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A Gathering at Tarangire Safari Lodge

In early September, representatives from the Hadza, Akie and Sandawe tribes gathered at Tarangire Safari Lodge for two days of discussions, debate, and dancing. Some groups traveled hundreds of kilometers to reach the meeting.

The two-day meeting allowed representatives to discuss the current issues facing hunter-gatherer groups in Tanzania. Discussions focused on the effects of land loss, climate change, immigration, and modernization on their way of life and cultural preservation.

This is the third time the Dorobo Fund has co-hosted this event with Tarangire Safari Lodge in the last eight years. Recurring themes brought to the table by these people are the loss of land, political disenfranchisement, agricultural expansion, population growth, and climate change, and the effects these continue to have on traditional ways of life for hunter-gatherers.

The Akie shared the loss of their language, identity, and culture as surrounding tribes married into theirs.

The Hadza spoke about the struggles they face with land encroachment from neighboring peoples and how climate change is affecting the wildlife they depend on.

The Sandawe talked about the effects of modernity on their culture and how many young people are leaving the rural areas in search of work, leaving behind their culture.

We also made time for a bit of fun, spending a few hours on game drives. Wildlife being such an essential part of their traditional livelihoods, these folk were as excited watching animals as are any first time tourists from abroad.

This also allowed attendees to see what their land may have looked like decades ago before being impacted by political, agricultural, and other pressures.

A representative from the Sandawe tribe remarked, “We are grateful for the time we had together. We found strength in our shared struggles and leave with hope.”

Enjoy this short video of our time in Tarangire Safari Lodge with the Hadza, Akie, and Sandawe.

Kailey Gramberg