Dahalo people



Dahalo is an endangered Cushitic language spoken by at most 400 Dahalo people on the coast of Kenya, near the mouth of the Tana River. Dahalo is unusual among the world's languages in using all four airstream mechanisms found in human language.

They are about 400 people who are able to speak the language. It is unlikely that children are still being taught the Dahalo language of this Kenya tribe.

The Dahalo are dispersed among Swahili and other Bantu peoples, with no villages of their own, and are bilingual in those languages.

Dahalo people

The Dahalo are one of the Bushmen groups. Bushmen are small in stature generally with light yellowish skin which wrinkles very early in life.

They were hunter/gatherers, with traditionally about 80% of their diet consisting of plant food, including berries, nuts, roots and melons gathered primarily by the women and the rest 20% composed of meat from wild animals.

Their social structure is not tribal because they have no paramount leader. Decisions are made by discussion and consensus.

Bushmen believe in a mythical being, part trickster, part creator who is capable of great good but also of playing tricks on people. Most Bushmen believe that upon death the soul goes back to the great god's house in the sky.

Dead people can, however, still influence the living and, when a shaman or witchdoctor dies, the people are very concerned lest his spirit become a danger to the living.

Dahalo has a highly diverse sound system using all four airstream mechanisms found in human language: clicks, ejectives, and implosives, as well as the universal pulmonic sounds.

It is suspected that the Dahalo may have once spoken a Sandawe- or Hadza-like language, and that they retained clicks in some words.
They are often referred as the remnants of Africa's oldest cultural group the san.