The vaDoma tribe in Zimbabwe also known as Doma or Dema are the only remaining hunters and gatherers still holding onto that culture in the country. They speak the Dema language. They reside in the Kanyemba region around the basins of Zambezi river Valley.
According to their historical culture, the vaDoma tribe believes that their ancestors emerged grom a baobab tree and walked upright to gather wild fruits and hunt animals. However, that doesn’t count to their popular recognition across the world.
They are rather famous for having a rare genetic condition known as Ectrodactyly or lobster claw syndrome, split hand-split foot malformation, cleft hand. The syndrome is an autosomal dominant ectodermal dysplasia presenting itself as a malformed leg or hand. It affects males and femal in equal measure. The syndrome in inherited and results to the absence of one or more toes or fingers at birth.
With the vaDoma tribe the dominant and inherited tribe, only affects 1 out of 4 children in the tribe. The middle toes are absent and the two outer ones are turned in wards. Funny enough, those with the condition in the vaDoma are not considered disabled but rather gifted for they can climb trees with ease. It condition is said to help their nomadic, hunting and gathering lifestyle. The tribe doesn’t intermarry with other tribes and thus the dominant gene remains amongst them.
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