The Life of People in the African Savannah

Written by monique roy
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The Life of People in the African Savannah
The vast African Savannah is home to people who have known the land for hundreds and thousands of years. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The African Savannah is a tropical grassland that covers almost half the continent. It is the largest grassland in the world. The Savannah is vast and variable, and inhabitants of it have adapted their way of living to survive. Thus, the biome has been transformed by the people who inhabit it; people who still live in the traditional way.

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People of the Savannah

The people who inhabit the vast lands of the African savannah identify strongly with the land. They originally came in search of food, and today, they survive hunting game and eating honey, fruits and vegetables. In time, these hunter and gatherers, Dorobo, were joined by herdsman, such as the Maasai tribe, and eventually, Kikuyu, a nation of farmers, and together they share the sprawling plains. Food, religion, dress, and tribal roles of these people have remained unchanged for thousands of years compared to daily life in a modern city or town.

Maasai People

The people of Kenya and Tanzania make up the Maasai tribe, just one of many groups that live on the savannah. Known as warriors long ago, the Maasai people have lived on the savannah for hundreds of years. They are nomadic and raise cattle, and sheep and goats for meat. The cattle mainly provide milk and meat and leather for clothing, as well as dung to build their homes. They live in groups of 10 to 20 huts, which are made of branches, twigs, grass, and mud. The women of the tribe find water and build the homes, and also create beautiful beadwork and jewellery. To the modern world beyond, these herdsman are the face of the savannah.

Hadzabe Bushmen

Almost an extinct group of only 1,000 people, the Hadzabe Bushmen have lived in the African Savannahs for thousands of years. They are mainly hunters and gatherers. They live and move around in small groups of not more than 30 people. This tribe only stay in one place for a small period of time and then move on to other areas. They consume meat, honey, baobab fruit, berries, and greens. In the early morning hours, a small group of men hunt for food with a bow and arrow. Quick on their feet, their archery skills are impressive. The women forage in larger groups for fruit and bring it home based upon availability. These people speak their own unique "click" language.

Farming People

Most Africans that live in the Savannah are not nomads and do not live in a modern city. They are farmers who raise crops and manage livestock to feed their families. Life centres around the village rather than a small band of people. Children attend school. Cultural activities, like art, music and dance, flourish in these villages and help to reinforce old and valuable traditions.

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