A Travellerspoint blog

Visiting the Datoga Tribe

A fascinating afternoon


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Datoga Tribe

Known as the Mang'ati in Swahili, the pastoral Datoga people consider themselves the oldest tribe in Tanzania.

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We are invited into one of their huts, to see how the women grind corn. We saw mounds of discarded corn husks as we arrived.

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The work is all done by hand and is very labour intensive – not to mention back breaking, as I find out when I try.

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Kneeling is not an option for me after several knee injuries over the years.

The Datoga are traditionally patrilineal and polygynous, and today we see mainly women and children in this settlement.

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Scarification in a circular pattern around the eyes is a popular of creating facial beautification, and you can recognise a married woman from the tassels she wears over her skirt.

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I hope David is not getting any ideas about polygamy!

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Tikiri, a poplar strategy game that we have seen numerous variations of throughout Africa.

These pastoralists are also skilled silversmiths, and as well as jewellery, they supply the Hadzabe with iron arrow tips, knives and spears in exchange for honey and fruits, and we continue on to their outdoor workshop.

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David has a go at bellowing to try and get the fire going, but doesn't have much success.


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One of their men shows him how it's done.


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We are shown how the blacksmith will take a thick nail from his pile of scrap metal and turn it into an intricate arrow tip.

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I love the way he is holding onto it with his feet!

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The finish product

The Datoga are known for onion farming, and we stop at a plantation on our way back to the lodge.

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The onion crop is rotated every three months with corn.

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The produce is taken to the market, or exported to Kenya and Europe.

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Back at the lodge, we spend the rest of the afternoon watching the antics of the Black faced Vervet Monkeys in the grounds.

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I have a weird fascination with their blue balls.

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Dinner

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Lovely napkin art

Starter of pea soup (not photographed)

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Chicken with Madeira sauce

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Chocolate Mousse

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Love the play on words!

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Looks like I may have caught the sun today

And so it is time for bed at the end of another fascinating day in Tanzania, beautifully arranged – as always – by Calabash Adventures.

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Posted by Grete Howard 14:11 Archived in Tanzania Tagged monkeys market africa dinner tanzania onions workshop blacksmith farming ironwork jewellery sunburn metalwork export suntan rusty_nail billowing arrows calabash_adventures vervet_monkeys black_faced_vervet_monkeys blue_balls lake_eyasi kisima_ngeda kisima_ngeda_lodge ethnic_tribe datoga datoga_tribe pastoral_tribe grinding_corn patrilineal polygamy scarification married_women tikiri silversmith scrap_metal hunting_arrows onion_farming onion_plantation goat_do_roam red_wine blue_testicles tan_lines

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Comments

Another fascinating account! Did you visit this tribe on the same day/tour as the previous one?

I'm always slight amused to see the odd combinations of western and traditional clothes such as these - the football strip worn under colourful woven robes, for instance :) Did you buy any of the silver jewellery? I would have been tempted!

I also love your first Black faced Vervet Monkey photo - he is adorable!! But in my case the pea soup would have been not only not photographed but also not eaten

by ToonSarah

Thanks so much Sarah, and I agree with you about the odd mix of western and traditional clothing - it amuses me too. I didn't buy any silver jewellery, I have so much at home which I never wear. I rarely buy anything on my travels these days.

by Grete Howard

I have more than enough jewellery too, but I do like to have a little memento of every trip ;)

by ToonSarah

I've gone past that now, as my house is already full to bursting of such mementoes.

by Grete Howard

I love following you adventures and photos. And those monkeys are adorable.

I find I also buy less and less each time I travel. I need to downsize as it is.

by littlesam1

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