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Readings (due November 6)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

 

IN THE FUTURE COMMENTS - LET'S BEGIN TO THINK LIKE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND USE THE SCHEMATA THAT SCHOLARS APPLY TO THE STUDY OF OTHER CULTURES. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR FOCUS FOR YOUR WIKI POST AS:

 

A. ENVIRONMENT

B. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE

C. ECONOMICS

D. POLITICS

E. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM

F. SOCIAL CHANGE

 

YOU NEED TO HAVE THREE COMMENTS FROM EACH READING USING AND IDENTIFYING THE CATEGORY ABOVE AND YOU MAY USE THE SAME TOPIC MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU WISH. POSTINGS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THREE SENTENCES. THIS WIKI IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE READINGS LISTED IN YOUR SYLLABUS AND TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING INFORMATION ON WORLD CULTURES AND PROVIDING YOU WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

 

 

The King of the World in the Land of the Pygmies

 

Type your comments here . . .

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-4-07]

Who Rules the Forest? (That link leads to the below-mentioned article...and the article on that link leads to an article not called "The King of the World"...so I'm confused)

1. Environment: The rainforest, as this National Geographic writer so eloquently writes, is not as dark and gloomy as people might suspect. While I haven't been to the Ituri rainforest, I have been to the Amazon, and it's true--it's so light and sparkling!

2. Social Change: The author writes of the way the Mbuti hunt, as a moment that is a thousand years old. This is a great way to put it when other people might deem their subsistence as "primitive". The fact that they are still hunting in their old ways while a war rages in the rest of the country is really comforting, even if they are getting tangled up in the war.

3. Economy: the Toleka traders were a really interesting part of Mbuti/Congo culture, pushing overloaded bikes and frankly admitting that drugs keep them going. This sort of trading seems to be necessary with the outside world as more Mbuti must turn to outside wage labor and trading to survive.

END

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-8]

 

1.) Environment: I'm loving all the visual imagery the author is painting for us in the opening paragraphs. His usage of color is so vivid; I can just visualize myself there now. It's too poetic to be anthropoligical, but i aint complaining.

 

2.) Ideology: It's interesting that the toleka traders rely on the numbing effects of drugs to be able to carry their heavy loads through the forest. Being westerners, we'd all probably be glad to assume they had some magical jungle powers, but in fact people do die of exhaustion trying to lug so much equipment slowly through the jungle on a bicycle.

 

3.) Ideology: The pygmies are viewed as sub-human; it is "okay" to eat them as one would eat an animal. Amuzati Nzoli had to watch his family being devoured, and was basically ignored by the media and government.

 

End

 

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

 

Who Rules the Forest?

 

1. The imagery used by the author in the beginning paragraphs is really great and gives the reader almost first-hand insight into the lives and views of the mbuti. Throughout the article he gives the reader information about mbuti life in a form of writing that really grasps ones attention. You really see them as human beings, and not the "small people" that we simply hear about. At the same time, however, you get to experience by reading, that magical feeling of a group of people living entirely different lives in an entirely different place than any of us are used to.

 

2. Page two, where the priest wishes rosselini could know about their situation, is very touching and emotional because he knows that no one is helping them becuase they don't know, or worse, they don't care. Reading this, and hearing of it for the first time you realize that for them it must be very painful to realize that there is really no one to help them because very few know what is going on.

 

3. One of the last paragraphs of the 3rd page of the article really puts the situation in the Congo into perspective. What if this were happening in the United States? What if any of these situations of genocide and violence were occuring in our lives? Would help be so late in coming?

 

Who Rules the Forest

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/19]

Environment: This article thoroughly describes the environment and the forest of the Mbuti people in great detail. They utilize their envrionment in every fashion; molding a soccerball out of sap, using bark as nets, making bow and arrows for hunting, catching game (monkeys, birds, antelopes) for food. All of these techniques are used by the Mbuti people of the forest as their means of survival. They hunt and gather only enough food for what they need and nothing more.

END

 

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

Who Rules the Forest?

Environment: I definitely can visualize the rainforest and how it might feel to walk in it. The life and the different shades of light that exists around you must be amazing.

Economics: While fighting for natural resources during the civil war, the Ituri is rich in the Kilo Moto gold.

Ideology: Being able to eat the pygmies is something I have never heard of. It is deeply disturbing and unbelievable.

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/22/07]

 

 

“Who Rules the Forest?”

Change: It wasn’t really until I read that great analogy on page 3 that described America in the state that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in that I realized just how bad things were. It is just absurd what is going on over there, and how sad that it is happening in a place of such environmental significance. Also, the way the author talks about the light in the forest really makes me want to visit it, it sounds really cool.

 

END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)

 

"Who Rules the Forest?"

 

Environment/Change - The author describes the Democratic Republic of Congo, or more specifically the Ituri Forest, in a detailed and authentic manner; actually putting the reader within the Mbuti environment. This is essential for a culture that thrives so strongly off their surroundings. Describing the beautiful and sprawling atmosphere that the Mbuti have thrived in for such an extended period of time leads into the unfortunate discussions of the injustices currently facing these people. What is, and has been so vital to the existence of the Mbuti people, is at an increasing rate being captured from them.

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/27]

 

“Who Rules the Forest?”

 

SOCIAL CHANGE: The Mbuti people are the true children of the forest, sustained by its good will and unafraid of its darkness. However, human population surrounding the lawless Ituri forest poses a dangerous threat for the maintenance of the Mbuti’s nomadic lifestyle. A Pygmy group, called the Twa, no longer even hunts for survival – forced to abandon their way of life because of land hunger and depleted soils. Congo people are dying increasingly due to starvation and violence; civil war and rebel forces have reduced the Congo to a series of separate and quarrelsome entities.

END

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/1]

 

Who Rules the Forest?

 

Economy/Social Change: I think it is really sad that the Pygmies are treated so poorly by merchants and traders just because the Pygmies do not know any better. It is situations like that that put traditional societies at higher risk of disappearing altogether. END

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

 

“Who Rules the Forest?”

 

ENVIRONMENT: Paul Salopek describes the environment of land of Mbuti with elaborate descriptions and details. He illustrates the magnificence of the rain forest and how each aspect, such as light and temperature, has an effect of mystifying the rain forest. He also writes how the roads of the land of Mbuti are decaying and that there is a constant jungle fight. He describes the roads as not even roads. They are full of mud and slither for miles. He says that they are proofs of survival of the people of Mbuti.

 

END

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/9]

Who Rules the Forest?

Environment: the author’s use of imagery in the beginning paragraphs really helps us, as the readers, visualize and understand the Mbuti environment. It’s really interesting how creative and resourceful they are. Making balls out of sap, bows and arrows and their hunting techniques. They really use the forest and it’s resources to their advantage.

END
Alfred Dilluvio, ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/9
Who rules the forest?
The descriptions surrounding the Ituri forest are splendid. It also got me thinking about what it would be like to live in the forest and be so resourceful with using everything the forest has to give. Aside from actual resources, the Mbuti are also given light and temperature to their advantage. Who really rules or owns the forest? Is it those individuals who are in charge of the government of a state, or those who are "unafraid of the dark" and can respect and understand its greatness? I would argue it is the latter, and therefore the Mbuti are are the rulers of the forest. Ownership isnt given to those in charge, its given to those who live there and make use of its greatness.
Kaitlyn northrop krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12
Who rules the forest?
It is really interesting to me how the author starts off the article with such descriptions of the forest and everything around her. The sense of imagery makes the reader feel like they are part of what is occurring, which already makes the reading more engaging. I also thought it was interesting when the author was describing how everything has a color and also how the Mbuti use all of the resources of the forest to their advantage. This makes them good forest-dwellers as they are not destroying the environment because they are the ones who have to live in it and they are using everything to the bes of their abilities.
-END-

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Who Rules the Forest

Politics: The Congo’s toleka traders have to take drugs in order to go on with their difficult job. The Pygmies covet the products that these traders bring, typically Western in nature. The Mbuti are gaining their independence. Horrible atrocities happened in the Congo but it was the rumors of cannibalized Pygmies that shocked the world. This is reflective of the treatment of Pygmies as subhuman by the Congolese.

END.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Who Rules the Forest

Economics: I think the fact that the Mbuti don't know the meaning of value when trading really reflects the way they live. They do not need material goods and do not value them when trading. Instead, they look at how useful the things they have are. Having more than enough does not appeal to them, and they do not try to achieve this goal.

