Akie People


Akie / Mosiro / Dorobo / Wandorobo

The Akie (sometimes called Mosiro, which is an Akie clan name) are a Tanzanian ethnic and linguistic people living in western Arusha Region. In 2000 the Akie population was counted at 5,268. The Akie, like other hunter-gatherer peoples in Kenya and Tanzania, are sometimes called by the derogatory and misleading term Dorobo or Wandorobo.



The Akie are one of the last actual hunter-gatherers left on the African savanna. Beside hunting they collect honey, which involves 'steaming' out the bees, making it possible for to reach into the hive and grab the honey. They enjoy beer which they make from honey. Due to competition for land with the Maasai, they have recently been more reliant on maize, although this rarely produces enough food to last year around.

The Akie's closest ethnic and linguistic relatives may be the Ogiek who live farther north in Tanzania and mainly Kenya. They may have been farmers, but were forced to migrate south and resume a hunter-gatherer lifestyle after some hardship. The Akie used to cover the Maasai Steppe, but now agriculture, poaching and other hunters have diminished the natural resources forcing the Akie into a bitter rivalry with the Maasai over land and water.



The Akie people have their own language, also called Akie. Akie is a moribund endangered language, with only a few elders who speak it. The Akie people have adopted Maasai and Swahili, and while no official figures on the number of Akie speakers exist it is reported that younger generations are becoming less fluent in Akie.