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Mbuti - Scholarly Research in Books

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

Please include 3 annotated citations to scholarly books focused on one of the following topics about the Mbuti - Kinship, Economic System, Social and Economic Change, Contact with the West. All citations should be written in American Anthropologist style and placed alphabetically by author last name.


American Anthropologist cheat sheet



Start your citations here . . .


[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-12-07]


Turnbull, Colin M.

1983 The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.


This book describes the acculturation of the Mbuti in recent times (circa 1983).


Gibbs, James

1965 Peoples of Africa. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.


This book is a collection of articles of various African cultures, including the Mbuti.


Turnbull, Colin M.

1961 The Forest People. New York: Simon and Schuster.


This book describes the ethnography of the Mbuti of the Congo.




[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 11/14]


1. Mark, Joan T


1995 King of the World in the Land of the Pygmies. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.


This book revolves around Patrcik Tracey Lowell Putnam, who spent 25 years living among the mbuti.


2. Duffy, Kevin

1996 Children of the Forest. Prospect Heights, Ill. : Waveland Press.


This book contains information on the region, the people, and different aspects of life such as hunting and gathering and birth and death.



[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 11/24]


Mbuti Books Cited

Putnam, Patrick and Tracy Lowell.

1994 Mbuti. New Haven: Conn.

This book discusses the Pygmies of the southern and central Ituri forest who are associated with the Babira villagers.

Schebesta, Paul.

1936 Revisiting my Pygmy Hosts. London: Hutchinson & co.

This book discusses the lives of Mbuti and their environmental conditions.

Turnbull, Colin M.

1961 The Forest People. New York: Simon and Schuster.

This book describes the ethnography of the Mbuti of the Congo.



[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-25-07]


Schebesta, Paul

1933 Among Congo Pigmies. London: Hutchinson & Co.

*This book is extremely old and translated from German. It is an account of a few years spent living with the Mbuti in 1929-1930, with many pictures and detailed accounts of the daily life of the Western Pygmies.

Schebesta, Paul

1936 Revisiting My Pygmy Hosts. London: Hutchinson & Co.

*This later book of Schebesta’s is focused on the Western Mbuti Pygmies. It does not cover the daily life of the pygmies, as the daily life of Eastern and Western Pygmies is essentially the same, but to get more in depth in his research of the “little folk” and “wee people” as he calls them.

Turnbull, Colin

1961 The Forest People. New York: Simon and Schuster.

*As we all know, Colin Turnbull is the utmost expert on the Mbuti Pygmies. This book describes his experiences living with them in the Ituri Forest in the Congo, including their marriage practices, religious ceremonies, hunting techniques, and contact with the outside world.





[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/26/07]

Mbuti—Scholarly Research

Schebesta, Paul

1936 Revisiting my Pygmy Hosts. Great Britain: Mayflower Press.

*Kinshipt- This book is a firsthand account and research of the author’s time among the Mbuti. Although, like many of the others on these cultures that Milne has, it is very old, I feel that the information contained is scholarly because it is observations and they were made at a time when the Mbuti’s contact with the outside world and cultural response to it was not nearly at the levels that it is today. The chapters detail different aspects of culture and life, as well as profiles of several Mbuti individuals.

Bradford, Phillips Verner and Harvey Blume

1992 Ota Benga: The Pygmy in the Zoo. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

*Contact with the West- This book recounts the sad tale of Ota Benga, who was a pygmy who was actually placed in an exhibit at the Bronx Zoo among monkeys at the turn of the last century. The book goes through his specific tale as well as historical context and other tales of mistreatment, exploitation, and misunderstanding. It is scholarly as although there isn’t exactly an “About the authors…” section, there is a significant appendix and works cited section with some interesting newspaper articles from the early 1900s about the Mbuti.



Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/12/07


Turnbull, Colin


1983. The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York. Holt, Rinehart and Winston


Colin Turnbull, author of The Forest People and other work on the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest caps his fieldwork experience with the Mbuti in this work on the effect of history on the cultural practices of the Pygmies living in the Ituri Forest. He chronicles the sad changes and developments that have taken place.



Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/13


Schebesta, Paul

1978 My Pygmy and Negro Hosts. New york: AMS press


Abstract: This book discusses the Mbuti people as well as other Congo people and how they treated their guests while they were being studied. I would consider this a scholarly article because it discusses what the anthropologist found when he was studying there, so it was a first hand account.




Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu, 12/14


Turnbull, Colin M.

1983 The Mbuti Pygmies: change and adaptation.Orlando, Fla, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. eHRAF, http://quod.lib.umich.edu, accessed December 14,2007.

 Annotation: This book generally talks about the culture of the Mbuti and also focuses on the change since currently people are choping the trees and claiming the land with property rights. I think its scholarly because Turnbull has various books on the Mbuti like the Forest people and has vast expierence with thier culture.



[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/15]


Gibbs, James

1965 Peoples of Africa. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.


Abstract: This book discusses the Mbuti tribe of Africa. It is a very general book, broadly describing their history and culture. It also gives elaborate images of their environment and shows how they live in the environment. It also describes the different mechanisms of exchange and regulation in their current lives now.






[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/15]


Turnbull, Colin M.


1983 The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.


Annotations: Right away one can assume this book is a good book to use when dealing with the Mbuti people because the author, Colin M. Turnbull, is well known for his various other work done on the Mbuti people. He has written other various well-known books on these people such as the Forest People, which I found quite interesting to read. As for this book, this book talks more about the change and adaptations that the Mbuti Pygmies are facing recently, especially under the existence of colonialism. He goes on talking about the Mbuti’s relationship with the Bantu villagers. From here, the author discusses the years of war that the people of the forest had to endure and its effects on them, concluding with a great discussion of the cultural changes that are taking place in their societies. In all, this is a good book to use when researching how change is affecting the people of the forest. END


[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]


Bonta, Bruce D.

1993 Peaceful Peoples: An Annotated Bibliography. Metchen, N.J., and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.


Abstract: This book takes a look at many of the world’s peaceful people, including the Mbuti. It gives a brief overview of the location, geography, and lifestyle of the people. It then lists ten annotated bibliographies on important books on the Mbuti. These include Mark S. Mosko, Merrill Singer and Colin Turnbull. They all deal with relationships, conflict, and conflict resolution. This book is scholarly since it has notes to the bibliography, a long index, and refers to a number of scholarly works. Its author, Bonta, is a general reference librarian at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries who specializes in history and area studies. In the mid-1980s he became active in the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions. He also wrote several accounts of his experience as an exchange librarian in Lima, Peru.



(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)


Mbuti Scholarly Research


Turnbull, Colin M.

    1961 The Forest People. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster


This book is a chronicle of Turnbull's time spent with the Mbuti tribe of the Congo. His book includes maps of the Ituri forest and even pictures of some members of the tribe. Within the text, it is plain to see that he was passionate about their existence as well as preservation. He spent a good portion of his life with the Mbuti, immersing himself in their culture and experiencing nearly every tradition they allowed. A truly scholarly source and book, in every sense of the word. This book is as detailed a description of the Mbuti culture than you will find anywhere, short of living within their society yourself.


[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Mbuti Scholarly Research in Books


Kent, Susan

    1998 Gender in African Prehistory. Lanham, Maryland: Roman Altamira


Kent's book covers gender in a white range of tribes in Africa. Interestingly, the section on the Mbuti points out that women also play a role in the net hunting of Mbuti men. While men are responsible for placing the nets and actually killing the catch, women often are the ones that scare the prey into the net in the first place. Kent was a respected ethnoarchaeologist who died recently, in 2003.






[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]



Mbuti Book Sources



Turnbull, Colin M

1965 The Mbuti Pygmies:  An Ethnographic Survey.  Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, 50(3).  New York:  American Museum of Natural History.



