The Ostrich People of Kanyemba – An Extraordinary Tribe

new-blog_ostrich-peopleSomewhere in the grasslands of the Zambezi Valley is an ancient tribe of two-toed people who live entirely on wild animals, fish and honey and shun modern ways of life. Residing in the Kanyemba District of Northern Zimbabwe, the Doma people have earned themselves the nickname the “Ostrich People of Zimbabwe “ and are an extraordinary tribe in the rich history of Zimbabwe. Holding fast to primitive ways of life, the Doma tribe still live in huts made of reeds and twigs and, in defiance of the current norm, reside as a whole family under a single roof sheltered from the wild. Known to be traditional hunters and gatherers, the Doma rely on roots and berries for medicine and have chosen to adopt very few modern amenities.

Inter-tribal marriages are encouraged to maintain the original Doma genetic pool which has led to a genetic condition known as Ectrodactyl which is evident in the two-toed features of some tribe members. Known to emanate from a single mutation of chromosome number seven, this condition is not regarded as a drawback amongst the Doma people. In fact, the two-toed members of the clan are deeply admired for their distinct features. Countless efforts have been made to assimilate the Doma people into modern life but, though now the tribe has reluctantly adopted the wearing of textile fabrics, they have remained largely indifferent to attempts to change their traditional way of life.

This Chikunda -speaking people are a tribe of proud descendants who have raised their children in the ways of their forefathers. So one day, if you ever find yourself in the remote plains of the Zambezi Valley just watch out for the rare Ostrich People of Kanyemba.

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