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Water Gatherers

Philippe GESLIN | Tanzania, United Republic of

From the hill, Hadza are looking for Baboons... and tourist people

In Tanzania, along the Rift Valley, on the shores of Lake Eyasi, live the last Hadza hunter-gatherers. Four hundred still live on this ancestral mode of relationship with nature. When we talk about hunter-gatherers, we think of the consumption of wild game meat and the picking of berries and other tubers. There is less thought of the water resource, which nevertheless represents the fundamental element for the survival of these communities.

This water is scarce. The Hadza have had to adapt to this situation for many years. They must share it even more than in the past with neighboring populations. Thus, managing water points involves delicate negotiations between different lifestyles. Climate change is not tackled frontally by the Hadza. To grasp the consequences is to pay close attention to the transformations perceived and explained by them, for example, through the rarefaction of certain plants on the areas where their ancestors usually collected them, the variations of their taste, their sizes and their aspects. In fact, climate transformations generate a broad spectrum of constraints best managed by the Hadza.

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