Abstract:  This book covers a wide variety of topics on the Mbuti Pygmies from language to everyday life practices, to social and political organization.  It was written using a wide variety of published and unpublished material that was sifted through to get rid of any unsatisfactory material.  This book, though published in 1965, would be a good comparison piece to newer research and because it can show changes in Mbuti society since then as well as show the differences in past perceptions and viewpoints of past researchers.  Furthermore, Turnbull is an important figure in the study of African cultures as he has published a lot of material (Google Scholar), some studies on other research and others from his own fieldwork.  Furthermore, he was the curator of the African Ethnology in the Anthropology Dept. of the American Museum of Natural History.  In addition, the book series, a compilation of scholarly works from various scholars, was put together and published by the museum which is a scholarly institution.  Finally, detailed drawings were included with scale included as well as all sources cited.





Glück, Julius F.

1973 African Architecture.  In Peoples and Cultures of Africa.  Skinner, Elliott P., ed.  Pp. 232-248.  Garden City, New York: Natural History Press.



Abstract:  This chapter talks about the different styles and techniques of hut-making in Africa starting with the Mbuti.  Occasionally, the author gives off a sort of superiority as  was common  when this book Was written.  This bias however does not hurt the data in the article as if is focused on facts and figures which are straight forward and numerical for dimensions, etc.  Furthermore, the article was translated from the original document written in German for a German Museum which a scholarly institution.  In addition, the author cites his sources.  Also, the book itself includes sources as well as is published by the Museum of Natural History, a scholarly institution which would publish scholarly information.  Finally, though this book is relatively old, the Mbuti culture is already beginning to be integrated into more modern practices and the earlier books on them would thus provide good information on their traditional practices before they were too greatly influenced by outside.  It could also be a reference on the changes in anthropological views and practices.  Therefore, if this is kept in mind when using this book it is considered scholarly.




Hart, Terese B. and John A. Hart

1996 The Ecological Basis of Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence in African Rain Forests:  The Mbuti of Eastern Zaire.  In Case Studies in Human Ecology.  Daniel G. Bates and Susan H. Lees, eds.  Pp. 55-83.  New York: Springer.



Abstract:  This chapter talks about the subsistence strategy of hunting and gathering by studying the Mbuti.  This is scholarly since the authors are scholars who have posted before (google scholar).  They also include many graphs and diagrams from their field research which focus on the data and not on looking pretty.  In addition, all their sources are cited throughout and at the end of the chapter.  Furthermore, the whole book contains chapters from many other scholars in the Human Ecology field who also cite their sources, etc.  This document is also recent.





[lanh nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

MBUTI Scholarly Book


Ingold, Tim and Riches, David and Woodburn, James.

     1988 The complexities of residential organization among the Efe (Mbuti) and the Bamgombi (Baka): A critical view of the notion of flux in hunter-gatherer societies.        In Hunter and Gatherers 1: History, evolution and social change. Jon Pedersen and Espen Waehle, eds. Pp. 75-90. New York: St. Martin's Press.


This chapter talks about the 'flux' or mobility within the arrangements of the hunter and gathering bands of the Pygmies. It points out two main ideas: 1) organization of local groups is influenced by the concept of 'patrifiliation'. This is considered a concept because the two Pygmy bands, Efe and Bamgombi do not view the concept of patrifiliation the same way as we do. 2) The organization of Pygmy local groups is based largely on their relations with the outsiders and neighboring villagers. The influences and the constraints placed on the Pygmies by the villagers are detrimental to their residential choices.

This book could be viewed as scholarly because the editors are all Anthropology professors who specialize in the social and cultural aspect of this field. It also includes a large reference list and notes on the editors and contributors to this book.





[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Scholarly Research (Mbuti)


Turnbull, Colin M.

1983 The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

* Turnbull, like Richard Lee with the !Kung, is a principle Mbuti expert so any books he has written on the subject are deemed scholarly. This particular book is part of the “case studies in anthropology” series. It is a general source of information regarding Mbuti life, but also goes deeper into specifics on particular case studies evidenced by Turnbull.



