Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tanzania: A Way of Life Comes to an End

One of the world’s last tribes of hunter-gatherers is about to vanish. They’ll soon go the way of the Dodo and the Brontosaurus.

The Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania is already down to fewer than 1,500 people. During their 50,000 year history they’ve survived the beginning of agriculture, guns, diseases, missionaries, poachers, anthropologists, conflicts with other tribes and gawking tourists. But it looks like they’ve finally met their match.

The Tanzanian government has leased the Hadzabe tribal lands — about 2,500 square miles near the Serengeti Plain — to the Royal Family from the United Arab Emirates. The sheiks and VIPs were looking for a new personal playground to replace their current playground: a nearby hunting area which has become “too crowded” and “inconvenient.” After taking a helicopter tour of the area, the Royal Family has chosen the Hadzabe tribal territory as their new personal fiefdom.

A Tanzanian government official described the Hadzabe as “backward” and said they'd be better off with the new roads and schools and other projects that the UAE will be “compensating” them with. Tribal leaders say they want to modernize, but at their own pace, combining modernization with their traditional way of life, instead of having the rug pulled out from under them by their own government.

One of their leaders said “If they are going to come here, we definitely will all perish. Our history will die, and the Hadzabe will be swept off the face of the world. We are very much afraid.”

The UAE Royal Family has a degree of wealth and splendor that most people couldn’t even comprehend. They make most American millionaires look poor. And now one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes has to get out of the way so that one of the world’s wealthiest families can use their land for their own personal playground.

This is beyond sick. When you combine that story with this — something’s wrong.


Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Welcome back Tom Harper!!

Well this story about the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania just lets you know where the rich are coming from.

There's no stopping them when you have what they want and you are poor.

This world has been about that since time and want change anytime soon.

June 11, 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

Thanks for brining this to my attention.

It's really fucking sad.

and you know what's even sicker?

40 years from now people will tsk tsk the Hadzabe for not holding on to their culture...after their living in shanty squalors after so-called modernization.

June 11, 2007 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Thanks. Yeah, this is the kind of thing that's always gone on and always will, but sometimes it's just so blatant how callus and meanspirited people can be.

PoliShifter: Good point, people will probably do exactly that, tsk tsk-ing them for moving into the shanty villages that they were forced into.

June 11, 2007 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Mags said...

Totally infuriating. What's more infuriating is that it doesn't seem like there's anything anyone can do about it. Quite frankly, I'm not surprised - they pretty much own our own president.

June 12, 2007 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mags: Yup, it's infuriating all right. And you're probably right that there isn't anything anyone can do about it. There might be a public outcry but people like that aren't affected by public opinion.

June 12, 2007 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

Yay - you're back!

As to the subject of your post, it's a perfect example of how society values money over human beings.

June 12, 2007 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Leo said...

I just wanted to say, I'm glad to see you back, because I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I would love to exchange links if you're interested, either way I'm going to add you to my blog links. Take care.

June 12, 2007 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

God I need some of that CEO money.
Dude it is sad to see the Hadzabe on the way out, you'd at least think that measures would have been taken years ago to try and secure some form of cultural protection - some legal way of putting up a barraier to protect these folk!!

June 12, 2007 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Candace: Thanks. Yes, it's a perfect example of valuing money over people, or people who already have everything pushing around "lesser" people when they're in the way.

Leo: Thanks. I'll link you up.

Damien: Yeah, I could use some of that CEO money too. It sucks that there isn't some form of international legal protection for ancient tribes and ethnic groups.

June 12, 2007 at 2:41 PM  

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