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Interactions with the mbuti pygmies in children of the forrest by kevin duffy

This population is decreasing every day as poverty, intermarriage with Bantu peoples, Westernization, and deforestation is gradually destroying their way of life and culture as well as their entire ethnic group.

The Bantu Populations- Always in competition with the Pygmy for the resources of the forest, today the Bantu are gradually winning their struggle against the Pygmy. In addition to seeking farmland, the Bantu populations seek the wood, animals, minerals and plants of the forest. They take these resources at the expense of the Pygmy.

In the Central Africa, governments own or control nearly 80 percent of tropical forests and the forests stand or fall according to government policy; and in many countries, government policies lie behind the wastage of forest resources.

Multinational corporations and international lenders such as the World Bank help exacerbate this situation, by plunging these nations further into debt and forcing then to cut down the forest for quick profits, even though more money can be made in the long run if the forests are sustainably exploited.

  • Mbuti mythology this article mythology is the mythology of the african mbuti also known as bambuti pygmies of congo negoogunogumbar is a child-eating giant;
  • Negoogunogumbar is a child-eating giant;
  • Fatality Level of Dispute military and civilian fatalities;
  • In some sources, he was said to have created humanity from clay, instead of Khonvoum;
  • In the Central Africa, governments own or control nearly 80 percent of tropical forests and the forests stand or fall according to government policy; and in many countries, government policies lie behind the wastage of forest resources.

On a nation state level the rights of the Pygmy as citizens of the modern nation states of Central Africa is also an issue. In most countries of Central Africa Pygmies are not considered citizens and are refused identity cards, deeds to land, health care and proper schooling. Also because of their short stature and different lifestyle the are also easy to spot and make fun of in general society.

This results in a situation where Pygmies find themselves marginalized, poor and brutalized. Type of Environmental Problem Type: Deforestation, Conflict Over Forest Resources The greatest problem environmental problem the Pygmy seem to be facing is the loss of their traditional homeland, the tropical forests of Central Africa.

In several countries such as Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo this is due to deforestation and the desire of several governments in Central Africa to evict the Pygmy from their forest habitat in order to cash in on quick profits from the sale of tropical hardwood and the resettlement of farmers on the cleared land.

In some cases as in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this conflict is violent and the desire of a racist groups such as the Hutus of the Interahamwe to eliminate the Pygmy all together and take the resources of the forest as a military conquest, using the resources of the forest for military as well as economic means. Since the Pygmies rely on the forest for their physical as well as cultural survival, as these forest disappear, so do the Pygmy.

I have had the privilege of interviewing a conservationist Mr. Dominique Bikaba who currently lives and works with the Pygmy in the East of the Congo. In his own words he states "I am lucky to work with a community pygmy in which I was born and grew [up in].

  • He is also a thunder god who appears as a storm and hides in rainbows;
  • Society is organized around individual households endu consisting of a husband, a wife, and their children;
  • When a man dies, his son places his mouth over his to draw in part of the megbe.

I am not a pygmy but we grew [up] together and we had to share our infancy and everything. After they were evicted they were forbidden to use the economic resources of the forest i. This has helped destroy their culture, because their traditional ceremonies and lifestyle were linked to the forest, which was now severely restricted. Also according to his description the current civil war in the region between the Congolese Mai-Mia militias and the Rwandan backed rebels has affected the Pygmy in the form of massacres, military conscription and even cannibalism as rival forces fight for territory in the forest.

He also described a severe depletion of the Pygmies main source of food Bush meat as a result of poaching. Type of Habitat Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests are found in a belt around the equator and in the humid subtropics, and are characterized by warm, humid climates with high year-round rainfall and high plant and animal diversity.

Act and Harm Sites: Habitat Loss [HABIT] - This conflict is over territory as well as the economic resources of the forest, such as lumber, bush meat, etc Sink Problems Pollution Land [POLL]- Since the soils of the tropical rainforest are very fragile and vulnerable to erosion, as the forest are cleared and the soil is depleted by farmers growing cash crops, the land is subject to desertification, where nothing, not even the original vegetation, grows.

Once an area of rainforest has been logged, even if it is given the rare chance to regrow, it can never become what it once was. The intricate ecosystem nature devised is lost forever. Only 1 to 2 percent of light at the top of a rainforest canopy manages to reach the forest floor below. Most times when timber is harvested, trees and other plants that have evolved over centuries to grow in the dark, humid environment below the canopy simply cannot live out in the open, and as a result, the plants and animals that depend on the plants of the original forest become extinct.

