Follow us

Follow us

The United Republic of Tanzania


The United Republic of Tanzania



The history of cultural diversity in these areas spans many millennia, from the time that hominids first inhabited the area to 19,000 years ago, when modern human activities were first discovered at Engaresero, Engaruka, and the Ngorongoro Crater.


The Ngorongoro Conservation Area boast some of the most significant discoveries, particularly within the Ngorongoro Crater, including the burial mounds or stone cairns from the Later Iron Age, whose inhabitants—referred to (anthropologically) as the Stone Bowl people—inhabited the area around 3,000 years ago. Several inhumations and archaeological occurrences were discovered, including pottery, pestles, stone bowls, obsidian artifacts, beads made of semi-precious stones, and pottery.

Therefore, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is known to be a permanent homeland to multiple well-known ethnic groups who share distinctive customs and lifestyles, including the Hadza or Hadzabe and Datoga, Irawq. The Maasai people, however, are the most prominent ethnic group, who are thought to have migrated southeast from the Nile region in the 18th century.

The Maasai and Datoga are pastoralists, whereas the Hadzabe are hunter-gatherers and are not related to any of the ethnic groups in the area. They are an indigenous ethnic group found in the Lake Eyasi area, with a population of less than 1000 people. Each of these tribes has its own way of life, with its own set of ancient traditions, mythology, tales, songs, and dances.


The Hadza, also known as the Hadzabe, are an indigenous ethnic group who live around Lake Eyasi in north-central Tanzania. They are hunter-gathering Bushmen who have lived in this area for thousands of years. They are the only hunter-gatherers still living in Tanzania and who are allowed to hunt wild animals for food. They reside in modest grass-based shelters throughout the dry season and in the caves under rocks or hollowed-out Baobab trees during the wet season. 

Over the last 500 years, the population of hunter-gatherers has declined dramatically. Today, hardly few exist, with the Hadza people of Tanzania being one of the last to practice this tradition. Because of this, the Hadza continue to be a key study focus for anthropologists, since they represent a modern link to ways of human existence and survival that most of humanity has abandoned.


The Datoga are highland Nilotic pastoralists who have lived near the Nile River for over two centuries. They gradually migrated southeast to the Ngorongoro Highlands, only to be expelled by the Maasai pastoralists, and again relocated to the southern areas of the Lake Eyasi basin two centuries ago, after being forced out by the agricultural society of the Iraqw people.

This ethnic group is well-known for their peculiar house construction method, in which they build rectangular houses out of wooden poles, twigs and mud. The flattops of the house are often covered by essential plants such as aloe. It is a common practice for a Datoga male to have more than one wife whose primary activity is making clothes out of animal skins (which are afterwards embellished with intricate and vibrant beadwork), necklaces and other souvenirs and sell them to the tourists.

The tribe is interestingly made up of two groups that live fundamentally different lives. The first group is of pastoralists, who earn their living by herding cattle, goats, sheep, and donkeys. The second group is made up of blacksmiths and their families who specialize in the production of arrows, knives, spears, and jewelries.

The blacksmiths group earns their living by trading their wares for goats, lambs, and honey occasionally in addition to selling them to other Datoga clans. The Hadzabe Tribe’s members, on the other hand, are important trading partners. Despite the fact that this clan is important to the rest of the Datoga tribe, its members are typically seen as lower class because they do not own cattle or other animals. Intermarriage between Datoga blacksmiths and Datoga pastoralists is explicitly banned.

The Datoga believe strongly in the power of spirits. They are animists who believe that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. In times of need or adversity, they make pilgrimages to worship at the sacred Datoga graves and a holy fig tree located in the Ngorongoro Crater.


The Maasai culture revolves around the belief that God (called Engai or Enkai in the tribe’s Maa language) created cattle specifically for them and that they are the custodians of all cattle on the planet. 

Life for the Maasai is focused on gathering and grazing large herds of cattle. Cattle are vital to Maasai communal life and are also the tribe’s major source of income. Cattle trade is a common way for families and clans to form alliances. Consuming cow meat and milk is regarded as a holy act that binds them to their creator.

Maasai dress

The Maasai are renowned for their physical beauty, graceful physique, distinctive attire, and body adornment.  Gender, age, and location all affect what people wear. 

Despite the Maasai’s preference for the red color, multicolored African clothing is frequently worn with black, blue, and striped garments. Sheepskin, calf hides, and other animal skins were abandoned by the Maasai in favor of more commercial material in the 1960s.

Maasai shelter

Historically, the Maasai nomadic people have traditionally relied on readily available materials and indigenous technology to construct their odd and fascinating houses. 

The traditional Maasai house was designed for people on the move; thus, their houses were very quiet transient. Interestingly, the houses are either circular or loaf shaped and are made by women.

Maasai Cultural
Cultural boma Seneto

Related Links - Cultural Heritage