ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Carleen Sanchez
December 3, 2012
I. In the Ituri Forest in Africa you will find the Mbuti tribe. The Mbuti tribe is one of several indigenous pygmy groups in the Conga region of Africa. The Mbuti are a foraging society filled with hunters and gatherers. In this paper I will focus on the Mbuti kinship, their beliefs and values, and their political organization. II. The Mbuti tribe, also known as “the forest people” believe their forest is sacred. A. Life is centered around the forest.
B. They refer to the forest as “mother” or “father”. C. They consider it to be their God, parent, provider, and even lover (Mosko, 1987). III. The Mbuti tribe is a patrilineal descent system.
A. Mobile bands of 10 – 50 members. Nuclear family.
B. Family, marriage and kinship, gender, and age are the key principles of social organization in foraging societies (Nowak & Laird, 2010). C. Residences after marriage are patrilocal.
IV. The Mbuti tribe is an egalitarian political organization. A. All people are equal.
B. No rulers, no political structure.
C. “… The peaceful Mbuti Pygmies have dense, mutually supportive social networks, collective childcare, rituals that stress nurturing relationships with people and nature, anti- competitive norms, high levels of in-group trust, no hierarchy, no wealth, and forest homes that provide them something of a haven from the Bantu neighbors. They do have disagreements, but the effects of these are contained.” (Snyder, 2002) V. After reading this paper I hope you have gained a better insight into the life of the Mbuti’s. I hope you have learned more about their beliefs and values, their kinship, and their political organization.
Mosko, M.S., (1987). The symbols of “Forest”: a structural analysis of Mbuti culture and social organization. American Anthropologist. New series 89(4) pp. 896 – 913....
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