Mbuti Culture

Published: 2021-09-13 10:15:10
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The Mbuti's are one of several indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Congo region of Africa. Their culture is more than 5,000 years old, and today's Mbuti live much as their ancient ancestors did their existence is harsh, and their average life span is short; many Mbuti die before they reach the age of 20, and very few of them live to see 40. Roaming the forest in groups of no more than 14, they keep dogs and nets for hunting but otherwise have few material possessions. Mbuti are primarily net hunters, although they also use bows for shooting arboreal monkeys, and spears for hunting bush pigs, buffaloes and other big game.
In the Mbuti culture sometimes, the women in the group will hunt and the men will do the gathering. Mbuti net hunter groups have been involved in commercial meat trading since the early 1950s. They obtain agricultural food in exchange for meat either with traders or villagers, or in exchange for cultivation and related manual labor in the village. Mbuti and villagers have formed interdependent relationships based on pseudo-kinship, in which exchanges traditionally take place in a form of gift giving.
The Mbuti band is a social organization where people in one band hunt as a group. Bands are nomadic and continuously seeks new hunting ground based on game hunting and collecting forest product. There is no ruling group or lineage, and no overlying political organization, the Mbuti are an egalitarian society in which the band is the highest form of social organization; both men and women have equal power. A display of leadership for example on hunting treks where issues are discussed and decisions are made by consensus at fire camps; men and women engage in the conversations equivalently. If there is a disagreement, infraction, or offense, then the offender may be banished, beaten or scorned. No chief or formal council has imposed rules.

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