Before there were cities and civilisations, many of the world’s people lived in tribes, each with its own culture, customs and quirks.
Click start to play today’s Crossword, where you can gain some insight into the Incas of Machu Picchu, in one of the clues.
Today, however, tribal cultures are few and far between. While tribal people in the modern era are under threat of losing their distinct culture, languages and native lands, there still exist some groups that continue with their age-old traditions. Some even welcome visitors to come and see how they live, first-hand, so they can appreciate their heritage, history and traditions.
Here are three tribes that you can visit on your next trip:
1. Haida, Canada
Residing on the windswept, wild archipelago of Haida Gwaii, off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, the Haida people are descendants of those who arrived on the islands thousands of years ago. When European settlers arrived and brought with them a smallpox epidemic, they nearly wiped out this tribe over a century ago. Now, only about 500 tribespeople remain. They are known for their woodcarving – in particular, their exquisitely carved totem poles. You can sign up cultural tours and join the tribespeople in their fishing expeditions or visit ancient villages and view decades-old totem poles scattered around an enchanting forest.
2. Masai, Kenya and Tanzania
Nomads of the Mara and the Serengeti, the Masai people have perhaps the best-known tribal culture in the world. Known to be fierce warriors who once roamed the wide plains of east Africa, the Masai wear bright red clothing called shuka. They are easily recognised by their distinct traditions, like their elaborate jumping dance rituals to mark one’s passage into manhood, and their practice of stretching their earlobes using twigs or wooden plugs, as a sign of wisdom.
3. San Bushmen, Botswana
A hardy group of people, the San have survived for centuries, despite their harsh salt-pan surroundings in western Botswana. Their deep knowledge of the land, their stories, and traditional ways of hunting and foraging for food, attract visitors who want to experience how they see the world. The San are considered to have one of the oldest human lineages. Their ancestry can be traced as far back as about 70,000 years ago, thanks to ancient rock paintings found in the Tsodilo Hills region of Botswana.