Leisure Recreation and the Arts

Hadza men sometimes play a gambling game called lukuchuko, in which they toss pieces of bark against a tree and determine winners based on how they land, using arrows as the stakes. Girls (and to a lesser extent boys) sometimes play a game like jax using small rocks. Young girls play with dolls made out of old cloth or clay. Young boys often play with a tin lid found thrown away which is attached to a stick so they can roll it along on the ground like a wheel.

The main form of art is body adornment. Women make bead necklaces out of organic pods, bones, shells, and little sticks. They also sew skins into skirts which are also sometimes adorned with beads. For many years the Hadza have been getting glass beads from their neighbors such as the Maasai. They will use these to make headbands, which they were doing as long ago as the earliest photographs in the 1930s. Men will carve various items such as a fertility stick or arrow, or will sometimes carve geometric designs in a gourd used to carry water or honey. Another form of art is singing and dancing, which the Hadza do often. The only musical instrument is the voice. A few men occasionally play a zeze, a stringed instrument made with a gourd, or an mbira, a finger piano made from wood and metal, both of which have been adopted from their Bantu neighbors.

Men will sit making arrows and talking for hours while in camp. Women will sit together talking, sewing, and processing food, for example, pounding baobab seeds, or grooming each other and children. They will pick lice out of other's hair and eat them. They will also cut each others' hair and eyelashes. Men do not groom or get groomed as much, but sometimes a wife will groom her husband and men will groom a child.

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