Bergdams: the dirtiest tribe, who are afraid of water and never wash

There is an unusual tribe in Africa – the Bergdam! One of the dirtiest tribes. Even by African standards, their customs are bizarre.

The fact is that these people are experiencing some religious fear of water. Therefore, they never wash and in every possible way avoid contact with water. Ethnographers consider this tribe to endanger; in a few decades, information about the Bergdam will likely remain only on paper.

The unique Bergdam tribe is considered underdeveloped and lives in the Kalahari Desert

Unshakable faith in the sun god

Bergdam is called “black people.” Perhaps that was their nickname for their unusual habit of not washing, or perhaps for their bluish-black skin.

But you can’t call the Bergdams completely dirty: they carefully monitor the teeth, cleaning them with a piece of leather and wooden sticks, vaguely similar to our toothbrushes. However, due to the lifestyle and diet, it is pretty tricky for Bergdams to preserve their teeth: they eat roots, on which the teeth grind off over time.

These locals are adapting to changing natural conditions. Traditionally, men are engaged in hunting, but if it were impossible to get meat, they feed on insects, cooking termite soups, and frying grasshoppers.

Fire is sacred for Bergdams, and only men can approach it. Before making a fire, the elders perform a special ritual.

The people worship the sun god” Kamabu.” People turn to him with requests for a successful hunt and health. But in the tribe, there is also an “earthly” representative of the sun god – a sorcerer. Its believe that he has a special bond with Kamabu; God speaks to him.

The sorcerer in the tribe also acts as a healer: he verdicts whether the patient can survive (of course, having before talked with the sun god). If a person is terminally ill, he leaves the tribe: no one cares about him and dies alone.

According to the sorcerer (and Kamabu), if there is still hope, then treatment is carried out: the disease is “expelled” to one place on the body with the help of a particular rite and then burned. Therefore, many Bergdams have terrible scars.

Amazing Aboriginal rites

Such tribes of aborigines help to look at the history of man’s formation from a completely different angle. Indeed, many beliefs and traditions are often similar among modern African tribes and Europeans.

So, the Bergdam have a rite of initiation. A young man becomes a man after his first hunt. Usually, the search lasts two days: on the first day, the prey is eaten only by the men of the tribe, and on the second day after the hunt, young men can also start hunting.

Girls also have a rite of initiation. It occurs when a girl develops mammary glands; before, she forbids eating food with adult women. When the girl’s first period comes, the tribe arranges a ritual of sacrifice; thereby, the initiation rite wholly complete.

Twins are a curse

The birth of a child in the tribe is a memorable holiday. And on this occasion, too, there is a ritual that may seem wild. The baby’s father roasts a piece of meat on the fire and smears himself with fat. He then rolls the dirt off his skin and collects it in a small pouch.

This particular amulet should give the newborn protection. Then the father, hanging the amulet around the child’s neck, spits on his chest, rubs the saliva and provides the baby with a name.

But these natives also have a more monstrous tradition: the birth of twins is considered a curse. And to get rid of one, you need to bury one of the children alive.

Onyinye A.

Onyinye Abasim, from Nigeria. I'm a biochemist, content writer, and an entrepreneur. Email: Onyii@afrinik.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button