 

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

Who Rules The Forest

 

Environment: I found this article rather very interesting to read in that the author did a great job painting a picture in my mind of the way the rain forest looks like in Africa. The descriptions of the colors make me wish I was actually there to experience first hand. I have always believed that the rain forest was at night a rather dark place and didn’t even think of it as a place that was luminous with color. Maybe this is why the pygmies have lived for so long in the forest, because of its beauty. The way the author described the pygmy sitting waiting to kill an animal was also amazing for me to read about. It lets the reader know that these people are well-adapted to their environment: molding a soccer ball out of sap, using bark as nets, making bow and arrows for hunting, catching game such as monkeys and antelopes for food and so on. This all shows their techniques for survival (hunting and gathering) and in all their way of life. Here are these people who live in an area where one would assume no one could survive in yet the pygmies have living their lives for thousands of years and with great success in such environment. It is too bad we do not give these people enough credit for their way of living. As the author wrote "They are easy to cheat," a roadside merchant says of the Pygmies along the way. "Like children." This is sad and upsets me in that we are not caring enough about these people until it is too late. It is the pygmies that rule the forest and we should try to protect them before they are wiped out forever. END

 

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

Who Rules the Forest?

 

Change - The article is written in a very interesting and vivid style. I like how Salopek contrasts the beginning, the hunter, the image that's more than a thousand years old, to the new image of the Mbuti. This is one of depravation and exploitation, as one of the roadside merchants says that they are like children and easy to cheat. I thought it was interesting that he points out that independence for the Mbuti is just turning out to mean the freedom for them to lose everything. This is the kind of situation where a governing body really needs to step in and protect the rights of these people, as they become forcefully integrated into the world economy.

END

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

Who Rules the Forest

Social change: The Mbuti used to have a trade system with local farmers, although recently they seem to give more than they get. Without any actual land rights, gold, timber and wild animal meat is removed from their forest on a daily basis. The Pgymies have to deal with poachers and loggers who threaten their nomadic way of life. They are trapped in a devastating civil war while they watch the deforestation of a land known to them for centuries. As Paul Salopek concludes, the future of the Pygmies, the rainforest, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other war-stricken African countries truly is unknown.

-END-

 

 

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

Who Rules the Forest? – I’d never heard of the Mbuti culture prior to this class, which is only odd because I had at least heard of all of the other cultures discussed in class. Thinking about what it would be like to live in the rainforest isn’t difficult for me because we went to a part of the rainforest while in Mexico over spring break last year. Although the Mexican rainforest differs greatly from forests in the Congo, it is understandable to think of how the Mbuti have adapted to their environment, much like the !Kung adapting to live in the Kalahari.

 

 

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07

 

The Mbuti does not get along with the farmers but they still traded in order to get what they needed. Since they are a band with egalitarian ways of thinking they have no conept of land ownership which puts them in a very unconfortable spot. They are vulerable to people who have "land rights" who can just go there and chop down trees and take other resources. What is worse is that they have to deal with war and death.

 

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

 

Who Rules the Forest?

 

ENVIRONMENT: Paul Salopek contrasts stereotypical perceptions of living under the tropical cannopy with descriptions of its actual bright and lively appearance. He writes: "It glows with the light of some alien order—a light so improbable it has a dreamed quality, the way colors in dreams can possess actual weight, or create sound, or stop time." This magical brilliance is enhanced by the rainfall which Salopek describes as a metallic gleam. He emphasizes the forcefulness of the sun through the trees and the luscious greenery that envelops the surroundings.

~END.

 

 

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

Who Rules the Forest?

Environment:

I thought that the initial description of the Mbuti’s environment was very interesting. The detailed description of their different view of colors and the beauty of the forest itself, which is best viewed through the eyes of a Mbuti. This description affected me because it is such a peaceful and genuine view of their environment; this is in comparison to the rest of the world’s view of their environment. Six neighboring countries, along with both European and North American powers are all interested in this environment, but not for any of the beauty or peace that the Mbuti see. The external forces want resources: diamonds, gold, et cetera. I found this really interesting because it made me really think about what is environmentally important and what is of real value to humans.

END

 

 

[Geni Beninati, gb3@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Who Rules the Forest?

 

After doing the research for the powerpoint on the Mbuti, and hearing this perspective, I am terrified for the Mbuti and them being able to continue their way of life. The forest is the world to the Mbuti and after the incredible deforestion and genocide, the Mbuti culture is not likely to be preserved.

 

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

Who Rules the Forest

Social Change: This article, though it highly romanticizes the jungles of Africa an the lifestyle of the pygmies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, provides insight into the current situation of conflict in the Mbuti homeland. The political turmoil that has left the Democratic Republic of Congo one of the poorest nations in Africa, has also greatly hurt the pygmy populations. Because of the violence around them, the lifestyle of the pygmies is changing. They are being forced to turn to new means of producing food and many are even beginning to make money and buy food for themselves, instead of finding or hunting it in the forest.

 

 

Student Powerpoint, Mbuti

 

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

 

The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN to Prosecute Government

 

 

 

Politics :Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/16/07

I think it sad and horrorfying to see these poor peaceful people are being killed in the cross fire between these two groups and they are not part of the war. Why would these war criminals take their hearts and lungs out it is disgusting maybe because of ethnic differences. The forest has turned in two a battle zone and the forest always mystifies me in the sense that their are some parts of the forest where sunlight hasn't hit for centuries

 

 

Type your comments here . . .

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-4-07]

The Peaceful Mbutui People... (again, that link is the first one.)

1. Social Change: It was eye-opening to read about the war in the Congo (like Darfur, one probably few people know about). A friend of mine is a refugee from the Congo, but I still did not know much about this conflict.

2. Environment: The war is (at least partly) about the resources available in the Ituri region where the Mbuti live--diamonds, gold and oil. Because of their environmental resources, they are getting stuck in the middle.

3. Change: The Mbuti are a very peaceful people and probably, before the arrival of modern civilization outside their area, were never really involved in major conflicts. Now, however, they are being killed just for being there.

END

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-8-07]

 

1.) The violence between the Lendu and Hema is incredibly brutal, with decapitations, disembowelings and removal of vital organs. It is a shame that the peace Mbuti have to endure this violence as well.

 

2.) The article did not explain why the Lendu and Hema were fighting in the first place. Was it over resources? Would the powerful corporations occupying these lands be able to intervene in any way?

 

3.) The article states that the factions are backed by Uganda and Rwanda. It does not state who backs whom, or why, or really anything. This is most definitely not a scholarly article, nor is it even informative enough for the general public, in my opinion.

 

End

 

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

 

1. It is always both heartbreaking and eye-opening to read about the different genocides and mass violence going on in the world. We don't realize how much goes on throughout the world that right under our noses. It is really sad and unfortunate that so many innocent people (in this case mbuti people) are killed for no reason, but to take revenge on the area. This is similar to the Darfur region where innocent civilians including children, are targeted and killed for no apparent reason.

 

2. From articles like these, we realize the importance of international support. When people sit back and do nothing about what is going on in the world, especially politicians, those initiating the violence gain support to continue. It is essential that other countries show their support and that all people do what they can to aid the innocent victims in these situations.

 

3. It is really a shame that countries feel the need to go to war and resort to violence over econimic issues such as natural resources. The world would be a much safer and more peaceful place is countries would just compromise or be content with the recourses they are given. Different countries and groups are always trying to gain power over others which only leads to violence and tragedies like this one.

 

END.

The Peaful Mbuti People...

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/19]

 

Change: It is sickening to read articles like these and see how people can be so ruthless as to decapitate children and innocent lives just for resources and land. How is that we, as the powerful United States are not able to create groups and orgnaizations that aid people like the Mbuti? We are able to see how the Mbuti people of the forest are forced to live OUTSIDE of their forest 'mother' and change with their surroundings.

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/22/07]

“The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN….”

Environment: Why does it always seem like the most resource-rich areas of the world are always the most unstable? Africa and the former USSR…if only they could get their things together they could be wealthy nations. Its too bad there’s just been years and years of infighting. The amount of oil and gold in the region alone is enough to attract attention from international corporations. This article also showed that the Mbuti really do have their own voice and know that they need to be rescued along with the beautiful forest that they live in.

 

END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)

 

"The Peaceful Mbuti"

 

Change- Articles such as these are difficult to swallow, but are critical in our understanding of the suffering of societies around the world. In this case, the Mbuti are being victimized at an disgusting rate. Nothing is being done to prevent their complete mistreatment, all the while their land is being stolen from them as well as many lives along with it. Still, the once peacefully untouched Mbuti, have attempted to adapt to the ever changing world around them. It's hard to believe that we, as a nation, have so much freedom, which is frequently taken for granted; while these innocent, harmless people are being exploited and used. One of the worst parts concering this whole scenerio is that the Mbuti can do nothing to prevent this. Their only choice is to adapt their former living styles to accomodate their new, unwelcomed environment and atmosphere. Just as the situation in Sudan, this doesn't have to occur to this once amazing society of the forest and should immediately be ceased.

