VaDoma, the Zimbabwean ostrich tribe with rare ‘two-toed’ population

1

Share This

The vaDoma tribe, also known as Doma or Dema, is the only hunter-gatherer tribe in Zimbabwe living in the Kanyemba region around the basins of a tributary of the Zambezi River Valley.

They speak the Dema language and believe their ancestors emerged from a baobab tree and walked upright to hunt and gather fruits. The secluded tribe is Zimbabwe’s only non-agricultural society.

The tribe is rather famous for having the rare genetic condition known as Ectrodactyly or lobster claw syndrome. This is the absence of one or more fingers or toes at birth.

The inherited dominant genetic mutation affects only the feet of one in four children within the vaDoma population. Their middle three toes are absent and the two outer ones are turned in.

READ MORE

The condition resulted in the tribe being referred to as the “two-toed” or “ostrich-footed” tribe. It is against the tribal law for members to marry outside the group and as a result, the two-toed condition does not spread to other tribes.

Those with the condition are not considered disabled in the community and it is believed that their toes enable them to climb trees better.

The vaDoma people are reported to have resisted incorporation into the Korekore Shona kingdom of Mutapa prior to the European colonisation. This has cost them fertile land to grow crops.

They currently live their nomadic lifestyle in the Chewore Safari Area which has now become their mountain homeland. They are also facing threats from game rangers who are cracking down on poaching.

Share this

E. Africa

One thought on “VaDoma, the Zimbabwean ostrich tribe with rare ‘two-toed’ population

  1. Oh my goodness! an excellent article dude. Thanks a lot Even so I’m experiencing problem with ur rss . Do not know why Struggle to register for it. Can there be any person finding identical rss issue? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

These smart vehicles were made in Africa by students of Uganda’s Makerere University [Photos]

4 months ago
Share This Facebook317 Tweet0 Pin0 LinkedIn Email Print 317shares After years of purchasing cars outside the continent, the trend has changed as some local engineers have taken advantage of technological advancements to venture into the car manufacturing business and Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) in Uganda’s Makerere University is a testimony […]
shares