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Hadza: A century of research

Harvey, Andrew; Griscom, Richard

A nomadic hunter-gatherer people who speak a click language, the Hadza people are a highly salient group within the Tanzanian Rift Valley Area, and have been a focus of academic inquiry in Tanzania for over 100 years. With a focus on the (often interrelated) fields of linguistics and anthropology, this talk traces the academic discourse on the Hadza people, and, specifically, how the former has shaped our conceptions (or misconceptions) of the latter. A dominant narrative to emerge is the conception of the Hadza people as members of an insular culture who have undergone minimal change. We would like to show how this concept has made its way into the popular imagination of outsiders, and the effects that this has had on the Hadza people today. We will then show recent challenges brought by linguists to this dominant narrative.

Note: This talk has not gone through a process of peer review, and findings should therefore be treated as preliminary and subject to change. Acknowledgement and citation: Harvey, Andrew, and Richard Griscom. 2019. Hadza: A century of research. Talk given at the African Studies Association of Africa conference, Nairobi, Kenya. 24/10/2019.
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