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/26]

 

“The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN to Prosecute Government and Rebel Fighters as Civil War Rages in the Congo”

 

ENVIRONMENT/SOCIAL CHANGE/IDEOLOGY: Civil war rages in the Congo, where Mbuti “children of the forest” are forced to fight against those who wish to exploit their source of life and provider of the goodness in which they so sincerely believe: The forest. Its resources have become increasingly popular among industrialized nations, but this demand is spiritually artificial. Sinafasi Makelo, the noted representative from the Mbuti people, is on the board of directors for “Land is Life” – a title that epitomizes the simple ideology with which they conduct their everyday existences. Coping with neighboring pressures, invasions, and resource abuse has resulted in violence, starvation, and disease running rampant in this previously harmonious society, simply for continuing to occupy their ancestral homeland. Their spiritual force must somehow be reconciled amidst this competition and conflict.

END

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/1]

 

The Peaceful Mbutui People...

 

Politics: It is really awful how traditional, peaceful cultures get caught in the crossfire so many times, especially in unstable countries. Not only are these people’s lands being encroached upon and their food and resources stolen from under their noses, but they are also getting killed for getting in the way or for the hell of it so that someone can make an example of them. It’s awful!

 

END

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

The Peaceful Mbuti People

SOCIAL CHANGE: According to this article, there has been a report on about 200 people killed on the streets in Bunia. These people were not just killed but also decapitated and removed of their organs. This gruesome way of killing has created an enormous change for the people in the Ituri region of the Congo. This civil war now only includes not only the rivals, but also different countries trying to help the people. In addition, there has been a rising interest in the resources of Ituri, such as oil. This new interest has also caused a drastic in their lives.

 

END

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/9]

The Peaceful Mbuti

It’s obvious that there is so much going on in the world that it’s hard to keep track of everything. I don’t understand how genocides and other terrible issues aren’t reported about on a daily basis. Our culture is able to keep track of and know what Britney Spears does from night to night, but I can grantee that a majority of Americans don’t know about any of this.

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/9

 

People engage in conflict. It is as simple as that. What is horrible about it though, is that individuals who arent involved in the conflict sometimes get caught in the middle of it. And when people are caught in the middle of a terrible conflict, they are also caught unaware. It is when they are caught unaware that they are subject to unmitigated crime and hostility including murder, theft, slavery, and rape. The native people of the Ituri region of the Congo are also being killed or taken away because of the abundant natural resources their region of the world has. How lucky we are in New York not to be burdened with problems like these. It makes me mad that anthropology seeks to study those cultures it finds interesting but cant even help people in need.

 

Kaitlyn northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12

 

Peaceful Mbuti People

 

I thought the article was a good one to read, but none the less i dont think that it is going to get people to be more willing and ready to help out with stopping everything that is happening. There are not enough people in the world who think that they can actually make a difference, but there are millions who think that someone else will. To actually help, the news reports need to not only explain what is going on but show people that one person can actually make a difference, and prove to them that they can help. When this happens, I think that something will actually change in places such as the Congo and Darfur, but until then, efforts are going to be made but the genocide is going to continue.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN to Prosecute Government and Rebel Fighters as Civil War Rages in the Congo

Politics: The Mbuti people are peaceful, yet violence in the Ituri region between the Lendu and Herna factions led to the deaths of many in the group. Interest in Ituri gold and oil also brought outside countries’ influence in, including that of the United States.

END.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN to Prosecute Government and Rebel Fighters as Civil War Rages in the Congo

Change: I think it's really sad that the Mbuti, an innocent tribe, is being included in this conflict that has nothing to do with them. All they want to do is live, but greediness and power-hungriness make it impossible.

 

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

Peaceful Mbuti

Politics - I thought it was interesting that Bush Sr. came up in the article. It kind of serves to bring the issue closer to home. Its incredibly how many people are dying over this political struggle for resources. The beginning was very striking about the bodies in the streets, some of which were decapitated and some of which were missing organs. I can't imagine living in a place where that would be a normal thing to see.

 

END

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

“The Peaceful Mbuti People..."

The Mbuti people along with hundreds of thousands of other people in the Congo have died due to political agendas. Surrounding African countries like Uganda and Rwanda have troops in the country to supposedly help the people and control violence. Instead, according to this article, they have been taking advantage of the civil war to steal Congo’s gold, diamonds and silver. An organization for the Protection of the Rights of Minorities in Central Africa has asked the United Nations to provide a peacekeeper force to actually help the Mbuti people who are trapped in the middle of warring factions. As the United States, its allies, and the United Nations, seem to concentrate on other countries, the displacement and death of millions of people in Congo, as well as Uganda and Sudan seem to go unnoticed. Doesn’t this seem wrong to the people running powerful countries and organizations around the world?

-END-

 

 

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

The Peaceful Mbuti – Genocide and violence so close to the peaceful Mbuti culture makes me wonder just how often they are caught in the crossfire. It is a shame that conflict arises over trivial things like natural resources like oil because there are so many cultures that have no use for them and most of the profit goes to cultures like our own with no care for the peaceful cultures that are literally caught in the middle of conflict.

 

 

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

 

The Peaceful Mbuti

 

I was appalled to read about the genocide occuring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to learn that the U.N. has not already taken action to save these innocent lives. My best friend in high school came to America from the DRC when she was twelve to escape the terrible conditions of the civil war. She never went into great detail about her life before I met her, so I was heartbroken when I realized all that she had to suffer and endure during her youth.

~END.

 

 

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

The Peaceful Mbuti

 

Politics:

This civil war’s international support is mind-blowing. As I read that six African nations were involved I wondered what their agenda and reasoning for being involved was. When I first saw that the British were asked to send UN peacekeepers I was surprised to later see that there was also a British corporation within the country. I think that some of the motives behind politics can be disheartening because their almost always seems to be some kind of agenda behind politically driven “assistance”, that does not always take the human element into account.

END

 

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

Peaceful Mbuti Pygmies

Environment-The pygmies of the Democratic Republic of Congo are victims of the resource curse that plagues Africa. Everywhere that high value resources such as oil, hardwood, diamonds, etc. are found, violence breaks out. This is for a number of reasons including that these goods are often used to fund the violence. Also, these goods provide incentive for political power, because if you control the country then you control these resources.

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/17]

 

The Peaceful Mbuti People Call on the UN to Prosecute Government

 

1.)    Environment: Not many realize the war that is going on in the Congo because there are other things that reporters find more interesting. The war at one point involved six African nations, all wanting a small part of the Congo because of its rich minerals and natural resources. The Ituri region is where these resources are located at and it is where the Mbuti reside. Because of their location they have been in the middle of this war.

2.)    Social Change: This article stated that from 1998 to 2000 there has been an estimated 3 million people that have perished from war, starvation and disease in the country, which I find this very sad and heart-aching that we humans are capable of such destruction. The article goes on talking about how the organs of these dead bodies were often times removed and many were even beheaded. With the war involving other countries for the resources, the lives of the Mbuti has changed because they are found in the middle of the war in the region of Ituri. -END-

 

 

Ruby, Chapters 7 & 8

 

Type your comments here . . .

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-6-07]

Ruby Chapter 7

1. Ideology: the information about gender, age, ethnicity and other factors in an ethnographic film audience is invaluable information, because you have to know your audience and the context your film will be shown in. On the other hand, if you are just trying to display the culture as it is, purely ethnographically, it shouldn't matter who your audience is because you are just giving information.

2. Ideology/Symbolism: Dell Hymes' ethnography of communiation: all pictures are "culturally coded communicative events designed to function in a particular context" (p 185). I had heard about this in a linguistic context, but never really thought about it for film. It's true though, which is another reason knowing your audience could be important; if you are trying to send a message.

3. Social change?: ethnographic television has never really taken off as a specialized genre with a real true audience, even thoguh television has quickly become the biggest media source today.

 

Ruby Chapter 8

1. Social Change: film subjects are now demanding more control over how they are represented; we need to change how films are produced to cater to that legitimate desire.

2. Social Change: Ruby says that ethnographic filmmakers who are more mainstream are making films with less conviction and impact (p 200). I'm not convinced; today's technology allows for subtle effects such as lighting and music to make greater impact emotionally. Later he mentions the Eyes on the Prize documentary films, which definitely have conviction.

3. Social change: cinema verite (participatory style) rejects the "voice of God" but uses "expert witness" voiceovers instead...that's not much better.

END

 

Ruby Ch. 7: The Viewer Viewed

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/11]

 

Politics: Although the intentions of the filmmaker are important in ethnography, it is the individuals who view the film that determine the ultimate meaning. The conditions underwhich the viewers view the film and the subjects themselves that play the largest role in the ultimate meaning or "theme" of the art work.

 

Ruby Ch. 8: Speakers for, Speakers about, Speakers with, or Speakers along

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo, edu, 11/11]

 

Ideology: This chapter talks about the relationship between the filmmaker and the subjects themselves. The best example of reviewing how well a film protrayed the lives of the culture studied is Flaherty's Nanook of the North Revisted. Flaherty aspired to replicate the subjects' view of the world (native's point of view) by getting feedback from them directly. This allowed the subjects to have a say in the construction of the image.

