This Remote Tribe Was Shown Cartoons For The First Time. What Happened Next Was Magical.

"They say, 'Laughter brings people together,' well I can tell you: it's true."

With laughter and animation, what more do you need? 

Laughter is a universal language, but one set of artists wanted to know if the same pertained to animation. What they discovered was a connection beyond language and cultural nuances, which was created by showing one of the world's most remote tribes a moving cartoon for the first time ever. 

"We had no way to communicate with each other directly, other than using PowToon to create cartoons," the company's CEO, Ilya Spitalnik, told A Plus. "But with animation, we were instantly laughing and joking together, something that would not have been possible if we had no way to interact." 

The London-based software company, PowToon, brought its latest animation platform to the Eastern African country of Tanzania to meet the Hadzabe Tribe, who are technologically isolated and have never seen cartoons before.


"We researched many groups around the world that lead technologically isolated lives, and fate brought us to the Hadzabe."

"Hadza people are nomadic, so they were not easy to find," Spitalnik explained. "After searching for a long time, our guide, Mustafa, was able to locate them, and the Chief HanXa granted us permission to meet the tribe." 

After just a day of "watching the Hadzabe hunters returning from their hunt" and "trying to learn some of their everyday life skils," as described in the video documenting the PowToon team's trip, suddenly the seemingly great differences between them and the tribe were not so different. 

"Like the origins of many groups, art has always been an integral part of the Hadza culture," Spitalnik told A Plus. "They use cave paintings to transmit the types of animals they hunt and how to hunt them. They also use songs to pass their traditions down the generations. They shared their art with us, opening the opportunity for us to share our art, cartoons, with them."

When it was Spitalnik's turn to show the tribe the art PowToon creates, he sat under a tree with the Hadzabe surrounding him as he opened his laptop to show them their first cartoon

Smiles came across everyone's faces as they watched the animation. At that moment, like other instances throughout the day, Spitalnik and his team didn't feel like they were a world apart from the Hadzabe. The universal language of laughter was found within the art PowToon shared. 

"You know how they say, 'Laughter brings people together,' well I can tell you: it's true," he said. 

The laughter they shared with the Hadzabe also brought them to a different level of understanding about the harsh conditions the tribe exists in every day. This way of life caused many of them to have sensitive eyes "due to the dust and lack of clean water." 

PowToon stepped up to help by asking local doctors to go and examine the tribe, and offer medical aid. The connection first felt by animation became a very real-life journey.

"We had assumed that our love of cartoons is related to childhood conditioning, but this experience completely disproved that assumption," Spitalnik said. 

In the video he added, "We now know that animation is truly a universal language. But more importantly, our time with the Hadza reminded us that no matter how far apart, people are all connected, just part of one big tribe." 

Watch PowToon's epic journey below:


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