Deal Threatens Ancient Tribe in Tanzania

Government agrees to rent safari land, pushing endangered people to the brink
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2007 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Hadzabe people of Tanzania walk in age-old footsteps near the once-bountiful Serengeti plain, starting fires with sticks and hunting with handmade poison arrows. Now the tribe has crossed paths with the royal family of Abu Dhabi, and the resulting conflict endangers a way of life that has endured for 50,000 years. The Washington Post visits the Yaeda Valley.

A government deal transforming 2,500 acres of hunting land into rented safari territory could doom the Hadzabe, whose numbers have dwindled to around 1,500. The Hadzabe, one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes on earth, were excluded from the agreement and oppose it because it imperils their way of life. Officials say it will bring modernization to a "backwards" people.