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Birds and other animals cannot cross from one remnant of land to another in the canopy, so plants are not pollinated, seeds are not dispersed by the animals, and the plants around the edges are not surrounded by the high jungle humidity they need to grow properly.

As a result, the remnants slowly become degraded and die. Rains come and wash away the thin topsoil that was previously protected by the canopy, and this barren, infertile land is vulnerable to erosion which eventually makes the rainforst a "wet desert. Also, as stated before, as the Tropical Forests disappear, so do the Pygmy. As the Pygmies are forced out of their traditional homelands and into alien villages where they have never been before, they often find themselves in an environment that is difficult to adapt to.

Since they lack the financial resources and education to complete effectiviely in the urban economy, pygmies are often given the lowest paying if they are given any jobs and worst housing and healthcare. Also since they are out of their forest element their culture also dies through poverty and eventual intermarriage.

Type of Conflict- Civil While the problems of each Pygmy tribe vary tremendously among the eight modern nation states in Central Africa that control the interactions with the mbuti pygmies in children of the forrest by kevin duffy rainforests of Africa, all of the conflicts are essentially inter communal and intra state over a wide variety of issues ranging from discrimination by other ethnic groups, disputes between traditional and more "modern" lifestyles, disputes over ownership of the resources of the forest and at times, the right to survive in a resource scare region.

Despite efforts to preserve their culture, it appears to be a struggle that the Pygmies are losing as deforestation and westernization is destroying their traditional hunter and gatherer lifestyle in the tropical forest.

Level of Conflict- Intrastate: High Thought the Pygmies living in Central Africa are essentially civilians who have never taken up arms during the civil wars of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are still targeted by armed factions. In Rwanda, the Pygmies are the "forgotten victims" of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Before the genocide they were an estimated 30,000 Pygmies in Rwanda. After being targeted by rampaging Interahamwe Hutu militias who sought out the creation an ethnically pure Rwanda by eliminating the all Tutsis and Pygmies, observers estimate that at least 10,000 Pygmies were killed with a further 10,000 forced to flee their homes, leaving that population at less then a third of what it was before 1994.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, home to Africa's largest population of Pygmies, there have been several human rights reports that state that the Pygmies are victims of countless human rights abuses that have ranged from murder, forcible population transfer, torture and rape. During their offensive against the civilian population of the Ituri region, the rebel groups left a more then 60,000 dead and over 100,000 displaced.

The rebels even engaged in slavery and cannibalism. Human Rights Reports state that this was due to the fact that rebel groups, often far away from their bases of supply and desperate for food, enslaved the Pygmies on captured farms to grow provisions for their militias or when times get really tough simply slaughter them like animals and devour their flesh which some believe gives them magical powers.

  • He occasionally contacts mortals through Gor a thunder god who is also an elephant or a chameleon similar to the divine messenger used by Orish-nla of Yoruba mythology;
  • Outside of the Congo, Pygmy groups are also in conflict with Post-Colonial African states and their desire for modernization and economic development;
  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, home to Africa's largest population of Pygmies, there have been several human rights reports that state that the Pygmies are victims of countless human rights abuses that have ranged from murder, forcible population transfer, torture and rape;
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  • Normally the men hunt alone, frequently now accompanied by their hounds;
  • As punishment, he decreed that humans would also die, and he thus became the death god.

Fatality Level of Dispute military and civilian fatalities: Since the Pygmies are only equipped with stone age weapons and are not accepted into the military or society in general, they are easy civilian targets for rampaging army soldiers or rebels. The real number could be much higher, if one adds the unrecorded numbers who have died from starvation, disease and displacement.

Environment and Conflict Overlap 12 Environment-Conflict Link and Dynamics- Direct- In the case of the Pygmies of Central Africa, the conflict is direct conflict over the resources and physical territory of the forest.

  1. Level of Conflict- Intrastate.
  2. Children of the Forest.
  3. He is also a thunder god who appears as a storm and hides in rainbows.

In the short term, the state and the Bantu populations it represents seeks lumber, minerals and land to either enrich the state or get the resources necessary to wage war against it. Level of Strategic Interest: Regional Within the state of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Pygmy are often in direct conflict with the ethnic groups the state represents as well as rebel groups opposing the state.

Outside of the Congo, Pygmy groups are also in conflict with Post-Colonial African states and their desire for modernization and economic development. Loss This is a conflict that the Pygmies are definately losing. If something is not done now, many predict that the tropical rainforest of Central Africa, as well as the Pygmies that live within them may disappear within the next 30 years.