Introduction / History The Sandawe are a small group living in north-central Tanzania in Kondo District, near the town of Kondoa, between the Mponde and Bubu rivers. The Sandawe are a small remaining group of a race of people that originally lived over much of Africa. The San, called Bushmen by the Dutch in South Africa, were the first people we know in the Rift Valley. The Sandawe are racially different from the surrounding tribes. They have lighter skin and are smaller, with knotty hair like that of the Bushmen, commonly referred to as peppercorn hair. They have the epicanthic fold of the eye lid (like East Asian people) common to the Bushmen.
The Sandawe language includes click sounds as consonants and is also tonal. Totally unrelated to other languages around them, it is difficult to learn. The language is related to the languages of the Bushmen (San) and the Hottentots (Khoi) of the southern Africa and is therefore classified as a Khoisan language. The Hadzapi, also in northern Tanzania, are the only other aboriginal people in Eastern Africa still speaking a Khoisan language.