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The Forest People: A Study of the Pygmies of the Congo
The Forest People A Study of the Pygmies of the Congo Author:Colin M. Turnbull ANTHROPOLOGY — In the heart of the Congo's Ituri Forest live the BaMuti Pygmies, a fun-loving, exuberant people. For the Pygmy, prowess, not tallness, is the measure of a man's stature;and ridicule the usual means for cutting someone down to size. In Pygmy life, the dense forest is provider, protector, deity. The forest is celebrated particularly... more » in times of great crisis in a musical ceremony called molimo. The men assemble around the molimo fire and sing and sing their songs of praise to the forest. Then, from seemingly everywhere at once, the sacred molimo trumpet answers: growling like a leopard, lowing deep, gentle sounds; or singing shrilly in an eerie falsetto.
We witness their hunting parties and nomadic camps, their love affairs, ceremonies in which the young girls come of age, and the nkumbi circumcision rites, in which the villagers of the surrounding non-Pygmy tribes attempt to impose their culture on the Pygmies, whose forest home they dare not enter.« less
The Forest People eloquently shows us a people who have found in the forest something that makes their life more than just living -- a life that, with all its hardships and problems and tragedies, is a wonderful thing of happiness and joy.