END

 

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

 

1.) IDEOLOGY: Although the producer of a film can go to unlimited lengths to put out a product that says what he wants to say, by way of shot choice, editing, music, etc. in the end the message communicated is really dependant on the viewer. The environment in which the product is consumed, and the viewer's personal bias and knowledge base all effect what he takes away from a film.

 

2.) IDEOLOGY: Postmodernist attitudes have expressed the desire to have audiences made fully aware that the anthropological knowledge they are beng informed of has been constructed and is tentative. With this knowledge, viewers may feel less alienated from the source material and overcome their ethnocentric tendencies.

 

3.) IDEOLOGY: Ruby describes two basic types of ethnographic filmmakers: The Vertovian/Griersonians, who aspire to present THEIR vision to audiences, generally viewing their subjects as "raw material" to be transformed on film, and the Flahertys, who immerse themselves in the lives of their subjects, and actually may use them in the production of a film. Vertovian/Griersonians have usually outnumbered Flahertys.

 

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

 

Ruby Ch. 7

 

1. On page 182 Ruby states that "it has only been in the last 30 years...that the role of the reader/viewer was even considered worth investigating." He then goes on to explain that some people didn't view the readers interpretation and understanding as important to the work. Thats interesting considering that it is the reader/viewer that the author/film is often intended for. If the reader or viewer doesn't understad what is going on then the message doesnt get across so it is very important that the audience's role be taken into consideration as part of the process. Unfortunately, viewers tend to construct their own definitions of what they are reading or seing which makes it even harder for the ethnographer to get his message across correctly.

 

2. Ruby's explanation of the differences of students viewing a film in class and at home is really interesting as well. If we were to simply watch the cultural films we have watched in class at home it is doubtful that we would have been prompted to ask ourselves the same questions we do when we are led to think in a certain direction in class. We would still be able to appreciate the film and formulate thoughts and opinions, but we would miss out on the types of educational and though-provoking conversations we get in the classroom.

 

Ruby Ch 8

 

1. Ruby brings up the fact that there has been an ongoing conflict regarded ethnographers intentions when filming the "private acts of the pathological, the socially disadvantaged, the politically disenfranchised, and the economically oppressed" (198-199). While many filmmakers claim that they are filming in order to gain recognition of the problems these people are facing, many are not convinced that all filmmakers are so noble. Unfortunately it is also possible that these people see the disadvantages of these people as a means to put out an emotional film to grab audiences and increase his/her wealth. It is sad to realize that more often than not, these films do little to stir political action. This brings up the idea that maybe it is more beneficial to actually do something yourself instead of making a movie in efforts to stir others to act.

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

 

Ruby Chapter 7

IDEOLOGY: Ruby discusses the importance of the audience’s construction of meaning. The response of the audience should be studied to better an ethnographic film. Specifically, there are different responses to different films, such as, films viewed as television, and films in the educational sense. Ruby also discusses that anthropology of visual communication model seems to be the most resourceful for the study of culture and communication.

 

Ruby Chapter 8

IDEOLOGY: In this chapter, Ruby discusses how “questions of voice, authority, and authorship,” have become a serious concern for all cultural anthropologists. Ruby points out the relationship between ethnographic and documentary filmmakers and the people they film. Ruby states that from the anthropological perspective, there is the possibility of perceiving the world from the viewpoint of people who lead lives that are different from those who lead the imaging world.

 

END

 

 

 

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

Ruby, Chapters 7 & 8

Politics: Before you begin to film, you have to thoroughly think about what your audiences expect from you and how you can please them to get some kind of recognition. It is sad that an ethnographic film can’t represent everything since the ethnographer has to pick and choose to show the interesting parts of his/her film.

Ideology: It is important to capture the film in a way that makes the audience think and question the film in different ways. It keeps the audience interested and thinking throughout the whole film.

Ideology: As it is mentioned, film makers capture the core problems of many cultures to draw attention and find ways to help them. I think this is amazing and I’m sure many anthropologists do this to help the people, but at the same time, many anthropologists may be doing it for the fame.

 

 

End

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/21/07]

Ruby: Chapters 7 &8

Chapter 7

Change: I definitely feel that many of the films I have seen in anthropology courses at Geneseo have made me more aware of my ethnocentrism and I agree with Ruby that this is generally the context we see many of these films in. I think however that some films would be more effective if the audience were allowed to view them first before the professor discusses them so that they have an unbiased opinion for viewing. Then afterwards they can decide how they feel when the professor discusses things (regarding pages 188-191).

Chapter 8

We certainly hope that we can change the world with film, although as Ruby states on page 199 the real power is someone with a gun. Although this may be true, many people at least hope that they can change the world with film. I can’t imagine Al Gore picking up a machine gun and forcing policies to curb global warming on America. Maybe because all the SUV drivers would simply get machine guns to fight back.

END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)

 

Ruby - Chapter 7 & 8

 

Chapter 7

-Ruby's discussion of the viewer's opinion was very intriguing. He states that it has only been in the last 30 years that the film viewer was in mind when creating the ethnographic piece. It was odd to hear, considering that the film was most likely produced to benefit the public by increasing their knowledge concering a certain aspect of the film study. The viewer is essential for the film to become a success, so it is justifiable to consider them while making an ethnographic piece (among other aspects).

 

Chapter 8

-I disagree with Ruby's statement that the individual with the "real" power is someone with a gun. I don't believe that someone should be viewed as powerful for having weapon, but rather a weak person wielding a tool of intimidation. I wouldn't say that a police officer is powerful, instead I would characterize him/her as a form of intimidation authority. A soldier is not an intrisicly powerful creature, however, they do have the "power" to snatch the life out of someone. Is this really power? I would say it is instead if any credit to "power" must be given it should be to the gun itself. The idea of "power" being in the hands of those with weapons is why we fight to resolve issues. The real power is the ability to pacifistically and freely alter peoples' perceptions and preconceived notions without laying a hand on them; through influencing them with the power of your mind and intellectual actions. Film does have the power to change people, and there are too many examples of this to even go into. Cultures are constantly acknowledging film as a way of opening the eyes of the "blind"

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/1]

 

Ruby 7 & 8

 

 

 

 

Ideology: I find it interesting that anthropologists, so keen on studying people, still have not taken the time to study their audience to make sure that their work is understood correctly (Ruby 181). Indeed, their subjects are probably more interesting, but still, it is equally important to study the audience that will be viewing the material. After all, anthropologists do not want to give the audience the wrong idea about their beloved subjects nor can they afford to have the film be a flop because of misunderstanding or poor workmanship. They would never get funding again. Furthermore, the quote from chapter 8 from The Passenger is really, really profound (Ruby 196). If you think about it, we often phrase questions based on our own understanding and our own viewpoint, which often does not reflect that of the interviewed subject. In fact, these questions even force our own views on someone else because the interviewed are suddenly forced to think in a way that he/she is not used to thinking in and which could cause him/her to misrepresent their culture as a result.

 

 

END

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/9]

Ruby Chapter 7

The relationship between the viewer and the film were initially author and text dominated studied. However, the last thirty years the role of the viewer has been investigated. The scholarly opinion about the importance of the viewer has changed from seeing them as passive recipients to being responsible for the construction of the films meaning. Until the 1990’s studies have been constructed b an inadequate model of cultural experience and by the power of the media.

 

Ruby Chapter 8

Many image-makers maintain a conservative position to satisfy their funders. In earlier times documentaries/ethnographies were understood as fact even though the people were mainly portrayed as incapable of speaking for themselves. This was due to the authority of the western male, which was caused by the end of the colonial era among people subjugated by capitalist and socialist empires. However, cultural identity is not eternally fixed but has to be checked regularly.

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/9

Ruby 7 and 8

 

As with many other of the students that posted before me, i was also intrigued by the relationship the viewer has to the meaning of the film and the films acceptance as ethnographic material. One's interpretation of the film, and therefore it is the film's viewer, is the one who determines the meaning of the film ultimately. What we say about a film that we watch to those who havent seen the film is what those people will come to remember or understand.

 

This is in response to cameron's post about weaponry and power. Weapons as power are a false notion. It is when somone can mentally alter or change your opinion through a passive relaying of information, that they wield the most power. Ethnographic films are the perfect medium to connect with people and be powerful, but the people in charge of their creation cannot be after money or fame, as most film makers are.

 

 

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/08]

 

 

Chapter Seven: The Viewer Viewed: the Reception of Ethnographic Films

I actually found chapter seven interesting to read about from the importance of the audience and the studies conducted on mass media to the symbolic strategies and cultural receptions. I honestly never knew that it has been only in these last 30 years that the reception theories have become rather popular; that is that the role of the reader and viewer is finally being considered a worthy investigation (Ruby 2000:182). This to me is shocking because I thought when a film was made or a book was written it was written or developed in a way that a positive outcome will come out from its audience. In addition to this, I didn’t even know that most studies hypothesize audiences in one of three contradictory ways: as either an undifferentiated mass, as discrete psychological entities, or as oppressed communities who create or should create oppositional readings of texts in their struggle for empowerment. The mass media talk in this chapter was too interesting and how it is today a new marked beginning for anthropology field as a whole.

