Mbuti in their forest

Mbuti in their forest

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Displacement and Discrimination Devastating Forest Dwellers

Home to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Mbuti tribe has made a life style by hunting and gathering for some 10,000 years. But in the past few decades, the forests which they call home have been devastated by logging, war, and encroachment from farmers. With continuous expansion of these imposing areas, their lives have become increasingly impossible and their strong ties to their forests are under strain like never seen before. The Mbuti tribe is being faced with serious threats and challenges they have never encountered before and learning how to deal with these situations can become the difference between life and death for some. Central to the heart of these peoples is their intimate connection to the forest lands they have lived in, worshiped and protected for generations. “Jengi”, the spirit of the forest, is one of the few words used. The importance of the forest as their spiritual and physical home, and as the source of their religion, medicine and entire culture cannot be underestimated. However, due to new conservation projects and the massive spread of agriculture, what forests remain are being degraded by logging, expansion of farms and intense commercial trading. Although the Mbuti tribe has not been the only one of the forest peoples to be affected, almost none have received any sort of compensation for the loss of their home, community, and for many, their lives. Now this tribe, along with many others are being faced with extreme levels of poverty including serious diseases and infections with not only no help, but no hope.


1.) "Pygmies - Survival International."
 Pygmies - Survival International. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

2.) The Rise of Hierarchy."
 (Peter Gelderloos). N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.


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  2. When researching this topic for my ethnographic post I tried to think from a anthropologists perspective on ethnicity. When members of a certain ethnic group are together and separate from societies they share certain beliefs, values, habits, customs and norms because of their common background. They then define themselves as notably different from society and expects outsiders to respect and understand that but in reality, they don't. As a way for profit, other people, such as contractors, are looking at land that is known to one group of people as their native home and village to a new construction zone for others. It is creating a near devastation for a lot of people and others are going on without a care.