The forest of Ituri is a tropical rainforest. The rainforest covers 70, square kilometers. Several ecological problems exist which affect the Bambuti. Disease is prevalent in the forests and can spread quickly, killing not only humans, but plants, and animals, the major source of food, as well.
About 30, Mbuti Pygmies used to live in the Ituri rainforest of northeastern Congothough many have fled to safety in resettlement camps near the Congolese city of Goma to escape the incessant fighting by militias and armies in their forests.
Colin Turnbull, in his world famous book The Forest Peopledescribed the net hunting Mbuti, who subsist in the heart of the Ituri, and particularly the families who lived in the Epulu area. Mbuti woman with termite mushrooms: For the people who remain in the Ituri Forest, much of the year they engage in their traditional forest hunting and gathering, but part of the year they also live with nearby farming villagers for whom they provide labor in exchange for outside goods and garden vegetables.
The Mbuti who have moved to resettlement camps near Goma fabricate goods for sale or hold day laboring jobs in the city. A wonderful film about Mbuti life in the Ituri Forest, made inwas uploaded to YouTube in Beliefs that Foster Peacefulness.
The Mbuti view their forest as a sacred, peaceful place to live—they constantly refer to it with not only reverence but adoration. They sing songs to it, in appreciation for the care and goodness they feel they get from it.
If something goes wrong in their camp The mbuti way of life night, such as an invasion of army ants, the problem is that the forest is sleeping, so they sing to awaken it.
Their songs of rejoicing, devotion, and praise serve to make the forest happy. They do not believe in evil spirits or sorcery from the forest as the nearby villagers do—their forest world is kinder than that.
Avoiding and Resolving Conflict. Normally the Mbuti settle conflicts with quick actions. One of their major strategies is laughter, jokes, and ridicule. The camp clown, an individual who assumes the responsibility of trying to end conflicts through ridicule, uses mime and antics to re-focus the conflict on himself, to get everyone laughing and ridiculing, in order to divert attention from the issue of the moment.
The Mbuti have no formal methods for resolving disputes or crimes, and no individual would pass a sentence on another. But if one person is clearly in the wrong, an entire camp can react by punishing, perhaps even thrashing, an offender. Sometimes parties to a dispute might settle it through arguments or mild fighting.
Ostracism is always a possibility, but it is rare. Mbuti men who still live in the Ituri Forest organize and control the net hunting, though the women help them.
The women gather vegetable foods in the forests, such as mushrooms see photobut the men will help out. The women freely join discussions with men, though tensions between the sexes do arise.
If the males begin to win, a man will leave his side and join the women, mockingly encouraging them in a falsetto voice.
When that group begins to win, a woman drops off her side and joins the men, encouraging them in a deep bass voice to greater efforts.
The fun and ridicule grow as the contest continues, until everyone dissolves into hysterical laughter. The effect is to ridicule aggression, competitiveness, and conflict itself. Both sexes will do whatever they can to survive and support their families in the refugee camps.
A Mbuti mother develops a special lullaby that she starts singing to her baby while the infant is still in the womb. She reassures the child about the world into which he or she will soon be born, with descriptions of the goodness of the forest and the supportiveness of the human environment.
As they grow older, children learn to play non-competitive games that emphasize cooperative activities. Sometimes children are spanked and slapped by their parents. When the band moves to a new location in the forest, people take advantage of different layouts to establish the most diplomatic possible arrangement of huts in order to help minimize disputes.
Conflicts that are serious enough will result in the camp dividing, with sub-groups splitting off to form their own hunting bands if they possibly can. During the annual honey-gathering season, the bands completely dissolve into numerous groups foraging many miles apart, which resolves most remaining disputes.
If any conflicts remain after honey season, when the bands must form again to resume their cooperative hunting, dissident segments may take the opportunity of joining new bands elsewhere.
It is not yet clear how the refugees in the camps near Goma settle their conflicts.Today several thousand Mbuti still live in the Ituri Forest and negotiate dynamic relationships with the changing world of the villagers, while fighting to preserve their traditional way of life.
Many other Mbuti live in settlements along the new roads.
The Mbuti Way of Life The Mbuti are a foraging society. They reside deep in the heart of Africa, in the second largest rainforest in the world, the Ituri forest. The Mbuti way of life, in every way, revolves around the forest they live within, and love. By the early s, the effects of globalization were becoming even clearer.
The Okapi Faunal Reserve was created to protect the Mbuti and their traditional way of life by, for example, forbidding poaching of animals such as elephants and leopards.
Apr 12, · But after surviving for thousands of years in the forest, the Mbuti are now up against forces that threaten their way of life. The way of life of the Bambuti is threatened for various reasons.
Their territory in the DRC has no legal protections, and the boundaries that each band claims are not formally established. Bambuti are no longer allowed to hunt large game.
The Mbuti (Pygmies) die semi-nomadic people who live in the Ituri Forest of northeast Zaire. While their traditional way of life is often described as centering on hunting and gathering of wild food resources, the Mbuti rely for a large part of their subsistence on cultivated foods .