The Mbuti Pygmies Of The Ituri Forest — страница 3

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among kinsmen for hunting purposes, the Mbuti have chosen to keep an open inerchanging with other bands. If the bands were maintained through kinship, it would disrupt the Mbuti’s balanced and productive economic system. Thus, it is preferable and more productive to arrange the bands through Pygmy members and not kinsmen. In addition, as Turnbulll remarks, “It would be a disadvantage, as the conposition of any band is constantly changing and the classic linieage system would fragment it into opposing sections that would have no structural validity”. The Mbuti main economy is derived from hunting the wild game of the Ituri forest. The hunt is held daily, except for rainy days or when the Pygmies go into the villages. At dawn, the women prepare breakfast while the men put

their nets together. After the meal has been cooked, the women put the food in the center of the camp for all to share. When everyone has eaten, they set out for the hunt. In the hunt, each person plays an important part. The men form a semi circle over the bushes with their nets. boys either stay with their father or scatter around the nets in hopes of catching any animal that escapes. The women also form a semi circle opposite the men along with girls. When the men give the signal, the women and girls begin to beath the bushes with branches and making loud sounds. Whenever an animal falls into the net, it is immediately killed with a spear. The dead game belongs to the owner of the net in which it was caught. The men take out the game and it is give to the wife of the net

owner. Later the game is distributed in the camp, unless it is too large. In such intances, the animal is fivided among the Pygmies spontaneously. For the Mbuti women, the hunt is not the only function in which they take an active part outside of their domestic domain. In addition, the women-more often than men-fish, collect wild fruits, roots, insects, larvae, lizards, and honey as a seconday means of economic subsistance. The forest with its abundance of goods, more than supplies the Pygmies with enough to maintain a balance diet. “the Pygmies regard the forest as the source of all goods, of plenty, safety and good health”. With all that the forest provides, it is clear to see why the Mbuti regard the forest as a place of refuge. for the Pygmies have manage to survived in

the Ituri Forest for thousands of years. The Pygmies could not have endured in the Iture Forest, had they not maintained a co-operative political system. Their political power is not concetrated in any parituclar kin group. It is divided into different fields in which several adults are given recognition. For instance: If a discussion arises concerning the hunt, younger men and women tend to have more say in these matters. Since they are younger and more capable of hunting than other band members. If deliberating concerns gathering, young women alone settle any disputes which may arise. “Co-operation is the key to Pygmy society: you can expect it and you can demand it, and you have to give it”. With the Mbuti Pygmies, collaboration among band groups is a must. Although the

Mbuti rely chiefly on teamwork, there is an individual institutionalized role called the Clown. The Clown helps in maintaining harmony and social order between band groups. To occupy such a role, an individual must be good at hunting, young, and very often unmarried. The Clown must have the ability to single out the cause of a dispute, and accept the blame upon himself. He than laughs it off along with dancing and singing. For the Mbuti “Ridicule, a powerful deterrent, is consciously used to prevent or put an end to disputes if reasons fail”. Another position of individual authority, is the Headman. He must be capable of dealing with any disputes which may occur within the village. The headman has to have a taste for many of the goods which the villagers give for carring out

the role. In return, the Headman sees that the villagers receive meat as a token for their gifts. In conjuction with the institutionalized authorities, the Pygmies also maintain two religious insititions. They are the Molino, “Dance of Death”, and the Elima, “Dance of Life”. The Elima, is the coming of the girls menstrual period and passage into womanhood. Girls are secluded in a special hut, where they are taught the arts and crafts of motherhood, and special Elima songs. “For; the Pygmies the Elima; is one of the happiest, most joyful occasions in their lives”. Young men from all around, come to pay respects to the girls who are participating in the festival. The Elima is also the rightful passage for a girl to take a husband…when a yound Pygmy girl begins to