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    Divine Chidi
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      Hunting has always been a part of our lives as Africans. Our fore-fathers were known to have used hunting to provide for their families. Then in the olden days, the best hunter was wooed by the maidens to be their husband. It was also an honorably title to be bestowed on a hunter.

       

      The hunter goes deep into the bush sometimes stay in the bush for 3 days, setting his traps to catch prey. The hunter could even come upon wild animals like the lion, leopard and the tigers. Any hunter who lives to tell the encounter with any of this animal is given a heroic welcome.

       

       

      Picture of a hunter - Getty images

       

      The skin of the animal is then made into ornaments or a dress. The head gear or dress was worn by royalties as they see the leopard as the king of the jungle and recognizes the leopard as courageous, honorable and noble. Till date, leopard skin is worn by Zulu kings in south Africa during ceremonies.

       

       

      Traditional wear for a zulu king - Quora

      Hunting in the modern world still continues but mostly as a trophy sport in some parts of the world. Due to the high rate of extinction of some animals that are endangered species, laws have been made to protect them from being hunted. Licenses are now being issued out to hunters with poaching declared illegal and specific locations has been made legal for hunting.

       

      African countries that you can have hunting expeditions in them are Kenya, Mozambique, Liberia, Angola, Ghana, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Benin, Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Mozambique. Nevertheless, hunters can be found in other African countries.

       

      African hunters were known as “hunter gatherers”. Most notably were the Maasai people (Kenya), Hazabe people (Tanzania), Bushmen (Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola), Khoisan (South Africa), Himba people (Namibia) and Mbuti people (Congo). Most of them still hunt till date though their numbers have dwindled and have adapted to planting food crops for sustenance.

       

       

      Getty images

       

      The Maasai people were mainly lion hunters. It is their belief and culture that for a young man to become a warrior, he has to kill a lion. The killing of the lion signifies the rite of passage into manhood. Due to the almost extinct of lions, the Maasai people now hunts in groups with each group having 10 warriors. The day for the hunting is known only to the senior warriors.

       

         African wildlife Foundation

       

      On the Day of the hunting, the younger warriors are made aware of it and hunting takes place when the entire village is asleep. The Maasai tool for hunting is the spear. They gather together in circles upon their prey, shout a battle cry as they trust their spears into the lion. It is forbidden to kill a lioness. It was a thing of pride for the young warrior who has killed a lion as the skin will be used as his head dress and also to protect livestock. The killing of lions has now been stopped.

       

       

      The Hazabe people from Tanzania made use of handmade bows and arrows. They hunt at night and also before sunrise. They only hunt what they eat. Sometimes, the raw meat of an animal is used to lure their game in sight. They use whistles to communicate. Tourists who want to be part of their hunting must be ready at 5am in the morning.

       

       

      The Bushmen usually referred to as the San people can be found in parts of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola. They also make use of hand bow and arrows. The arrow head is dipped in poison which is then used for hunting.

       

      During hunting, the animal is tracked down by the hunters. Once within shooting range, the animal is shot with the poisoned arrow. The poison enters the blood stream of the animal, weakens it and slowly kills the animal. Depending on the size of the animal, it may take days before the animal succumbs to the poison.  The hunter then tracks down the animal and kills it with a spear if still alive.

       

      Other tribes who hunt include the Baka tribe from Cameroon and Gabon, the Mbuti (Bambuti) pygmies from Congo and The Himba people from Namibia. Other tribes that still hunt till date are the Hadza, Sadawe and Khomani bushmen. Hunting has been a way of life for them. The means of hunting has not differed from the use of spears, poisoned arrows, traps, hunting dogs and the use of gun which is not commonly used amongst hunting tribes.

       

       

       

      On Instagram, a young Nigerian who is known as miponthegreathunter has through his page given us more insights on hunting in Nigeria. He currently has over 39.5k followers on Instagram. He has been able to catch live crocodiles, squirrels, grasscutters, antelopes, duiker of which some were bought or set free by buyers. For the animals not caught alive, they are sold as bushmeat.

       

       

      Hunting is a skill passed down from generations to generations. The elders take the young ones to the bush/jungle to teach them how to hurt. It is possible for us to come from a line of hunters without knowing. Well, the only way to know for sure is to ask the elders of your family. You may just be the next great hunter.

      • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Admin.

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