Africa is blessed beyond measure. We have the rarest stuff on earth and the proofs can be found everywhere on the continent. From culture to music, food to art, tradition to humans, and the list goes on. Whatever, you think of Africa changes immediately after you come to the continent.
Thanks to technology, that has given us an edge over a lot of things. While we talk about the rarest stuff in Africa, we bring your attention to the VaDoma tribe in Zimbabwe. If you think you have seen it all in Africa, the ostrich foot tribe of VaDoma will make you change your mind.
Have you seen this special tribe? They have special two toes that defile everything you think of humans and mobility. The VaDoma tribe can be called the Dema or Doma. They are a hunter-gathering tribe that resides in the Kanyema area around the basics of the Zambezi River Valley.
They also known as Doma or Dema, are the only hunter-gatherer tribe in Zimbabwe living in the Kanyemba region around the basins of a tributary of the Zambezi River Valley. These people are not the normal people you see every day.
They speak a language called Dema and strongly believe that their ancestors came from a baobab tree. When you look at their feet, you may wonder how they walk. They stand upright when they want to gather fruits and hunt animals.
While Africa has agriculture to rely on for its feeding and revenue, this tribe doesn’t do agriculture. These secluded people have become the only non-agricultural area in Zimbabwe. Things don’t really look normal within them because of a rare genetic condition they suffer.
We have seen tribes with genetic conditions, but the VaDoma have what we called the lobster or Ectrodactyly claw syndrome. What does this mean to the people? The people have the absence of one or more toes or fingers when they are birthed.
They come out with legs or fingers that look strange. Instead of the normal five fingers or five toes, they have only two toes that look like claws. The good news is that it’s not everyone that suffers from this defect. Many of their people are without these claws.
However, this inherited dominant genetic mutation can affect only the feet of a few of their people, one in four kids suffers from this claw defect. Those who suffer from this genetic condition live with this condition for life.
When you see them, you don’t find their middle three toes and the two outer toes are turned in.
The condition has its limitations on their lifestyle too. The people of this tribe don’t marry outside, which restricts the condition of the people. This is the reason why you may not find people with this defect in other parts of the country or the world.
The good news is that people with this defect are not called disabled in their community. The toes help them become better tree climbers.
The VaDoma tribe refused to join the Korekore Shona kingdom of Mutapa before the country’s colonization by the Europeans.
You are welcome to take a trip to the VaDoma tribe if their story interests you. In addition, a lot of interesting cultures and traditions in Africa can be found in the culture section of our magazine.