The forest of Ituri is a tropical rainforest. The rainforest covers 70, square kilometers.
The 'Pygmies' Displacement and discrimination devastating forest dwellers Across the forests of central Africa, forest peoples have lived by hunting and gathering for millennia. But in the past few decades their homelands have been devastated by logging, war and encroachment from farmers. With expansion of protected areas in response to these problems, their livelihoods have become increasingly impossible and their strong ties to their forests are under strain.
Elders report that they cannot teach their children the traditional skills - because they cannot go into the forest. Different groups have different languages and hunting traditions.
Although each community faces different threats and challenges, racism, logging and conservation are major problems for many, all contributing to serious health problems and violent abuse.
Forest lives Central to the identity of these peoples is their intimate connection to the forest lands they have lived in, worshiped and protected for generations.
Jengi, the spirit of the forest, is one of the few words common to many of the diverse languages spoken by forest peoples.
Traditionally, small communities moved frequently through distinct forest territories, gathering a vast range of forest products, collecting wild honey and exchanging goods with neighbouring settled societies. Hunting techniques vary among the forest peoples, and include bows and arrows, nets and spears.
Amongst the Bayaka, childcare is shared with fathers spending up to half the day near their babies. In Rwanda for example, many Twa people who have been displaced from their lands earn a living by making and selling pottery.
Now this livelihood is threatened by the loss of access to clay through the privatisation of land and by the increasing availability of plastic products.
Begging and selling their labour cheaply have become the only options left to many displaced and marginalized forest peoples. Your browser does not support the audio element. The 'Pygmy' peoples' intimate connection to the forests was once valued and respected by other societies, but is now derided.
Health and violence Forest peoples who live on the land they have nurtured for centuries have better health and nutrition than their neighbours who have been evicted from their forest land. The consequences of losing their land are all too predictable: InMbuti representatives petitioned the UN to protect their people from horrific abuse by armed militia in Congo, including extremely high incidences of rape of women by the armed men.
The Batwa also suffered disproportionately in the Rwandan genocide of Local communities are often tricked into signing away their rights to the land, the results are devastating to the people, the forest and the climate.
In addition, communities can no longer access the forest medicines on which they relied and are in danger of losing their rich traditional knowledge of herbal medicine. Most communities cannot access healthcare due to lack of availability, lack of funds and humiliating ill-treatment.
Racism A central factor behind many of the problems faced by forest peoples is racism.
Their egalitarian social structures are often not respected by neighbouring communities or international companies and organisations which value strong male leaders. Their low status and lack of representation makes it hard for them to defend their lands — and the desirable resources within — from outsiders.African Pygmies: Hunter-Gatherer Peoples of Central Africa; The Pygmies' Plight Smithsonian Magazine, December by Paul Raffaele; Survival International: Pygmies; Pygmy Survival Alliance; Undated footage of Pygmy tribe constructing a vine bridge; Mbuti Net Hunters of the Ituri Forest, story with photos and link to Audio Slideshow.
By Todd Pitman, The Associated Press, Mbuti (African people) The Mbuti are Bantu-speaking hunter-gatherers living in the southern part of the Ituri Forest of the northeast part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire). They and their Sudanic-speaking neighbors, the Efe and Aka to the north, are probably the best-known hunter-gatherers in central.
Mbuti Pygmies The Mbuti Pygmies are a semi-nomadic/foraging group of people from the Ituri rainforest of the northeastern Congo in central Africa; they inhabit one of the least developed areas in the Ituri. The Mbuti Pygmies Society of Central Africa Essay In my final cultural anthropology research paper, I will explore the culture of the Mbuti people - The Mbuti Pygmies Society of Central Africa Essay introduction.
African Pygmies: Hunter-Gatherer Peoples of Central Africa; The Pygmies' Plight Smithsonian Magazine, December by Paul Raffaele; Survival International: Pygmies; Pygmy Survival Alliance; Undated footage of Pygmy tribe constructing a vine bridge; Mbuti Net Hunters of the Ituri Forest, story with photos and link to Audio Slideshow.
By Todd . Each is a distinct people, such as the Twa, Aka, Baka and Mbuti living in countries across central Africa, including the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of .