Pastoralism is one of the oldest forms of organised human society. However, this way of life is increasingly under threat and not only because of encroaching desertification and the effects of a voracious development. Today’s political, legal, social and economic policies and laws are not taking into consideration the needs of nomadic populations.
Pastoralists are people who derive their living mainly from the management of livestock, such as goats, sheep, cattle or camels, which live off natural forage on rangelands. Pastoralism is a way of life and animals also play key roles in their societies’ traditions, culture and beliefs. Pastoralists may be nomadic where they move throughout the year with their families and herds, or may be sedentary where they are more or less settled in one defined area. Others practice what is called ‘transhumance’ where the community has a settled base from where there is migration during certain parts of the year.
Hunter-gatherers are people who live off the land by hunting wild animals and collecting roots, wild berries and honey. Their traditional lifestyle is one in harmony with the land and their societies are known to be egalitarian with the sharing of resources.
Although they still keep many of their traditions, they are slowly being assimilated by the pastoralists who are a more dominant group, and today some also keep a few cattle or have small farms. unter-gatherers are people who live off the land by hunting wild animals and collecting roots, wild berries and honey. Their traditional lifestyle is one in harmony with the land and their societies are known to be egalitarian with the
sharing of resources.
Although they still keep many of their traditions, they are slowly being assimilated by the pastoralists who are a more dominant group, and today some also keep a few cattle or have small farms.
The Maasai are a very traditional people who live in Kenya and Tanzania. There are almost a million Maasai in Tanzania, the majority of whom live in the Arusha and Manyara Regions. They live in remote areas of the Regions, far away from the larger towns.
The history of the Maasai has been crowded with both natural and man made disasters ever since the Great East Africa Rinderpest which left them and their herds emaciated and decimated. They started losing their grazing land near NAirobi Kenya at the beginning of the last century soon after the advent of colonialism.
They continued losing their best grazing land in Kenya Highlands, Lerosho, Ngong etc. As a response to the plight of landlessness, a good section of them decided to trek southward to their current, Tanzania.
The Datoga: Barbaig and Wataturu
Datoga people also known as the Mang'ati in Swahili, are agro-pastoral nomadic Nilotic speaking people living in Singida and Manyara Region of north central Tanzania near Mt. Hanang, Lake Basotu, and Lake Eyasi. The Datoga occupies, precisely, the areas around the Rift Valley in the regions of Arusha, Sangida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Tabora and Mara. About 70% are found in the present Hanang and Mbulu district Arusha (Manyara) Region.
The Datoga people live in Tanzania. The most general name for this widely-dispersed ethnic group is Datoga, though it is sometimes spelled Tatooga. In the outside world like Tabora, Shinyanga and Mara regions, they are often known by the Sukuma name for them, Taturu or Wataturu. In Arusha, Dodoma and Singida Regions the Datoga are known as Barabaig or Mang'ati.
Being a pastoralist community, the Tatoga's traditional lifestyle is being challenged and marginalized in terms of poor provision of social services and alienation of key basic resources such as land.
The Dorobo Community belong to the hunter-gatherer tribe and their livelihood entirely depends on berries, fruits, tubers and honey. They are probably one of the endangered tribes in the Sub-Sahara Africa. Within the community, there are four sub-groups that comprised the tribe: Ogiek, Laramanik, Pallang'a and Siringeti. They are spread throughout the Northern part of Tanzania namely in Kiteto, Simanjiro, Ngorongoro and Handeni Districts in Arusha, Manyara and Tanga Regions.
Just like the Maasai and the Barbaig, they belong to the marginalized community of the country. There has been no special development programs by the government to assist and support their situation. Even formal education is not accessible to the community. None of them had formal education until 2002, when 23 students were enrolled at Ndeo Primary School in Kiteto with the support of a tour/safari company.
The Hadza, or Hadzabe, are an indigenous ethnic group in north-central Tanzania, living around Lake Eyasi in the central Rift Valley and in the neighboring Serengeti Plateau. The Hadza number just under 1,000. Some 300–400 Hadza live as hunter-gatherers, much as their ancestors have for tens of thousands of years. They are among the last hunter-gatherers in the world.
The Hadza are not closely genetically related to any other people. While traditionally classified with the Khoisan languages, primarily because it has clicks, the Hadza language appears to be an isolate, unrelated to any other.As descendants of Tanzania's aboriginal hunter-gatherer population, they have probably occupied their current territory for thousands of years, with relatively little modification to their basic way of life until the past hundred years.