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. The elders state that their ancient ancestors came from the star systems of Sirius and first established colonies on a planet within our solar system that they refer to as Liitolafisi.
A 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.
According to vaDoma mythology, their ancestors emerged from a baobab tree. Upon descending from it, they walked upright to hunt and gather the fruits of the land. The name vaDoma is also used in the Zambezi region for a semi-mythical people characterized as magical, capricious, hard to find, and living among the trees. This may refer to Khoisan hunter-gatherers who preceded the migration of the Bantu Shona into the Zambezi Valley, and the vaDoma are possibly related to this earlier population. Rumors also persist among nearby peoples that the vaDoma are capable of disappearing in the forest and performing magic.