Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Hadza are a small group of hunter-gatherers living in the vicinity of Lake Eyasi in northeastern Tanzania. By the early twenty-first century only a small number of Hadza continued to live much as they had a century before: in bush camps frequently changing in size and composition, and with no formal leadership, seasonally moving from place to place in search of game, edible plants and fruits, and honey. A majority have adopted more diverse livelihood strategies due to increased pressures on the land from herders and agricultural immigrants, and the development of ethnic-tourism.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Africa --Eastern Africa



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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and title where necessary.

Documents in this collection focus on residential camps and households of the eastern Hadza living in the area of eastern Lake Eyasi. While the time span ranges from the earliest contact with European travelers in 1890s, a majority of the documents draw on fieldwork conducted from the late 1950s to the early 2000s.

Taken together, the sources by Woodburn provide a comprehensive ethnography for the period of fieldwork between 1958 and 1967, covering subsistence (Woodburn 1968 “An introduction…”); sociopolitical organization (Woodburn 1968 “Stability and flexibility…”, 1979), and concepts of health and disease (Woodburn 1959). Marlowe (2010) compares these studies to subsequent fieldwork (much of it detailed in the remaining collection documents) to provide a rich overview of cultural continuity and change. Also included in the collection are general ethnographic descriptions of Hadza culture and ecology by Bagshawe (1925), Bleek (1931), Cooper (1949), and, in German language, Porr (1997).

A majority of the documents in the collection come from problem-focused, collaborative research projects conducted between 1985 and 2009, commonly noting implications for human evolution. Themes covered include: demographics (Blurton Jones et al. 1992); nutrition and health (Jellife et al. 1962; Marlowe 2004); child care (Blurton Jones et al. 2005; Marlowe 2005; Crittenden et al. 2008); and division of labor by gender and age in hunting and gathering (Hawkes et al. 1995, 2001; Wood and Marlowe 2013).

Overview by

Teferi Adem

Allomaternal care – child care by others than the mother or genetic father – use "FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (593)" with "INFANT CARE (854)" and/or "CHILD CARE (855)"; for care specifically by grandparents use "GRANDPARENTS AND GRANDCHILDREN (603)" in place of "FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (593)"

Allomothering – see “Allomaternal care”

Alloparental care – see “Allomaternal care”

Epeme – men’s ritual in which ordinarily prohibited cuts of animal meat are secretly consumed – use "ORGANIZED CEREMONIAL (796)" and/or "AVOIDANCE AND TABOO (784)"

Poison arrows – use "WEAPONS (411)" with "PHARMACEUTICALS (278)"

Serial monogamy – use "POLYGAMY (595)" or "BASIS OF MARRIAGE (581)"

Indexing Notes by

Teferi Adem

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