- Museum number
Poisoned arrow made of wood (tlehako? embereko?), iron, feathers (vulture), leather (dik-dik), ligament (impala), glue.
- Production date
- 20thC (Prior to 1969)
Height: 101 centimetres
Width: 4.50 centimetres
Depth: 3 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Eth.Doc.355. Exhibition of Material Equipment of the Hadza, Hunters and Food Gatherers of Northern Tanganyika. University College, London (Department of Anthropology), 1965.
Woodburn, J. (1970), Hunters and Gatherers: The material culture of the nomadic Hadza. The British Museum, pp17-31.
The Hadza (also known as Hadzapi, Tindiga, Kindiga, Kangeju), who live near Lake Eyasi in Northern Tanganyika (Tanzania) are a population of approximately 600 people; living in small nomadic groups comprising on average eighteen adults who regularly move camp. Food is obtained by hunting game animals; such as eland, zebra, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, and game birds; guinea-fowl, francolin, pigeon. They collect honey from bees, eat roots, edible fungi, and berries from trees and plants. Until a government scheme in 1964 and 1965 they practised no agriculture. Hadza live in beehive-shaped huts intertwined with branches, or rock shelters during wet weather.
Materials for bows and other items are scarce; often obtained through trading honey, tails of wildebeest and giraffe, herbal medicines and bush products in exchange for beads, gourds, pots, cloth, and pieces of iron; to make arrowheads and useful objects.
Poisoned arrows (//'anako or //'ana) (Af1970,12.17-Af1970,12.24) are highly valued and prepared by the Hadza people, used for killing large game, and as a stake in gambling. The shaft is usually made of a light wood (tlehako, or alternatively embereko). The fletching is made of vulture wing feathers when possible, stuck with glue made from a type of bulb (leloloko) and tied on with fine thread (tawaliwaliko), usually made from the nuchal ligament of impala. The arrowhead is made of iron beaten cold by Hadza men from traded metal (Af1970,12.28). There are two types: symmetrical double-barbed ('female') (Af1970,12.17; 12.19; 12.20; 12.21; 12.23 and 12.24), and the single-barbed ('male') (Af1970,12.18 and 12.22); both equally valued and used for identical purposes by men.
The metal is cut with a traded hammer and small metal chisel on top of the blade of an axe (Af1970,12.41). The head is mounted in a shaft, which is subsequently used to form the fore-shaft of the arrow and is ground sharp on a piece of stone (Af1970,12.31). The black, sticky poison (k'ada) made by the Hadza is either from seeds (shanjo) (Af1970,12.35), or from pounded and heated sap (panjube), which is preferred. A strip of dik-dik hide binding is used to cover the poisoned head (Af1970,12.17-12.22); both to protect the poison, and accidental human contact by the user. Arrows are not usually cleaned by the Hadza and surface dirt is allowed to accumulate through use.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Vendor purchased this collection during seven periods of field research in social anthropology and medicine among the Hadza in northern Tanzania, between 1958 and 1969.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number