Chapter Eight: Speaking for, Speaking about, Speaking with, Speaking Alongside

I agree when Ruby said “Questions of voice, authority and authorship have become a serious concern for all cultural anthropologists. Who can represent someone else, with what intention, in what ‘language,’ and in what environment is a conundrum that characterizes the postmodern era” (Ruby 2000:196). I strongly believe these questions are indeed hard to address because we fully will never understand ones way of life unless we grew up in that same environment under the same believes and norms. END

 

 

Kaitlyn northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

Ruby 7/8

 

7- This chapter discusses the importance of an audience in terms of an enthnographic film. Not only is it important for the filmmaker to understand the age, sex, and general status of the audience he is trying to gain with his film, but he needs to be able to know how in depth he can go before the audience loses the meaning of the film. Audience is probably one of the most important parts of the filmmaking process because they are the ones who make or break the film in the end, so it is important to understand them and make the film so they will be interested and understand it as well if the film is to be a success.

 

8- This chapter has some focus on the effects of technological change on the film itself. Ethnographic film is supposed to be representative of the native people without any kind of bias or change made to it. In the past this might have been possible because the film making process was much less complex, but now there are many steps of editing, cutting, etc that must be gone through before the film is complete. These things all change the film in one way or another and put some sort of a bias on the work. Any little change can make something have more or less effect than it is intended to have and this changes the perception of the audience and their overall view of the work.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Ruby Ch. 7

Ideology: Ruby (2000: 192-193) brings up the issue of tension between the goals of anthropologists and goals of producers. Anthropologists want to make people aware of their ethnocentrism, but producers offer programs that make cultural differences entertaining. Ruby says that ethnographic film or television should go beyond mere description.

 

Ruby Ch. 8

Methodology: Ruby (2000: 219) describes the difficulty in choosing a method of opening up ethnography to give the subjects some say in how they are portrayed. He shows two methods, anthropologist as facilitator and analyst of indigenous production, or as a collaborator. The result in the future may be that ethnographic filmmakers will have to learn to speak with or alongside the subjects of the film.

END.

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/14/07]

 

 

Ruby Chapter 7

Ideology: This chapter is tied to the contextual issue found in chapter five. The producers “take it for granted that viewers share their competencies and assumptions and that the picture will therefore have its intended impacts” (185). The producers also do not get an adequate feedback from the viewers and it creates this perpetual cycle where the producer does not truly know if the audience understood the pictures or film in its intended preferred cultural context.

Ruby, Chapter 8

Ideology:This chapter addresses the issue of whether or not "it is in everyone's best interest to have films made by professionals" (198). This is using professional in the context of having the " technical and aesthetic skills and knowledge necessary to make a 'good film'" (198). I think that a better question that should be asked is, what is the film truly being made for? The original justification for leaving it to the "professionals" was because the film fell into the category of being similar to an "investigation" (199). As more of these films have been made, the morality of exploiting people for the sake of film has been called into question. This chapter talks about certain people's lives being negatively affected because of the films that were made. More consideration needs to be placed on not harming the people for the sake of the audience.

END

 

[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 12/15]

Ruby 7/8

 

Chapter 7

Ideology - We really have to consider whether or not anthropology and ethnographic films is suitable for television. Educational TV seems to have been a brief blip in the history of television production, and now that we've passed out of the age of game shows and into the age of reality TV, it doesn't seem like educational programming will be making a comeback any time soon. A lot of people just watch TV when they want something mindless to do. Should we really be producing ethnicly sensitive material in a medium like this?

 

Chapter 8

Ideology - I think it would be really interesting to see a an indigenously produced ethnographic film. Its really a gray area, and seems like something that would be very hard to do. You certainly wouldn't be able to make sure that the film was entertaining or really even substantive without influencing the filmmaker too much. Its the same idea as handing the camera to the children and telling them to shoot anything with it; you'll really be surprised with what you get. At the same time, there's no telling what sort of value could come from something like this.

 

 

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

Ruby (Chapters 7 & 8) – Of all the readings we’ve done this semester, I find the Ruby text to be the least interesting. I would much rather focus on specific cultures rather than how people want to be represented in film. I feel that the subjects shouldn’t have a say in how they are portrayed, but that the best ethnographic film work would consist of setting hidden cameras in a culture and recording their daily practices without interfering or letting them know what is going on. Everyone acts differently when they’re in front of a camera, especially if other people are going to see the video or pictures. However, since that is not really an option, it would be better to simply give them the camera and tell them to film what is important to them. That way we would know how they view their own culture rather than how we view it. We did this in Mexico by giving disposable cameras to the kids and comparing their pictures to the ones we took ourselves.

 

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

 

Ruby: Chapters 7 & 8

 

Chapter Seven: Ruby emphasizes the need to understand the audience's cultural perceptions in order to convey anthropological knowledge to the masses. He discusses the idea of "symbolic strategies" through which film producers can determine was images will spark a specific response in their viewers. I think that Ruby makes a very interesting point in that we often focus too much on accurately portraying a culture, but forget that we are displaying our knowledge in the contexts of another, vastly different culture. Incorporating an acknowledgement of both the subject and viewer, anthropologists can be successful in accurately depicting different cultures.

 

Chapter Eight: In this chapter, Ruby discusses the idea of authority with respect to recording and manipulating cultural images. This dilemma offers no clear-cut solution: what gives us the clout to be the sole owners of another culture? Anthropologists take on the responsibility of both preserving and empowering cultures when they endeavor to study and offer observations of such cultures.

~END.

 

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

Ruby Chapters 7 and 8

Social Change-The idea that the purpose of anthropologists is to alter the way people think about themselves compared to other cultures is fascinating. Anthropologists truly do attempt to make people think about things differently and from different world-views. This changes people’s social perceptions, something that is difficult unless you understand how people think and how best to change that.

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu,  12/17]

Ruby Chapter 7

Methodology/Social Change: Viewers play a very important role in the creation of ethnographic film.  They are the ones who will attempt to understand the culture that is unknown to them.  The problem this produces in the two opposite views other “third” and “fourth” world people.  They are either in a stressless “paradise” being destroyed by the West or are barbaric creatures in need of rescue from the West and its ways. Either way, the responsibility of breaking these old-fashioned views of “exotic people” is on the anthropologists and especially those creating ethnographic film (Ruby 185-187).  The basis of anthropology, cultural relativism must be spread to others within our own cultures before we can expect to see changes in the way our societies views others.   

-END-

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu,  12/17]

Ruby Chapter 8

Politics:  In a sense, giving the subjects of film the ability to control the way events are shot is a way of giving them back power and control over their actual lives.  Instead of having a foreigner dictate how another culture’s ceremony will be portrayed or story will be shown, they can shape the way it will come off in the film.  Voice-overs and formal interviews put one culture’s life into another culture’s context.  As Ruby, Hockings and many other writers on the subject of ethnographic film have stated, the best films will be those that include the co-direction of the actual subjects.  I do however disagree with Ruby when he states that movies like Eyes on the Prize, which consists solely of speakers of the civil rights movement and no historians or experts, are going too far.  I would rather hear about an event from a person who lived it than from a historian who read it and supposedly “studied it.”  If anthropologists are all about participant observation, wouldn’t the best resource of information be from someone who was there rather than someone trying to analyze it and add their own biases and opinions?

-END-

 

 

 

The Forest People

 

 

Type your comments here . . .

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-5-07]

The Forest People

1. Kinship/Marriage: After a boy chooses a girl to be his wife, he must find a female relative to give back to his bride's family, to marry one of their sons. This is a pretty tough thing to do, so I imagine it takes a while to really get married!

2. Ideology/Symbolism: I thought the dance of the honeybees (p 276-277) was very interesting. The men and women each have different roles in the dance, it seems like a lot of fun, and it serves a purpose, to send their song with smoke from the fire to call the bees to make more honey.

3. Politics: It is unique that there is little specialization for men, women or children. As Turnbull says, "there was a confusing, sedutive informality about everything they did" (p 110). Everyone took part in all the activities to some extent, though there was a small bit of specialization.

END

 

The Forest Poeple

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@genesoe.edu, 11/10]

 

KINDSHIP: The term kin and its usage is arbitrary within the Mbuti people. These terms are applied to all members of the band regardless of actual biological or known relationship. Thus the band consists of a metaphorical representation of relationships between and among member of the nuclear family on the one hand and of the Mbuti collectively as a unit in relations to the Forest on the other.

