The Mbuti Pygmies

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  • Topic: Hunting, Mbuti, Colin Turnbull
  • Pages : 7 (2655 words )
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  • Published : May 27, 2013
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the Mbuti Pygm

The Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest
By:
Hamda
Mohamed
Jennifer

The Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest
By:
Hamda
Mohamed
Jennifer

The pygmy people also known as Bambuti rely on the ituri forest to supply them with basic necessities used in their daily lives. The Bambuti are primarily hunter-gatherers who travel through the forest in small isolated bands in search for everything one would need to survive. No one actually knows how long they have resided in the ituri forest although it is thought to be for over thousands of years. For the tribe the ituri forest is everything; they view the forest as a scared place in the world, since there is an ample amount of food all year long. There unique traditional economy is run on the basis of survival and not surplus. The mbuti only take what they need and feel that working to gain more than what you need is pointless. That’s why when deciding what to produce, the mbuti tribes or bands always search for the essentials of living, along with scared items for ceremonies or rituals. The mbuti people like live in small bands and that band decides what they need. They also distribute the goods according to who needs it. The people are very social among the tribe, they like to work together and spend time with family and friends when there not searching or hunting for goods. The ituri forest has an ample amount of supply throughout the year; it contains many mushrooms, roots, berries, nuts and herbs and a variety of leafy vegetables. The forest is also a provider of medicines. The mbuti use the forest to treat many different kinds of illnesses including headaches, eye inflammation, heart pains, toothaches, open wounds, toe rot and even hemorrhoids. All of which are treated by natural substances that contain leaves, tree bark, stems, plants, roots and berries. The mbuti people try to make use of all the things the forest has to provide. The mbuti tribe divides up the work based on gender; both males and females have specific roles to play in their survival. The mbuti live in huts that are mainly made by the women of the tribe. Each hut holds one family if factors remain constant such as weather conditions. The huts are made out of tree stems as the base structure and then covered with bark and long leaves as a protection from wind, sun, heat, rain and dirt. Women are responsible for the building of the huts, however before the construction occurs everyone helps gather the materials needed. Hunting and gathering of game is mainly done by the men of the tribe. While sometimes females also gather berries and materials. The mbuti men and women both wear a loincloth made out of bark that is softened and hammered until it is long and smooth. Women have a longer loincloth, theirs hang down close to the ground; where men just have the cloth covering their genitals; making it more effective to wonder throughout the forest in search for game. They wear their clothes not for protection but for socialistic reasons. The Mbuti people are very spiritual and have many rituals where they thank the forest and everything it has provided them with. There are many items produced that are significant when having special occasions and reciting rituals. Black paste made from burnt ashes and fat from distinct animals are smeared on the body. The black paste is a significant ritual that is supposed to bring the person physically and psychologically closer to the forest. An important ceremonial event occurs after a good hunt where charms made out of tree vines and wood are placed on the body of the hunters. The mbuti also cover their arms with bracelets that are made from animal teeth, feathers, animal skin and wood. Ceremonies and rituals are also a way for the mbuti people to socialize and to spend time together. Items produced that have no need for survival or spiritual rituals and ceremonies are used for leisure activities. Spin tops, mainly used by...
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