The Hadza

The Hadza or the Hadzabe are an indigenous group located in the central area of Tanzania of East Africa. As of 2005 just less than 1000 definitive Hadza remained in East Africa. Of that 1000 around half still function as hunter-gatherers.

Hunting and Gathering

Hadza division of labor is split between hunting and foraging. Although foraging is primarily done by women and hunting by men both genders are often active participants in hunting and foraging. It is not uncommon for women to bring back small game from time to time and most foraging parties are conducted with at least one male present. The Hadza diet consists of honey, fruit (mostly baobab), tubers, and meat from a variety of game such as dikers, baboons, and bush-pigs. The choice foods vary dependent on seasonal abundance and opportunity.


Foraging tools include: a digging stick, a large storage pouch made from animal hide which is used to carry smaller objects, a knife, and a variety of clothing items.

Hunting tools include: a bow with arrows, a small container for collecting honey, a three piece fire starter, and a variety of clothing items.


Hadza language is a unique combination of plosives and clicks. Although similar to the language of the Khoisan and Sandawe the Hadza language is different in that very few of their terms have a common origin of relation in similarities. Meaning that most of their words are not branches of other words and most terms are entirely unique. The UCLA Phonetics Lab Language project has done a considerable amount of work on documenting in detail the Hadza language system, including their distinct language network.

This archived project can be found at: http://archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/HTS/hts.html

(Below right Hadzabe bushmen dancing in the Lake Eyasi region of Tanzania; left The Hadzabe Bushmen of Tanzania demonstrate their archery skills footage from unknow amateur)


“East Africa can be divided geographically into three subregions. The first, the Great Lakes Region, includes Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. The second, the Horn of Africa, includes Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, and Somalia. And the last subregion is the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros and Seychelles. These distinctions are made based on different types of vegetation, availability of water, and topography in the three regions.”

(From exploring africa at msu edu)


Marlowe, F.W. (2005). Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers. Human Nature, 15, 364-375.

Wood, B. (2006). Prestige or Provisioning? A Test of Foraging Goals among the Hadza. Current Anthropology 7(2):383-387.

Marlowe, F.W. (2004). What explains Hadza food sharing? Research in Economic Anthropology,23,69-88.

Lee, Richard B. ; Hitchcock, Robert K. African Hunter-Gatherers: Survival, History, and the Politics of Identity. African study monographs supplementary issue Vol. 26, no. 257-80 (2001)

Marlowe, Frank W. A critical period for provisioning by Hadza men

K. Hawkes, F. O'Connell, N. G. Blurton Jones. Hadza Children's Foraging: Juvenile Dependency, Social Arrangements, and Mobility among Hunter-Gatherers. Current Anthropology, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Aug. - Oct., 1995), pp. 688-700

Marlowe, Frank W. Showoffs or Providers? The Parenting Effort of Hadza Men. Behavioral Ecology Sociobiology (1999) 46: 57-64

Marlowe, Frank W. Ethnicity, Hunter-Gatherers, and the “Other”: Association or Assimilation in Africa, Sue Kent (Ed.) Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp 247-275.

K. Hawkes, F. O'Connell, N. G. Blurton Jones. Hadza meat sharing . Evolution and Human Behavior 22 (2001) 113±142

Marlowe, Frank. 2002 Why the Hadza are still hunter-gatherers. In Ethnicity, hunter-gatherers, and the "other". S. Kent, ed. Pp. 247-275. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.