END

 

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

 

1.) In doing my scholarly research for books on the Mbuti, I noted that a great deal of literature had been written on them by Turnbull. In fact, there had even been a book written on him and his interactions with the Mbuti. Judging from this and even just the introduction of the book it is easy to tell that Turnbull had a great love for these people.

 

2.) IDEOLOGY: The Mbuti reacted to death differently than other African peoples. In some villages there was a fear, a fear of sorcery and of a power of evil that had been unleashed. With these people, it was the recognition of a loss that could never be made up for.

 

3.) ENVIRONMENT: In the book's illustration section, a man is shown using a bow as a musical instrument. He seems to be using it in a fashion very similar to the way the !Kung used it. Was there ever contact between the cultures of the forest and the bush? How did this instrument diffuse between the two cultures?

 

End

 

The Forest Poeple

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 11/14]

 

Environment: What I noticed from this reading was the environment that the Mbuti inhabited. I found it interesting how the dense foliage of the rainforest in which the Mbuti dwelled prevented them from seeing far distances. An example of this is seen when an Mbuti was first exposed to the open plains, he remarked on the “insects” in the distance which, in actuality were buffalo (pg 252-253). The Mbuti cannot conceive anything so big ever appearing that small. The Mbuti were perfectly built and adapted to the forest but found great biological adversity in the open sun. Adding on, what was also interesting was how the prolonged exposure to the hot African sun would cause them to die. This occurred when the Mbuti would work in the cleared areas of the Villagers. -END-

 

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

 

The Forest People

 

The chapter on the Molimo was really informative not just about this celebration and its history, but of the kinship and role of the women as well. It was nice to be able to put a picture to the overview of the molimo we heard in class from the student presenters. The book went into great detail on the events of the molimo from the dances to the history where the women were the owners to the reenactment. The elima was also mentioned as well as the general role of women which was surprisingly great. I was impressed by the fact that these early tribal men were not ashamed to wash and clean a baby and allow women to take part in political conversations. There was also mention of punishment by spanking of the children which we havent really covered in any other tribe. This book has been recommended by various sources and it is clear why when seeing the depth of great information that is within its pages.

 

END.

 

 

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

The Forest

 

    • People

Kinship: Everyone is tied together. I think this is interesting because it helps tie the whole community together in a family bond way and gives a way for the people to all help and take care of each other.

Environment: It was interesting how such people can survive in a forest and how they know every inch of their environment. It must be amazing living in a forest and making a living with your culture basically being your only ruler.

Politics: It was nice during their practices, everything was divided among both of the sexes even though some people were still treated differently than others (exists in every culture).

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/24]

 

The Forest People

 

IDEOLOGY: Pygmy philosophy revolves quite simply around basic trust they have in the forest as a provider and spirit of both life and death. Their most powerful way of expressing this truth is through musical illustration, most profoundly represented in their release of the dead. When someone first dies, there is a wailing and moaning procession, sometimes even including uncontrollable howls. The author’s first experience with the molimo was at night, while many were still sobbing but some had started to sing. Soon, their song was echoed from deep in the trees, a “wistful sound, hollow and ghostly,” (45) which was coming closer and closer to the Pygmy camp. As it descended upon the people, a gentler, somewhat sad sound protruded from what appeared to be a long tube of bamboo, somewhat resembling a trumpet. It became quite eerie as it was waved over the fire amidst dancing bodies. The songs were increasing in volume and becoming more intense, until the two men with the molimo dashed off into the forest again, leaving behind merely a faint echo. According to Pygmy beliefs, this instrument had to be given food to eat, water to drink, and fire to keep warm.

-END-

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/22/07]

The Forest People

Ideology: Once again we see the dichotomy of the Mbuti’s attitude towards the Molimo. The attitude of pure reverence juxtaposed against the funny attitude they have towards knowing that their beliefs are pretend (144-145). We also again see how they are so at home in the rainforest compared to an outsider. I know personally that if I was lost in the African jungle I would be terrified of all the fates that could befall me. They however believe that the forest is inherently good and are not afraid of it.

 

END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)

 

"The Forest People" by Colin Turnbull

 

- This book had to be one of the more interesting pieces of non-fiction that I've read in quite a long time. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Kenge and Turnbull. It somewhat acted as the an area of comic relief (although the hilarious Mbuti need little comic relief aside from their everyday interactions) in the tale of an amazing culture in their native forest. The Mbuti have such a diverse culture and society that I couldn't help but be intrigued by all that I was learning about them.

The molimo was interesting, and a large portion of their culture; however, I found the social construct and interactions infinitely more engaging. It was hard for me to relate to the molimo while reading the story. I some what relied upon some outside research to provide full understanding and grasping of the tradition. After reading the whole book though, it became full circle and drew their entire culture into one entitiy.

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

The Forest People

 

Ideology: It is intriguing how so many cultures through the years (even to the time of Aristotle) have believed that the Pygmies were only a myth (Turnbull 16). Only those cultures living right near them actually knew for certain that they were real while further away civilizations thought of them more as a story. It is hard to tell exactly how much people believed that the Pygmies were mythical, but it makes me wonder what is so fantastical about them that makes them seem to defy reality.

 

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneso.edu 12/2/07

 

I think this book is an exceptional ethnographic piece of writing because we become aware that the Mbuti do not fear the place they live. The Mbuti are perfecty fine entering the dark of their forest even when others will not.“The forest is our home; when we leave the forest, or when the forest dies, we shall die. We are the people of the forest.” page 260. They are like many other people who are hunter-gatherers. They see essential unity between themselves and their environments. The realization that they will die when the forest does is much like the aborigines contention that they are bound by flesh relationships to totems in their environments.

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

 

The Forest People

 

KINSHIP: According to Turnbull, the world of the forest is very inclusive and closed to others, besides its villagers. However, Turnbull also adds that that perception of the forest is only a preconception. Turnbull states that the villagers are also friendly and hospitable to strangers. They offer them the best of whatever food and drink they have. In addition, they try to make their homes as comfortable as possible for visitors.

END

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/9]

The Forest People

“The forest is our home; when we leave the forest, or when the forest dies, we shall die. We are the people of the forest.” (pg 260) I found this interesting because it seems to be true. If taken out of context from what was presented earlier in the chapter, it would seem he meant this metaphorically. But quite literally they don’t survive well outside of the forest. They are so use to the forest that they can’t easily adjust to other environments. They fall ill and sometimes die from direct sun exposure, they’re easily susceptible to diseases, and they get severe stomach disorder from drinking water, which doesn’t come from the forest streams.

END

 

Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

The Forest People

 

I thought it was really interesting how they considered kin in terms of everyone in the forest. They treat everyone in their society as a member of their family, not giving certain people any name of endearment like the ones that we use to represent members of our family. I thought it was interesting how a band of the Mbuti people not only represented the relationships among the nuclear family, but it also represented the relationships among all members of the Mbuti in the forest. This is significant because they are able to help and share with many people, not just their families, and in turn this can be reciprocated. This works out for everyone not just those who are related biologically.

 

-END-

 

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

The Forest People

Environment: It is interesting to read about the effect of visitors on the Pygmies. “In the village, or in the presence of even a single Negro or European, the Pygmies behave in one way. They are submissive, almost servile, and appear to have no culture of their own. But at night in the initiation camp when the last Negro had left, or off in the forest, those same Pygmies were different people” (Turnbull 1961: 22-23). The Pygmies may seem a certain way with visitors, so a person or anthropologist would have to become a part of the group to truly know and understand them.

END.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

The Forest People

Change: I found it interesting how easily the Mbuti accepted Turnbull in their society. A complete foreigner of a completely different race who brings completely new technology is usually not taken in so hospitably. Even today, in the United States, immigrants are sometimes looked down upon. We really could take a lesson from the Mbuti and learn to stop being so xenophobic.

 

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

 

The Forest People: Colin Turnbull

 

Environment: It is truly amazing how in tune the Mbuti are with the forest. The outsiders do not want to enter the forest at all yet the Mbuti find comfort in it. Turnbull mentions that the only time that he was aware of the Mbuti being silent while walking through the forest was while hunting. He later comes upon a non-hunting experience where the Mbuti are again silent. They are in search of the molimo in their search it is “as if they were part of the silence and the darkness of the forest itself and were only fearful lest any sound might betray their presence to some person or thing not of the forest” (74). They see themselves as the “Children of the forest” (74), and trust the forest and their environment more than the people outside it. I find it interesting to see how close humans are capable of being with nature and their environment, and how the Mbuti have managed to truly become one with the forest.

END

 

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

 

Political Structure: I enjoyed the part about Cephu's crime and punishment. Of course, the Mbuti have no written law code like we do, and here we see how that is even more effective than our system. His punishment was simple and was never really "sentenced," but everybody just started to shun him and treat him like an animal. As Turnbull says, this was certainly enough to get the message to Cephu. It just seems much more effective than all the rigamaroll we have in place.

