourishment. The net effects were clear in the blown up stomachs and infections suffered by the children.

Is it therefore the underlying policy of the Tanzania government to only allow wild animals to be kept inside the national parks ? Rather than they feeding her people, she can profit from the tourist dollar. In the meantime, if your not contributing in some way to the countries economy, producing something for export, you deserve nothing more than, the right, to die in silence. Tanzania this is the impression you have left me with. I do hope that I am wrong.

In conclusion; it is the opinion of FPCN International that the biggest single detrimental affect that is dispossessing the Hadzabe of their livelihoods and homelands is the western worlds model of nation building, with its universally adopted legal system. Hopefully they will begin to see the value they have in their cultural heritage before it is to late.

FRIENDS OF PEOPLES CLOSE TO NATURE (FPCN)

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The ‘Friends of Peoples Close to Nature’ is a network of groups and individuals

 

Hadzabe – No WISH or NEED for Development

Written by Hartmut Heller FDN Germany, April 97

Today, there are some 2000 Hadzabe (singular: Hadza) living around LakeEylasi (in Hadza language: Balangida!), which is situated within the great east African rift valley. The Hadzabe speak their own distinct click lout language and are known to be the aborigines on their land. It may well also be assumed that they are the direct descendants of the early humans who lived there some 3 million years ago as bone findings indicate. This is, in human scales, an exceptionally successful existence. For more than hundred thousand generations it has been possible, only due to their lifestyle as
hunters and gatherers, without permanent settlements and living in small clans, totally adapted to the surrounding nature. The  large number ofplants and in particular  animal species with-in the Hadzaland, veryclearly shows that their ancestors were an intrinsic part of and not dominant over their surrounding ecology.

Nowadays the Hadzabe and the nature around them is balancing on the edge ofextinction, caused by the greed for power and money by the mis-guided, civilised mankind. The destruction began, very suddenly and recently. It is only a hundred years ago that the first Europeans,  hungry for land and profit arrived. Until that point the region had been in peace and was full of retreats for the Hadzabe. These first intruders were mostly Germans and they quickly occupied the profitable parts of the land, in particular those parts on the south eastern slope of the well  known  Ngorongoro crater, called Sanza! by the Hadzabe, which they found suitable for theiragriculture. During this time they also killed thousands of wild animals so that the Hadzabe slowly began to miss them during their very moderate
hunting excursions.

The intruders, meanwhile, planted themselves in front of their flags andclaimed the land for themselves, including all the animals, plants and minerals there. They did not see any Hadzabe they for decades until the year 1912.  It was two decades later, after the flags and laws had changed,that a German-Norwegian couple, Kohl-Larsen, visited the Hadzabe. They may have been the first Europeans to show an interest in the Hadzabe and in their way of living. They observed a world similar to that found some hundreds of thousands of years ago. In a typically colonial manner andalways equipped with superior fire arms, Ludwig Kohl-Larsen tried to start a farming business by occupying a fertile part of the Hadzaland and  indoing so destroyed the forest there. Back in Europe they were able to market well the knowledge they gained from their time amongst the Hadzabe. In return they gave Hadzabe nothing.

Since that time there the changes in Hadzaland have been so much moredevastating than the total three million years before. This, is what, the civilised mankind calls development and he is are proud of it. All these changes have caused a degradation to the bio-diversity, a decrease in the variety  of species and adverse affects on the well being of the Hadzabe.

Some 20 years ago, when European strongmen forced the nation building ethosonto its ex-colonies and with this deception, declared independence, the Hadzabe had already lost nine tenths of their ancestral land. Still there were some retreats with sufficient game, edible roots and berries to continue their successfully practised lifestyle. Then came western developers, farmers, miners, western missionaries, puppet state officials, western teachers, white trophy hunters, ethnologists, anthropologists and tourists, each in search of their own profit. Many of them also tried to find ways, most without any knowledge or interest in the Hadzabe life,  toforce the Hadzabe into another lifestyle.

Fortunately now, most of the religious missionaries have been ejected,largely due to the help given by FPCN members. The Hadzabe are also extremely resistant to the schooling of their children and this resistance is growing again due to their reluctance being reinforced by FPCN.

