Learning From Hunter Gatherers
This spring I had a phenomenal opportunity to travel to Tanzania, and spend a few weeks with the Hadza, a group of hunter gatherers. This has been a dream of mine for decades, and this year it all came together. Joel van der Loon, from Joel V Bushcraft, organized the trip, and his connections made it all possible.
We were welcomed into a camp or around 30 people, from infants through elders. Each day would be spend ranging across the landscape, hunting, foraging, collecting water and looking for wild honey. One of my goals was to see what I could learn simply from how the Hadza move across the land. This was deeply inspiring. Tracking, foraging for berries, looking for hives, harvesting new arrow shoots, and group hunting for small game were all seamlessly integrated into a holistic experience. Each activity was not separated, rather there was a sense of flow with each aspect of life moving together fluidly.
I made a bow and several small game hunting arrows. The Hadza make a round bow, and use either sinew or paracord for the string. Fletching was from any feather that was found or acquired from hunting small birds. The archery culture was amazing. Boys and men carry their bows constantly, and are always ready for action.
I am curious to see how much of what I learned we can incorporate into our homeschool programs and workshops in Colorado. Knife skills for example. The Hadza have a unique way of carving with knives, I cam curious how our students will take to this technique, to add to our repertoire. We will also be experimenting with making Hadza style bows out of our native materials, and see how they work.
It was a magical time, and I look forward to going back at some point in the future.