Mbuti in their forest

Mbuti in their forest

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The forest is the center of life for the Mbuti people. They believe that the forest is a sacred, peaceful place to live and they view the forest as their protector and provider. They sing songs to the forest to show their appreciation and adoration. Their songs of rejoicing, devotion, and praise are to make the forest happy. They do not believe in evil spirits like many of the neighboring villages because they see their forest as a place of peace which is full of kindness.

The Mbuti's most important ritual is known as the molimo and often takes place after the death of someone of importance. The ceremony is celebrated loudly to wake the forest because it is seen as sleeping when things go wrong in the forest. During the event, men dance and sing around a fire, while women and children have to stay in their huts with the doors closed.

Bonta, Bruce
     2005 Peaceful Societies: Alternatives to Violence and War. Electronic document,
     http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/Society/Mbuti.html, accessed March 20, 2014.

Countries and Their Cultures
     2007 Efe and Mbuti. Electronic document,
     accessed March 20, 2014.


  1. When we think of religion, the frames that come to mind probably have to do with monotheistic or polytheistic religions in which God, or gods are apparent. This, however, is not always the case when it comes to religion. The Mbuti, for example do not have a religion focused on worshiping God, gods, or any kind of idols. The Mbuti are spiritual people who communicate with their ancestors through the forest, which is essential to them. The forest is the way of life for this culture, which may be hard for us to imagine because we all live or at least take part in cities. Through our enculturation, we may think that singing to a forest is somewhat strange, but because we did not grow up the way the Mbuti did, we cannot judge the way they view the world as right or wrong.

    Like described in the video, the forest is everything to the Mbuti, and they simply are not Mbuti without it. Their lives are completely focused around every aspect of the forest. They use the shrubs, leaves, and other materials to create shelter; the animals that live in the forest as well as the different plants and organisms are the Mbuti's food sources; their ceremonies involve singing to the forest; without the forest, their way of life would be completely altered. This is why their religion is not conventional in the way that we think of religion. Their religion has to do with their way of life, which is focused around the forest.

  2. Good job Amanda, thanks for the proactive, responsible work. You still need to add the date accessed to your references, so it is in AAA style. Thanks

    1. You have done an awesome job Amanda. Thank you!