H is for Hadzabe- #AtoZChallenge

H” is for the ‘Hadzabe’, an African tribe of friendly people who have chosen to retain their traditional lifestyle. On a photography safari with Great Escape Publishing (GEP) last November, I was able to spend the day learning about how they managed to survive in today’s world.

A very early morning wakeup brought our group of photographers to spend the day with a couple of the traditional tribes of the area. First the Hadzabe, the hunters, next the Datogas, the blacksmiths. We had to meet the Hadzabe very early for a special treat, we would go on a hunt with their men!

#tribe of #Hadzabe #men

We left the beautiful Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge at 0545 and drove about 45 minutes to the Hadzabe camp. They still live a nomadic life, so we met them at one of their temporary camps. They had built scattered domed huts out of thin, flexible branches tied together in addition to their ‘rooms’ in a rocky outcrop atop a high hill.

#traditional #Hadzabe #hut made from flexible branches

When we arrived, we met the chief and through our interpreter, Joseph, we got an explanation of the basics of their lifestyle. The men brought us up to a large overhang of the rock where they had a fire going. They explained the different types of arrows they used for hunting (some were poisonous).

A couple of them showed us how they started a fire (no, not with a Bic lighter), the old fashioned way of twisting a stick until it gets hot enough to light the tinder. The Hadzabe men used the spark to light their pipes for a good long toke. A few of our troop tried it too- (lighting the fire, not smoking the weed)- but only one succeeded (just barely). It looked a lot harder when our group tried to do it. The Hadzabe made it look so easy.

starting the #fire

Similar to the Maasai, they were nomadic. But the Hadzabe were hunters, not herders. The chief also had more than 1 wife. The men spent their days hunting and preparing to hunt. They made their bows and arrows, sharpened their knives, kept the fire going, and smoked a lot of weed while they were at it. They offered some to us, but nobody was brave enough to accept.

After the demonstration, we left with the men on their daily hunt. I followed along for about 20 minutes, up and down the rocky hillsides, surrounded by thorny plants in the hot sun. The hunters were already so far ahead of me I couldn’t see what good it was doing to try to keep up with them. I was rushing- huffing and puffing- and not able to really pay attention to my surroundings and thought better about continuing on.

#Hadzabe #African #tribesmen going #hunting with #bows and arrows

I turned around and went back to camp. Joseph escorted me and a couple of others who also wanted to return, just to make sure we made it back safely.

Joseph brought us back to camp, introduced us to the women and then returned to the hunt.

#Hadzabe #woman and her #child

Like the Maasai women, the Hadzabe women stay in camp and tend to the household chores. They take care of the children, do whatever needs doing around the camp, and make items for trade. I watched as all the women and children sat together creating beautiful beadwork items (which they later showed our group- just in case anyone wanted to buy).

#Hadzabe #tribal #beadwork

It took a couple of hours for the men to return to camp- along with our group who stuck it out with them. Sorry to say, they didn’t catch anything. They’ll have to try again later. In preparation for heading out again, they practiced with their bow and arrows and a target stump a couple hundred feet down the slope. We watched as all the men (even the young boys) took their shots at the stump. They even offered to teach us how to do it.

#Hadzabe #tribesmen practice #target #shooting with #bows and #arrows

A couple of our group decided to take them up on it and took a couple of shots at the stump. No one managed to hit the target. I tried to pull the string of one of the small boys’ bow. No, I couldn’t pull it even halfway back. We all had fun, the Hadzabe had a good laugh at how awful we were.

we get to practice #target #shooting with #Hadzabe #bows and #arrows

Before we left, the tribe got together and gave us a farewell present. They put on a dance show for us and even invited us into the dance. It was a fun ending to our visit.

Meeting the Maasai

This afternoon, after our last visit to Tarangire National Park, we got to visit with the Maasai tribe. A real highlight of our safari so far.

The chief met us on arrival at his village. A tall man, dressed in the traditional red robes of his tribe, he spoke very good English as he explained daily life in his village.

We watched as a couple of ladies built a new house out of long, thin sticks. They had stuck them in the ground to make a circle about 8-10 ft in diameter. When we arrived, they were circling the structure with more thin sticks and then tying them together every few inches.

The chief explained that they would cover this framework with cow dung mixed with mud and water to insulate the home (and keep the termites out). Then they would roof it with palm fronds.

He explained how his family functioned. He had 3 wives. The first one got to pick the rest of them out. They all had to get along. He had to have so many head of cattle before he could marry. The more cows, the more wives he could have.

The men spent their days tending their herds, the women were responsible for everything else: raising the children, cooking, taking care of the house (and even building it). The women also spent time making items to trade (and sell to any tourists that came by).

After the chief answered our questions, he brought us to the corral where they kept their animals at night. Built of thorny branches in a thick layer, it kept out the predators. Inside, we were treated to a dance put on by most of the tribe. The women on one side and the men on the other.

The women wore large beaded collars around their necks. One or two would move from the ends towards each other in the center of their line- bowing their upper bodies and chanting. The men stayed on their side of the corral, humming and chanting in low voices. Every so often they would jump straight up with their spears, as high as they could.

When the dance finished up to a round of applause, the women spread out their creations for our inspection (and hopefully a sale).

