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The Pied Piper of Eyasi

The Hadza are one of the very last tribes of hunter-gatherers on earth and their lifestyle may soon be over because of the pressures of globalization. Traditionally, they hunt game with bows and poisoned arrows and gather fruits and wild honey in the strikingly beautiful area around Lake Eyasi in Tanzania. Recently they have been increasingly threatened by neighboring tribes, scarcity of wild game, and polluted water. What's more, tourism has given the Hadza access to easy money, and to illegal local moonshine, which can be lethal.
For 70 years the Tanzanian government has tried to force the Hadza to integrate into mainstream society. Now tribesmen are being arrested and jailed for poaching on land coveted by rich hunting businesses. And last year they came closer to being evicted from their homeland altogether. It was almost sold to the Abu Dhabi royal family as a hunting estate. The Hadza are quickly realizing that their former philosophy of non-confrontation will not protect them any longer, and that they must fight back to protect their development. The Hadza have no traditional sense of hierarchy, and no leaders. But now they believe they must find a voice to make themselves heard.

Meet Baallow, a young Hadza hunter who is championing the Hadza cause. Baallow was one of a number of Hadza men who were arrested by the Tanzanian government over the Arab hunting deal. Like other young Hadza, Baallow is torn between two competing worlds. But few Hadza are as strong as Baallow, and most are finding it hard to resist the lure of money, alcohol, illicit sex - the attractions of modern Tanzania.
Life follow Baallow as he expertly negotiates the wild: tracking, hunting, killing and eating his wild prey, and as he dips in and out of the modern world of bars, markets, labor with tourists/tour operators, and encounters with other tribes. How will he unite fiercely independent people to a common cause when each has an opinion on how to best lead their lives?

'One of the world's last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers faces a major dilemma, either to preserve its ancient lifeways or to embrace modernization. Both courses are filled with promise, and each contains the potential to destroy Tanzania's Hadza culture.' Dr. Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University, Pueblo

'The Pied Piper of Eyasi, another fine addition to the Life video series, is a good illustration of and contribution to the anthropological appreciation of the 'changing native'...Suitable for high school and lower-division college courses in cultural anthropology, development anthropology, African studies, foraging/hunter-gatherer cultures, and globalization, as well as for public audiences.' Jack David Eller, Metropolitan State College, Anthropology Reviews Online

'Life 6 is a wonderfully educational series that presents the viewers with the dilemmas faced by specific individuals in the socio-historical and economic context of their communities in the midst of an increasingly globalized world. The tremendous value of this series is that, in the brief thirty minutes that each episode lasts, it captures the complexities of the lives of those in it as they face Western influence that force them to reassert, defend, or challenge their local and/or individual identities, cultures, governance, wealth distribution, and practices of achieving justice and reconciliation--to name a few...Life 6 represents these issues in an objective and analytical way that will--without question--lead into a discussion and debate about them by academics and lay audiences alike.' Aniuska Luna, African Peace and Conflict Network


Main credits

Cassini, Stefano (film director)
Gabbay, Alex (film producer)
Gabbay, Alex (director of photography)
Gabbay, Alex (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (host)
Bradshaw, Steve (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Music, Olith Ratego, Samba Mapangala, Orchestre Virunga; cinematography and editing, Alex Gabbay; series editor, Steve Bradshaw.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Developing World
Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples
Millennium Development Goals
Social Justice
United Nations
Women's Studies


Hadza, Africa, hunter- gatherers, globalization, bows, poisoned arrows, fruits, wild honey, Lake Eyasi, Tanzania, scarcity of game, polluted water, moonshine, Abu Dhabi, hierarchy, Baalow, money, alcohol, sex, tracking, hunting, bars, markets, tourists, tour operatos; "The Pied Piper of Eyasi"; Bullfrog Films