The Sandawe of Tanzania
Location: North central Tanzania
History: The Sandawe are descendants of the original San people who first populated Africa.
Culture: Traditionally hunter-gatherers, it is mainly the old men who remember this way of life. Few wild animals remain in the area. People still collect honey, but the hunting and tracking skills are being lost. Many have adopted some agricultural and herding practices of their neighbors, the the soil is poor. The Sandawe were forced by the government to settle in more permanent villages and now they live in small villages scattered through the area, with a few small ‘towns’ here and there. The area is hilly with woodland and scrub.
They are fond of singing, dancing, and telling stories which portray themselves as small animals who use their cunning intelligence to outwit more powerful enemies.
Religion: Animism. They worship the moon and stars and practice with craft. They fear spirits. There are some Catholic converts, but they mix Catholicism with animism. Islam is making inroads.
Latest Prayer Updates:
Pray for resolution of a land issue in Mangasta village in order to pave the way for outreach there. Also, pray for Sandawe lay leaders who have been trained at the Indigenous believers seminar at Engedi, that the Lord would call them in new ways to use their gifts for discipleship and the gospel.
“Father, may the believers be so united that the Sandawe see and become convinced that You sent Jesus Your Son into the world, and that You love them as You love Jesus.”