THE PYGAMY IN SHORT : CELEBRATING AFRICAN TRADITION

    There are more than 3000 practicing tribes in Africa today. Within this vast number of indigenous groups, lie different histories, independent cultures and distinct traditions.  

   


The people of Africa are proud of their roots and often celebrate by donning colorful adornments during tribal ceremonies. Some tribes face paint to attract a partner while others wear embellishments in the form of plates and piercings. All of these cultural traditions are prime examples of the fervor with which the tribes of Africa love their motherhood.

   One of the recognized tribes found on this large continent are the African pygmies of Congo Pygmies. This tribe has a few characteristics that make them unique and independent from other tribes.

1. Height:  Pygmies are usually very small in stature. Their size is also referred to as “Pygmyism” . When pygmy babies are born, they are similar in weight to that of other infants. Pygmy children remain the same size as regular kids until they reach their teens. It is during this time of a child’s “growth spurt '' that average children become taller.Pygmies vary in size but their average height is 4”9. The cause of the pygmies' small size is still unknown. Was it a question of their ancestors genetics or that of adaptation to the forest? Anthropologists are still unsure.
2. Their close relationship to nature:  As it is the source of  their food. Medicine and religious beliefs, Pygmies have a spiritual connection with the forest.  The shelters they build are also provided by their natural habitat so they respect and worship their land.  Pygmies are hunter gatherers. They bow, cross bow and trap hunt, river fish and grow “forest” plantations as well as subsistence farming. Modern pygmy tribes are only “partially” foragers. They also trade with neighboring farmers in order to obtain cultivated food and material goods that their environment does not allow.

    In addition to the destruction of their land and the well documented abuse of the pygmy tribe, the pygmies themselves fear extinction. They are being forced out of their sacred forest and instead line roadside camps. They suffer from various maladies that are killing their tribe: High child mortality, addiction, disease, extreme poverty, exploitation, enslavement and cannibalism victimization by neighboring Bantu tribes.

     Although adversity has nearly depleted the pygmies, in small ways, they persevere. Their tribesmen can still be seen performing in ceremonies of fertility and coming of age and their tradition is rich with color and spirit that allows for celebration despite oppression. As the physical attributes and origin of the pygmy tribe is a mystery, this small tribe holds the key to untold secrets and a history that remains undetermined. 

 

3 comments

  1. There are so many tribes and I love to fond out about them, this is a really interesting post I didn't know much about the Pygamy tribe

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  2. I love that they are close to nature. We have so many medicines available to us natural and don't make enough use of them.

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  3. Wow I didn't realise there was so many tribes, and all with lots of different cultures and ways of doing things. Thanks for sharing

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