Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hadza Support Letter

Well, I just sent this letter to the UAE and Tanzanian embassies and cc'd the US State Department, Cultural Survival, Survival International and the IPCC. Hopefully someone will take notice:

12 June 2007

To: Embassies of the United Arab Emirates and United Republic of Tanzania

RE: Plight of the Hadzabe Tribe of northern Tanzania

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing regarding the reported effort by members of the United Arab Emirates’ royal family to purchase rights to land in the Lake Eyasi region of northern Tanzania. I am greatly concerned that this deal will adversely affect members of the Hadzabe (Hadza, Watindiga) tribe who make their homes in the area. Reports are that the Hadza were not consulted on this issue and that they will effectively lose their right to subsistence hunt. Media reports have further painted the Hadza as “primitive” or “savage” in an effort to culturally excuse the effort by the UAE and Tanzanian government to deny the Hadza their traditional homeland. I find it ironic that these governments would invoke the same language of cultural division used by every conquering society throughout history as justification for taking tribal land away from native people. I would ask if members of either government (UAE or Tanzanian) see any connection at all with their current behavior toward the Hadza and the Arab expansion, conflict and slave trade across East Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries.

I am not an outsider unfamiliar with the area or its people. I lived and worked with the Hadza and other Eyasi people from 1988 through 1993. The Hadza want nothing more than to continue their traditional cultural practices within their traditional homeland. The efforts of the rich to seek their own pleasure at the expense of those wishing only to practice their traditional culture amounts to a human rights tragedy of epic proportions. This travesty has not gone unnoticed amongst the internet blogging community and word is spreading worldwide quickly. I implore both the UAE and Tanzanian governments to cease further consideration of selling or leasing Eyasi region land instead take legal steps to insure that the Hadza may continue their cultural traditions without interference.

I would be happy to offer further insight and discussion on this matter.

Sincerely,

Christopher O’Brien, Ph.D.
Susanville, CA 96130

Cc:
Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania
U.S. State Department
Cultural Survival
Survival International
Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee

20 comments:

nukta77 said...

Thank you for your letter, and thank your for the efforts!
May God bless!

fPcN said...

great effort and to be applauded...

we, fPcN interCultural: www.fPcN-global.org are looking for all willing activists, that are prepared to do something about this. Please get in touch:
forums (at) fPcN-global.org

Kamugisha A.W. said...

Hallo Bw Mzee,
Do you speak Hadza? Kiswahili definitely you do! Not so?
Congartulations and thanks for your interest in and concerns for the Hadza people.

There are a few questions I want to ask and a few points I want to make here. For example, what steps have you taken so far to alert the Hadza themselves that their Land is about to be taken, so that they can prepare themselves with their bows, posoned arrows and spears to defend it? (Any luck/hope against modern machine-guns, neo-colonialism, globalization, etc? History has a different answer!!)

So, my argument is that IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE HADZA PEOPLE, PREPARE THEM FOR CONFRONTATION IN MODERN TIMES WITH MODERN TOOLS (such as proper Education probably aided by modern communications tools, such as PV powered mobile internet) and equip them for a protracted diplomatic /legal struggle through the World's courts (usually controlled by the land-grabbers themselves or their agents (I don't want to use a nastier word here).

Kamugisha Byabato
(a Muhaya from NW Tanzania)
Dortmund, Germany

Kamugisha A.W. said...

Hallo Bw Mzee,
Just to continue my line of argument, History has seen and knows a lot of well meaning "foreigners" trying to do something "for" or "on behalf of" a particular group suffering from one form of deprivation or another, but WITHOUT INVOLVING THEM.
The results have always been mediocre at best. There is nothing better than self determination!! So please prepare the Hadza to Self determination and Self defence, using modern gadgets, the main one being modern education in modern technology!!! Leaving them to be objects of curiosity, tourism or any other "quasi-scientific study" is AIDING AND ABETTING this very theft of their land you are trying to fight against.

KAWB

Do you speak Hadza? Kiswahili definitely you do! Not so?
Congartulations and thanks for your interest in and concerns for the Hadza people.

There are a few questions I want to ask and a few points I want to make here. For example, what steps have you taken so far to alert the Hadza themselves that their Land is about to be taken, so that they can prepare themselves with their bows, posoned arrows and spears to defend it? (Any luck/hope against modern machine-guns, neo-colonialism, globalization, etc? History has a different answer!!)

So, my argument is that IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE HADZA PEOPLE, PREPARE THEM FOR CONFRONTATION IN MODERN TIMES WITH MODERN TOOLS (such as proper Education probably aided by modern communications tools, such as PV powered mobile internet) and equip them for a protracted diplomatic /legal struggle through the World's courts (usually controlled by the land-grabbers themselves or their agents (I don't want to use a nastier word here).

Kamugisha Byabato
(a Muhaya from NW Tanzania)
Dortmund, Germany

Subi said...

Can you email us the email addresses to the embassies? ie. Embassies of the United Arab Emirates and United Republic of Tanzania, where we can send letters too?
Thank you!

Christopher O'Brien said...

Subi,
Thank you...please contact me via my email (cobrien1@frontiernet.net); I can't seem to figure out what your email address is...
Chris

Anonymous said...

kehoplooEspecially to Kamugisha a.w.. I have been to numerous related websites on the Hadza. They are well aware of their peril, and some of them belong to an organization known as IPACC. Other indigenous African people also belong to this and maintain their own website. It isn't necessary that every individual in the community have an expensive education, so long as some of them are computer-literate, lawyers etc. (and inform the rest) which is the case here. The only people left on earth who don't havether own lawyers, anthropologists computer experts and so on are the O)Nge, Jarawa and Sentinels in the Andaman Islands. And that's by their choice. It's now the 21st century, Kamugisha! The Twa Pygmies, the !San Bushmen And the Yamomami Indians have their own "homeboy" lawyers and links because they know they need them.
It's a desparate uphill struggle because these people know they are repositories of how to use resources without depleting them and plant pharmaceutical knowledge.

Ahni said...

FYI, If you haven't heard yet, the situation with the Hadzabe is flaring up again. I've also posted some additional contacts on my blog, see: http://intercontinentalcry.org/for-want-of-food-the-hadzabe-struggle-for-life/

Health News said...

I can't believe how much of this I just wasn't aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I'm truly grateful and really impressed.

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That are prepared to do something about this....

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