We all used to live in tribes of hunter gatherers at one time. While most of humanity has moved on and has seen incredible development, there are a few tribes that still live the way we used to live in the beginning of the human story. Their lifestyle and culture is so primitive that to us, it seems weird and crazy. Let’s look at 7 such tribal people who live a bizarre life.
The Bushmen of Southern Africa are probably the most famous of all tribes. They became famous as one of the oldest tribes in the world. We all were probably once Bushmen. The movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, showed their culture very beautifully about how an empty bottle of coca cola wrecks havoc in a tribe that has never known personal possessions and greed. They used to live the same hunter gatherer lifestyle with all their strange rituals but now have started farming as per the mandate of the government.
Twa are the oldest surviving tribe of the Great Lakes area in Central Africa. They belong to the pygmy people and today live as a caste of the Bantu people with whom they have a codependent relationship. They provide the Bantu with game in exchange for agricultural products. They used to live in the mountains but were driven off their land when it was declared a World Heritage Site for the endangered Mountain Gorilla. Today they live in poverty and face discrimination. The primary occupation among them is begging.
The Chagga people live on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. They migrated to these mountains in the 11th century and since then they’ve lived here. They are agricultural people who speak Bantu and their main crop is banana. They still live in traditional huts and follow traditional agricultural practices. Their completely organic farming has survived for thousands of years and is much better than modern pesticide based farming practices. They have maintained their traditions while also opening up to new experiences and changes of the modern world.
The Hamar people are a tribe of Ethiopia. Their main occupation is animal husbandry. Animals and cattle play an important part of their culture. So when a boy grows up to be a man he has to go through a weird initiation ritual in which he has to jump over the cattle. The cattle must be castrated and the man should be naked. Once he completes this ceremony he becomes a “maza” and is ready to get married. These people have continued to live the same way that they have lived for most of their life.
The Sentinelese are one of the most isolated tribes in the world. They are one of the many Andamanese tribes found in the Andaman islands of India. They are Negroites and represent a much older race of South Asia. They belong to the first humans who came from Africa to settle in India, South East Asia and Australasia. They have not had much contact with the modern world and actively discourage people from coming to their island by shooting arrows at them. Their culture is so primitive that they even know how to survive natural disasters and survived the 2004 tsunami without much damage whereas more modern civilizations in the area were completely destroyed.
WaYao or Yao are a tribe of the Eastern Africa that are predominantly Muslim. They live in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and their cultural identity is so strong that they don’t care about the arbitrary national borders created by the modern man. They continue to live in their primitive ways which might seem unusual to us. One such weird ritual is the initiation of young boys which have to go through a circumcision ritual which is brutal and dangerous. They wear a strange attire made of straw when going through this ritual.
The Surma people belong to three tribes with similar culture and rituals. These are the Suri, Mursi and Me’en. These people are mostly agricultural and still follow most of their age old rituals and traditions. One such crazy ritual is that of lip piercing and extension. Women have their bottom teeth removed and insert clay plates in their bottom lips with gradually increasing size. The larger the plate a woman has the more beautiful she is considered. Apart from this ritual they also use scars to beautify their body and introduce their children to blood, pain and the hard life that is ahead of them.