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Meet strange Zimbabwe’s Bantwana tribe whose people have just two toes

The Vadoma people, also known as the Bantwana tribe, which means children/descendants, are a tribe living in the north of Zimbabwe, primarily in the Urungwe and Sipolilo districts on the Zambezi river valley.

There are many in their community, who can’t wear shoes due to the shape of their feet. They only have two big toes on each foot.

They don’t have middle toes and the two outer ones are turned in. They still can walk but with some difficulty according to the shape, running is also difficult to them. It is said this condition helps them while climbing trees, though. The elders of the Vadoma people claim that their remote ancestors were bird like beings who came from the stars and mixed their DNA with early earth women to produce offspring.

Scientifically speaking, substantial minority of vaDoma has a condition known as ectrodactyly in which the middle three toes are absent and the two outer ones are turned in, resulting in the tribe being known as the “two-toed” or “ostrich-footed” tribe. This is an autosomal dominant condition resulting from a single mutation on chromosome number 7. It is reported that those with the condition are not handicapped and well-integrated into the tribe. While possibly an aid in tree climbing, the condition prevails because of a small genetic pool among the vaDoma and is propagated by the tribal law that forbids members to marry outside the group.

Due to the vaDoma tribe’s isolation, they have developed and maintained ectrodactyly, and their comparatively small gene pool has resulted in the condition being much more frequent than elsewhere.

The Eastern Shona Kalanga of the Kalahari Desert also have a number of members with ectrodactyly and may be related.

Photo Credits: Sify Africa.

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Lloyd M’bwana
Lloyd M’bwanahttps://www.maravipost.com
I'm a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR)'s Environmental Science graduate (Malawi) and UK's ICM Journalism and Media studies scholar. I have been The Malawi Country Manager and duty editor for the Maravi Post for the past Three Years. My duty editor’s job is to ensure that the news is covered properly, that it is delivered on time, and that it is created to the standards set out in the editorial guidelines of the Maravi Post. I also decide most of what the user will or will not see. And those users will be clicking on the website expecting to see what their trusted news. Organisation has to say on an issue. I started as a senior Reporter with the Maravi Post over a 6 years ago. When I have time, I do field reporting as well.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Uuum sad but it is how they are nothing we can help with for human to human we must socialize and work together not saying they should abandon their laws and rules what so ever but where we’re they all along i’m turning 28 now I never had about them even to see a picture until now be serious with us here even whites they we’re saying we can’t leave with blacks but now we together no matter what a human must show up and leave with others maybe they have so many talents but they need help let them show up if they truly need help people we can all see….

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