END

 

 

[Brendan Ryan, bmr4@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

The Forest People

 

Environment:

The Forest PeopleThe forest is so important to the Mbuti and it is such an inseparable part of their life and daily activities that they themselves cannot imagine a life outside of it. They feel such a connection with it and everything in it that they even consider everyone living in the forest with them to be a member of their kin. This seems as though it would help them in the long run since they have a larger support net to help them if they fall on hard times.

 

 

 

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

The Forest People – I was surprised by the complexity of marriage practices. It seems like instead of a bride price, there is literally an exchange of brides. In order to marry, the boy would have to provide another girl to take her place in her family by marrying one of her brothers. This seems like it would be extremely difficult, especially in a society like ours.

 

 

Charlie Genao, cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07

 

What interesting in the book was the relationship the Mbuti had with the villagers. The villagers think that they are superior to the Mbuti. The villagers use farming that was brought to them by the Europeans. It funny that the idea of supierorty and the fact that the Europeans help them out are present (not really Hah hah). What I thought was cool was that the Mbuti fake to believe and confromed to the villagers ways in order to get what they want. That is a nice deception trick.

 

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

Turnbull “The Forest People”

Kinship/Marriage: The Pgymies had very different ceremonies for marriage than the local villagers. They tried to gain control over the Pgymies lives by subjecting them to their definition of a proper marriage ceremony. It is clear the Pgymies merely wanted to please the villagers but did not actually believe in the ceremony. The villagers’ insistence on a bride price was particularly amusing to the Pgymies since they considered the ceremony a mere flirtation and not anything serious. Similarly, the villagers did not understand or seem to care about the Pgymies desire to carry on their own marriage rituals. Obviously the two cultures did not have a very good understanding about one another (Turnbull 1962:201-206).

-END-

 

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

 

The Forest People

 

KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE: For the Mbuti Pygmies, incest encompasses even cousin relations, and is a very grave offence. Those discovered of committing incest are forced out of the forest to live on their own. Kenge describes what will happen to Kelemoke since he has been caught in incest: "And he will die, because one cannot live alone in the forest. The forest will kill him. And if it does not kill him he will die of leprosy" (112). Though this is a serious issue, Kenge finds it amusing that Kelemoke was dumb enough to be caught.

~END.

 

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu]

The Forrest People

Social Change and Marriage-In The Forrest People, we can see evidence of social change among the pygmies. Ekianga takes on three wives as a show of wealth, something common in the outside world, but not a tradition of the Mbuti peoples. Because the rest of his clan do not really object it is clear that this is becoming more and more normal, and though not a pygmy tradition, it may soon become one. This change in the marriage practice will in turn change the kinship and lineage of the clan provoking further social change.

 

[Justin Wilmott, jmw23@geneseo.edu 12/17]

The Forest People

SOCIAL CHANGE Learning about the Mbuti civil wars shows us that we as a human race, for some reason or another, have an un-quenchable thirst for war and conflict.  Taking the situation and comparing it to other countries, our selves for instance, we can see that violence is something that can reach and stretch from every corner of the world.  I don’t think there has ever been a completely peaceful and completely pacifist community in the entire worlds existence.  Everyone’s culture and heritage, have at one time been influenced by violence, a common bond that we all sadly share.

-END-

 

 

 

"A Song in the Forest"

 

Type your comments here . . .

A Song in the Forest

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-5-07]

 

A Song in the Forest

1. Ideology: I laughed when Kenge pointedly stated that the molimo smoked a lot too, spurring Turnbull to give up his cigarettes (p 10). It was a humorous statement but was probably meant in some seriousness. The Mbuti seem like humorous people, I like them...

2. Environment: When they are running through the woods for the molimo, they are running fairly quickly , with no "hesitating as to direction, even though there were times when it was difficult to see any trail at all" (p 11). Because the Mbuti are still so foraging-oriented, an intimate knowledge of their environment is necessary and apparent.

3. Ideology/Environment: When Turnbull asks about the molimo, Moke tells him that the forest is "both father and mother" to the pygmies, giving them everything they need (p 18). I thought that this was a nice way to view one's environment.

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-8-07]

 

1.) Ideology: When Masimongo asserted that Turnbull was not to come on the hunt for the molimo, Turnbull addresses it as if they thought he would be too slow on the hunt. However, I think that perhaps, if the molimo is a big part of their culture, Masimongo didn't want the white man participating because he wished to keep that part of the culture to themselves.

 

2.) Religion: Turnbull expected the molimo trumpets to be elaboratedly decorated and elegant, not a long pipe that blew rude "raspberries." When asked why their trumpets were not beautiful, traditional wood instruments, the pygmies respond, "What does it matter what the molimo is made of? This one makes a great sound, and, besides, it does not rot like wood."

 

3.) Religion: Women had to be in bed or not around when the men returned with their instruments. They would blow on them and produce noises that a strange, foreign animal would make, and the women would believe it was such.

 

End

 

The Song of the Forest

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/10]

 

ENVIRONMENT: Like many other cultures that we have studied this semester, The Mbuti people of the Congo subsist through the use of their environment. They are a hunting and gathering society who kill game purely for food, they move periodically in small hunting groups to follow their game and as a way to rejuvenate the Forest, and they use the leaves, trees, twines, and plants of the Forest to create their huts, clothing, nets, and bow and arrows.

 

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

 

The Song of the Forest

 

1. The way the author continuously compares the pygmies to himself really helps in understanding how their size and experience helped them to survive in the forest. Their size and agility led them to be able to sneak quickly and effortlessly through the forest and as their feet made no sound, although the author's did. It is also interesting that they were more afraid of what was out of the forest than what was in it, while people in our generation are the opposite.

 

2. social change- When he is surprised by the simplicity of the molimo it reminded me of the many other ethnographers we have heard about who have been disillusioned about the tribes they were so eagerly looking to study. They always have an image of what the culture "should" be like, and are often disappointed to realize that it isn't that way at all. They are humans like anybody else and look for the most convenient way of surviving. This may not always follow the magical and grandiose thoughts we tend to envision.

 

3. I found it really interesting that the women were led to believe that the molimo was a real animal and therefore were never allowed to see it. It seems like it was a way for men to exert their power over women which is something that is hard to imagine in this day and age where it would not be possible to keep something away from women like that

 

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 11/14]

The Song of the Forest

 

Ideology: What I found quite interesting in this reading is the Pygmies beliefs in the Molimo. Here the Molimo is given human qualities; for instance food was collected from hut to hut to feed the Molimo. In addition, it was said that it smoked a great deal (pg 10). Going on ward, what else I noticed is where this Molimo was hidden; after about forty-five mintues of running in the forest they finally arrived to the Kumamolimo; “the place of the molimo,” this tells the reader a lot about these people and their belief systems because it shows how much they value this Molimo; running for a long period of time just to go and see it. Lastly, it was also interesting how these hunters and gathers also referred to the Molimo as “the animal of the forest,” where the women were not allowed to see it for it brought death upon them (pg 13). Although the Molimo at the ever end turned out to be just a water piping stolen from roadside construction gangs (pg 13), to these people, the Molimo was everything in that when it was pleased, it provided these people with everything they needed.

Environment: Another thing about this reading that I noticed was the environment. When they went looking for the Molimo, they brought nothing with them to protect them from the wild animals such as the leopards; for they trusted the forest would protect them: “When we are the Children of the Forest, what need have we to be afraid of it? We are only afraid of that which is outside the forest” (pg. 12). In addition, as one continues to read, one notices that these people are well-adapted to their environment and this is especially seen when they went to get the Molimo and Turnbull was struggling to catch up with them. In all, great reading for it contained a lot of interesting facts about these people of the forest. -END-

 

 

 

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

The Song of the Forest

Environment: They strictly depend on their environment for survival. They hunt for their food so if it wasn’t for the animals that subsist around them, they may have completely different lives and values.

Politics: Women were definitely seen as less intelligent and were always tricked by the men. Sexism exists in every culture but they were completely taking advantage of them.

Ideology: Men believed that it was not only fun to play tricks on the women, but they were also demanding about certain things women must do. They had be out of the way when men were returning from certain activities like they may mess things up or just be a burden.

 

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/21/07]

“The Song of the Forest”

Ideology: Very cool story. How strange that the Mbuti base so much of their beliefs on pretending. They pretend to believe that the women really believe that the molimos are animals. And they pretend that the molimos actually drink. It’s even stranger how the molimo is very much not an animal, but just an inanimate object when it suits their practicality and purpose. You wonder what purpose in a culture these things serve, in this case it seems to give the men reason to believe the women are ignorant, even if it’s pretend ignorance.