It was a little gross, walking through all the cow patties, etc. But when it comes to shopping (and getting good photos), nothing would stop us. 😉

They made beautiful beaded jewelry- necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. They made carved and painted animal figures, bowls and boxes. They had a pretty good day by the time we left.

Yes we contributed to their commercialization. Their lives have already been corrupted by modernity no matter how much they try to retain their traditional culture. I’m glad I got to meet them, before they get too homogenized. I hope they can improve their lives and somehow keep their culture strong too.

Dance: Bali

Here’s another post for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photography Challenge (Dance).

I took this photo a couple of years ago in Ubud. I was on vacation in Bali (Indonesia) and spent a couple of weeks checking out the beautiful island. The people are so friendly and the island itself is gorgeous. It’s small, so easy to get around. There are volcanoes to hike, whitewater rivers to raft, perfect waves for surfing, great wrecks for SCUBA diving, and the art scene is fantastic!

I was told that it’s part of their religion there on Bali to make something more beautiful every day. I saw that they really took that to heart. Their temples are amazing, and the people practice music and dance to perform in the temple ceremonies. They have entire villages where the people just make one type of art: stone cutters, woodcarvers, painters, silversmiths, batik, etc. You could spend months there finding something new every day. 🙂

Dance- New Orleans

Here’s a photo I took in New Orleans. I think it’s a good one for this challenge (Dance) from the Daily Post. I loved watching this couple dance and listen to the band play in the street. New Orleans is really great for this kind of thing. 🙂

The couple was really dancing up a storm (swing, jitterbug, etc.), the musicians were all tapping their toes and swaying to the music and everyone was having a great time.

Dance

Here’s a photo for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance. 

I took this photo one Friday night at the Fiesta Mexicana in Old Puerto Vallarta.

I was down there for a month getting certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). Every Friday night there were dance shows downtown by the beach. I never got there early enough to get a good seat, it was always packed at least a half hour before the show started. It was a real challenge to get any decent pictures.

This is one of my favorites. The show started with Spanish dances. 🙂

Intricate

Here’s a picture for the Daily Posts’ Photo Challenge.

Balinese dances are very intricate. If you’ve never seen one, you ought to check it out. They’re really acting out a story in the dance. Every little movement means something, even the way they move their eyes, or their little fingers.

The stories are sometimes pretty involved, but even tho I had no idea of any of it beforehand, I could gather the main idea. They really put on a fantastic show. I’m always fascinated (and wish I had a better seat for photographs).

 

Motion

Here’s a photo I took in New Orleans. I think it’s a good one for this challenge (Motion) from the Daily Post. I loved watching this couple dance and listen to the band play in the street. New Orleans is really great for this kind of thing. 🙂

It’s not really blurry, but I hope you can get the idea of motion anyway. The couple was really dancing up a storm (swing, jitterbug, etc.), the musicians were all tapping their toes and swaying to the music and everyone was having a great time.

I didn’t think to buy a CD from this band, I wish I remembered their name. But I did get one from another one that was playing further up the street. Here’s a post I did about that one. Check it out, the music’s worth a listen. 😉

Photography 101 Challenge: Moment

At first I thought it said movement, but then I saw it was really moment, but the assignment (Day 13) is still to play around with blur and movement. I think there are a lot of ways to interpret this one. 🙂

I’m still stuck in class all day and it’s way too cold out here for me to go out (and I have no transportation either), so I’ve been picking out old photos to try and illustrate the themes for the challenges.

Here’s a photo I took in New Orleans last winter. I loved watching this couple dance and listen to the band play in the street. New Orleans is really great for this kind of thing. 🙂

It’s not really blurry, but I hope you can get the idea of motion anyway. The couple was really dancing up a storm (swing, jitterbug, etc.), the musicians were all tapping their toes and swaying to the music and everyone was having a great time.

I didn’t think to buy a CD from this band, I wish I remembered their name. But I did get one from another one that was playing further up the street. Here’s a post I did about that one. Check it out, the music’s worth a listen. 😉

Cadets Having Fun

I was goofing around on the computer tonight (youtube) and came across this video from the International Maritime Academy.

It’s nice to see the cadets can still have some fun while they’re in school. 🙂

Video: Capt Kirk and the Enterprise Meet Miley Cyrus

I have to admit, I’m not really into Miley Cyrus. I didn’t even really know who she was til this whole big media circus about her escapades at the MTV music awards.

So far, I’ve seen her on Saturday Night Live and now this great clip showing on utube using old film from Star Trek. Someone posted it on my Facebook page and I just cracked up laughing.

I love the reactions of the crew. Captain Kirk, Scotty, Spock and Uhura, Chekov finally lost it. OMG, funny!!! The guy who made this video got it down PERFECT!

I’ve never heard of ‘twerking’ before the awards. OK, I’m way past 30, so I know I must be out of touch with what’s going on, but I have learned to use google. 😉

Apparently this is some kind of new dance fad. I don’t think I’m missing much, but during my googling this morning, I discovered that there is an event called the UK Twerking Championships in London. I watched the highlight video. Let me tell you, it’s hilarious!

I’ve always enjoyed watching people dance. All kinds of dance. This twerking is something else. I would have a hard time keeping a straight face in that place. I wonder what they do to people who bust a gut laughing? They looked like they really were pretty serious. WTF???

I even found online lessons. In case you’re interested, here’s one. Enjoy! 😉