Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tanzania - Families

You can still watch part two of Half the Sky today - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Here is the current link for today:     http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278/

For women, men and children, educational and economic opportunities can take many forms.  What is important is that opportunities are there, and the people in the society may pursue them without oppression.

The Hadzabe society in Tanzania is one of the last hunter-gatherer societies left in Africa.  These men showed us how to use their bow and arrows (smartly, they didn't give some of us sharp tips), and took us on an impressive morning hunt (i.e. exhausting - see the sleeping dog?). In exchange, they have some cash to buy metal arrow tips from a neighboring tribe that makes them.
From the women, we bought necklaces and bracelets, from beads and available natural materials.  One little girl now attends school and asked our guide if he could bring a pair of shoes for her next time he visits.  They know him because his mother is Hadzabe.   

This small group, plus about the same number of women and other children, had the least permanent shelters I can imagine.  If a large animal is killed, one of the hunters will return and tell the others where to go.  They relocate closer to the food.   They'll build simple shelters there from the material available.   Everything they have can be wrapped in a cloth and carried to their new location.

Nearby, we visited a Datoga family.  Along with managing and grazing their livestock, they are known for their metal work.

I like best these scenes before the posed picture.  Talking with hands, and each our own language, about something.  One of the women had arranged us by height.   

The Datoga people do metal work, including arrow points the Hadzabe use.  Behind where I'm standing, the young men manned the fire - one worked the goat-skin bellows, one melted all sorts of metal parts into forms and shaped the items.  Another used a chisel and hammer to make designs in the bracelets and other metal items.  Again the women make a fine sales team that is hard to refuse.

Different groups had different types of houses.  Behind the goat, you can see the fence made of thorn bush branches.   We saw this a lot in different communities.   This helps protect the livestock from predators and keeps them close by when they aren't grazing elsewhere.

1 comment:

Matron said...

that ls a lovely picture. A precious reminder of a special trip.