Award Date

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Alyssa Crittenden

Second Committee Member

Peter Gray

Third Committee Member

Dan Benyshek

Fourth Committee Member

James Navalta

Number of Pages



The Hadza foragers of Tanzania are undergoing early stages of nutrition transition and an increased level of market integration. Accompanying these shifts is a significant change in diet composition with greater access to maize, wheat, and other domesticated cultigens, even in the most remote bush camps. Despite the rapid rate of nutrition transition, few studies have attempted to quantify the possible effects this transition is having on Hadza diet or foraging behaviors. Here, we attempt to fill this gap in the literature by reporting results of a mixed methods cross-sectional study on juvenile foragers taken from two time points, 2005 and 2017. During the summer of 2017 we conducted detailed interviews and recorded in camp food returns for a sample of young Hadza foragers aged 5-14 years. Comparing our 2017 data to age matched data collected in 2005, our results indicate that juveniles are targeting a smaller variety of wild foods, with noticeable absences of food species that have historically been considered staples in Hadza diet (e.g. honey, tubers, figs). Accompanying these dietary shifts are important behavioral changes, such as a smaller percentage of juveniles residing in camps going out to forage in 2017 compared to 2005. Additionally, semi-structured interview data suggests that maize has become a reliable staple food. However, despite changes in foraging return composition, increased reliance on maize, and a reduction in the overall percentage of children producing foraging returns, we found that some juveniles still remain highly productive foragers in the midst of nutrition transition. These data have important implications for understanding the decisions that foragers make in shifting ecological landscapes, monitoring the health outcomes of Hadza juveniles, and the use and interpretation of data generated from contemporary Hadza research in the 21st century.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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