 [Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]



Schebesta, Paul

            1936  Revisiting my Pygmy hosts. London: Hutchinson & Co.



            This book is translated from German and is the latest account of Father Schebesta’s research on the Congo pygmies.  The book analyzes some of the legends of the pygmies.  The interaction with the neighboring “Negroes” has allowed for the introduction of bananas and livestock and other forms of agriculture to the pygmies, but the lack of adoption of these practices resulted in an unbalanced interdependence between the “Negroes” and the Pygmies.



[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/17]


Turnbull, Colin M.

    1983 The Mbuti Pygmies: Change and Adaptation. New York. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.


This book, on the changes taking place in Mbuti society, is scholarly because its author is a renowned expert in Mbuti pygmies. He is a first-hand source on information about them because he has actually lived with them. He has also published countless other scholarly articles and books. The drawback this book faces is its age. Since it was published in 1983, it is no longer current information. However, if one were to be looking for information on the changes taking place in the 1980s, he/she would turn to this book.




[Adam Saunders, ars11@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]


Bradford, Verner Phillips and Harvey Blume

1992. Ota Benga: one Mans Degradation in Turn of the Century America. New York, New York. St Martins Press.


-Annotation- This book follows the odysee of Ota an African pygmy and the turmoil and negative standpoints those in the western world view him as. Pictured as an animal in the zoo and at the Worlds Fair Ota circumes to the degradation of the modern world.


Schebesta, Paul

1936. Revisting my Pygmy Hosts. London, England, Hutchinson & Co.


-Annotation- This book covers much of the basic understanding of the Pygmy people. Their social and economic strategies and also their many rituals involving the belief in totemism, witchcraft and incantations.


Turnbull, Colin M.

1961. The Forest People. New York, New York, Simon and Schuster.


-Annotation- The Forest People goes to great lengths in defining what the pygmy’s are in retrospect with the rest of the world and how the outside world is influencing them. This change has displaced many of the pygmies to new and unfamiliar areas of the forest and even to areas outside of the forest. These locations means changes to their infill structure to the deepest levels of their society.




[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]



Schebesta, Paul

            1933 Among Congo Pygmies.  London:  Hutchinson & Co. Ltd.

Annotation:  This anthropological study conducted by Paul Schebesta, known for his research among aboriginal peoples, was done through an eighteen month stay with the Mbuti People in the Belgian Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo).  Because of his experience living with the people and his past research experience, Schebesta is an expert in the field.  Though he claims that the book is not ment to be a thriller, and that its ability to thrill is merely coincidental, that the book was published by a commercial publisher must be taken into account when using this book for scholarly work. 




[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/17]


Turnbull, Colin M.

             1986 Survival Factors among Mbuti and Other Hunters of the Equatorial African Rain Forest. In African Pygmies. 

             Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi Luca, ed. Pp 103-123. Orlando, Florida: Academic Press, Inc.


This chapter discusses the mutually beneficial relationship between the Mbuti people and their village neighbors. As nomads, the Mbuti people have a complete range of the Ituri Forest, and provide the villagers with building materials and foods that are rich in protein. In providing these economic needs, the Mbuti people secure the villagers' confinement to the outer ridges of their forest. Certain parts of the forest have been invaded and manipulated by agricultural populations and government attempts at infrastructure building. When particular areas have been altered, this tends to influence Mbuti foraging and migration patterns. This source is scholarly because the author has traveled and lived in the area extensively to gather firsthand information, and has published numerous other scholarly resources on this topic.



{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17}


Turnbull, Colin M.

1965  Wayward Servants:  The Two Worlds of the African Pygmies.  Garden City:  Natural History Press.

Annotation:  This book, written by Colin M. Turnbull, an anthropologist specializing in the study of the Mbuti Pygmies, describes the separate groups of these Ituri pygmies, and how they interrelate.  He emphasizes that, although they have different hunting grounds and hunting groups, they still possess a certain degree of unity in their separation from outsiders.


Note:  this book is not available in the library; however, JSTOR provides a brief review of the book's importance.   http://www.jstor.org/view/00167398/ap020706/02a00420/0



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