Tanzania: of games and tales

Every day, a few Hadzabe spend the night at camp with us and we gather in the evenings around the camp fire to exchange stories. They tell us the story of the old man who became a man-eating lion, and the story of how the baboons got their “naked” bottoms.

We tell them the story of the Mid-Autumn festival, and of the Moon Fairy (which has them surreptitiously gazing at the moon trying to see the Fairy) ; and the story of Promotheus and how he gave fire to men (which leaves them feeling a bit depressed – they’re not used to sad endings !).

sunset before story time
Lukuchuku chips

The Hadzabe introduce us to Lukuchuku, an addictive game of chance. Each player has a wood chip, one side of which bears a distinctive marking, the other side smooth. The chips of all the players are then thrown against a tree together with a larger, “mother chip”. The winner is the only player whose chip faces the same side as the “mother chip”. If more than one player’s chip falls on the same side as the mother chip, all the chips are gathered and thrown again until only one player’s chip faces the same side as the mother chip.

boys preparing fried rice in the bush kitchen