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Published on 20 Dec 2014 | over 2 years ago

Bariba are a hunting tribe also called betamaribe or somba people. They are one of the most primitive tribes of Africa.
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They live in Borgou, in northern Benin between Nigeria and Togo.
Formerly hunters, today they also grow crops and keep livestock, but hunting is still more for them than just a way to acquire food.
They hunt in small groups led by a chief. Their arrowheads are treated with Strophanthus, a deadly poison that they get from a plant.

Every May, a number of tribes come together for the hunt. The hunters set out from their villages playing flutes and beaded rattles.The Council of Elders selects a meeting place.
The hunt is very important for the Somba people. They hunt to eat and to demonstrate their courage and intelligence. Special powers are attributed to the hunters, particularly to the chiefs, who have the ability to neutralize the animals that they are going to hunt. When everything is ready, they’ll give the order to set out.
No one knows how long they will be in the bush, and the hunt may sometimes last for weeks.

The Bariba use hunting lures. Of all the Somba groups they have the most ingenious hunting techniques.
They hunt antelopes, zebras, monkeys, elephants, buffalo and all kinds of birds.

This camouflaged hunter moves silently across the land. He knows the terrain and the behaviour of his prey intimately.

If luck smiles on them and they take down a large animal, they will carry it back home to cut into pieces and share all around. Forest rangers allow the Bariba to hunt, but not so the poachers who use rifles rather than arrows and sell ivory and tusks on the black market.


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