The Mbuti Pygmies Of The Ituri Forest — страница 2

  • Просмотров 531
  • Скачиваний 5
  • Размер файла 18

in need of Pygmies labor, could not embark on physical force to maintain them. Instead, the villagers deviced ways to attract and keep the Mbuti in the village for longer periods of time. These attemps include the creation of a myth that there was a heredetary relationship between individual Pygmies and families, and individual Negros and families. Another such attempt is to allow the Pygmy boys to participate in the Nkumbi Initiation. “Of all the ways in which the villagers attempt to assert some kind of control over the BaMbuti, the one which is more significant, and which was consider to be the most effective and binding is that of subjecting Pygmy boys to the village initiation, known as the Nkumbi” The purpose of the Knkumbi is for the boys, between the ages of eight and

twelve, to be fitted for adult life. The initation begins with the shaving of the head, followed by the boys cimcumcisions. AAterwards, the boys are made to sing and dance, and later they are allowed to rest. The Kkumbi Initiation lasts approximately two to three months. boys are secluded and thought about sex, tribal songs, and they are prepared mentally and physically for adul life. the above is accomplished through a series of straneous physical tests, and mental harassment. The villagers believe, whenever a person is initiated, they are bound thereafter by all the laws of the tribe. Furthermore, the initiation ensures the continutity between the past, present and future life of the tribe; and between the village ancestors. Conversely, the Pygmies feel no such ties with the

villagers. For their sole purpose of participating in the Nkumbi Initiation, is to secure adult status while in the village. Just as the Pygmies are outside the village, they leave behind all the foreing customs that have practice withn…the same boys who have been walking freely among the men of the village, as men, went straight back to their mothers…they became children once more and were accorded none of the privileges of the adult forest Pygmy… Once in the Ituri Forest, the Pygmies carry out their own customs. Such customs include, bethrotal, adoption, sister exchange marriages, monogamous marriages, and in rare intances, polygymous marriages. The latter being an accepted union, but only occurs in a limitted extent. In such cases, the wives have separate huts. In sister

exchange marriages, the family who is loosing a female must be compensated with another. This pertains to any female, no matter how distantly related they may be to the bridc. For the Pygmies regard any female or male,of the same age group, as sister and brothers. If an exchange does not occur, the marrying female receives no status or security. To the Pygmies, it is of utmost importance to maintaint heir preferred sister exchange marriages. “To them a woman is more than a mere producer of wealth; she is an essential partner in the economy”. but, before the preceding marriages can take place a couple must be engaged. To become bethrothed, a Mbuti must first offer his prospective in-laws a large antelope. This comes to be proof of his ability to provide for his wife and future

children. Afterwards, the engaged couple may live together. Although, the marriage is not considered final until a child has been born, and prooven that it has come to stay. The Pygmies consider a child to be prooven to stay, after three or more days of living. Then, and only then, a child is named. In instances where families have many children, and another household has little or non, or separation has been caused by a divorce, or death, adoption of children may take place. Children are given to relatives, or to any family member of the band which is in need of one. In addition to sharing children among their Pygmy members, the Mbuti also share their parents wealth which is inherited along sex lines. That is, girls inherit from the mother side, and boys inherit from the father

side. Items that may be inherited consist of hunting nets, bow and arrows, and spears on the male side. the females may inherit gathering baskets, or cooking utensils. In cases where parents pass away before the children reach maturity, the brother on the father’s side, or the sister on the mother’s side may inherit their belongings. The siblings may also inherit any position that was occupied by the deceased. In comparison to other societies of Africa, the Mbuti’s inheritance is relatively small. Therefore, it is unnecessary for the Pygmies to maintain a complex kinship system. More pertinent than kinship, are the nomadic bands which the Pygmies form. The bands are composed of eight or more nuclear families which cross-cuts all kinship ties. due to much uncompatability