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                                       politics + culture

Monday, June 11, 2007

the Hadzabe face an ethnic cleansing in Tanzania

This story from Stephanie McCrummen in the Washington Post is absolutely heartbreaking:

One of the last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers on the planet is on the verge of vanishing into the modern world.

The transition has been long underway, but members of the dwindling Hadzabe tribe, who now number fewer than 1,500, say it is being unduly hastened by a United Arab Emirates royal family, which plans to use the tribal hunting land as a personal safari playground.

The deal between the Tanzanian government and Tanzania UAE Safaris Ltd. leases nearly 2,500 square miles of this sprawling, yellow-green valley near the storied Serengeti Plain to members of the royal family, who chose it after a helicopter tour.

The story of Gonga Petro and his people is nothing new. The eradication of indigenous peoples and their language and way of life has been going on for two centuries. This is simply a more brutal and needlessly greedy displacement. Some rich and powerful people who have sway with the Tanzanian government want the land the Hadzabe have hunted on for 50,000 years.

And no one in 2007 is going to stop them.


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