-END-

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/26]

 

“The Song of the Forest”

 

ENVIRONMENT/IDEOLOGY: The end of this passage really stuck with me: “There, in the tiny clearing, splashed with silver, was the sophisticated Kenge, clad in bark cloth, adorned with leaves, with a flower stuck in his hair. He was all alone, dancing around and singing softly to himself as he gazed up at the treetops,” (Turnbull 1961). This opens a discussion for what it means to be truly human, and how that reality is expressed. These children of the forest radiate a gentle innocence – one that maintains the belief that all is delightful (in the forest) and one that lives in harmony with the surrounding environment, with deep reverence for its genuine goodness. Mbuti philosophy was so simple and tangible that they could feel the freedom of walking in the forest’s darkness without weapons or dancing by themselves (as Kenge aforementioned). Praising a nameless god was essentially irrelevant to their spiritual ideals – the forest itself embodies the magic and actuality of their faith in a combination that cannot be severed.

-END-

 

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/26)

 

"The Song of the Forest"

 

Ideology - I enjoyed reading about how the molimo tradition is constructed in a manner that creates order as well as a division of gender and age. Each person has their own role during the ceremony, and if it is betrayed there will be immediate reprocusions. While most of the Mbuti existence is described as consisting of passive and relaxed behavior, this vital ceremony holds no jokes. That is not to say that it is not fun, however. Great joy and passion comes from the molimo, but disrespecting its traditions is a significant error. I also thought it was funny that it was guarded from the women, and that they needed to be in their beds when the instrument was being dealt with. I often thought of the ideological significance of the the ceremony. The Mbuti not worshipping a deity take from the forest everything they need, which has to do with the beliefs they derive from certain traditions.

 

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

The Song of the Forest

 

Ideology: I think that it is very cool that the Pygmies have such a high regard for music. It is almost as if the music itself becomes an actual living entity, especially when you hear about it in some of their stories. In many societies, music is viewed with reverence and even, on occasion, viewed as sacred. For example, nearly all the religions I can think of off the top of my head (Christianity, Muslim, Hinduism, etc.) all seem to have some sort of music or singing involved with them.

 

-END-

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

“The Song of the Forest

**

IDEOLOGY: The importance of the molimo ritual can be seen in this story. As the author states, there was a difference in the way the people acted as they were hunting in the forest. Instead of their usual noise, they were completely silent, afraid of being detected by a different species. It can be seen that there is great importance in catching the molimo and follow their traditions.

END

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.ed, 12/9]

A Song in the Forest

I thought it was interesting that women were led to believe that the molimo was an animal, when it was really construction pipes. Obviously this object is foreign to their culture and environment so it’s interesting that it would play such a large roll in their rituals.

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/9

 

A song in the forest

 

The Molimo is something extremely powerful to the Mbuti. One cannot help but feel that the people really believe it to be something more, or superorganic. It is something which guides them and works for them. It produces natural sounds and explains things to the people. The Molimo seems to have religious and ritualistic significance because it is music. Heather notes that music often accompanies religion, and religion provides the ultimate origins of music. The Molimo shows this to be true.

 

 

kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12

 

A song in the forest

 

I think that this article points out the importance of the molimo ritual in terms of the enironment. They were afraid of something foreign being in their native land, but they were still unsure of how to act around it because they were afraid of being caught by a new and unusual species. This indicates the fact that they are alone in the forest, and that their rituals and traditions are all that they have ever known and to be intruded by something unsual catches them off guard and they dont know how to respond.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

The Song of the Forest

Ideology: It is very interesting to see Turnbull take part in the Pygmy ceremony and put his trust in them. It was shocking for Turnbull to see a sacred instrument once make of wood, now being made from piping stolen from roadside construction gangs. This shows the impact of outsiders on traditional culture, not even necessarily forced and in this case accepted gladly. The idea of an isolated culture no longer seems to be a possibility as time goes on.

END.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

The Song of the Forest

Ideology: I found molimo very interesting because it was so different from everything they usually do. Instead of having no defined roles, they are assigned specific jobs. Instead of playing and making fun of each other, they do everything precisely. I guess even in the more carefree societies, there are serious/sacred aspects that no one can joke around with.

 

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

The Song of the Forest

Ideology - The article presents an interesting concept at the very end that you don't hear about much when discussing field work. Of course, the anthropologist does field work in order to further their own understanding of a given culture and thus be able to share that understanding with the rest of the anthropological community, and of course the anthropologist can have an impact on the people he or she studies. This is all stuff we've talked about, but I don't know if we've talked before about the effect that field work and the people can have on the anthropologist. Turnbull's account of these people is almost spiritual; I'm sure that people that actually knew him thought he was quite different after he returned from his field study. Its kind of the selfish part of field work I guess, but its also one of the most exciting parts, I think.

 

[Jennifer Mahoney, jrm30@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

 

The Forest People

One of the most interesting parts of the reading The Forest People was the relationship between the Mbuti and the surrounding villagers. I was particularly interested in reading about the Mbuti taking part in the villagers’ initiation ceremony. Though the villager’s initiation ceremony is meaningless to the Mbuti, the young boys take part in it to prove their adulthood to the villagers, which is important as their lives necessitate cooperation and close contact with the neighboring people. The Mbuti people do not believe in the supernatural and whenever the villagers were out of sight the Mbuti boys would break the initiation taboos. In addition, after the initiation the Mbuti were still viewed as they’re as children by their own people. It was interesting to see how the Mbuti and the villagers rely on each other and what is necessary to maintain peaceful cooperation between the two cultures.

 

 

END

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/16}

 

"A Song of the Forest"

 

IDEOLOGY: Colin Turnbill illuminates the concept of fear among the Mbuti in this article. He explains that they do not carry weapons as they move through the forest, because they do not fear the forest, only what is outside it. He asks one of the Mbuti people why this is, and his response is: "When we are the Children of the Forest, what need have we to be afraid of it? We are only afraid of that which is outside the forest" (12). Unfortunately, the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have brought this outside world into their forest, and great fear has accompanied its arrival.

~END.

 

[Brendan Ryan, bmr4@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

A Song of the Forest

 

Environment:

The Mbuti are physically small in stature, which is maybe one of the most intriguing facts about these people. It really brings home the point that the environment can have very real influence on us. It makes me wonder what other possible physical adaptations the Mbuti have that Turnbull may have not been able to observe. They seem to also have a pretty well developed sense of hearing, perhaps this is also something that has selectively evolved itself within these people. Also, what advantage does smaller size impart on the Mbuti?

 

 

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

-END-

A Song in the Forest

Ideology: The molimo is an important part of the Pgymies’ culture. The molimo is used to make a sound similar to a trumpet as an accompaniment for their singing. The attached social ceremony is what is most important since it allows for male bonding and the singing of songs which praise the forest. It is almost a coming of age rite for young men since the women and children go to sleep before the molimo is brought into the village. The songs are their way of protecting themselves from bad luck and misfortune. They see themselves as the children of the forest and therefore believe singing wakes it up so that things go well for them. The songs have a connection to their basic survival.

-END-

 

 

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

“A Song in the Forest” – the correlation between music and religion can be seen in nearly every belief system that exists. Comparing the !Kung and the Molimo music it can be seen that it plays a significant part in their lives and in their ritual. This is not unique to tribal religions. Gospel music and hymns are essential to Christianity and all modern religions have music which is representative of their faith.

 

END

 

 

 

 

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

Major insights from the Mbuti and the violence and genocide surrounding them is that there are so many outside influences effecting these people. Primarily that of their habitate the forest. This being caused by loggers and men of the western world. The zoning off of sections of the forest and the deforestation that is impacting the Mbuti is destroying their culture and forcing them into environments that they are not accustomed too. The Mbuti have a keen sense of the forest, its smell, taste and touch. New areas in which they are being relocated too have from one quote “bad air” and they see it as a bad land.

 

END

 

Charlie Genao cg7@ geneseo.edu

 

The Molimo is a music/song rituals that has close ties with their beliefs They sing to praise and give thanks to the forest which provides them with everything they need. It also allows people with in that group to bond. When I was reading it remind me of my families traditions when it come to the catholic church and p

 

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

“The Song of the Forest”

Social Change-This article illustrates some of the results of contact with the western world for the pygmies. One thing I found both interesting and humorous, was that the pygmies held stereotypes about the whites, probably just as much as the whites held stereotypes about them. This is illustrated when some of the pygmies want Turnbull to run with them to get the molimos, while others believe that he because he is white, he is not fast enough and will be unable to keep up and will be afraid in the dark forest. This just goes to show that all cultures hold stereotypes against others.

 

[Justin Wilmott, jmw23@geneseo.edu 12/17]

"The Song of the Forest"

ENVIRONMENT

In a society such as our were everything must be bigger and badder, it is interesting to see that the size of the Mbuti works as an advantage.  Allowing them to maneuver through the forest much easier and more effectively, the small size of the Mbuti is a great advantage to hunting and gathering.  Where as we in America just buy the larger gun and the better scope, the Mbuti use their small size and agility to their advantage in hunting.

-END-

 

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