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BaMbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo Africa

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BaMbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo Africa Larry W Ratliff 04/15/05 I have broken this up into sections with some of the topics overlapping others. The book was pleasant to read, I just wish I had taken the time to make notes as I read. At the time I felt it would be easy to go back over the material for the ISC. 1. SUSTINANCE: The BaMbuti are hunter gatherers at the time of Turnbull's writing. They had been trading with the Negroe villagers meat for plantation products, but for the most part they got what they needed from the jungle. "The forest is their world and in exchange for their affection and trust it supplies them with all they need (Turnbull, 14)." They know which roots to eat and which vines to follow to these roots. They know when the rain will provide the best mushrooms to eat. The villagers, they do not see these, they walk on past them. They hunt for meat with nets that the mother may have given her son upon his marriage, and that he or his wife must now maintain. Some use spears, and others use a bow and arrow with a poison tip. ...read more.


The exception to this if the camp does not approve of the girl and they will not accept her. This forces the man to go and live with her hunting clan that is not his own. A man may have more than one wife living with him. Once a woman gives birth and is nursing a child he is not supposed to bother her about sex. This makes the other wives happy as it gives them some attention. Parents and grandparents may live in the same camp as their offspring keeping the family close together. This also allows the parents to work on gathering food for the family. It takes a village to raise a child. 5. MYTHS: Religion and myths coincide. The Molimo is a ritual that involves singing and sometimes dancing and is performed at times of great crisis. 6. CLOTHING: Bark cloth is the main source of clothing for the pygmies (Turnbull, 130). The cloth is stripped from the trees as bark and pounded until smooth. It is dyed different colors using other plants and flowers. Depending on the type of bark used will determine the final color. The women leave a long "tail" hanging down in back because it looks nice while dancing. ...read more.


They can also be altered and enlarged to accommodate family and friends visiting. 9. ADAPTIONS to the MODERN WORLD: The pygmies seemed to adapt well to the villagers. They basically pretended to believe what they believe just to continue the trading. They leave the villagers ways at the entrance to the forest. They get exploited to some extent while they also exploit the tourist and forest workers. As the forest gets smaller and they experience more of the outside world they want more. They smoke, they drink, and they pay 100% on small loans. The part that cultural anthropology plays in this understands the differences. They were encouraged to work on the plantations so that they may prosper. They did not acclimatize to the direct sunlight and some died of heatstroke (Turnbull 260). The mosquitoes make them sick. They are people of the forest. 10. RELIGION: Ancestor worship is the main theme here. It is taboo to mention the deeds name. They do believe in a benevolent deity that they identify with the forest. It gives and it takes (Turnbull, 45). The most important part of any ritual is that it is done correctly. These rituals are to make everyone happy and the forest happy. They solve problems communally so as not to upset the forest. The pygmies believe a dead persons soul returns to the forest to be born again. ...read more.

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