Instructor: Justine Lemos
10 April, 2011
Mbuti Pygmies Bands
The Mbuti Pygmies are a peaceful people living life as they have for several thousands of years in Ituri forest in the Congo of Africa. Their numbers have been estimated between 30,000 to 40,000 all living throughout the Congo. Although their way of life has changed since their discovery by modern man, they cling to what is true in their hearts. I was surprisingly amazed how the bands of Mbuti families’ simple daily activities provided for all their essential needs for the families and the tribes. The Mbuti cultural traditions are still practice as they were before interference by the outside world. In this paper I hope to provide a insight into their lives by examining their kinships, social organizations and gender relations within their bands and/or tribes. By showing how the Mbuti simple life style provides happiness and fulfillment in their culture, upon reflection of our own culture much can be learned from the Mbuti Pygmies.
The Mbuti people are forgers meeting their basic needs by hunting and gathering for their survival. Mbuti people that resided in small, self-sufficient, mobile groups called bands. Band socioeconomic life is based on the exploitation of the local flora and fauna. Foragers move over their land year after year, knowing where all the prime locations are for the foods and water needed not only for basic survival but to thrive (Nowark & Laird pg 50). The Mbuti have been successful as foragers living off the abundance of the rain forest and what it has to offer. The Mabuti have been able to maintain their way of life even during turmoil and war that has plagued the Congo. The lost of valued hunting ground and destruction of their forest by the encroaching civilization surrounding them have been challenging, but the Mbuti have preserver.
Mbuti unlike many earlier primitive societies did not live in large tribes, but smaller units
References: Nowak, B., & Laird, L. (2010). Cultural anthropology. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc. https://content.ashford.edu Salopek, Paul (2005, September), “Mbuti Pygmies” Retrieved from National Geographic Interactive Edition: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0509/feature5/text4.html Mosko, Mark S. The Symbols of "Forest": A Structural Analysis of Mbuti Culture and Social Organization American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 89, No. 4 (Dec., 1987), pp. 896-913