Amongst the others,  the white trophy hunting companies, although alsopartly repelled with FPCN’s help, have already done enormous amounts of damage to the game population.  Rhinos, wildebeests, Élan Antelopes andBuffalo’s, once in abundance on the Hadzaland, are hunted out of existence. The Elephants, Zebras, Giraffes and many Antelope species, also once very common, are now hard to locate.

Additional pressures, nowadays come from the cattle keeping, neighbouringtribes. They have often been repelled from their ancestral homesteads because of western aid activities, mostly to cultivate mono-agriculture cash crops for export, or nature conservation NGOs, creating national parks. They are then, forced to invade more and more of the Hadzaland. In doing so occupying the Hadzabe waterholes one by one. As a result all the Hadzabe waterholes are now polluted and often filled with stagnant water. Previously unknown eye and skin diseases are now common place among the
Hadzabe.

The Hadzabe have been successful over the centuries, in keeping theneighbouring nomadic and agriculturist tribes in respectful distance. The European intruders however destroyed this balanced system of co-existence.

From their education, Europeans are taught to resent primitive life stylesand consider them to be no more than vagrants. Game was and is not seen as part of the needs in the Hadzabe life nor are Hadzabe seen as being in need of their own territory. “Vagrants like hunters-and-gatherers do not have need land for their own” that is the taught assumption and common opinion of almost all Europeans and thus so the black Africans educated by them.

The Hadzabe have had to withdraw and retreat, until the present situationthat exists now, where everyone is claiming part of their land. Today,  theHadzabe enjoy a landless life due to CUSO, a Canadian NGO that is funded by their governmental and businesses. CUSO demarcated the last Hadza retreat, the Yaeda valley, for the benefit of the local  farming communities andlivestock holders (pastrolists). Now the Hadzabe have nowhere to go. According to a 1996 census, the area known as the Yaeda valley, to the eastern shores of lake Eyasi, was at that the time, widely free from intruders. A lot has changed since then. The situation today is such that approximately 2000 wild game animals are left to be shared between the trophy hunters, poachers from other tribes and the Hadzabe. Compared to some 60,000 cattle and livestock, mostly owned by the Barabaig (Mangati). The net result is, quite a number of Hadzabe nowadays have no meat in their diet, because it is not there any more. Some of the clans,  exclusivelyhave to live on berries and roots. Malnutrition, misery and many diseases have already been seen to enter into their lives.

FPCN calls for an immediate halt to the hardship that is being imposed onthe Hadzabe, before it is too late.  In order to carry this out illegalactivities will become necessary as law and order only seek to promote the impoverishment.

A goal for the foresee able future, will be to secure some of the Hadzabetraditional hunting and living grounds, including waterholes for them to continue their traditional existence. This can only be achieved by the area being totally free from livestock and outsiders. Additionally complete sovereignty will be granted allowing the Hadzabe to hunt trespassing cattle.  Poachers, from other tribes, either white or black will also bebanned from hunting on their land.

It is expected that the poisoning of some cattle will be necessary, inorder to get the herders to remove their livestock.

Another strategy, but far more troublesome, will be in getting the frequentspraying of the Hadzaland, with chemicals, stopped. The chemical spraying done by the righteous western developers, combats the tsetse fly which is a considerable pest for livestock.  With the return of the tsetse fly  cattlewould not  be able to inhabit the region.

FPCN International sanctions all of the above. It is considered by us asincredibly cynical that the Hadzabe are forbidden to use their traditional hunting grounds on the slopes of the Sanza! crater, which is now part of the Ngorongoro Crater  Conservation Area, while European farmers andhunters, like the Germans Michael Gericke and Udo Marens, enjoy the profits from the stolen Hadzaland, just next to the conservation area. They, with their invited German friends shoot elephants, that have entered the attractive fields planted near to the border with the conservation area. We also consider it extremely cynical that the Hadzabe are refused permission and risk torture and imprisonment if caught hunting in these areas, whileBarabaig and Maasai are allowed to open new settlements within the conservation area, while making the area gameless with the massive invasion
of their cattle and goats.

FRIENDS OF PEOPLES CLOSE TO NATURE (FPCN)

50 Hillside Crescent
Whittle~le~Woods
Chorley
Lancashire
PR6 7LT.
England UK
Tel/fax~ 0044 (0)1257 230218
Website: http://www.fpcn-global.org
E mailto: Int-Office@fpcn-global.org

The ‘Friends of Peoples Close to Nature’ is a network of groups and individuals

 

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