The Mbuti Pygmies

            In this paper, I have selected to alluminate the BaMbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest. They are located in Central Africa, in the northeast corner of the Belgium Congo. The Mbuti-a reciprocal economic band-hunt wild animals, fish, and gather fruits, and vegetables, in their cool and damp rain forest. The Pygmies, also referrred as the Forest People, consume much of their goods, and exchange the rest with their neighboring villagers.

             In addition to focussing on the previous, I will also touch upon the Pygmies domestic life style, and their political and religious systems.

             The Pygmies are believed to be the first inhabitants of the Ituri Forest. Records dating back to the sixth Dynasty in Egypt, verify the Pygmies long existance in the tropical rain forest. Due to its location in Central Africa, the Ituri Forest receives an annual precipitation of sixty to eighty inches. The climate is generally hot, and at times cool from violent rain storms. The Ituri Forest stretches about two hundred miles across, and four hundred miles in lenght. It contains an abundance of wild animals, fresh rivers, and numerous types of fruits, vegetable, and plant roots. To the Mbuti.the forest is a father a mother.and like a fatther or mother it gives them everything they, clothing, shelter, warmth and affection.One may not relay with the Pygmies feelings towards the forest, but one can surely comprehend as to why they uphold it with such esteem. For so long as the forest is undistubed, the Pygmies can continue to live and enjoy all of the goods that the Ituri Forest offers.

             Although the forest provides the Mbuti with all their needs, they are times when hunting becomes a difficult task. This often occurs, when the normal life in the forest is disrupted by the Pygmies neighboring villagers. The villagers whom are cultivators, clear away land enableling them to plant their crops. Unfortunately, the cutting of trees and the after burning, scares away many of the game from the surrounding area.

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